Noooooo, not the cute little movie! It’s my first day on the road in nearly a month! ((I don’t actually have any idea how long it’s been)) Firstly, I’m sorry for not blogging my way through Seattle. There were tons of fun things going on, but I think I needed a break from writing. Oddly enough, in Seattle, I wrote my first poem in months.
Speaking of needing a break, I kept pushing back departure date because I was taking a break from travel. Turns out that while the break is over, I’m less than ready for it to be.
Basically, I’m through with traveling – for now anyway. I’m ready to move and get a place and set it all up and just start living a bit of the normal life (normal for me).
Riding today didn’t mean nearly as much as any other time I’ve been on the scooter since I left Pennsylvania. Except maybe the ride from Portland to Seattle. Yeah, today was better than that.
But both days illustrated to me that around 60 days is my limit.
So what does this mean? I’m not sure. Will the rest of my trip be miserable? Will I just ride like hell to get back to PA? I hope not. But unfortunately I do need to get back to PA. I have a few stops planned, like Brad in Kenosha and Rati & Dwija at New Vrndavana. I’m excited about both. I wish I would have planned… but the plans are out the window. I was supposed to be home over a month ago. I wasn’t even supposed to go to the Pacific North West. I wasn’t supposed to do a bunch of stuff. And now I’m paying the price.
Tonight, I got an email from Nila (Lilasuka’s daughter), I know her from New Vrndavana. She and her family now live near Spokane. But she’s actually two hours north of it. That would mean a whole day set aside for that. And at this point, I don’t have a whole day. That kind of sucks. A lot. But I’ll be in Seattle/Portland, so I’ll be able to visit.
I was hoping to ride out of Seattle around 8 or 9am. That didn’t happen, but it’s mostly ok. Why? Because Ryan, Jaime, Taviri, Arkaedi (that’s the correct spelling, I think) and Jeff headed to Mighty O Doughnuts. I got myself a half dozen for the trip!
On the way to Mighty O’s, my oil light came on. I pulled over and it went off. It came on while I was coming to a hard stop. If it’s going light up because it’s low on oil, that’s when it’ll first do it. Weird. Big People Scooters changed my oil, how could I be low? My engine was knocking a little bit, so I figured that the light was right.
I rode to Mighty O’s and had a mess of doughnuts, enjoyed the last few moments with some amazing friends and then went to check on the scooter.
I pulled the dipstick and it was dry. Odd. Big People Scooters just filled it up. But since there were no oil spots on the ground where the scooter was parked and I only rode it 20 or so miles since picking it up from the shop, I didn’t know what to think.
Goodbyes were said and hugs were exchanged. I’m really excited to be with these folks. I hope it all works out. I’ll be majorly unhappy if it doesn’t work out.
The nearest gas station was my next stop. I fueled up and bought some oil. It took half a quart. The engine only holds a tiny bit more than a quart. It was almost half empty. Wow. Huge screw up, BPS.
But the show must go on. So with a now quiet engine full of oil, I take to I-5 and then Washington State Route 522, which is much like an interstate here. And it was here that my throttle stopped working. It was stuck. I couldn’t turn it.
I coasted over to the shoulder and just sat there in disbelief. I tried the throttle again. It was obvious that it was binding on something. Big People Scooters pulled the engine to fix the exhaust stud. When doing that, they disconnected the throttle cable (I’m assuming it’s a cable, I’m not really sure how new Vespas with electronic fuel injection work in that regard) and then reconnected it when they reinstalled the engine, $350 later.
They screwed something up somewhere. Again. I finally worked the throttle free. It’s now pretty tight and I felt (and still feel) pretty uneasy with it, but it works. Something is still not right, but it works.
Honestly, the oil was a big mistake that should be basically impossible to make if you check the dipstick after adding oil. The throttle cable, I don’t know about, but I’m not a Vespa mechanic. However, both should not happen. Mistakes can be made, we’re all human, I get that. But how about a little double checking?
I was running late. Traffic was bad and there was a ton of construction. I was beginning to think that I wasn’t going to make it to Spokane tonight. I heard that US 2, my route of choice, was really pretty through much of Washington. That was pretty true. It was green and the cool mountain air felt great.
And then traffic came to a dead stop. Ahead of me, I could see that there was something on the road. That something was a tree. It must have just fallen because there was only a handful of cars between myself and the obstruction.
Most folks were on cell phones canceling appointments and telling loved ones that they’d be late. I took a few pictures and talked to some folks about my trip. It’s weird now. When people ask me where I’m heading, I found myself saying “back to Pennsylvania.” I guess this is really it.
At least it was beautiful. Washington is green and the morning clouds were burning off. It was another beautifully sunny Pacific North West day!
But with yet another delay, I was definitely not going to make Spokane tonight. Especially with my attitude.
I crossed Steven’s Pass, which Ryan and Jeff both talked up quite a bit. And everything they said was true. It’s pretty beautiful. But after crossing about a billion passes, some near 10,000 feet, and being a bit grumpy, this 4,000 foot pass didn’t impress me. Sadly, it didn’t do much. I didn’t even take a picture.
I hope the rest of the trip isn’t like this. Maybe I should have garaged the scooter and taken a plane home. Maybe.
But, I thought, at least it’s a nice cool day and I’m surrounded by greenery.
Here is where the ride got grueling. I wasn’t even 150 miles into it. Now I wasn’t riding to ride, I was riding to get to somewhere.
I wasn’t really sure where that somewhere was. It certainly wasn’t going to be Spokane. It would have to be a town somewhere between wherever I was and Spokane. Preferably something close. Though, as the ride wore on and I wore out, “something close to Spokane” became “something soon.” And not too long after, “something soon” became “please, God, something NOW!”
The temperature rose and the desert sucked. I usually love deserts. This was too much. I rode through a couple of towns. I wish I felt better. I would have stopped, taken a few pictures, checked out a few stops and had a good time. But this isn’t Route 66 and it’s certainly not the beginning of my trip. Maybe I just need to get my “sea legs” back.
The town of Wilber, Washington provided a couple motels. The Willows Motel is my choice for the night. And it’s quite nice. If you ever find yourself here, definitely stay. It’s a good place run by some nice folks.
And dear readers, that was my day. I’m beat and sleepy and hopefully tomorrow will be better. Sorry for being such a downer.
Miles while in Seattle: 67
Miles today: 233 (yeah, only 233)
Miles total: 7,984