Jimmy Byrd and students
This was not to be a fund raiserride, but two things changed that. First, due to drought, we must build a water tower for the school and second, the Richard Mascarello family has offered to match any donations up to the total number miles ridden. So keep the water flowing for the kids and hit the donate button.

Also, instructor Kevin Lee is a auctioning off a 2 week paragliding course in southern Oregon to support the school.

See it here.

TO READ THE FLORIDA TO CALIFORNIA LEG CLICK here or go to lostboater.blogspot.com

Friday, June 4, 2010


1 month, 1 week, and 1 day, 6539 miles, 2 rear tires, 94 gas station stops, amazingly only 3 rain days and 2 of those less than 1 hour, one snow day, too many cold days, is what it took to ride a Vespa across America and back. Was it worth it? Absolutely !!! Any regrets? No. The return leg, after getting sick, became a scooter ride and not as much an adventure, but I loved every minute of it.

Some people said that the trip to California seemed awful fast. Well, look at it this way. It takes you 3 days to cross the country in your car and what do you see? It took me 21 days and I was literally in the scene the whole way. It was all around me. At what I estimate to be an average speed of about 40mph, you see a lot. Going over a 10,000 foot mountain at 20 mph for 1 hour or so, you even see more. Crossing the flat lands with 40 mph headwinds, you see a lot. No, I did not go to all the tourist places along the way. Most of them I have seen and my trips are not to see those, but the people and land around them. To keep from getting long winded, many, many people and places were not in the blog. Breakfast with Mennonites, conversations in cafes, chat's at the gas stations. If there was not a picture, I did not write about and a lot of these encounters I felt that camera would change the event. Maybe I should write about and I have in the past, but at the end of the day, it was to much to put in a blog for me. Those are memories to be shared in the future.

What is the story here? The story is that this is a vast, beautiful and wonderful country. Just as important is that is full of wonderful caring people. Not one person was anything other than helpful and friendly. (Ok, there was the cop, but he was not ugly, just not cooperative.) This is what I have found not only in the U.S., but every where I have traveled in the world. So, I encourage you to set out to see something new. Get out of your comfort zone, you will probably be surprised how good it feels and what new experiences you may have.


The James Dean Byrd Foundation

The fund raiser for the foundation was an after thought for this cross country trip. I never knew it would be so successful. To date we have raised $6,425!!! Almost all from small internet donations. THANK YOU!

For you to give to such a worthy cause is heart warming. I try not use the heart tugging scenes you see on TV to raise funding, but we have many of them. Here are a few.
  • One mother was interviewed and asked what she likes about the Escuela Bilingue los Algarrobos. Her answer was that she can neither read or write, but everyday after school her 1st grade daughter comes home and child teaches her everything that she learned in school that day. She to is learning to read and write.
  • Another family was interviewed and the child said what she liked best about school is that she good food, as there was none or very little at home.
Besides educating the children, the school has outreach programs to the families. They cover a broad spectrum from child nutrition, to medical issues, to child abuse.

I invite you all to come down and visit the school. Canoa is a nice little town. There are no Hilton's or even Motel 6's, but there are clean, safe accommodations and a wonderful beach. Ecuador is a compact country and you can go from the Amazon to the beach in one day, offering you a lot of new opportunities to see a different world.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I knew today would be just a scooter ride as Scoot and I have ridden this road many times and after 5 weeks on the road we did not want to work to find something new.

US19 is pretty for the first 150 miles and then it turns into a 50 mile ugly strip mall. For some bizarre reason I decided I would ride it all the way home today. I do not even like riding it in my car. After about 20 minutes the strip mall part, I came to my senses and moved east a few miles to East Lake Blvd, a nice calm road. This took me almost al the way home.

The wife and neighbors had put up a welcome home sign. It was great to be back.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scoot and me slipped out of Selma, Alabama around 7 pm.  We went through town and over the Alabama River bridge.  Never even knew Alabama had a Alabama river.  We joined US80 to Montgomery. This is the road that the civil rights marchers walked in the '60's.  It interesting that in this small town in the middle of nowhere a few people started a movement that would changed the whole nations culture.

We turned of on AL97 to get some back road time.  It was a nice ride through rolling hills with forest and cattle farms. At Luvrne I sat and contemplated what route to take.  I really did not want to make my way back over to US231, the main route, as that would end the adventure and begin just a scooter ride home.  After serious contemplation, I decided I had no other choice.  With a 50% chance of rain and the back road route I would put me to far to the west. So, we made our way over to Troy and joined 231.

Traffic to Dothan was moderate, but after that the rest of the highways, all four lanes, were almost empty.

When we crossed into Georgia we did not see the welcome time until it was to late.  It was a small sign in the middle of a bridge.  I saw no need to return to get a picture. Scoot did stop at the Florida sign to be sure everyone would know that we were back in the homeland.

Getting through Tallahassee took about as long as it did to cross Texas. Must be a lot of politician deciding how to time the lights.  You have to stop for every single one, and there were lots.

About 5 miles out of Perry, our destination for today, we had a flat tire.  Fortunately it was right in front of a repair facility for a logging company.  I pushed Scoot over and borrowed their air and concert pad.  It me took about 10 minutes to repair and we were back on the road.

We rolled on into Perry and went to Deals Oyster house for dinner and called it a day.

View Larger Map