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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

day 1-3

I flew from Tampa to Oakland on the first leg of the scooter journey.  I would rather take a whippin' than go to the airport and it was re-enforced on this trip.  It all started with the new full body scanners.  When they say "remove everything", they mean everything. A kleenex got me a full body scan.  At least they were jovial about it.  From there it only got worse.  My flight took off at 7:30 am and I landed in Oakland at 7:30 pm.   15 hours en-route. Flying for free ain't what it used to be.  The rental car experience was no better.  I thought we really screwed the tourist in Florida but California makes us look cheap.  I originally booked a car from Budget off the airport for $173 for a week.  The same car at the airport was $458.  I no longer needed 7 days and the 2 days cost me $183! at the airport.

I spent the night with a old friend I had not seen in years, Baby Bundles and her husband Kyoji.  We had a great time and they are great people. Despite being in an urban area there was all kinds of wild animals roaming through.

I left“Menopause Meadows”, as Bundles calls the over 55 community she lives in, and headed for Redding, home of the new scooter. William was waiting with the Vespa and 2 of his other 2-wheeled machines. The Vespa was everything I expected and more. William had it cleaner than if I had gotten it new from the dealer. It has about 10 coats of wax. I had only talked to William once on the phone and, as I expected, he is a great guy. He and his girlfriend put me up for the evening, wined and dined me and gave me a tour of the area. If I had not left he would have given me so much stuff I would have had to add another luggage rack. Thank you William for a great visit and I hope to see you soon and thank you for selecting me to own the scooter.

Big Red and me rolled out of Redding about 9:30 on US44 headed into the hills. Yesterday I had seen 111 degrees on the test ride but climbing to over 8,000 feet should keep it cooler. At the entrance to the Lessen National Park, I met 3 Swiss students who are traveling America and wanted a couple pictures on the sign with Big Red. It was a beautiful ride over the mountain with very little traffic. At the peak of over 8,000 feet, Scoot and I would have been clawing our way over. Big Red never missed a beat. Rain showers were around but never fell on us, but the fresh smell they brought was great. This is a volcanic mountain and there are steam holes. Unfortunately, I got no pictures of them. On the back side of the mountain temperatures climbed again to 100 degrees.

I called it a day in Portola, Ca. as I felt it was time for a celebration drink for owning another scooter.