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Resetting the reset button

August 6, 2009

You may recall I was getting rid of stuff. Well, I got rid of a lot of stuff. Including the roof over my head.

That was a circumstance forced on me. You may have noticed I don’t talk much about employment. That’s because I haven’t had any for the last 12 months. I’d managed to survive on the proceeds of the sale of my home, then my car, then my other car, then finally anything else of value.

Ultimately, there was nothing left to sell (I suppose I could’ve sold the GTS, but I need some kind of transportation to hold a job, right?). So I couldn’t pay the rent. So I ended up out in the street.

I don’t do camping too well.

Luckily, a high-school friend in Portland offered a place to stay. Good thing I kept the GTS, huh?

I usually try to do some planning prior to a trip like this, but I didn’t have that luxury. After stopping at the storage unit to pick up a few things, I was southward bound. I’d been looking for an excuse to ride the GTS to Stumptown. It was cloudy and cool, but the weather forecast for all of western Washington was sunny and 80°F.

You might think I have every detail of the routes on the World-Famous Scootin’ Old Skool Maps page memorized, but I don’t. I mostly navigate by force of habit. In this case, it would require the occasional visual cue or other memory jog.

But the only real miscue was not taking a right at Traffic Avenue in Sumner. The journey was relaxing, because I could do the speed limit. Once past the emerging suburban sprawl of McKenna and Yelm, the road twisted through a place you could really call “the sticks.” I guessed Steve Williams rides through places like this.

In Bucoda, there were several abandoned houses, with open doors and missing walls. Note to self: possible places to stay if things get really bad.

It was way before lunchtime when I arrived in Centralia. No, I think I’ll keep going, instead of stopping at the Olympic Club for lunch.

The GTS is just lovin’ this. It feels like I’m driving a car, I swear. Anyone who thinks you can’t tour on a scooter needs to ride a Vespa GTS.

Just past the curvy bridge, I spot… scooters! A scooter dealer, in fact.

The memory jogs worked. Turn left, yeah, that’s Toledo. Take the right just past Beth’s, yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Westside Highway, this is a left!

US 30, such a stressful drive on the PX, is cake. I can do the speed limit, remember? The small towns cum ‘burbs pass quickly: Rainier, St. Helens, Scappoose. “Entering Multnomah County” says the sign.

A first glimpse of the St. Johns Bridge has never made me so happy! Last time I lived here, I’d walk across the bridge and back on my lunch break.

No grating here. After a bit of a kerfuffle due to missing a right turn, I’m on Willamette Avenue enjoying the view. Downtown Portland is in the hazy distance. Favicon

  1. August 6, 2009 3:30 pm


    another adventure to see what life brings. Different surroundings . . . and hopefully a new start. Good luck.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. August 7, 2009 10:21 am

    Didn’t know the state of things. Sorry for the stress you’ve been under. Thank goodness for friends, eh? Portland is a neat place to be. Here’s to this being the start of a happy journey.

    P.S. I’m only an hour and a half South of Portland.

  3. August 12, 2009 3:08 am


    Sorry to hear about the circumstances surrounding your need to reset the reset button. Your essay here gives me a glimpse of what it’s like to be faced with economic challenges. I hope if I am ever faced with a situation like this that I can follow your example. I hate to say this and I know it is a comment from someone who is employed but your description of circumstances and actions strike chords with the romance of a simpler life. The way one would read about it in a book written by someone like you who has gone through the experience, made fundamental changes in the way they live, experienced some epiphany, and wrote about it.

    And then published a book which Oprah adds to her bookclub.

    I hope things change in a manner you want and that unexpected doors open for you. Until then, enjoy the sticks on your GTS!

    Best wishes.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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