Before I even set out on my journey I received an email from a guy called Robert Zollna. The email read “if you pass through Seattle give me a shout and we can meet up”
I had posted what I was planning to do on a Yahoo forum for Honda C70 owners in North America, and Robert was one of the many people who contacted me to wish me good luck. He has been regularly posting comments and feedback on my Facebook site since I set out.
After a couple of days in Seattle, I jumped on a ferry and headed across the Puget Sounds to meet Robert.
Robert had riden his old Honda C70 down to the docks to meet me off the ferry. I pulled over outside a little coffee shop where he was parked, got off and inspected his little C70. We shook hands and it was great to put a face to the name.
We wanted to take advantage of what little sun light was left so we could get some photos of the bikes. Robert lead the way and we headed off for the Naval dock yard and took some photos by the aircarft carrier U.S.S. Hornet. The Kitsap Naval base is one of 4 of U.S. nuclear naval bases and 1 of its 2 nuclear weapons facilities. (thanks Wiki)
Robert owned a red and white 1980 Honda C70 Passport, a nice example and in really good condition. He had owned it since high school when he was around 17 years old. He bought it off his sister in California before he even had a drivers licence and he used to drive it around the driveway in front of his home. In the good old fashioned American way he had paid for his bike through his paper route, or as he said himself “tossing papers”.
Like many people who own Honda Cubs and passports Robert has riden bigger bikes but he loves the feeling of riding these “eclectic” bikes.
He had made some modifications to the bike himself, nothing major. He had added a front screen, which was held solidly in place by none other than trusty cable ties. (Anyone who has done any long distance trips on a motorcycle is a big fan of cable ties!). He had also added a neat looking set of panniers. Which were in fact cooler bags modified to fit to the bike, which I thought was really cool. He had fallen off his Honda a few times, (at least twice on wet leaves) but the worst damage that was done was bending the turn signals.
Robert had even brought his prom date to the Graduation Ball on the back on his Honda- he dressed up in his tux and his date in her ball gown! I loved that image and was hoping he had a photo, but most of his photos were destroyed in fire at his Mom’s house.
He also owned a parakeet yellow Honda Passport. He bought it as he wanted a riding partner for weekend rideouts. Occasionally Robert and Michael would ride to the ferry and go to meet the Seattle scooter club for a ride out.
Roberts family were great and were all really friendly and welcoming. The night I arrived we all went out for dinner at the local Chinese. Where his “kids” Michael (late 20’s) and Nyssa (19), joked about their serial killer Dad and the faith of other such motorcyclists that had rolled into Port Orchard.
That night while Robert and his wife Linda headed out to work; Michael, Nyssa and I stayed up talking about music and Ireland. Nyssa named after Nurse Nysssa in Doctor Who, loved the romantic image of Ireland and had been dying to visit, when I showed her pictures of The Aaron Islands, The Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher she was absolutely sold!
Michael was also a bit of a character, he was into metal music and composed his own songs and made music for video games, which i thought was pretty cool..
The next morning when getting my gear together a knock came at the door. It was a someone selling Bibles, Nyssa being too sweet to dismiss them; Michael stepped in and said
“Hi,” “She’s Mormon, I’m Satanist and well, he’s Irish, so……?”
The Bible guy getting the message stepped back off the step and said.. “ oh, well you guys are pretty messed up” and left.
Hilarious I thought, being Irish now constitutes being messed up and a religion!… I suppose its not too far from the truth.
I finished packing up my gear up and said goodbye to Roberts family and we went outside to the bikes. Robert had offered to ride with me on his Honda to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge despite it spilling rain. Which I really appreciated.
When we were about the hit the road Robert turned around to me and told me that Nyssa had sat down beside him a said “Daddy, can we keep him ”. Which was sweet, I think people just want to look after me like some lost pet.
We hit the road for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge ( The new one 😉 ) and after that I would continue on my merry way.
Well, I just didn’t know.
Thanks Robert, Linda, Michael and Nyssa, it was great!