Friday. August 19th. 2011. The first inaugural T-Town Flotilla begins. Its mid afternoon and the sun is dripping off its slightly toasted muffin into a pool of blue which expresses a complete disdain for clouds of any political bias. A gaggle of Firkins are already giddy with excitement while setting the stage for the imminent meet and greet, twilight ride, and evening show kick off. As the afternoon subsides into early evening, intrepid attendees begin to trickle in to pickup rally backs, imbibe an adult beverage or two at the New Frontier Lounge and acquaint themselves with old and new friends alike.
As twilight approaches, a healthy gathering of vintage and modern scooters are moored along the street. Kuzzman rounds up the riders to launch the “Cruising Urban North Tacoma” twilight ride. After snaking along the waterfront, we ooze into cobbled streets and leafy lanes that defy the normal arteries of major commutes before emerging at the Parkway Tavern for adult refreshments at a mere $2 a pint for the TTF participants. The less than even roads haven not been kind to Tom and Renees small frame Vespa which suffered a dislodged exhaust. No matter. No match for a human lift, mallet and a two by four.
Before long it is ship shape and Bristol fashion, ready to embark on the next leg of the short evening ride. After the splash ‘n dash it’s a relaxed meander through more roads less travelled back to the New Frontier Lounge for some local flavor entertainment. DJ melodic entertains while the bands prepare. The air crackles with excitement and the timbre of energized chatter as satisfied scooterists spill over tables and out the door. ..,
Bandolier, and the Dignataries keep the energy rocking while dancing between forests of PBR tall boys, the result of a spontaneous desire for members to join the F**K Yeah scooter club (you will have to ask them about their rite of initiation.) The evening winds down and the last dregs are drained from beer infused tubes as one by one, people retire to prepare for Saturday’s excursion.
Saturday morning welcomes another day full of promise and anticipation. The Harmon brewery hosts a scrumptious pancake breakfast and the rear parking lot is already strewn with a mixture of various scooters.
A healthy crowd has travelled down from the north to participate in the festivities. John C’s pickup is bristling with firewood and the trailer is packed with essential Rally supplies. The Flotilla pulls out, slinking its way through Tacoma’s main streets, miraculously making every stop light without leaving anybody in the wake. After a quick gas stop and a record breaking clutch cable repair by Josh K and pit crew, the main voyage sets sail booting across the Narrows bridge, a daunting prospect for first timers, without incident despite a fierce wind as if conjured up by Neptune himself in an attempt to lure us in to the murky waters of the sound with tales of Mermaids, sushi appetizers and to extol the virtues of his mighty big fork..!! Gig harbor navigated successfully, the swarm enjoys the empty back roads of the Gig Harbor peninsula like salmon returning to spawn. The Flotilla kept tight eating up curves and straights with reckless abandon and little regard for erroneous speedometers, pulling into Long Lake County Park for a short pit stop. The delivery Pizza at the water’s edge was unexpected and the unscheduled arrival of the ice cream truck was suitably applauded.
After the brief stop, the next short boomerang leg around the lake guides us into the Flotation Device Pub in Purdy to quench thirsts, fix flat tires and regroup before heading out the final destination.
After one missed turn and a little rubber left on the asphalt we arrived at Penrose state park. As the group site was not available, the reserved individual sites were plundered amidst a state of organized chaos. Tents erected, fires stoked and the BBQ ready to receive raw meat, burgers and hot dogs were soon sizzling. After the raffle, some travelers returned home while the remaining crew settled in for an evening of debaucherous entertainment. Before long the sun had slunk down behind the horizon to relent to the mysteries of the night with the moon shimmering in the mulititude of bottles and cans littering the picnic table with the constant hum of happy revelers wafting into the tree tops and probably neighboring campsites.
Only one visit from the Park Ranger and a sleep deprived reminder to be courteous from one of our own Firkin lieutenants. Some retreated to the “beach” for some midnight skinny dipping in surprisingly refreshing cool water washing off the sweat and grit of the day only return to camp and try very hard, unsuccessfully, to keep the commotion down to a reasonable volume. As the clock hands ticked into the wee hours, revelers peeled off one by one to retreat to canvas caves to drift off into slumbering adventures.
As always, Sunday clambered over the horizon earlier than expected. As people turtle headed from tents, the site was already active with growling stomachs on the prowl for the infamously promised breakfast of beans on toast served up by Jeff and Tess.
The bomb site was cleared of party debris and the beach combing was rewarded with a pair of sunglasses, a pack of cigarettes and a lone pair of boxer shorts returned to respective happy owners. After breaking camp and leaving the park spotless, scooters were straddled and the short , fast, straight stretch to the Southworth Ferry was chewed up within the hour. Uforgiveably, one member was left behind en route but was found again as we made our last stop of the weekend at the Red Bicycle on Vashon Island before heading to the south point of the Island with the promise of a Ferry to transport our weary scooter rallied bodies and minds to the comforts of home to nurse our bruises and reminisce about a glorious weekend.
All in all, a fantastic Rally only made possible by all of those that attended, our sponsors, the F**K Yeahs and some damned good weather! We look forward to doing it all again in August, 2012.
Thanks to our Sponsors:
Scooter Techniques UK, 253 Heart Tacoma, Parkway Tavern, Harmon Brewery, Scooters West, Weekly Volcano, Custom Shirt Shop, Vietnam Vespa Adventures, New Frontier Lounge, F**K Yeah SC.
And the Flotation Device and Red Bicycle for hosting a gaggle of scooter Hooligans..!!