Bellingham WA
July 30, 2006, 5:56 am
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Chaitanya and I decided this is one of the most wonderful places on Earth. We stayed up til 1am eating Vegan pizza and talking with Aunt Sarah and cousin Roseanne.

July 26th
Woke up, chanted japa, went for a walk, picked roses, picked three punds of cherries(all while the neighbors were sleeping), had breakfast with Sarah, went to the bike shop, visited the co-op and stocked up on energy foods, checked out the local golf course where Unkle Jim is in charge, and then headed home for lunch.

After Lunch at the early start of 3pm we hit the road accompanied by Sarah and “Zannie”.

The bike Trip Begins!
Stay tuned for the next installments and pictures of ridewithin/writewithin………

*Tomorrow will be day five of our ride. we are at 160 miles and our bodies are wrecked. we’ll be chilling with Partha Sarthi Prabhu in Olympia!


Seattle Seagulls.
July 30, 2006, 5:25 am
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July 25th
Jaya Jagannatha drives us to the Airport, we get there twenty minutes before our flight leaves. We had to stop at the post office before to pick up our digital camera, we got lost as usual, and then when at the airport the soutwest lady charges us $100 for our bikes to be delivered on a later flight. We run to the gate, get stuck in security, they take away my $40 leatherman multitool which i was attached to and then they start calling for us over the intercom, we hop on the plane without a check in and find two middle seats with random passengers. I have Sri Mridanga with me and have no where to place Him. The stewerdess(and man-steward?) refuse to assist me in finding a nice safe place for this fragile clay instrument-so instead they make me sign a waiver saying they arent responsible for it and throw him in under the plane. They said i can get off the plane is my only other choice since I was not complying with Federal safety regulations! So I chant for four hours and read while on our direct flight to Seattle. All is well and we got there a half hour early. I ask where is my drum and everyone plays dumb. I stand near the luggage merry go round and in Seattle they appear from two stories above ground and come down an escalator. My prayer was that they wouldnt dare throw The Mridanga down that mountain like slide- but I stood close just incase… Sure enough in a few minutes i see Sri mridanga come rolling in jumping over suitcases at top speed! I jump onto the merry go round and reach for Him before he smashes to a million peices on the ground. I catch Him and embrace him and offer my prayers for forgiveness and hope he isnt damaged. Not one scratch! -perfect condition! Sri Balarama Ki Jaya-indestructable! Our bikes didnt arrive for three more hours. AS we waited we did three hours of kirtan in the baggage claim area with harmonium and mridanga. we put out the harmonium top for donations and made 12 dollars for lunch and bus fare. Not one person bothered us while we did kirtan, on the other side one security gaurd gave us two dollars!

Our bikes arrived, all in one piece. We put them together in the baggage claim area(we lived there practically) and took off to the bus stop. We hop on a bus and go into downtown seattle to the amtrak station. The Seattle devotees never corresponded with me about accomodations and programs so be decided to bypass Seattle altogether and go to Bellingham at the border of Canada. Oh yeah in Seattle we were very hungry due to fasting for 15 hours so we went to this awesome vegan chinese restaurant on top of some hill. We feasted and then rode down the hill to amtrak at 35 miles an hour with a sunset view of Mount Ranier on our left. The train ride to Bellingham was most gorgeous and inspirational. We were very thankful to be in such a beautiful environment.

On the train we met the king of kettle corn. he had his girlfriend bring us two bags to prove it.
Chaitanyas Aunt Sarah Picked us up and took us to her house for the evening.

shy town.
July 30, 2006, 5:04 am
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Monday July 24th
Spontaneous Kirtan program on the beach.

We call up Haridas Prabhu, Jay Jagannath Prabhu, and Mother Jackie as we drive from Michigan to Chicago and tell them we want everyone to meet on the beach for evening prasadam and Kirtan.

As we arrive Chicago we go to Wildoats and get a full box of free produce and water for our evening program- due to our humble begging.

We then go to the bike shop for bike boxes to ship our bikes to Seattle. We had to strap the huge boxes on top of the Mercedes and but the food box on to of the trunk above the bicycles. we had to stick our arms out of the car and hold the boxes due to the strong winds. It was a funny sight. sorry no pictures.

We visit the temple and take darshan of Sri Sri Kishore Kishori! always a wonderful sight.
I meet Sri Kishore Prabhu(RNS) who has just come to the US to bless us by doing his master in film at Ohio University Athens. He is a very sweet gentleman and extremely open minded.

Haridas and his entourage whip up a huge pasta, avocado salad, and tofu fajita meal for our kirtan festivities. Twelve of us pile into a van with prasadam and instruments and go to Lake michigan beach as the sun is setting. We do kirtan for a few hours and honor prasadam. Everyone had a great time.

Late night a few of us hung out in the basement of the temple in the prasadam hall while Chaitanya and myself finished packing for our 9 oclock flight in the morning. We are always greatful for the chicago devotees association. Thank you for taking care of us while we were there. When we come back we will have spontaneous kirtan festival part two!

family business.
July 30, 2006, 4:49 am
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July 21-23rd
Chaitanya’s family business…
I am forbidden to tell what happened but basically it rounds up to: chilling with the moms, riding bikes through “Kieth’s” old samskara stomping grounds(he is known as the king of the river-just behind his house is a most beautiful river), trying to get a parrot to chant instead of eating its wings off, kirtan with old friends, beach volleyball in tie dye shirts, almost drowning in the waist high lake Michigan, eating junk food and more junk food, shopping for dinner at 12:30 at night and catching his brother and cousins also doing some shopping, staying up late while his sisters and brothers “party” with each other(i wont mention anything about emily), meeting grandma who had 12 children and has 25 grandchildren(his whole moms side of the family met together for a reunion of like fifty people! amazing! totally abnormal), repenting for our sins in a catholic church with no one in it, conscientiously objecting to family swing dancing with young cousins, playing badmiton with the kids in pitch black darkness, auntie burning holes in my brand new pants and laughing about it, pantoon boat ride with willis and swimming and picnic on the lake, and more….

writewithin ann arbor *3
July 21, 2006, 8:40 pm
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We spent the whole day in Ann Arbor. To our surprise the famous Ann arbor street fair was taking place. We found free parking, strapped our mridanga and harmonium to our bikes and rode into campus. After a quick ekadasi junk food lunch of kettle chips, organic carrots, seven star farms organic yogurt and fruit juice spritzers(purchased at the peoples co-op) we found a nice spot to settle down and started to chant away. Within minutes we met many nice friends and engaged them in off beat kartal playing and telling us about their lives and trying to sell way too expensive art. It was alot of fun. After two hours of chanting we purchased some gear at Biouvac(half price) and headed to our next location. At first we just went there to say hello but as it goes….

We went to a very wonderful home-a very large home. It is much like a Persian palace-very posh. Posh home but simple devotees. It is the home of Rajeev and Parisa. There we relaxed on silk beds, drank ice cold water, ate fresh fruit, took showers and chated with the family. Parisa cooked an amazing Turkish ekadasi dinner of baked eggplant, bellpeppers, potatoes, steamed turnips, spinach and cheese, cucumber salad, strawberry lassi, pistachio nuts and hot tea. We ate way too much layed down and talked and realized that it was already ten oclock and the sun had just barely gone down. (We are at the edge of the eastern time zone so with daylight savings the day is very very long. It is a great excuse for chanting your gayatri mantras at 10pm. ) We Stayed the night in a most comfortable guest room woke up had a little fruit and headed off to Big rapids.

Oh yeah we met up with Bhakta Bill(BBGUN)! He is up in Michigan working, chanting sixteen rounds, reading SP’s books and trying to settle down after a lot of work and travel. He is awesome! What an example for Vaisnava appreciation. Anyone at Detroit Ratha yatra can meet him there.

End of Suburbia.
July 20, 2006, 10:53 pm
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Refueling in Suburban Ann Arbor.

15 gallons of straight recycled soy oil(SVO).

no spills.

The Golden Vimana
July 20, 2006, 12:53 pm
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The Merc and its children. Our Vehicles for this trip.