through the salt and into the sage

Today was a driving day. After a quick breakfast this morning, Dan and I took off about a half-hour ahead of everyone else. We left Elko and drove east into Utah.

The gay activists in Utah had been really hesitant to return our phone calls when we were attempting to arrange a visit here. Finally we asked our parent group to talk to their parent group. The response came back that they didn’t want us stopping in Utah at all. “How about if we just meet with your group’s members?”, we asked. “No”, they responded, “Please don’t stop in Utah.”

The activists here are fighting an ammendment that will write discrimination against gay people into the state constitution. Their feelings were that if we stopped here at all, it would just harm their cause. Our feelings were that laying low is not the way to win a fight.

In any case, nothing was scheduled for Utah except for lunch at the Cedars of Lebanon restaurant. As we were crossing the Great Salt Desert, Dan decided that it would be fun to call the restaurant and arrange for a belly dancer. During lunch she came out and performed a very energetic dance for the caravanners. There was much hootin’ and hollerin’.

After lunch, we debated whether or not we should do something in Salt Lake City anyway. Molly got up and said that she felt that we should do something to give us some visibility. Then Davina got up and said that she had given her word that we would not. There wasn’t much debate, and about half of the riders decided to walk over to the public library. There we held hands in a circle for a silent prayer for the people of Utah, that the forces of darkness and hatred would not win in this state.

(As we were walking back to the bus, we passed a car with a Human Rights Campaign sticker, as well as a sticker stating “No on 3 – It Goes Too Far”. Think about that wording… to me it implies that it’s okay to write discrimination into the constitution… just not so much of it.)

The rest of the way was a long, dry drive into Wyoming and to Rawlins, where we’re spending the night tonight. We passed an exit for Deeth Starr Valley, and I wondered if Darth Vader had a vacation home there. Big black ravens looked up in annoyance from their roadkill every 10 miles or so, wondering how I could be so crass as to disturb their breakfast. The air was crisp and smelled of the sage that covered the rolling hills.

Somewhere in western Wyoming, I was laboring up a grade when the Big Bus tore past me. I was in the bus with Heidi and Allison, and all we saw as the Big Bus passed was a blur. I heard later that the riders were waving, but all we saw was the picture to the right.

Tomorrow is another busy day, with events planned in Laramie, Cheyenne, and Denver.

Dan is begging me to please go to sleep, so I guess it’s about time to do so.

News articles

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.