10pm in my tent at Joshua Tree National Park. Long day, sore feet, but finally out of the city and experiencing the SW desert and mountains. I am very happy that I have been able to go the distance every day. The Great Peace March in 1986 had a few designated marchers called "Spirit Walkers" who walked every step of the cross-country walk, thus preserving the integrity of the March. Due to blisters, sore knees, flu and other duties, there are only about 6 or 8 of us who have walked all the way. I will do that as long as I'm able. Send energy!
Someone who read my blog asked me about how we prepare food. We have organized ourselves into work groups and everyone is on two. The kitchen group has 4 chefs who prepare breakfast and dinner and put out things for us to make our own lunch. We have some solar cookers that haven't been used yet- probably will get broken in as we enter the desert. There is a portable propane stove we've been using. The chef has a crew of 3 people who help shop each day and prepare the food. We have 3 long tables we set up buffet style and eat standing around or sitting on the ground if there are no tables. Generous churches and other supporters have also hosted meals and pot lucks for us. That is really great as we get more variety. We have lots of salads, rice dishes, and pasta. Almost all organic and veggie. Also gluten and dairy free for a few folks. Lots of fresh fruit, peanut butter, cheese, cereals, soy and almond milk as well as regular milk. We have been using regular ice chests, but the ice is a hassle and expensive. We are getting a super efficient refrigerator in a couple of weeks which will make life easier. We are well fed!
Today our route took us from a date farm near Palm Springs to Yukka Valley where we were shuttled to Joshua tree campground for the night. In the morning we'll eat and pack up, loaders will put our gear on the truck ( see Px) and we'll be shuttled back to where we left off marching today to preserve the integrity of the March. One more night at a different Joshua Tree camp site, and then on to 29 Palms. I don't know how far we have walked, but estimate 175 miles so far.
I find I like walking alone much of the time, but am also making some nice connections- especially with some of the women.
To avoid a dangerous, narrow highway pass today, we hiked a riverbed that was parallel to the highway. It was my favorite route thus far, as most of our walking has been on LA city streets and along highways. Took us a week to get thru LA. We saw a group of mountain sheep along today's route and we're told it was a very rare sight here.
We are figuring out how to make decisions, and people are stepping into roles for which they have experience or skills. The community is coalescing very organically.
Also very tired. Have to be up and packed before breakfast at 7.
You can find more about the March on the website (climatemarch.org) and we have an all-marcher blog, tho I don't yet know how to access it. We oldsters are way behind the technology curve.
Sweet sleep to all and I send my love,
Sent from my iPhone