Too much to share, but here are some highlights. I know I haven't written for quite a while - we walked through mountains - gorgeous, but no phone service. Up to almost 10,000 ft. Spectacular views which my phone camera just can't capture.
Jimmy Batts, program director, got stranded in a town 45 miles from where we were camped. He decided to walk through Sand Dunes Nat'l Park overnight to catch up with us and got caught in flooded river crossings. Then he felt the hairs on his neck raise up and turned around to spot 2 cat-eyes behind him on the left and two more on the right. He was being stalked by 2 cougars! Per Jimmy, he has never been more terrified. He picked up a large stick nearby and turned toward them running and screaming. Apparently they were no match for him, because they took off. He arrived at camp at 7am exhausted and, thankfully, alive with quite a story to tell.
Our rally on the steps of the Capitol in Denver went very well. Maybe 200+ attended, and marched with us afterward down a Main Street pedestrian area to the EPA office where the director met with us and heard our gratitude for their recent ruling to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal plants, and our demand that they do more NOW!
I stayed with Phyllis, a good friend for 40 years, and had a lovely dinner with niece, Carmin, Steve, and their daughter Cate. What a treat!! The food and the visit.
Last night we camped in the sports field behind a high school in Prairie View (I think). The last mile of walking there was in a big thunder storm and heavy rain. When it died down a bit, we put up our tents only to have another big storm pass through with lots of hail and strong wind. My little tent is pretty waterproof (thank you Judy and Tom for helping me replace my lost tent fly and weather-proofing it for me!) so I hunkered down and hoped there was no tornado in the offing. About 8:30 the storm passed and I put my head to the pillow after a long day walking 17+ miles. Suddenly the sprinkling system came on and our tents were deluged with strong spray from oscillating sprinklers that went on for about a half hour. What a ruckus as some Marchers moved their tents out of the area. It was actually pretty funny for me - high and dry as I was - to have the strong stream of water circle around about every 40 seconds and pelt my little tent.
We are now out of Denver area and headed for Nebraska. Will take about 10 days. At the border we'll be half way to DC. Plans to participate in protest activities re: KXL pipeline when we get to that part of the state.
I'm well, strong, and feet are doing ok. Biggest concern is that I've lost about 25 lbs and need to stop losing. Trying to eat more. I think there is lots of ice cream in my future along with mixed nuts and homemade granola from Carmin.
Dear friend, Judy Todd, from Portland went home from Denver. I miss her a lot. Good news is Deb James from Silver City is coming back in a week. Our village keeps evolving and shifting, but we continue on schedule. My role as Spirit Walker is in tact, but it means I don't get a break from any of the miles we accumulate. I believe I've walked about
1400 now from LA. Send energy, courage, and determination my way!
Time to sleep as I'm still on morning food prep and get up at 5am.
Warm greetings to all. Stay tuned.
Sent from my iPhone