We had planned to stop at The Black Hole to return the non-functional geiger counter, but they were closed. Anyone want a vintage bright yellow geiger counter as a prop for street theater....?
In Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and San Jose, we were hosted by wonderful WILPF activists such as Shirley Lin Kinoshita, and spoke at six events. There was enthusiastic discussion about a potential voter initiative. We also went to Vandenberg Air Force Base with a dozen hardy souls in the wee hours of August 23rd, where Father Louis Vitale and Sister Megan Rice from Nevada Desert Experience were arrested for trying to deliver a letter from Japanese people asking that the US stop testing missiles.
We spoke to a Veterans For Peace group in Eureka, California, where we were urged to put our videos on YouTube. May the time and know-how materialize!
In the tiny town of Markleeville, California, near Reno, high in the pine-clad mountains, we stayed with Marie Bravo of Code Pink, talked with two of her activist friends from Lake Tahoe, and enjoyed the sound of bears roaming the streets in the middle of the night.
The next day we dropped Jay off to network (etc.) at Burning Man in the playas north of Reno, Nevada. Troy and I then drove to Laytonville, California, to rest a couple of days with friends. On the way from there to Portland we stopped by the Peace Center of Nevada County in Grass Valley, CA, which was founded decades ago by Utah Phillips, again wishing we had known they were there so we could have given some advance notice. Next time!
In Portland, Oregon, we were hosted by Carol Urner of WILPF Disarm. Ellen was interviewed on radio and public access television. During the event on September 6th, where David Rovics sang his beautiful song "Hiroshima," Ellen was sorely missing Jay's charisma as she tried to keep folks interested, when Jay showed up, scruffy and exhilarated, having hitchhiked from Burning Man. He charmed everyone, of course.
We stayed a couple of days with Laurie Solomon near Mt. St. Helens, Washington, who had helped organize the events in Portland, and then headed to Seattle, where we visited with Geov Parrish (Peace Action Washington) and several others who have started a nuclear weapons strategy group.
The next day we visited Jackie Hudson and Sue Ablow of Ground Zero, the Trident submarine base watchdog in Bangor, WA. Jackie spent several years in prison for a Plowshares action recently. Their building was burned down when no one was present, but has been rebuilt by volunteers and will be ready for them to occupy soon.
After a feast and tour, we took a ferry back to Seattle, then headed for Hanford Nuclear Weapons Reservation near Richland, Washington, on the Columbia River.
At Hanford, we were stopped by police. We'd love to have a photo of the security guard who told us all sorts of stuff while we waited for the county police. For example, he said there have been 300 mini-tremors in the hills behind Hanford this year! This is not the sort of information that makes the news. He asked us not to photograph him as his "right." ?????
South of Hanford, we slept at Stonehenge, on the Columbia River. Stonehenge, which is at the same latitude and of the same dimensions as the original in England, was built by THE Sam Hill after WW I to remember the sacrifices of war. You remember, the fellow who inspired the question, "What in the Sam Hill are you doing now?" Unfortunately, the signs in the area now imply that he was glorifying the courage and patriotism of the soldiers who died, but his own statement was more anti-war.
In Missoula, Montana, we were hosted by Darla Torrez of Seeds of Peace Collective, and Barry and Sue Adams arranged for us to spend the day and evening with Students For Peace and Justice at the University of Montana, and with Women For Peace (a WILPF branch).
Missoula is a lovely town nestled at the confluence of five rivers, surrounded by mountains, and inhabited by fascinating people. It has had a peace sign on the mountainside for 30 years.
Ellen painted the third side of the trailer on Saturday in Missoula, near the weekly street market and the 14th annual Hempfest being celebrated side-by-side along the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River. All sorts of folks stopped by to ask questions and sign the petition. We've gathered over 300 names of people who want to know more.
Right now we're in a beautiful log three-story log "cabin" on a lake in mid-Idaho, guests of Liz Woodruff, the organizer of the Boise "Dinner for Disarmament" tomorrow night at Shangri-La Tea Room. Sophia the peace dog is in heaven, running and swimming and exploring the woods.
Next on the tour: Yellowstone National Park (and the Buffalo Field Campaign), and Salt Lake City. Then Colorado. Let us know if you want us to stop by!
Ellen, Jay, Troy, and Sophia