On the road again.... Berkeley to Santa Fe to Atlanta
The CodePINK truck pulled out of Berkeley last nite, with a passenger this time: CodePINKer Marie is joining me on this trek through California and the dessert, up the mountains in Arizona, and ending up at the Feminist Hullaballo in Santa Fe!
We drove all nite to Barstow, slept for a few hours at a rest stop and then tried to beat the heat thru the Mojave Desert. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it. It was 100 degrees by 11:00a.m. so we rested at a gas station oasis maybe 50 miles west of Needles California, the hottest place in the U.S., or so we’re told.
An older white-haired male with a bandana tied around his forehead, came to stare silently at the back of the truck while I'm pumping fuel – then he moves to the other side, taps out a cigarette from the pack rolled up in his sleeve, and continues his silent vigil.
I ask him if he issn’t scared to lite a cigarette so close to a fuel pump. He grunts no, not a diesel fuel pump.
I venture to ask him what he was thinking about. He sputters “I knew the bastard was lying from the beginning. I’m on your side”
I ask him about his neighbors, although there is no evidence of anyone else surviving close by, other than the gas station and cacti, and he looks off into the stretches of sand and then states he doesn’t talk politics with his neighbors.
Later towards dusk, we pull into Needles, looking for the library and access to the Colorado River. The only human life we see out in the 113 degree weather, is a bunch of disenfranchised kids hanging about a large park. They spot the truck, jump to their feet, whistling, shouting, cat-calling, throwing peace symbols, joyous ‘yeahs’, and fists into the hot air - and run along side for a few hot moments.
We are directed to the Colorado River and a small, sandy beach. We struggle in the back of the truck to don bathing suits over already damp skin , then race to cool down in the beautiful blue/green waters of the Colorado. We meet a small family picnicing and engage in conversation about ending the war - a conversation greatly hampered by my inability to speak spanish and our desires to cool off, but it feels so great to be in such a small, remote place and be greeted by so many like-minded folks!