Car Trouble, Tattoos, and Killer Spiders

Day 50

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that launched the struggle for LGBTQ rights. A few years ago, I met a Stonewall Veteran. David was actually at the Stonewall Inn the night that the police busted in and the riots started. I wrote about his experience on my other blog a couple years ago. It’s a great story and an amazing part of LGBTQ history. Check it out here.

We were supposed to head down to Phoenix today to have another roundtable discussion. Unfortunately, the van had other plans. We spent the first part of the day in Jerome…I’ll tell you about that later. When we got back to the campsite, we packed up the van and got ready to head toward Phoenix. But the van wouldn’t start. We are used to battery trouble and grabbed the jumper cables and began looking around for a jump. We found a willing jumper, but the car still wouldn’t start. At this point we figured the battery must be completely dead. We called AAA in hopes of getting a new battery installed. About an hour later the tow-truck showed up with a new battery. But that was not the problem. Connecting some wires, the tow-truck driver discovered that our alternator was dead and needed to be replaced. We never made it to Phoenix and hope to get the van repaired tomorrow.

Thanks to John and Steen for all their hard working in setting up the events in Arizona. They started the state’s chapter of Marriage Equality USA.

I said I’d tell you more about our trip to Jerome. (This is where my parents should stop reading. Hi Mom and Dad: You can skip this part and go here instead. Thanks for reading this post. Come back tomorrow for the next update.)

For the rest of you; here’s the story. Potter and I have been talking about getting tattoos. (Mom: I told you to stop reading.) Jerome, Arizona is a very special place to me. I spent a lot of time there when I was 18. I promise I will tell you more about that before I leave Arizona. Jerome is a little half-ghost-town up in the mountains, about 45 minutes outside of Sedona. The roads are steep and windy and the houses are falling down…literally, the houses are sliding down the mountain. Jerome used to be a mining town about 100 years ago. When the mountain was tapped out, the town was deserted. Then, in the 1960’s, a bunch of hippies, artists, bikers, and other outcasts took over the dilapidated town. Now the little mountain town is part tourist attraction and part haven for hippies, artists, bikers, and outcasts. Needless to say, I feel right at home in Jerome.

I decided that if I was to get a tattoo, it would have to be in Jerome. Potter and I headed up the mountain and into the tattoo parlor. I was first. It took about 15 minutes and hurt like hell. It was my first tattoo. Then it was Potter’s turn. He already had two other tattoos. Potter got “MY SOUL IS RESTED” on his right arm. It is a saying from the Civil Rights Movement. He can explain it better on his blog which should be up and running soon. (I’ll put a link in as soon as it’s up.) I got “TODAY” tattooed on my left inner wrist. It is how I view life; Live for today. I’ll post more tattoo photos as soon as I upload them from Potter’s camera.

The end of the day was quite exciting as well. I heard some nearby campers freaking out about a black widow spider that was under their picnic table. I decided to look under our table as well. We had our very own poisonous black widow spider…about 7 feet from my tent. We used the iPhone’s internet capability to positively identify the spider and her web. I took some pictures of Rhonda (Potter named her) and we went to bed. I don’t think we’ll be using the picnic table tonight.

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