Day 67

If you have been following us from the beginning of this trip then you know that we’ve been having problems with the breaks. We first discovered the problem in Virginia, while driving through the Appalacian Mountains. After a while, the van shakes violently when I apply the breaks going down hill. I think the problem occurs when they brakes heat up. So I have been putting the van into lower gears when going down mounatins. This works well, and has certainly saved our lives, but the brakes are getting worse. Coming over the Sierra Nevada Mountains into San Francisco was scary.

I had the van in third gear and then in second gear, but still needed to use the brakes. The shaking was awful and the smell was terrible. The steering wheel shook so bad that I almost went off the road and over the cliff. I am never afraid while driving, but these brakes are starting to terrify me. I have been hoping to ride it out and make it home without repairing them. We don’t yet have the funds to complete the trip, nevermind fix the brakes. But after the last near-death incident, I decided to get the brakes fixed. I don’t want to die on some random road in Idaho. That would be pointless. So today the van is in the shop.

I need your help. I cannot afford to fix the brakes. If I could, I would have done it a while ago. My good friend, Marc, has offered to pitch in for the repair costs. I’m not sure yet how much it will be, but I will know by the end of the day. Can you help out? We are going to continue this journey across the country safely, but need your help to do it. I don’t usually ask for help so forwardly, but this time we really need it. If you can help, please send me an email or make a donation to the Driving Equality Brake Fund.

Thank you!


The brakes repair cost $504.00. The rotors were warped and the brake pads needed to be replaced as well. The mechanic showed me the rotors and pads, then threw them in the trash. I asked him if I could keep the brake pads as a souvenir for my trip. He looked at me kind of strange, but put the pads in a bag for me. Here they are:


5 Responses to Brakes

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