It’s getting hot out here… well, I’m going to keep my clothes on – but I’m also going to keep drinking water like it’s going out of style! Below are photos and captions from Vale, Oregon to Twin Falls, Idaho. As I keep saying, people are amazing. Of course along each stretch of this walk I encounter a handful of heterosexist comments and sometimes an uncomfortable experience that reminds me of why we so desperately need full civil rights and social equality NOW. But, there is a growing movement afoot. People from all walks of life doing amazing work to build towards a transformational tipping point where queer people will be equals in our own country.
I hope the following photos and captions (especially the ones the talk about the amazing work people out here are doing) fuel your work and inspire you to be more open, more bold, more alive in the work you are doing.
Also, check out the photos on the Into the Light Walk Facebook page here:
And if you have taken any photos and can post them to Facebook, please tag “Into the Light Walk” if you want your photos of this journey to be shared with others (or you can email them to email@example.com).
Gretchen and Tammy gave me a warm welcome in Vale, Oregon at their RV park. It was awesome to bump into some LGBT family at random.
Gretchen and Tammy's RV Park. Check it out if you are ever in the area!
Cute little snake I passed by on the side of the road.
Yay! Entering the third state on this journey felt awesome, even though by now the days started getting blazing hot!
There's nothing like an amazing Idaho sunset!
My hosts for the evening in Parma, ID, Fern and Orville Groves and their family. Thanks again Linda Harrington for connecting me to such wonderful people!
I love walking through these small towns.
One of the folks who talked me into to jumping off this bridge. He climbed to the top of the bridge, but ended up coming back down.
The bridge I jumped off of from a distance. The video a few posts down shows me jumping.
Standing with another amazing host, Pedro Gonzalez in Nampa, ID. Pedro taught me how to play pool better, fed me a lot and showed me around the region. He's awesome!
I love the traveling art show I get to see so often out here in the desert. Tagging artists can do amazing work!
At 11 PM as I arrive in Kuna, ID to my sister's best friends Jennifer Howard and Justin Clark I am greeted like this. I was in awe!
Taking another pic as Jen majestically walks me to their home. They borrowed the pride flag from the Boise LGBT Center. Getting chills right now thinking how I felt in this moment!
Justin took me to his barber b/c I needed it! We talked about gender identity and sexual orientation quite a bit. Justin was very intentional mixing us together to discuss this topic knowing we had diff. views. THAT'S what this walk is about!
Awesome western sky.
Justin took this beautiful photo of their horses.
Justin and Jen at Fanci Freez, which was one of the place where his grandfather worked.
Jen and Justin took me up to Table Rock at sunset, which overlooks Boise. Note: the cart is empty here, but the grade made this hard work!
On the top of Table Rock.
Justin and I. BTW - Justin and Jen treated me like royalty! I feel spoiled now.
Jen and I.
Me snapping photos of the young lovers without them knowing.
On the edge of Table Rock
The twinkling lights of Boise as the night begins.
Getting ready to go for a ride on their horses.
Zydeco is an amazing horse. She was so responsive. I just fell in love with her!
Jen working Guess. He's a feisty stallion!
Performing new play, When People Lead for Jen and Justin before Jen flew out of town to visit my sister.
Connor! The best Boxer in the world!
Justin helping me set up to perform When People Lead at the Boise LGBT Center.
The audience and I at the Boise LGBT Center.
Saying goodbye to Justin and Connor and welcoming Duane Quintana on the walk with me for a week as he walks to his home town of Wendell, ID where he ran from years ago.
As Duane and I went to walk away, Equality Cart got a bit tipsy and did its fall over and spill all over the ground technique. It happens about once a week. RRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
Cookies Karmen Schuur and Nolan Schuur brought to me before Duane and I left Kuna, ID
Duane looking all cool pushing the cart.
On the second day I kinda goofed and we ended up on dirt roads and paths, almost ran out of water and ended up hiding in the shade of the cart for an hour during the heat of the day.
Me so very happy Duane was all about pushing the cart on the dirt roads/paths through the desert! Yay for MEEEEEE!!!!
As any semblance of a road disappears we contemplate just walking on the rr tracks (which have trains going by about once an hour).
Scrapping the walk on the rr tracks idea, we decide to walk on a pseudo rock road that we found along the tracks. This sucked!
UGH! And with 100 degree heat, Duane got some of the hardest this walk has to offer.
Getting back on pavement at Orchard, ID felt like this...
And like this. And finding water at a nearby house lifted our spirits even more! We were down to less than half a gallon!
Moods are looking up as we head towards the Stage Stop to get a shower and some food.
End of day three. Tired and ready to sleep in a campground. The first two nights Duane was with me we slept roadside.
Duane leaving a flyer for his campaign, Duane Was Here, an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Check website in a few weeks - www.duanewashere.org
Amazing skies out here day and night!
Old Highway 30. Again, OLD Highway 30. It dead ended into Interstate 84, so we had to walk on the highway for a few miles.
Duane took this photo. He said it reminded him of Matthew Shepard.
Trying to figure out where we are going next I think.
Getting closer to Wendell. Me in the background talking to Cai Noble in Salt Lake City setting things up for when I'm there.
Channeling the spirit of Ryan Skipper, again - Rocks are Cool! Thanks Lynn for sharing your comment on this subject!
Wide shoulders!!! FINALLY.
Even closer to Duane's hometown. Duane left home after high school in part because he was gay. He then became HIV+ which made it hard to return home to the small town life.
Duane's family meets us on the road to Wendell with cold drinks. Here are his two rad nephews (Duane loves the word rad .
Flash back to Boise - L to R: Me (duh), Jenn Siegel and Tasha Wiegand at brunch with Duane. This is where plans for Duane to walk became more solid.
Duane showing me his office in downtown Boise. Duane started A.L.P.H.A. - Allies LInked for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS - www.alphaidaho.org. It's now the state's largest HIV and AIDS prevention and support org.
Arriving in Wendell - 100+ miles from Boise! Duane made it home!
Duane and his parents and nephews in Wendell. They are so wonderful! The next day his brother, brother's girlfriend a friend and the boys met ups twice with more cold drinks. Great support team!
The day out of Wendell resupply team I mentioned in the above photo.
Duane walked with me past Wendell to Twin Falls to Jenn's parents house where we stayed for a couple days.
Another awesome sky right before lightning storm that caused lots of brush fires.
Dixie took Duane and I on a drive to see the canyon we crossed the night before during the daytime.
Incredible rainbow at Shoshone Falls. Dixie took us here as well.
Audience at Brad and Dixie Siegel's house in Twin Falls, ID. Brad is standing on the left. They put together a great crowd to see When People Lead. Over an hour of stories and talk back took place after the show.
Performing one of the Marilyn Bounville sections of the play (that's me taking on my step-mom).
And now, I walk alone again down Old Highway 30 as I make my way towards Salt Lake City. But first, tomorrow I am picked up from my walk route to go into Pocatello, Idaho to perform and partake in their LGBT Pride Festival and dropped back off where I will be picked up on Sunday to keep walking south.