From the Road


Here just outside of Vegas with Megan Wheelehan, an activist working with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, and Deirdre Stewart, intern with SWOP and an Anthropology student at UC-Berkeley, who is researching sex worker activists for her thesis. It’s before noon, the World Cup is on, and the thermometer’s showing 100 already.

After marveling at getting GPRS connections steadily from Fresno to Barstow, lots of get-to-know-you in the car (and a stop off in Gilroy in search of fancy scarves — I ended up acknowledging that ‘the West has won’ me and bought my first not quite cowboy enough to be a cowboy black straw hat), pit stops at the most marvelously stocked roadside attractions (d.i.y. color-by-number velvet paintings!), and a harrowing moment on the edge of the Mojave where I was almost positive a bat flung itself on the windshield (rip, hst), Megan, Deirdre and I rolled on through more desert and more desert, arriving well after dark to an almost full moon.

Nothing like getting into town, covered in dust and slathered still in sunscreen, and being greeted with a cool shower, the softest bed, and welcoming smiles and hugs from our host, who until a few hours ago, we only knew from our conference calls and organizing email lists. We turned in early (by Vegas standards, at least — midnight), Megan and I still dressed all up in our going-out-to-conquer-the-night clothes. We had every intention, we did. The night conquered us instead.

France and Italy, by the way, still tied, and Stacey, director of the Desiree Alliance, just popped in to say goodbye before heading out to set up for the conference. We haven’t even hit the Strip yet, or that hot hot heat, either, and so I’m doing my best Girl Scout to be prepared. SPF 20 lipgloss, check. Enormous water bottle, check. Hair off the neck and the shortest skirt (oh, no comment), check.

It’s just a few hours (and let’s admit it, at least one dip in the pool) before the official opening and first panel with Erika Smith, Sharmus Outlaw, Dr. Robert Lawrence, Gennifer M. Hirano, Starchild, and Robyn Few.

Lookout, Vegas.

Lookout, America.

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No Bats Yet

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

Barstow

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

Mojave

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

Gilroy

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

Being richer in wine than scarves…

Santa Cruz

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

Note fancy scarf!

Leaving San Francisco

Originally uploaded by Melissa Gira.

And we’re off now on the 101 – gorgeous day that’s almost too nice for the Bay Area – listening to old Michael J – iced coffee and big sunglasses – must find a little middle of the desert roadside place for a fancy driving scarf. ‘Smooth Operator’ and lots of sky…

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