Home Again

Current Location: Evergreen, Colorado
High Temperature since last post: 80F in Pueblo, Colorado
Low Temperature since last post: 30F in Evergreen, Colorado
Most Striking event since last post: Mountains!
After 9 weeks we are back in Colorado amongst our Beloved Community of Family and Friends in the Rocky Mountains. The end of a long journey is often met with a mix of emotions: relief, satisfaction, sadness, joy, wonder. And this trip is no different. We are tired from traveling over 8000 miles across 20 states and 4 Canadian provinces. And we’re happy to be able to rest in one place for a while.

 
We’re grateful that the trip was completed safely and with relatively few crises. And we’re pleased with the footage we have so far. But sad that the adventure has come to an end. That being said, we are looking forward to the comparatively short trips needed to finish the interviews for the documentary.
The simple pleasures of cooking for ourselves and our generous hosts is a delight. Plus as we travel around the Denver area, it is nice to not need GPS for every turn.
We missed fall somehow. It seemed like everywhere we were traveling, the trees were just starting to change color, but now that we are in the Mountains the snow is falling!

We have a couple more overview videos from the trip that we will post soon, and will continue providing updates on the progress of the documentary.
Speaking of which, we’d be remiss not to mention a last call to support our funding campaign, which concludes Friday, November 2. We’re pleased to have received the support of 32 backers. By donating now, you will get continuing updates delivered to you by email, get a digital or DVD version of the film, and other perks depending on your donation level.
 

The South

Current location: Little Rock, Arkansas
High Temperature since last post: 75F in NYC
Low Temperature since last post: 42F in Montgomery, Alabama
Most striking juxtaposition since last post:  The Dexter Street Church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the Pastor for five years, just a block away from the Alabama state capitol building. Over the years, state government buildings have been built up around the church building.  The church’s historical building status protects it from being redeveloped. To us it now stands as a physical representation of the importance of speaking truth to power.
Since our last post, we had a chance to explore Baltimore with Tom & Nettie, have dinner with Susan and Greg, and get in a football game and one last sail with David and Esther in Annapolis and St. Michael’s.
After finishing up some interviewswe headed into the South.  We were able to visit Laura and her farm animals outside of Chattanooga TN, and see a bit of the surrounding area. Video compilation of that adventure coming soon!

As mentioned above, we took the opportunity to embark on a civil rights tour of the south focusing on Atlanta, Georgia and Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama.  This leg of the trip was inspirational in multiple ways. We saw evidence of how much progress this country has made on civil rights but also saw examples of how deep the wounds of white supremacy are, and how much work is left to do.
The King Center in Atlanta was very moving, as was having the opportunity to visit both the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Dexter Street King Memorial Church, where Dr. King preached and protestors gathered.

The Equal Justice Initiative’s thought-provoking Legacy Museum and devastating National Memorial to Peace and Justice were to us the most effective at conveying the history of civil rights work, and the legacy of racist structures in the current system of mass incarceration.

 

East Coast

Current location: Baltimore, Maryland
High Temperature since last post: 85F in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Low Temperature since last post: 3C in New Brunswick, Canada
Craziest sighting since last post: Standing in a parking spot with some friends while waiting for Polly to make a U-turn and park where we were standing.  I am told this is a normal activity in NYC.
We spent several days in New York City for a few days meeting with clients and friends. Thank you to Sarah at the Auburn Institute for meeting for lunch. And thanks to our hosts, Walker, Sona, Zadie, Aine, and Farai.  
New York City was fascinating, loud and crowded as always, and a little overwhelming after the quiet of camping and cottages in Canada.


We recovered with a couple of nights with Quakers: a night in Brenda and Allen’s “tree house,” and another in Martha and Lynn’s new community.

Here in Baltimore, we’re staying with Julie and family today, then tomorrow with Tom and Nettie. Hope to visit a Quaker Meeting tomorrow.
We’ve been able to resolve a concerning rattle in the car that we could hear while turning at low speeds. Turns out it was a Canadian rock stuck in the brakes!

Monday we head further south to Saint Michael’s, Maryland and the Washington, DC area, where we have interviews scheduled. We will return briefly to New York for an interview on Thursday.
So the documentary is gaining speed! Thanks again to all who have supported our crowdfunding campaign, and everyone who has spread the word about the project and provided us with contacts.
 

Images from the road – our second video post

Below is a video of some of the beautiful sights we saw in three of the four maritime provinces of Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) plus Quebec.

Adrian writes: There is a rugged beauty to the maritime provinces, and the lure of the ocean is very strong.  But given the number of monuments to fisherman (and women) lost at sea, these waters are clearly not to be taken lightly.  The resemblance to the English countryside is very obvious to me and I see where Nova Scotia gets its name (New Scotland). Following the St. Laurence River upstream, we went to Quebec City and Montreal. Both are incredibly European cities and would make great vacations spots without going all the way to Europe.  
For those of you who don’t know, Quebec is the French-speaking part of Canada.  I noticed that everywhere in Canada, almost everything is bilingual English and French. In Quebec everything is in French and occasionally you can find a menu in english.  I won’t draw any conclusions or judgements from this but it is just an observation.

Documentary Update:

The crowdfunder for Immigration: Seeking Solutions just passed the 33% mark toward our goal of raising funds for post-production. We’d love your support at any level.
We will provide another update on our travels and the documentary soon.
 

Atlantic Canada

Current location: Truro, Nova Scotia Canada (eh)
Temperature: 72F, 22C 
Craziest sighting since last post: A truck coming at us on a narrow one-way cobblestone street in downtown Boston.  Adrian had heard stories about how difficult driving in Bean Town is, and they were all gross understatements.  
Since last post we have driven 1291miles across two states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine), across an international border, and two Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

We have experienced so much in the past week. First off, we now know there are two cities for which Google Maps is really terrible: Boston and Halifax.  In both cities, directions were given that were absolutely not legal or possible to follow and regularly given just dumb or dangerous suggestions. But good teamwork got us out of both safely!

Make way for ducklings!

On the way to Boston, we visited with Shane, then Ravi, Sonia and family in Milton, and Ma’ayan in Somerville.

We also caught a Red Sox game! Adrian has always wanted to see Fenway Park, so it was a happy chance that they were in town.
Fun factoid, did you know that if someone manages to hit a home run over the Green Monster and the ball bounces off the lights and lands on the field it is still a home run?  We experienced this first hand at the game!
 
We then headed north and crossed the border, where we had a unexpectedly pleasant conversation with the Canadian Border guard.
We camped for several nights along the Bay of Fundy, and the shores of Nova Scotia. This is a place Polly had been before and as always, was overwhelmed by beauty.
Bay of Fundy at low tide — can you find Adrian? (New River Beach, New Brunswick)

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

 
Sunset (outside the tent view)

Best campsite ever (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)

We also saw four Bald Eagles from fairly close up, more than either of us has seen in the US in our whole lives. But we did not even have a phone available for any of them — how unprofessional!
This trip is not just beautiful sunsets.  Last Friday, we launched the crowdfunding campaign for our documentary.  Big thank you to those who have supported us so far! We will continue to update progress in upcoming posts.
We are also hard at work scheduling interviews for the documentary. One intriguing conversation we’ve confirmed is with an immigration lawyer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  
One thought-provoking conversation we had was with an old film buddy of Polly’s in Halifax. Sadly he said that he was uncomfortable with the idea of traveling to the US due to reports of increased issues with Immigration, especially ICE.  
We are heading to Prince Edward Island in the morning, and then on to Quebec. Look for another update next week!

On The Road: Martha's Vineyard

Current location: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Temperature: As high as 85, but a lovely 72 today – our most comfortable temperature of the trip so far!
Since last post we drove: 597 miles across four states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.  

Loudest sound of the week: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, or possibly the Blue Angels practicing next door over Lake Erie
Along the way, we stopped and visited friends in Whately Mass.  We stayed in their super-cool tree house!

We also enjoyed time with their kids, lots of mosquitoes, chickens, cows. And did we mention a treehouse?!  Plus a beautiful hike up Sugarloaf Mountain (it’s technically a hill at 265 feet, but we will let them call it a mountain).

Now we are in Martha’s Vineyard visiting old friends, swimming in the ocean, visiting local dining establishments and enjoying a film festival. And of course catching up on work we have not be able to do on the road, like this blog post.

Since our arrival, we’ve been hearing interesting stories about the Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants and would-be immigrants on the island. These have resonated with what we’ve heard elsewhere as we’ve begun research for our documentary project.
More on that soon, but our next post will be a vlog of some of the cool things we’ve seen so far as captured on video.  Stay tuned!
 

On the Road: Ohio

Current location: Columbus, Ohio
Temperature: 88
Since last post, we’ve driven: 458 miles across Indiana and Ohio
Ohio
Yesterday we arrived at the home of our friends Danny and Susan, college colleagues of Polly’s.  Great to have two days in the same place which gave us the opportunity to do laundry and record a video for the crowdfunding page related to our documentary Seeking Solutions: Immigration. More details soon!

Plus we got to play Danny’s board game Big Bad Overlord. Good times!

 

The Road Trip Has Begun!



 
Current location: Effingham, IL
High temperature: 101 degrees at a humid rest stop in Missouri
Weirdest sight of the day: Man running across I-70 right in front of our car. Eep!
We left Denver on Sunday, August 26, with all of our possessions either in our car or our storage unit.
In the first three days, we’ve driven 953 miles across four states (three just today!) and had a successful visit with family.
Yesterday we had the moving experience of visiting the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. Having recently read The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schools in America, we know there’s much work yet to be done to get to truly integrated and equal schools in this country.
This is the mural that was commissioned to be painted across the street from the site: 
What are we doing on this trip? We are visiting friends, family and beautiful places. But we are also making a documentary. More on that in coming posts!