Sunday, November 30, 2008


A huge, special thank you to our new friend, computer wizard, and technical consultant Anthony from Camarillo!!! He called to check in on us last Wednesday, called again to problem solve our computer problems on Thursday, (We have been having difficulty connecting to the internet) and then, on Friday, he drove 4 hours round trip to run repairs and fixed our laptop wireless problems!! THANK YOU ANTHONY!!


DAY 13 - We began in Shell Beach and continued on to San Luis Obispo.

LOCATION UPDATE: We'll be finishing our walk through San Luis Obispo, then traveling up the grade probably by car (we've been advised that it's not safe to walk), hopefully finishing in Santa Margarita.

DAY 13 - We had to say goodbye to Michelle and Melissa today. They will be sorely missed. WE LOVE YOU!!

Before leaving, Michelle and Melissa dropped us off to begin our day of walking in Shell Beach.

We were greeted warmly all through Shell Beach. Swarms of people stopped us to sign our petition, gave video clips and encouraged us on our way.

Just as we were reaching the more desolate part of the walk, Shelly came along and gave us granola bars. If not for her, we truly would have been VERY hungry - there wasn't another chance to eat after that. THANK YOU SHELLY!! Along the frontage road beside highway 101, Valerie did her Forest Gump impersonation.

Just when our day was winding down and we were trying to determine how to get back to our car, Chris and Lisa (from days 10 & 11) called to see if we needed a ride. YES! They picked us up and delivered us to our car with a suggestion that we visit the local hot springs just a mile down the road. We followed their advice.

Our guardian angels have been staying very busy!
We ended the day with our hostess for the night, Rosalinda. She treated us to dinner at a local favorite, Splash, in Pismo.... GREAT clam chowder. She welcomed us into her beautiful, warm home, fed us wine and sweets, and made sure we were safe and sound for the night. (pic to follow)


DAY 12 - We began in Nipomo, then walked through Arroyo Grande, ending on the beach in Pismo Beach.

LOCATION UPDATE: We'll be walking through Shell Beach and into San Luis Obispo tomorrow (Sunday).

DAY 12 - One odd thing that followed us all day... we were recognized A LOT since we were on the evening news last night. So many people seemed very excited to stop us, they commented that they had seen us, and they asked to sign our petition.
We started the day walking with Margi and Linda through their small town of Nipomo.

Then we headed through Arroyo Grande and the 5 Cities area. While walking through Arroyo Grande, a woman (Heather) pulled her car over and approached us. She gave us each 2 plums and then told us that she had voted yes on 8 and that she is a big proponent of prop 8. She had seen us on the news the night before and wanted to tell us that she respected our right to express ourselves and she appreciated that we were doing so in a peaceful and respectful way. Before we could gather our wits to ask her anything, she was off on her way. Thank you Heather for the food and kind words!

Along the way we met some fantastic people! Terry, who pulled over and thanked us for what we were doing, and gave us $20 for lunch... a whole Aveda salon full of employees that signed our petition... Tom who pulled over to ask if we needed anything... and a woman that asked if she could take our picture because her son is gay and she understands why we're doing what we're doing. These people are what keeps us going!!

Between Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach, we were joined by 2 couples that we stayed with earlier in the trip, and another couple that saw us on the news and asked to join us. From the left... Helen, Sandra, Valerie, Tracie, Lynne, Kathleen, Dan, and Barbara. They stayed with us until we reached the Monarch Butterfly Grove.

At the Monarch Butterfly Grove, we were joined by our hostesses from Days 10 & 11, Lisa and Chris. They stayed with us to the end of DAY 12.

The end of the day did provide a beautiful view of the ocean.

And when we said that Chris and Lisa stayed until the end of the day... we meant that Melissa and then Chris actually carried Valerie the last few steps. Thank you MELISSA & CHRIS!!

And again today, Michelle and Melissa, were invaluable in their contributions... scouting out our route and shuttling people back to their cars after they walked. Michelle was flagged down by Peter and Liz who had been searching for us all day - they gave her cookies for us and offered their support.

We had dinner at Margi and Linda's house and then ended our day at Rick's house for the night. Here is Rick with his award winning pumpkin (the largest pumpkin in San Luis Obispo county at 673 pounds!) Rick has been active in fighting for GLBT equality for 40 years... helping street kids, assisting in starting the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, writing letters to the editor, is a leader of the local PFLAG group. Rick cans jam, restores old cars, and makes WONDERFUL pancakes with homemade white pear syrup!

Friday, November 28, 2008


DAY 11 - We walked through the towns of Orcutt and Santa Maria, just off of the 101.

LOCATION UPDATE: We will be walking through the Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach area on Saturday.

DAY 11 - Once again, Valerie's sister and niece, Michelle and Melissa, provided emotional support, encouragement and route information. They also joined us for part of our walk today. Here they are with the support/rally car.

Today was a BIG media day! One of our hostesses for Thursday and Friday nights, Chris, called her local media stations. Both CBS and NBC found us along our route and interviewed us. (you can already see the NBC interview - Sarah posted it on the blog - Thank you Sarah!) Our story led off the 6 o'clock news in Santa Maria! Here's Valerie being interviewed for the NBC piece:

Chris joined us for the whole walk today through her town - it was great having the company and mutual support! Her dog, Tasha, was also a die hard supporter today.

At one point, we had a small and enthusiatic group marching through Santa Maria. Here we are: Melissa, Valerie, Michelle, Janette (Chris' mom), Chris, and Tasha!

The reception was mixed in Santa Maria. It was a day of largely being ignored... as if we might just go away if people don't acknowledge that we are out and protesting. Here, Valerie and Michelle talk to a suporter and get him to sign the Courage Campaign petition.

Here we are with our hostesses for Thursday and Friday nights: Lisa and Chris. They very graciously agreed to host us for 2 nights. Chris poured over maps with us to help determine our route. Lisa and Chris served a wonderful dinner, and Chris' mom, Janette, thought of us on her Black Friday shopping spree and bought us a memory card for our camera. THANK YOU Lisa, Chris, and Janette!!

5 o'clock news in Santa Maria!

Click HERE for the link to our NBC coverage in Santa Maria!
You can read the interview - the video doesn't seem to still be available.
We'll look into it and keep you posted.

Valerie and Tracie in the Santa Barbara Independent

Christian Van Den Heuvel (left) signs the Revoke 8 petition and participates in a "If you could speak directly to the Supreme Court Justices, what would you say?" video interview with Tracie Jones (center) and Valerie Paget (right).

Full article here. I can't wait to see the results of Tracie and Valerie's video diary and interviews!


Video short on the March to Revoke 8

Thanks to David Pritchett and Cathy Murillo of Off-Leash Public Affairs!


Quick hit: Valerie and Tracie in the Coastal View News

Larger version for reading here. Thanks to David Pritchett, who's been blogging here about the March, for the scan!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


So sorry I forgot to give a blister update!! You have all been so kind and thoughtful, offering tips and suggestions about how I can get rid of my blisters. After trying everything, I went back to my old standby (from backpacking) of duct tape! That and a new pair of tennis shoes. Thank you Janee at the Lady Foot Locker in Ventura. Thank you Michelle for suggesting that I go back to duct tape. Thank you Edna for suggesting that I go to the Lady Foot Locker. I'm healed!! I actually haven't had blisters for 3 days straight!!!


DAY 10 - We spent all day on the 101 freeway with our new support/rally car, powered by Valerie's sister, Michelle, and her niece, Melissa (pics to come tomorrow).

LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Black Friday), we will begin our walk on Clark Street at the 101 freeway and walk through Orcutt and Santa Maria.

We began our day with a little bit bigger team... Michelle and Melissa drove from Denver to help us on our journey. They were INVALUABLE! They dropped us off to start our walk, scouted routes for us, brought us lunch, gave us moral support, and spent Thanksgiving with us!

We have been told that we can't walk on the 101 freeway, but when we called the local CHP office, they said that we could walk on the stretch from Buellton to Santa Maria. They said that after Santa Maria we would see signs posted stating where we could no longer walk. So off we went! We walked maybe one quarter of one mile when we saw this sign....

We decided to go with what the CHP officer said, and we kept walking!

Along the way, we saw more locals...

We went to Los Alamos and when we were approaching the Los Alamos exit, a very nice CHP officer pulled over and told us that we couldn't walk any farther on the 101 freeway. He was very supportive of our cause, and stated that he wanted us to be safe. Thank you officer!

The highlight of the day was Thanksgiving dinner with Sandra, Barbara, Michelle and Melissa. They prepared such a wonderful meal... they shared wonderful stories... and Rags (in Barbara's lap) put his two cents in too! We loved sharing Thanksgiving with Barbara and Sandra. They were wonderful hostesses and lovely women with such rich histories. It was such a pleasure spending time with them.

We're heading off to our next lodging place... more tomorrow!
Thank you again for all the support, blog messages, honks, text messages, etc. It really does keep us going!


DAY 9 - This is how we looked for the first half of our walk!

We were wisely advised by several locals not to drive over the pass from Santa Barbara to Armour Ranch Road just past Lake Cachuma. It had NO shoulder in most locations.

We began our day at Armour Ranch/246 towards Santa Ynez in the pouring rain!! Once we reached Santa Ynez, we decided they needed a little love from the Revoke 8 crowd (the two of us). We detoured off of our path to walk through town (which amounted to about 8 blocks round trip).

On our walk we were mostly ignored. We did go into the local newspaper office and ask if they'd like to take a picture or hear our story. An anonymous individual spoke with us outside the office and said we'd be more likely to get married in Texas than to get our picture published in their paper. (This person was very supportive of us, but kindly sent us on our way.)

A little bit outside of Santa Ynez, we stopped at the YMCA to get out of the continued downpour (and to change our socks!).

We then set off for Solvang, where we received much more support - and it rained very little after that! Mark (who blogged on the 11/27/08 post) pulled over onto the side of the road to encourage us. He also gave us a very kind donation to help with our lunch - thanks Mark!! Once we were in town, a man sitting at a stop light told us that he'd read about us in the Santa Barbara News Press and he wished us luck! Once we got closer to Buellton, we were given advice by some of the locals...

Once we reached Buellton, we headed to our hotel for the night where Valerie's sister Michelle and niece, Melissa were going to join us.

Several days before, we receved an email from Gina offering support along the way. She included the contact information a friend of hers, John, from their UU church in San Luis Obispo, stating he could help move our car on Wednesday. This turned out to be such a wonderful thing. We REALLY needed our car to be moved. John (on the right) and Jerry, picked up our car and delivered it to our hotel. THANK YOU JOHN and JERRY!!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today Valerie and Tracie are walking through wine country in the Los Alamos area (lucky!) and Friday they'll be reaching Santa Maria. They promise to post soon - they haven't had internet access for the last few days on the road. I'm sure they'll have lots to report... Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


DAY 8 took us through beautiful Santa Barbara on Cabrillo and then downtown on State Street.
LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Wed) we will be on San Marcos Pass and then the 246 going through Santa Ynez, Solvang and Buellton.

DAY 8 - We started out on Cabrillo at the Bird Refuge - beautiful! Then when we got to the beach, we were met by Rafael from the Santa Barbara News-Press - he took several pictures of us walking. Here's Rafael taking a picture of us taking a picture of him.

Shortly after that we were met by David from - he took us out to the shore with the pier in the background for a video interview.

As we continued up State Street, we were soon met by Paul from the Santa Barbara Independent - he followed us for many blocks.... or we should say, we followed him. He very patiently escorted us through south Santa Barbara...we were constantly greeted by people wanting to sign the petition and contribute to the video clips. Here's Paul doing gymnastics on his bike while taking pictures.

Paul gave us the best tip of the day... where to eat lunch! Savoy Cafe was healthy and delicious - we loved it!

We continued on State Street through north Santa Barbara where we tried to spread the love from south SB to much more conservative neighborhoods. We also got a little rained on at the end of the day - but we made good time to the end of our route.

We ended our day in Santa Barbara at Victoria's house. She fed us delicious soup made from squash that she grew. Victoria invited several people over - we all shared stories, some did video clips to the supreme court and everyone signed the petition. Thank you Victoria, Aiden, Laura, Sherri, and Lauren! Here we are with Victoria and Aiden.


DAY 7 - These are our wonderful hostesses, Claire and Pat, in their beautiful backyard. Again, we were touched by the kindness of others. Claire and Pat provided an exquisite meal and safe haven to recouperate from this difficult day and the goji shot kept us going all through day 8. Thank you!

This was our guest house - our home for the evening, a much needed respite!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blog shoutouts

Here are a few blogs that have featured Valerie and Tracie's march across California for marriage equality: Lez Get Real, Kicking a Lion, Change Happens, and Walking with Integrity. Woot!


Revoke8 Logo!

Check out the beautiful logo for Val and Tracie's march crafted by support team member John!


Monday, November 24, 2008


DAY 7 - Valerie walked over 10 miles today through Carpinteria (or Carp to locals) and up to Montecito.  Tracie nursed her blisters while tending to our organizational needs and tracked Valerie as she walked.
LOCATION UPDATE:  Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will be walking through Santa Barbara, on Cabrillo and State Streets.

DAY 7 - Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is half sorrow.   This sums up our day perfectly.  Due to the dreaded blisters, Tracie drove the car and tended to her blisters, while Valerie walked alone.   We were not entirely prepared for the day.  Other days, when walking together with a sign that says "REVOKE 8" (a.k.a. "I'M GAY!"), we can laugh off the slights that we receive and we also share in the encouragement we receive.  When walking alone, there is no buffer or comfort from the slights.  Without the support of another, walking alone proved to be very emotionally draining.  This was a perfect parallel to why we are fighting this fight.  We all need one another.  When we stand next to each other, we lessen the pain and we double the joy.  

We have been and continue to be overwhelmed by the people that we encounter that are standing with us.... the bikers that gave a thumbs up, the occasional smile and waves from the people driving by, the 3 women from the clinic who came out offering water for the journey, the librarian pulling her cart who gave a thumbs up, and Matt who sought Valerie out because he wanted to know about "homosexuals." He'd always been told by his church that being gay was wrong and he engaged Valerie in a long conversation trying to understand something different from him.  And finally, the local Carpinteria newspaper saw Valerie walking and asked for an interview. 
We survived the day intact with a beautiful place to stay and rejuvenate ourselves for another day.  Claire and Pat have a breathtaking home and guest house.  They provided the support and space we needed to gear up for tomorrow.  They gave us a delicious meal, a bottle of wine, and luxurious accommodations.  


Here is our wonderful day 6 hostess, juggler extraordinaire, and event coordinator, Monica!  Not only did she put us up for a night, but she spent most of her day today scouting our route up through Santa Maria.  THANK YOU MONICA!!  And she spent part of her evening going over our route with us and giving us technical advice re: how to work the computer!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


DAY 6 - We set off to walk through the towns of Oxnard and Ventura.

LOCATION UPDATE:  Tomorrow (Monday), we'll be walking through Carpinteria and into Santa Barbara. / Tuesday we'll be walking through Santa Barbara.

DAY 6 - We began in Oxnard and soon came upon a Mormon church.  We showed them our sign (REVOKE 8) - Valerie filmed them watching us - and we moved on.

We received a mixed reception - some finger wags and "you're number ones" but also some honks, waves, and thumbs up.

Around mile 6 or 7, Tracie couldn't walk any further.  Even with new shoes (or because of), her 2 small toes were just huge blisters.  She waited while Valerie, as we pledged to one another... in sickness and in health, set off to finish our route.   As Valerie set off alone, and feeling a little more vulnerable, she quickly had a woman tell her "I've been reading about you!  I'm behind you 100 percent!"  And as she moved on, she ran into Das, who 4 years ago lost his partner of 22 years.  He told her that he and his partner did the "in sickness and in health...'til death do us part for 22 years and we just want to have our unions treated like everyone else."  Valerie explained that it was difficult for her to do this part of the walk by herself, but after meeting him she was so glad she did.  They hugged and he said "keep on walking."  Valerie finished off Ventura with a purpose... walking for Das and his dearly departed.

Once Valerie came back for Tracie, they drove out to a stretch of hwy 1 that branches off of the 101 and Tracie shadowed Valerie in the car as she walked.  That brought Valerie's total to about 13 miles of walking.

On the way to our hostesses house for the evening, we stopped by a little place called Tony's Pizza.  Tony was a kind and generous soul.  After making our pizza for us and hearing our story about march to the Supreme Court, Tony refused to accept any money and insisted he was contributing fuel for our journey.  Thank you Tony, you are a true gem.  Here we are with Tony in his kitchen with our pizza.  We neglected to get the other guy's name - he told jokes from the time we walked in until we left.

We then arrived at Monica's apartment.  She graciously agreed to put us up for an evening - even though we just asked this morning.  She helped us work through routes, uploading pics, etc.  Thank you for your hospitality and generosity.   (we'll upload a pic of Monica tomorrow)

We also just want to thank all of you that have emailed, blogged, waved, honked, fed us, given us a bed, and otherwise encouraged us on this journey.  You are all truly moving and inspirational.