IMG_20140730_162815608Diary notes from Bob and Kay Parker who traveled to NYC for the People’s Climate March to friends at home…  

September 17th – We have driven a couple of thousand miles across America towards our destination of New York City and the Peoples Climate March. Our Prius is doing well although she doesn’t get as good gas mileage in the flats of the Mid West as in our own Rocky Mountains. But we are still averaging 47.5 mpg and it is always refreshing to pull into a gas station and fill up with a twenty dollar bill.

September 18th – Now we are in Baltimore where we have been able to recoup and re-supply at our sister Cindy’s. The Ethiopian food last night was excellent!

We have had a bit of trouble linking into the worldwide web during the trip. Our phones never went to school and are not so smart. Kay’s new Kindle Fire is pleasant but sassy and hasn’t wanted to get to know the hotel WiFi, even when we ask nicely.

Yesterday we decided to boost our knowledge base and bought a GPS with a lady inside whom we named Charmin Garmin. Country roads and mega-city transportation systems have little in common. I have found that flying by the seat of my pants is a bit more difficult when countless thousands of vehicles are coming at me from every direction and at high speed, all simultaneously. Kay said I could not hide under the seat.

September 19th – Our next leg of the journey begins in a few hours. Cindy is slated to ride her bicycle from New York City to Washington D.C. to bring awareness to Climate Change and raise some some cash for Physicians For Social Responsibility and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Her ride will be a little over 300 miles of hill country and must be accomplished in 5 days.

We will pack our tents and bags and Cindy’s bicycle into the Prius and be heading for the Big Apple. The latest communications with various March organizers, and there are many, have said to expect anywhere from 200 thousand to half a million marchers. We simply do not know. Are there really that many people within practical travel distance that care this much? We certainly hope so. In any case, we believe there will be quite a few people marching with us. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, has said he will be marching with us. Two days later when the United Nations convenes its Climate Summit the President of the United States along with many other world leaders will be in attendance. We hope to have their attention.

There are over fifty of us from Colorado who have traveled and are still traveling to NYC for the March. We are all arriving by plane, train, bus or Prius. There are even a substantial number who have walked from the California beaches to NYC for this event.

Please wish us well. The NYC Police have been cooperative so far. We are sad that every one of you can’t be here with us for this historic moment.


Evening of September 22nd – This is the first time I have had access to a computer and the internet in several days. We are back in Baltimore at my sister Cindy’s apartment. This has been a major experience of my lifetime! By major I don’t mean fun. This was no vacation. But Kay and I have now been a part of the largest Climate March in history. The numbers have been refined to over 400,000 of us at the same place, at the same time, all saying the same thing in different ways. Being there constituted a type of euphoria I have never before experienced.

OK back to sequences. September 19th – Kay and I loaded Cindy, her bike, her tent and everything she would need for a grueling 300+ mile bicycle trip promoting the necessity to fight Climate Change, live sustainably and switch to renewable energy. She is riding from New York City to Washington DC and started her adventure on the morning of the 20th in downtown NYC. We needed to deliver her bike and gear to the start site on the evening of the 19th. We took the bicycle and all of Cindy’s gear and boarded a shuttle to the Air Rail Station -on to Amtrak – on to Penn Station – to some subway and finally to our destination 2 and a half hours later. I wish some one could have photographed us weaving her bike vertically through a floor to ceiling steel barred turnstile. After a quick bite it was another 2 hours back to the hotel to collapse.

September 20th – The three of us head back into the city only this time we drove (it took only 20 minutes). There was a large crowd cheering the hundred plus riders as they began their journey.

Even with Charmin Garmin we got lost getting out of the City She doesn’t understand roadwork and detours. Eventually we arrived in Stony Point New York where there is a Presbyterian Inter- Faith Retreat. They had offered to let us set up our tent on their grounds for the duration. We took them up on the offer.

There we met Susan, a dynamic fellow 350 Activist and renewable energy lawyer, also from Colorado. We hope you all will get to meet her. We traveled together all day before, during and after the March.

Morning before dawn September 21st – The three of us headed back to the City via car, train, Amtrak, subway and a lot of walking – arriving at Central Park 2 hours before the March. People were arriving from everywhere. Literally. Remember major media boycotted the event. They went so far as to fill the hole on Prime Time News that should have been about the coming March with a commentary about McDonalds giving a small coffee free for 2 weeks.

The March was slated to begin at 11:30. With over 400,000 of us actually showing up things became bogged down. Many buses were delayed. The anticipation kept building. We were in Wave 3 of the six Waves – the Green Section – We Have Solutions Section. This was the middle of the March. At no point during the day could we ever see either the beginning or the end of the March. Not even close. Wandering around as people poured in we ran into Pat and Sandy of Emma’s Revolution. You remember Pat and Sandy. They came from the Eastern Seaboard to Salida twice to perform for us. They were singing protest songs from the back of a produce truck and the crowd was loving it. The creativity, the signs, the passion, the song and the individuality were everywhere. At 11 AM we settled into our places and waited – and waited – and –

We waited. Standing on the pavement now with 400,000 others (I love saying this. I’ll say it a lot more) our legs began to go numb. The tension built and built and 1PM rolled around – we still had not moved but suddenly there was silence. We raised our hands as one and there was true silence for those who have already lost their lives to Climate Change. Then a roar moving up the line from the front – A Primal Scream for Mother Earth. We kept waiting.

There was a jazz band complete with dancers along side us so the wait was most tolerable. It takes a bit of inertia to get 4 miles of people moving (at the start Kay, Susan and I were at the center of a packed mass of humanity several lanes wide and over 50 blocks long) so finally by1:45 we had shuffled maybe 20 feet. By 2 o’clock we were actually moving!

The next 3 hours of our lives – well, it made a Broncos game seem like an afternoon of Chamber Music.

You were all there with us. Each person marching is backed by family, friends and supporters. Can you imagine how many of us there really are? More of us are understanding this crisis and pledging to bring about the change that will sustain all of us, our children and our grandchildren.

Thank you for being our friends. Thank you for caring.

Your friends,

Bob & Kay