Three thousand five hundred miles (round trip) later, we (Liz and I) are back safe and sound from our trip to Colorado.
Very early in the trip, I began to think of myself as a "navigator." Of course my thoughts had nothing to do with the route we traveled itself but instead with navigating the people around me. To be expected the majority of the bus was filled with people my age or older. I'm nearly seventy. Plus, many were from the rural areas of Indiana. Not quite the hot bed of liberal thought.
Fortunately, I had Liz running interference for me. Quite early in the eleven day trip, the wife of the host of the trip referred to me as "he." Liz set her straight and from then on, at the least, I was referred to by my name. Not mis-pronouned. I only heard the dreaded he word once to my face.
More important though, was how I interacted with everybody. I tried to smile and be as interactive as possible and it worked.
The moment of truth on these trips always comes when all the riders have to use the rest room. I think there were only five or six men on the trip out of a total of 38 people. So spots in the women's restrooms were at a premium. Most of the places we were able to stop at were at the big truck stops along the interstates we traveled. I am happy to say, I experienced no problems.
The only problem I did experience, was with the thin air as we climbed to Denver (and above), We were able to find a place along the way which sold cans of oxygen to help some of us out. We actually crossed the continental divide twice.
The trade out was the lack of humidity we are cursed with here in Cincinnati. Even though we did experience a little rain in Colorado, overall, we escaped some pretty good sized storms. One of the interstates in Denver was closed by a mud slide, fortunately not in the direction we were going.
I did fairly well in the packing department. Although we did have to was some clothes about halfway through the trip.
What I did come away with was, most of the people adjusted quickly and well to a transgender person being along for the ride. Now they can say they have met a real live trans woman. Also, since it has been since the mid 1970's I have been out west that far, I had forgotten the sheer size of our country. Plus, I know I have only scratched the surface.
Even though I was welded to a bus seat for that long, the trip will produce many fond memories and I will have a few pictures coming up!