That's when I decided I would go.
As it turned out, the first sign that estimate was way, way off could have been my family's shopping trip to a surprisingly empty Costco 2 hours before the march was to begin. Saturday mornings are a typical time for us to shop there, but we had never seen it so empty. I commented, "maybe it's because of the march". My husband laughed. We hurried home so I could get on my way.
We unloaded the car so I could head downtown. This was about 30 minutes before the march was to begin.
Almost as soon as I turned onto the main road headed downtown I hit heavy traffic. Still, I wondered, "is there something else happening downtown today?" This was football home game type traffic, art fair traffic, but what the hell else was happening today? As I inched along, I noticed the pink in almost every car. It wasn't until I actually hit downtown that I started to notice the rainbow flags, and the signs, and (of course) the hats. Okay.
I was starting to suspect this was not going to be a 1,500 person strong march. When I made the final turn and noticed my "sure thing" parking garage, blocks away from the march, with its "FULL" sign blazing, that's when I knew this was going to be a much bigger event.
Once I parked the car, all I need do was follow the crowd. I was several blocks away when I got my first glimpse of the route, and the mass of humanity that was already marching. My jaw dropped. I eventually got to near where the thing was supposed to start and just sort of fell in. I never did see the beginning or end of the thing, just people, people everywhere. Women everywhere. Women about as old as one can imagine. Women about as new as one can imagine. Friends, sisters, families. Men too, trying their best to modify the chants as appropriate, "THEIR bodies, their choice". Children, dogs, at least one pussy cat.
We marched near our GOP governor's condo ('sup, asshole? Yeah, you picked the wrong town to live in). We marched past the bewildered organizers. We marched through the whole damned town towards the campus. We filed into the campus. We filled the campus. We gathered together the best we could to listen to a program of speeches that was not designed for a crowd of our size. We drew strength from one another; the speakers put hope in our hearts and fire in our bellies. The sun shone. We went on our ways, in separate directions, but with one common purpose. RESIST.
As for the estimates? 11,000, and still climbing. In my opinion, it's still low, but how do you capture something so spontaneous? Regardless, not bad for a city of 115,000.
Here's about half of the crowd that stayed for the speeches. I was way over, still off camera. It was the closest I could get.
This topic is a big one. You'd better have your sources in order to print something like this.
For those who are curious, it's about a source claiming the FBI is going to indict Clinton on racketeering under RICO.