This blog follows the journey of Sarah and Greg as they made their film. To see a trailer, read more, learn about the progress of the film or share your story visit AMERICANBEARFILM.COM

60 days. 25 States. 5 Bears.

Sarah and Greg are setting out on an adventure exploring American trust and fear through hospitality. Armed with their charm, courage, and a camera, they will rely on the kindness of strangers for a home each night, and if they're lucky, a few meals along the way.

The story began in summer 2009 when Greg exclaimed in his sleep, "We have to go to Bear, Colorado!" Unfortunately, no Bear actually exists in Colorado. However, there are five Bears in America, fortuitously located in a perfect a 'U' around the continental U.S. - in Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas, and Delaware. Following the trail of the Bears, Sarah and Greg will travel through 25 states of all different cultures, demographics, populations, and Americans.

Through conversations with locals, we will explore our themes on a personal level and embrace the stories that turn strangers into neighbors. Our discussions with scholars and professionals will dig into the philosophy and nature of a core aspect of what makes us human. We will understand why (or if) we let people into our hearts and our homes.

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American Bear, Day 31 and 32: Colorado and a fresh face

We hit Durango, Colorado two days ago at about 3pm, our scheduled stop for the day. Sarah's hometown of Alamosa is only three hours away, and we've always planned to visit her family and take a brief break there. But all day towards Durango, we were both quietly thinking that heading all the way to Alamosa would give us a couple more hours of break... So we decided to mull it over during our late lunch in Durango. The second we stepped out of the car, we met Bob, who later on refilled our parking meter and left his phone number in case we didn't find a place to stay in Durango. Then, at lunch, we ended up talking to Carl for almost three hours, about aliens, photography, and the dark side of Portland. Everyone we met was extremely friendly, and it sort of made us both feel more comfortable about taking that extra break -- we had experienced the kindness of Durango, even if it was mostly off camera. And besides, we've barely taken a break, and driving three more hours was worth it if it meant we didn't have to drive three hours the next day.

We arrived at Sarah's house at 9:40pm to surprise her family. It was so relaxing to have good food, our own bed, a familiar shower, to watch TV. A typical summer vacation. And of course, our "break" still included some filming, transferring footage, doing laundy. We recharged. And had a wonderful time. It makes me feel like the next 28 days will fly by. We've had glimpse of the end, of when the whirlwind trip is over, and although we haven't lost any excitement for this project, I think we're both more excited for the end than we were before we remembered what relaxing is.

Several months ago, Sarah and I began talking about shaving my beard. It originally came up as a potential mini-experiment, to shave in the middle of the project to see how people interact and trust me differently with and without a big bushy beard. At this point, I think we've determined that it doesn't really make a difference; my friendly smile and our positive energy outweighs a scraggly beard. But it was on the itinerary. And Sarah, along with anyone I've met in the last several years, has never seen my face before. So we did it.

I barely recognize myself, a very odd feeling when I consider that this is my face, the one I've had my whole life, the face I ought to be more attached to than my beard.


American Bear Day 30: Tuba City

Tuba City - sounds like it belongs nestled in the big open bowl of a tuba. But I think even the shiny gold of a tuba is duller than the colors here and probably much wetter. Though most of the homes were nestled against the curving hillside, it was no tuba we were looking at - it was a folded, holey landscape - maybe a harmonica or an accordian. Or a set of pipes woven with wool.

I love dry land. I have lived in a desert all my life and this feels comfortable. But I forget how chapped my lips get and how my skin starts to feel like dry clay.

I think we were scared of Tuba City. Our first encounter was with some intense, drunk, stumbling hecklers at the "dinosaur tracks". We pulled off the highway just a few miles before the city because I am very much interested in dinosaurs. I want to see dinosaur foot prints. Before we had even parked completely there were two men at Greg's window arguing over who got to give us the tour.

They said it was free, except for tips.

Finally, I said, "look if you guys can't stop, we are just going to go."
"Fine, just remember to tell them about the jewelry..." So a single man led us towards the red desert. And there were dinosaur tracks alright. Tons of them, in different kinds. It was actually pretty cool, but the visuals kept being interrupted by the stumbling broken sentences of our guide. He kept missing words, asked us three times where we were from and each time had a different response, "I used to live there," "I went skiing there once," "Ah, I hear it's beautiful." He tried to draw the outline of the less visible footprints with a water bottle, but what was left behind was just a lot of curling dots that obscured what we could already see.
The whole time he was talking about money. He awkwardly tried to get us to bribe him to see the t-rex tracks.

Back at the car he said he usually got a lot from people with cameras. I had two ones, a ten and a twenty. We had been on the sand bed for all of 7 minutes. I asked if he had a five (he had taken out his money during the tour to count it and I knew he had exactly 55 dollars), he said no. He brought out his money, said "Only twenties" and fanned it, revealing a five and a ten. "I saw the five out there. And I can see it now. It's up to you. I have two ones or you can give me that five for my ten." "I usually get more than that." "If you had been honest I probably wouldn't mind giving you more than that, but you weren't. You want this or not." "Nah." I handed him the two ones, feeling guilty but also frustrated at this drunk man trying to hassle me. "Dont forget to look at the jewelry, " he said, and then punched the car door as we drove away.

And so with that we toured out town. We discovered a museum, a trading post, a McDonalds, a Taco Bell, and tons of boarded up houses.

Today was a special day. I was going out alone, with just audio and a notebook, so Greg could transfer footage from our trip to Bear. I was nervous. And I am very rarely nervous.

I started at the museum. The woman I spoke to was nervous and shy. She said she couldn't but sent me to a manager. The manager wasn't in her office, so I ended up at a general store.

There I met Milton. He was the first person to agree to an interview. and the first person to say yes. He called his wife.

"I am with this crazy white girl and she wants to stay at our place tonight."
I nod.
"She says what if you kill us?"
"I promise I wont kill you."
"She says she promises she won't kill you."
They talk in Navajo for a while.
"She says yes."

And so I reported back to Greg and we spent three more hours in Taco Bell doing some producing and tech stuff. We met two very friendly girls named Kiana and Tiffany.
At 8 pm we still hadn't heard from Milton, so I called.

He said his tour was running late. Expect him at 10pm.

So we went to the Grand Canyon as fast as we could - stopping at Little Colorado River Canyon just in case we missed it. We were chasing the sun - speeding down the road towards the fading light.

It was beautiful. Maybe the most beautiful thing I have seen on our trip - and there have been a lot of beautiful things. Tiana had asked us in Taco Bell just a couple hours before - and we had cited the Badlands, the lake in Montana, the hills in Bear, Washington. But the Grand Canyon on fire - with the brightest reds and oranges fading into the deepest blues I have ever seen. After running down the slope to a view point. After speeding down the road. After listening to good music. That is a sight to see.

At 10:15pm we still hadn't heard from Milton, so I called.

He said the tour was still running behind. Expect him in 45 minutes. At a gas station.

Greg was getting nervous. The postponing of time and defnitely the fact that he had never seen or heard Milton, made for an eventful 45 minutes.

We went over safety procedures again, we made a backup plan. We brushed our teeth in the sketchy gas station bathrooms.

Then Milton arrived and we followed him home. The second Greg set foot in the door, I felt him ease up.

Milton's wife Lynette had to go to bed early and their son Tanner was asleep already, so the three of us sat outside under the stars for 2 hours.

We talked about art - about his photographs, some so vivid and crisp and swirling they looked like oil paintings - we talked about aliens and spirits - skin walkers and other worlds. We shared beer from the brewing company a few days past. We saw shooting stars.

In the morning we talked more - with Tanner on Milton's lap talking about bugs and heat and his older brother. Greg talked extensively about his nervousness and his fear. Why seeing someone is so important. We learned about the other side for just a second. The idea of not really knowing who we were staying with really frightened him. I am sitting next to Greg and he has two things to say, 1 - " I was a-scared" and 2-" four corners, schmore-corners. I'll just have to go to five corners now. Take that!" (we just passed the four corners monument on our way to colorado and it's closed...)

His discomfort was less about never seeing him perhaps and more about the way that our time to meet him was being pushed back. The mystery involved in those changes really made him nervous. It was a little hard to gauge. But in the end it was a great night.

American Bear Visits Bear Number Three: Bear Arizona

Bear, Arizona - a sort of mystery land. We could never figure out if we were close to civilization or far from it. I had perfect cell phone reception, but the night was completely quiet and the starts brighter than any of my favorite small towns.
The sunset was completely southwestern. Like an oil painting, the strong dark horizontal lines of bright colors with a single bright star and a crescent moon. That's been the way the sky has looked all over Arizona though; painted land, painted sky.

The Bears have become so personal. We document them, but it's really our only time to be alone, to talk with each other rather than many strangers.
This Bear was amazing. At this point I think we've decided that it's been our favorite so far. It was familiar to me - maybe a little drier than the dry colorado mountains where my dad has been for many years building a tire house. But it was also unfamiliar. We saw three giant eagles, sat in an empty river basin for over an hour, followed two sets of train tracks in opposite directions, slept on the softest, chalkiest, dryest earth, and almost stepped on a dead scorpion.
In Montana I wanted to be a cowboy, here I wanted to disappear into the drought, or howl at the moon.

This Bear was interesting because it was a lot about us. In the last 30 days we've spent a lot of time talking about our film, about other people, about future films, but we hardly ever reflect about our relationship. Here - we did.

I stepped on a cactus.

I hunted for arrowheads.

I was incredibly excited about the cool night. After our sweaty night in Vegas, the cool that arrived at around 4AM was so soothing.

We discovered energy here. Or we started to understand what makes people comfortable with us - a single similarity - their intution, our presence.

I can't believe this is Bear number three. And yet I can. We've already learned so much.


"American Bear" has reached the halfway point of our 60 day journey!

We are wrapping up Day 30, currently typing at a Taco Bell in Tuba City, Arizona, while our footage from the morning downloads.

We've met hundreds of people in the last 30 days -- 544 people, in fact -- and had incredible experiences. Maybe you've been following our blog ( or our Facebook page (, please keep reading, we've got new adventures every day!

Every day, we arrive in a new town, often a new state. Usually we have the camera out and approach people to do an interview with us. We've also tried some alternative approaches, including without the camera, and a quick approach where we just describe our project and ask "Do you know anyone who could help us out?" We've heard amazing stories and fascinating ideas about community, America, fear, trust, and what's going on between Americans.

Of the 544 people we've spoken to, 47% decline to even interview. Of those who say yes to an interview, 89% say no to hosting us. Fortunately we have that other 11%. We've stayed with hosts (or, in two cases, in hotel rooms courtesy of a kind stranger), for 24 of our 29 nights.

54% of the people we run into are female, while 46% are male. We have tried to be pretty random, some days picking "qualifiers" - we will only talk to people wearing red, for example. Of the people who have said yes, 49% are male and 51% are female.

We've traveled through 15 states from New Jersey to Washington, and south to Arizona. We've driven almost 6000 miles.

We've talked to 3 newspapers so far, 2 TV stations and 2 radio stations about our adventures, and we hope to talk to many more.

We've slept in private guest rooms, on beds, futons, floors, in a camper, in an empty cabin, in a rock showroom at a shrine made of rocks and gemstones, in our tent, and in our car. We've met people of all races, ages, and economic circumstances. We've stayed with families of up to 10 children, couples, college students, grandparents, and even people living alone. We've heard stories of tragic loss and great joy, and been taken on adventures by our hosts to jump in a river, see a baseball game, enjoy 4th of July fireworks, and go to local concerts -- often we stay up late, the conversation between us and our hosts never quite ready to end. We've experienced, almost every day, our kind strangers opening their lives to us, becoming a friend.

There is a beautiful exchange that happens, an exchange of kindness and experiences, an exchange of friendship. With many of our hosts, we already can't wait to go back to visit. We've learned that most people are friendly and kind, but maybe only when confronted by friendly and kind people (like us). But most of the friendly people we speak with seem to think that Americans are generally rude and that their town is friendlier than the rest of the country -- an odd stereotype that we are disproving almost every day.

We've done some mini-experiments to test variables in our appearance, but over and over our hosts tell us that their trust in us came from a gut feeling, intuition, good vibes, the energy between us. There is something intangible that manifests trust and kindness, and although appearance (and our friendly attitudes) definitely have an impact on those good vibes, it seems like this energy almost defies words -- maybe it will be captured in the magic of cinema.

We've talked to scholars in sociology, psychology, philosophy and gender studies who have informed the way we look at all of our experiences.

We've also visited three of the five Bears in the country -- in Washington, Idaho, and Arizona -- and used each remote and beautiful location to reflect on our experiences and have a personal day -- not quite a break, but a chance to speak to each other instead of dozens of strangers. Whether we're in a Bear or meeting new people, we shoot nearly two hours of footage a day.

To those of you who we met in the last 30 days -- it was wonderful to meet you, and thanks so much for sharing a story, a home, or just some time with us. And to those of you who've been following us and supporting us for months, we are putting together an incredible film because of you. Thank you.


American Bear, Day 28: Las Vegas, NV

The road to Vegas:

We hit the big city at about 1pm. I had never been to Las Vegas, and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it much – drinking and gambling aren’t really my thing, and I was pretty sure there wasn’t much else to do there. We weaved our way off the highway and onto Las Vegas Boulevard, the Strip, and for once we enjoyed the traffic: slowly passing the hotels and casinos, amazed but already wondering how it transformed at night.

Found free self parking at the Excalibur; walked through the Excalibur and New York, New York; met locals on the Strip. A bartender with a huge smile who recently moved back to Vegas after eight months without a job; a drifter currently hawking club passes; a chef with an Australian accent. An employee at Hard Rock CafĂ© got so excited about our project that she led us into the Hard Rock, guiding us and insisting we meet with the manager who might put us up in the hotel, or have another employee help us out – but it turned out we were too short notice for either option. We spoke with people between 20 and 50, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and there were some similarities: most believed that people are generally rude, that Las Vegas is mostly made up of transplants, and that the native Vegas folks are the rudest of all. But everyone we got to speak to was incredibly friendly – and I guess we can’t be sure about the dozens of people who declined to speak with us.

We toiled along the Strip for 4 ½ hours, talking to 36 people before deciding we needed a dinner break and a change of scenery. California Pizza Kitchen was probably our most welcome meal, after the heat, sweat, and stress of our afternoon – even if it was much more expensive than our usual meal. Afterwards, we used the tried-and-true pick-a-hand method to decide which direction to head for a neighborhood of Las Vegas locals. Sarah’s right hand was east.

In a grocery store parking lot we met a very elderly man who got a kick out of telling us about his crazy kitten. Then Bobby called us to his car, a former singer who used the phrase “oldies but goodies” about four times in our short conversation, who was yet another extremely friendly person. He told us to keep heading east, which we did.

In another grocery store parking lot, a couple more miles east, we had our first offer of cash throughout our trip: a woman who, upon hearing our story, offered us a dollar, which we refused. We saw more ethnic and economic diversity, including a very hip-looking white man on a bicycle who it turned out was homeless, having recently lost his job and his unemployment benefits. He was the most disappointing case in a community where everyone we spoke to brought up jobs: either they were lucky enough to recently find one, or they came to Vegas to find one, or they lost one.

We also met one of our most interesting interviews of the whole trip, an 18-year-old employee waiting for his grandpa to pick him up. Julio, with shaggy black hair, a huge grin, and a tendency to scratch his head and laugh at the end of sentences, spoke about people’s unwillingness to change, and that society changing towards kindness is the only way progress can happen. He said the world is unhealthy, and it needs to embrace change and diversity and its children in order to grow and make people happier – no one is happy, especially when money is perceived as the key to happiness. Julio and another young guy agreed that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – but you stay too!” Once the money runs out, tourists become transplants.

We spoke with over 50 people in Las Vegas – several dozen declined to interview, but everyone we did speak to was very friendly, even though they believe that most people aren’t. We didn’t find a home, but we had our first day that went pretty much as we expected: before we ever started this trip, we anticipated distrust, and little generosity. We expected people to talk about society negatively. We planned on multiple nights sleeping in the car. So far, we’ve only had two.

In some ways, our experience in Las Vegas fulfilled the expectations of so many other people we meet. Advocates for small towns always say that folks in the big city are too fast, too rude, too selfish. People did brush us off, and people were busy. As for selfish, I don’t think it’s the right word: most people we met were interested in our project, but kept it external. Even when we described our project, no one seemed to catch our indirect question. In every other community, we tend to have people respond quickly with “Oh, well I can’t because…” but the people in Las Vegas never took it upon themselves to respond directly. It’s not selfish, it’s just individualistic, maybe self-centered – maybe living amongst panhandlers and homeless people creates that wall, where the idea of directly helping someone is phased out. As for the small town advocates, I bet a lot of their impression of rude city people comes from their few friends in the city; if all the friendly people in the city talk about how rude people are, they’ll never overturn that generalization.

Talking to mom in the grocery store parking lot before heading back for some fun.

So at 9:30pm, we drove back to the Strip to become tourists for a little while. We walked through several of the casinos, fairly overwhelmed by the lights, the people, the broad diversity. As I said, I wouldn’t really drink or gamble in Vegas, but I could have a great vacation of watching people and admiring the spectacle. Or playing in the eight pools at Caesar’s Palace – they were closed, but we went out anyway and got a wonderful introduction to Caesar’s and the many amenities the pool offers (personal cocktail waitresses, massages), courtesy of a security guard. As we headed back in, he said “See you tomorrow!” I wish I could have had just one night in that man’s reality, in which Sarah and I were just casual tourists staying in the Palace.

Instead, we got to the Wal-Mart parking lot at about 12:45am and settled in for a very sweaty four hours of sleep.

Sweet dreams.

American Bear Explores Rural Nevada

Wells Nevada - our first town in the state, probaby not the best choice. The first thing that Greg said when we got out of the car was, "what a sad town." The historical down town was crumbling - salvaged brick in piles outside the storefronts, broken glass, brightly painted splinters of wood. Elma and Jack had told us that Wells had an earthquake and never received the funding required to fix the town, but I don't think we imagined it quite like this.

Signs for bustling old west themed shops suggested it was once a fun - if touristy - place.

The first place we stopped was the volunteer fire house. No firemen were there but a couple of EMTs chatted with us for all of five minutes. It took almost all five of those five minutes for either of them to warm up to us and try and help us find people to talk to - they also refused to be on camera and didn't really wanna talk about the town. They suggested a grocery store and the city manager's home. We've never knocked on doors before, but we decided this could be fun and the city manager must be friendly.

No one was home.

We went to the tiny privately owned grocery store where the manager said no shooting allowed.

We talked to people in the parking lot. Almost everyone turned down an interview. And not politely or apologetically. Their words may have been normal, but their tone was harsh. "No, ma'am" "Nope." "Sorry, can't" Everyone was afraid of the camera or unwilling to spare a few seconds.

I had started the day in sort of a weird mood - as always, we were exhausted, but also, waking up in a stranger's home with said stranger watching you sleep can be a little jarring. Even if that stranger is now closer to a friend, and a sweet old man going through his daily routine.

So my mood and attitude were sinking. Fast.

We headed to the hardware store and had our first interview of the day - we had already been in town for almost two hours.

The guys there were pretty friendly, if a little nervous about the camera. But they were all going to the boss's daughter's wedding and didn't think it was a good night for company. The surprising thing that they told us was that the businesses on mainstreet had been deserted for years. Mike told us that as a kid they used to play in the deserted buildings and jump from window to window and roof to roof without ever hitting the ground. He said in some ways the earthquake was a blessing, it got the town thinking about what to do with those buildings.

We talked to a newly married, newly pregnant couple who was newly moved to the area - they said sorry, not enough space. They were very friendly though and like the men at the hardware store had a lot to say about the community - mostly positive.

On our way out we ran into Devon - he couldn't chat here but invited us home to his yard sale. Everyone at his house was super friendly, the friendliest we'd met so far. They were talkative and happy and though unable to host us themselves, they had lots of suggestions, including the golf course and a small concert at the brewery in Clover Valley at 7.

The golf course was in the midst of a large tournament. So they asked us to be quick. Everyone we talked to refused to be on camera, some people ignoring us outright. Then a man pointed across the room - "she's the city manager, she'll tell you about Wells!" This excited both Greg and I a lot, because it seemed like we were supposed to talk to her.

So I turned to her, asking if she would be up for in interview, and in that same rude tone she said "No thank you," and walked out the door hastily. I was in awe. What a town. Even the city manager was inhospitable.


From there we went to the brothels. Two of them. We thought it would be great to interview one of "the girls", or the manager, or the owner of one of the two very famous brothels in Wells. The Casino and the brothels were a big part of the community in Wells - a sort of complete opposite to the broken old shops on main street. Greg asked which one first and we played the pick a hand game - our usual way of making a decision when neither of us really cares. We ended up at Bella's - its electric sign flashing "The hottest girls in Wells" and "Cum before you go" along with a couple other cum references and a few other messages. The manager was busy cooking dinner and asked that we come back in thirty.

So we headed to Donna's - the oldest legal brothel in Nevada. The woman behind the bar was very friendly, she had the saddest eyes I think I've ever seen for reasons unexplained. She said she used to work at the casino and now she was a bartender here. The shift manager called the manager for us who couldn't call the owner because he was on vacation, so we weren't allowed to film. But we went on a tour of the facilities anyways. I had a glass of water as we walked the halls. A beautiful black woman in a tiny white outfit and huge heels was checking her email in the common room, looking like a teenager home from school. In a back room we caught a glimpse of a brunette in red who was doing her makeup casually. The VIP room was really impressive, a giant heart shaped bed and a jacuzzi tub - red wall paper and sultry lighting - $500 a night. But other than this room, every other space we saw was casual and blue - not really what I imagined. The space felt calm, quiet.

We went back to Bellas and arrived just as two skinny young truck drivers pulled up separately. Again, not really what I imagined. These clientele were not your average truck driver - The first, an Indian 25 year old in adidas sweats and sandals, strong arms and a clean shaven face, looked like someone I might see walking the halls at one of the NYU dorms. The second, a redheaded cowboy in tight wranglers with a large golden rodeo belt and a hat, looked like someone from home that I might see at the grocery store on a quick stop after picking something up from Big R.


On the recommendation of the bartender, we went to the casino and ended up talking with her son. He was my favorite interview of the day (I don't think I am really allowed to say that) - because he was incredibly frank. He was very enthusiastic about the project and took our card.

Next Stop: Brewery.

At this point we were both exhausted. From the heat and from our moods. We were arguing. We drove to Clover Valley - about 12 miles away. One of the owners of the brewery, Maggie, greeted us. I was awkward and uncomfortable. I couldn't phrase what I was asking, but she offered to let us pitch a tent on the property anyways. So we bought our admission and joined the crowd for a show.

After hours of working with no success, we stumbled upon on amazing evening.

On the table there were three kinds of hummus. I hadn't seen hummus in weeks. It was a big pot luck so we contributed a loaf of bread (seems to be our usual contribution to meals) and ate an amazing meal while listening to music and stories told by Mike Beck.

Everyone there was so nice!

By the end of the evening we had not set up our tent. So Maggie and Steve generously let us sleep in the house on a SUPER comfy bed. We woke up for coffee with brown sugar (the way Maggie takes it) and cookies and good conversation and tried to help Maggie's son Ryan and his wife Alissa with their application to be on a fireman cookoff show for Regis and Kelly. Greg's computer didn't work for some reason - but his friend Adam's did. It was a lovely morning. Steve even gave me a 6 pack of amber ale to take home to my dad who had asked for some when I sent him my nightly text.

Today was a day for breaking stereotypes and learning about things that I am sometimes afraid to ask about. I learned so much about a culture that I previously knew nothing about.

And again we had the experience of earning someone's trust and making our way into their house. Starting outside and eventually earning an invitation inside.

We learned that even on the crappiest of days, while in the crappiest of moods, with the crappiest of energy, people are still willing to extend a helping hand.

We learned that sometimes you dont even need the lengthy interviews and conversations to form a friendship.

Pioche Nevada - smaller than wells and also much friendlier.

Pioche is an old mining town, and it won't forget it. There are signs all over town, references in all the shop names, old mining buckets as planters, carts as flower baskets, railraod ties for parking stoppers. It's tiny and quiet and seems deserted on a Sunday at a first glance - save a few drunkards stumbling out of bars and falling in the street.

We actually started in a bar. Where we met Dixie, the manager of what used to be the Alamo (now the Bank Club) Bar - started in 1900, we got to see the old Bank vault and then the remnants of the old bar. Dixie lives in what use to be the brothel.

After a tour from Dixie, we asked her if she knew anyone to help us and she called her bartender, Robin (now off work, but hanging around) over to meet us. Robin said, "come on over" with only a little hesitation and a confirmation from her husband, Brad.

Brad was drunk and Robin was a little tipsy, but mostly she was friendly and excited to show us her animals.

We did a few more interviews around town - meeting our first pessimist that agreed to talk to us. She told us about everything she hates about people and politics and it was great to hear, because we know so many people who feel that way. Everyone we talked to expressed concern about Vegas.

And now we are on the road driving to Vegas - only 51 miles away - and I am, for the first time, scared. I just hope we meet someone amazing.

Before taking us home Robin introduced us to the cutest border collie I've seen, Gunner. She was small and mostly black (except for her little lite paws). Gunner seemed to like us, so Robin took us home and fed her four horses and her calf (with a bottle!).

Robin made me a very special mixed drink (she made me promise not to share the recipe) - I asked for an almost virgin drink - so that's what I had, but it was yummy. And Greg did shots. Of water. Robin says it's because she's a smart ass, but let me tell you, it was hilarious. And according to the shot glass and Robin, Greg earned his status as a redneck by taking 5 shots in a row. Greg asked if that's what she would call herself, she said yes.

Brad, after a long day of drinking hit the hay early and left the three of us to fend for ourselves.

We mostly just talked and looked through photos - Robin shared so much with us in so little time. We played with the dog and I tried to teach Robin how to use facebook - we found a picture for her profile.

Robin spoke extensively about the intuition of animals. "Thats why I wanted you to meet Gunner before I took you home," she said. "If my animals didnt like you, I'da had to find you a different place to be. Even that calf. Even she knows." Robin alluded to a lot of hardship -- difficult relationships, death threats at a bar she used to work at -- and her tendency to be too trusting. It was fascinating to hear her explain it, because her trust is certainly a virtue, but she's also seen the dark side of trust and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Somehow, we were up until almost midnight (after going over at 6). It really was a night of great conversation, with a true cowgirl nonetheless.

The sun setting over the horses at Robin's house.