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All Good Hitchhiking

I met Heather on the 5th of July, the day after great food and drinks with my my best friends when I caught a train into Connecticut to their parents place. Heather seemed up for anything, ready to hitchhike wherever with the casual notion of a music fest in west Virginia and the eventual return to her home in New Orleans. Neither of us had any idea what was in store for these 2 weeks of summer.

Meeting Heather and Setting Out
I met her in Redding, a small town in CT. She had a mild hippie look to her, dreads and happy eyes, she cooked ravioli with wine that night and I was happy, so was her friend. We talked about the time ahead as if we actually knew what would happen, starring at maps with Philadelphia on our mind as the first stop. In the morning she suggested Cape Cod as an alternative with the vague idea of visiting an old friend who didn't know we were coming, I was fine withe the change of plans, any plan I've ever had was a fine sketch to be easily drawn over.

Her friend, Casey, the girls whose folks place we were staying at, had a brother who promised us a ride. After meticulous cleaning of a mess he found in the garage, he took us to an exit on I-95 I was familiar with from growing up in the area, we barely took our backpacks off before the very first car stopped, a work truck headed all the way to Providence, Rhode Island. We chatted and relaxed in our instant fortune, they dropped us off in the middle of the freeway just before a bridge which we then walked over. We walked more and more before finding a suitable spot, and upon finding that spot got picked up instantly once again, a short ride, but a good one.

After his ride we got picked up by a gay business man "grossed out" by many of the surrounding cities, and then by a woman with a mullet, and I'm still unsure why she ever picked us up. After that we got picked up by a couple young giggly girls driving us further for their own amusement. We waited off the major freeway close to cape cod at a gas station eventually getting picked up by a car of confused teens, picking us up as a means to find the Cape Cod their directions failed to point them to.

Once in cape cod we got picked up by Johnny, one of Heather's friends and old roommates. He showed us a hell of a time, starting with a float down to the ocean. We picked up a half gallon of Cape Cods IPA beer and headed to one of his favorite lakes with his friends, drinking beers and jumping on and off rafts in the midnight lit waters.

Stumbling through the Northeast's Roads (day 2 on the road)
The next morning we hit the road again, refreshed and loving life. We caught one ride off the Cape, another took us towards major roads, and then a young guy drove us all the way of to Boston swearing up and down that our lifestyle was the life for him too. We were trying to avoid Boston for the sake of police, but the ride worked well and we were fine with it.

An older couple picked us up in Boston, but left us just past a toll booth. We sat and had a sandwich with our lingering food supplies before making a move. We were swiftly approached by a cop while attempting to catch a ride from the traffic having just paid their toll. Essentially he said we were not legally allowed to try and catch a ride, or even walk anywhere, our only option was to call a cab, and neither of us had the money for it... so basically trapped in space in time. We walked back to the toll booth parking lot.

Heather broke out her playing cards for lack of a better idea, no sooner she did that a young guy was getting off work and we talked him into giving a us a ride away from the entrapping tollbooth area, he took us to a gas station in town. From there an old farmer took us further to another gas station, still off the major freeway. A few people talked to us offering very short rides at the next one, but finally someone gave us a decent ride, an older guy with an LA and Vegas porn industry past, he drove us back to the freeway.

We waited at the next freeway for a little while, but a cop was the first to stop. "What's your story?", he asked without getting out of the car, we told him our story, he told us hitchhiking was illegal.

"We want out of here much more than you want us out", I said. He was fine with that and drove off, leaving us with our thumbs. Eventually an engineer in a pickup came and got us, he drove us clear to Springfield, MA. Once there we stumbled around the gas station where we couldn't fill our water and headed for the 3-way on ramp thumbing for another ride, sun beating down.

Eventually James stopped, he asked where we were headed, "Towards Albany!", we said. He sat in the drivers seat replying "I guess I'm going to Albany", and off we went. It was a ways to Albany, and he drove us just past it for the hell of it, he had no plans that day and was up for a drive, up for a story I suppose. We guessed he'd go hit a bar or something after he dropped us off, we just ate some food and got back to thumbing, the sun was still in the sky.

Our next ride was from a laid back guy and his dog, Governor. He drove us to Chittenango, outside Syracuse, telling stories about New Hampshire and maple syrup and everything. The sun was down when he dropped us at the truck stop, Heather and I stood in the parking lot starring towards the woods with discerning eyes, we headed towards our spot. She brought a bright orange tent, it wasn't stealth, neither were we. We laid there telling stories until we passed out.

South with Doc and Buddha (day 3)
In the morning we packed it in and cleaned up in the truck stop bathrooms, a woman from the donut shop recognized us as the two in the tent she drove by, she was amused. We hit the exit with our thumbs out, Heather spinning and smiling, me pulling out my harmonica to encourage the spins.

We waited a little bit, the first car to stop was that of a state trooper. Apparently we weren't supposed to be hitching these parts, so he drove us into downtown Syracuse with a kind warning not to hitch in the same breath acknowledging that we still would and that was fine. From where he dropped us we began looking for our way back to the freeway, any freeway. I saw a big man with a blue shirt and asked him the way.

"You're hitchhiking, right?", he asked, and gave us the direction to the freeway that wasn't far, also telling us about Docs Little Gem Diner which was on the way, he even handed us a 10 dollar bill encouraging us to stop and "say hi to the Doc". We headed the way he told us and sure enough saw the diner, we stepped in collapsing in a booth surrounded by the stares from everybody wondering who these couple a people with big backpacks were, we were happy, hungry, content. An older woman came over saying she'd grab us a water before anything else as that's what we clearly needed, she did that and gave us menus.

We studied the menu with all of our hunger and smiles, crafting the perfect 10 dollar meal. We told the woman of the blue shirt man who guided us here, her and everyone else in the diner were thoroughly amused by our hitchhiking stories, and eventually Doc himself came and sat with us to listen. They began to give us things like pens, bottle openers, and Little Gem tote bags we'd later use our entire trip. Doc offered us a ride a little ways out of town when we were done eating and even waived the bill leaving us still with our 10 dollar bill intact for other uses, and we would use it later.

We found ourselves just outside Syracuse on our new road, I-81 heading south towards West Virginia and the All Good music festival Heather had heard of. A cop was at the on ramp seemingly writing someone a ticket, we stayed waiting in the bushes for him to pass, Heather started whittling away on a small piece of wood. We got a ride from a quiet architect, he drove us over 100 miles and even bought us ice cream along the way.

Our next ride took us a little way, but dropped us in an awkward spot where two highways merged and we were up on the freeway itself. Luckily we got picked up in a matter of minutes by Rob, he was on his way to work where he counseled kids with disabilities, he was happy to help us out.

We filled up water at the gas station he left us at and headed to our next on ramp just down the road, still I-81. One guy stopped and gave us 5 dollars, "They don't know, they don't know", talking about everyone else on the road who wasn't giving us a rides, he said he hitched once. Not long after that we got picked up by Edwin who spoke with broken English, he got us to the next spot leaving us with his phone number in case we needed help later.

No sooner did he stop the next car pulled up offering us a ride, a smooth transition. This driver took us about 40 miles, he told us a story about some kids who threw rocks at his windshield on this very stretch of freeway. A few other cars were pulled over in the shoulder who were also victims, they agreed to sneak up on the kids and jump them, and they snuck up well within 10 feet of them, but the kids ran too fast even after falling out of their shoes in the escape. They apparently got caught not too much longer after that, our driver didn't seem to care enough to prosecute the kids over a couple hundred dollars of repair.

Our next ride was a reluctant minivan driven by Keith, a recruiter for the army. He was pretty amused by us as were the others in the van, he dropped us off at a road called Progress Ave, we were in great spirits, laughing, spinning, and singing as the cars passed us by giving us every kind of look a face can give.

Two girls picked us up intending to give us a ride an exit or two, they were blown away by the relative distance we had already come and the idea of hitchhiking all together. They played great music and took us to Mechanicsburg, PA about 20 miles down the road. We stopped at a liquor store in town and they gave us money to buy them a handle of rum, they were both under 21. We got their rum and used our 10 dollars from earlier to buy ourselves some Whiskey. They left us with a small golden Buddha statue as a token of thanks and dropped us off at the on ramp.

We waited for our next ride as the sun went down, eager to get one more ride and then enjoy our new bottle. When the sun was far down and no cars were stopping we threw our packs on our backs in search for a place to set up camp for the night. After checking one non-suitable spot just down the on ramp we walked back up and a car actually stopped right then and there, of course we hopped in.

Fred was his name, we couldn't be happier to get one last ride, all be it just 20 or so miles down the road. Getting out of the car Fred handed me a 20 dollar bill and wished us well, the sun still hanging in the horizon. A huge grin was plastered to my face, Heather's face, the world was alive, we hugged each other jumping up and down in the shoulder of America's freeway.

We set up camp in the woods near a school just off the freeway, with whiskey in hand we left our camp and headed towards the nearby Walmart where we cleaned up a bit and grabbed some bread and other food for the rest of our trip. We sat next to Walmart with our bottle of whiskey laughing about the day and taking hearty sips, we grabbed some coke too just to be fancy there in Carlise, Pa. We journeyed back to our campsite, passing the high school crowd in the parking lot enjoying a night they've lived 100 times. We drank in the heat of the tent until sleep took over.

Water in West Virginia (day 4)
In the morning we used the Walmart to clean up again and were back to the side of the road with our thumbs. We got a ride from a man who's words came out like a bowl of pudding when he spoke, all jumbled together yet somehow consistent and barely discernible. He dropped us at a sad exit 15 miles down the road after we pushed through morning traffic.

We waited a while at that exit, cars few and far between. After our longest wait of the trip at that point, a minivan stopped driven by a woman filled with 4 cups of coffee who's talking never quit. She used to trip on acid all the time in her day, and now was a nurse. She drove us to a much busier spot. We turned down a couple rides that were only going an exit or two further, and finally hopped in Pat's car, a commuter who got us to Maryland and the I-70.

We took the time then to sit down to a peanut butter sandwich, Heather picked berries on the side of the road to sweeten up the meal. We went to yet another on ramp, thumbs out, singing, smiling. A man stopped, but was going the wrong direction, we waited longer. The same man came back 20 minutes later with his daughter and said he really wanted to help, we hopped in and he gave us a ride to a gas station down I-70 just a pinch.

We filled our bottles and sat just outside the gas station waiting for a state trooper to keep on his way before revealing our thumbs. A car pulled up in front of us, a young guy got out and said a casual hello to me as he walked in the gas station. I glanced at his license plate and saw that it said Morgantown on it, the very city we were trying to get to, or rather the last big city on the freeway in West Virginia. When he came back out I approached him, before I could even get a bit of our story out he told us to hop in.

Lance was his name, coming back from work, I think in Delaware of all places, he'd just met a great girl out there to replace his ex-girlfriend with whom he still lived with. We all told stories and were laughing with each other through the scenic roads coming into West Virginia. As we got closer he offered to let us stop at his place to grab a shower. When we got even closer he decided and we agreed to check out the river that he grew up playing in.

He pulled over on the side of the windy West Virginia road and we went down to the river, we all stripped down to our underwear and jumped in. We jumped off a decent sized rock, and then swam down river to the massive boulder in the distance. This was about a 30 foot jump, one which Lance and I did twice while a nearby rafting tour of families cheered us on. Heather jumped from a smaller ledge for fear of heights, but loved it all the same.

We headed back to Lance's place for our shower, he battled his ex Laryn on the phone with the idea of bringing a couple strangers to their home, she gave in and we arrived. She was friendly when we got there, at least to Heather and I, a somewhat flirty tension stayed with Lance and her. He handed us both a cold beer and we cleaned up in the shower, after which it was essentially decided that the night was for partying and we were to sleep there that night. I made a beer run with Lance, stopping at his folks place first where he gave me a special water bottle with a built in filter. I also met his mom, skeptical of me, skeptical of Lance, skeptical about everything. We got our beer and went back to Heather and Laryn who were busy in the kitchen fixing dinner.

The beer started flowing well, at one point Lance's dad stopped by with his truck and the three of us headed to some garage to lift some large rusty something or other up on to it. We drove back all with beers in hand, Lance asked his dad for some pot which he gladly gave him, and then Lance gave it to me saying he didn't smoke, at least not now with a drug test coming up. Heather and I smoked in the basement looking out into his garden.

It was then decided that we would go for a drive to one of his favorite spots. The music blasted, Heather and I belted out lyrics with a cooler of beer between us in the back seat, "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you!".

When we got to the spot it was chained off, apparently for military reasons, but Lance parked the car, we all grabbed a fresh beer, and walked up the hill along the path into the woods with a warning to duck and hide at the sign of anything. A little ways up the hill we snuck into the woods and came upon a river with a 45 foot water fall smashing into it. I stripped down to my bathing suit climbing the rocks in the river, Lance jumped in and swam around and then told me to follow him. The girls waited below while I followed the path to the top until we were there, standing above the beast looking down at the girls in the water lit only by the moon. Lance jumped first, popped up while the girls cheered and yelled. I aimed for the same spot, flying down towards the water and splashing in, me feet barely touched the sandy bottom of the river and I popped up the same cheers and jubilation.

Without saying anything we all headed towards the base of the water fall, grabbing on to rocks to keep from being pushed away from the heavy current. Heather and I emerged behind the waterfall on opposite sides as Lance and Laryn approached too, all of us in the cave behind the mystique of the falls. I went towards the falling water, and climbed up on a rock feeling all the wind and mist it produced, then I stuck my head directly under the falls getting pelted by water harder than any rain I'd ever felt, my hands in the air in total ecstasy thinking of the entire trip here, the past year, how the hell I was in West Virginia standing underneath a waterfall in the middle of the night with these people.

I gave Heather my hand to get her up the slippery rock and she too felt the water beating down, smiling and laughing with the same pure joy I had, the realization that we had both chose a style of living that leads to such random and beautiful circumstances. At that moment we caught each other's eyes above the smiles plastered on our faces, the only thing we could do was kiss, we embraced thinking of everything and nothing, the thunderous sound of the water crashing and million of drops of water hitting our heads, perhaps the only time I've kissed someone out of pure necessity and passion without a thought of any implication beyond the moment itself.

We basked in it for another minute before I jumped through the waterfall back into the river followed by everyone else. Lance and I jumped from the top once more before we gathered our clothes and headed back down the road. Once in the car again we were cruising, music blasting, a new song every 10 seconds.

Lance then asked "You want me to jump the bridge?", I didn't know what he meant, Heather didn't, in unison we answered "Jump the bridge! Jump the bridge!", and so he did, the bridge was a bit of a straight away and he reached 100 miles per hour to shoot across it. He continued driving in this manner, the roads twisted through the woods on mountain like terrain, he never slowed below 70, he knew these roads damn well.

We tore up that town, quite literally, he found yards to do donuts in, chased off deer, and kept at a steady 80mph in between all of this until he finally tore through his own yard and into his driveway. Our drinking continued inside, music, moving around, eventually the pseudo flirty tension between Lance and Laryn hit a breaking point, Lance jumped in his car and hit it trying to get away from her. She jumped in her car and the chase was on, leaving Heather and I to our own devices, alone in this odd West Virginia house under ridiculous circumstances. Eventually Lance's mother came through the door, worried about everything, disgusted by our presence, but too distracted to care, she wanted to find Lance. We told her he was gone and she went into the night looking for him. Somewhere in this passed out on the couch.

Everything is All Good (days 5-11)
We awoke in the morning to Lance's mother coming through the door again, "Wake up, I'm taking you to Masontown.", we stumbled off the couch and collected our things. Lance had hit an embankment at that steady 80mph, he was fine, his car was mostly fine to the naked eye, save for a flat tire and a layer of dirt. A few of our things were locked in his car, Laryn had to pick him up at his folks place so he could come unlock it, we got our things and said our thanks and goodbyes and saddled up in his mom's car, leaving our West Virginia surprise and transitioning to whatever was next.

She didn't aprove of us, Lance's mom. She interogated us, questioning our very being, a thin layer of worry for Heather and total disregard for me. We smiled our way through explanations until she was sick of us and our answers, she picked up a friend on the way and they talked about cats and family sickness and whatever else women like that talk about.

We soon found ourselves dropped off standing on a bumpy dirt road on route the festival, we started walking down it until a pickup truck let us in with the same destination, a line of traffic had already begun in this small little town. When they stopped traffic completely we walked on to a field where hundreds of people were wating for the gates to open, everyone happy, drinking, laughing.

We found the work exchange tent to inquire about getting into the festival for free, they gave us wrist bands and shirts telling us we could work cleanup the 2 days following the festival, we were in. We caught a ride in another pickup truck when they opened the gates, we were sitting on coolers the drivers told us to help ourselves, so we laughed with our beers on the ride up, everyone shouting at everyone saying hello and good times.

We setup our tent in one spot and moved it shortly to be close to a group of people we met in the field earlier. The festival vibe was unreal, there were people as far as the eye can see, and everyone was on something. Everyone was working too it seemed, walking around, "Doses! Molly! Headies!", trying to sell all they had. We spent our days relaxing and nights listening to music on the great big hill. At night it was transformed, people lined the hill so tightly it appeared to be one big blanket of people, many with glow sticks and flashing lights. We explored every patch of the blanket seeing it from every angle. Heather was pure happiness, spinning with the grass between her toes, she rarely wears shoes and doesn't belong in them.

After 3 or 4 days of controlled madness the tents started to disappear with the people. We wandered abandoned campsites in search of forgotten food, beer, and whatever else people would leave behind. We cooked some discovered hotdogs, and we sat with a deck of cards and the bottom of a forgotten whiskey bottle. While we were playing a girl came with a bag of wine she wasn't going to drink, so that too we enjoyed. Moments after that a group came with a small bottle of vodka we also enjoyed, it was a great night.

In the morning we relaxed for a while before packing our tent to relocate to the staff campsite. We set it up and checked in for clean up. With 30 or 40 other people we swept the fields littered with the remnants of 18 thousand peoples things, from cigarette buts to abandoned tents. With the nature of the festival everyone ground scored a wide array of drugs, drinks, beads, lighters, and other treasures forgotten or abandoned. To our surprise they called dinner time, they fed us a giant buffet with everything. We'd been eating peanut butter sandwiches all week, and not many of them. We filled our bellies to the very brim.

Back at the campsite a fire got going, a great fire. All of us sat around in a great circle, bowls being passed around with the day's ground scores that never ended, abandoned beers in many of our hands, stories being told, a smile on every face, laughter between everything, everyone was happy. The next day brought the same, with the addition of breakfast and lunch where we again managed to stuff ourselves. More ground scores during the day, more fire at night, more hapiness.

Starting the Trek to New Orleans (day 12)
The next morning we caught a ride out early from someone else who was cleaning with us, he dropped Heather and I off at the 81 in Hagerstown, MD about 2 hours away. We waited on the on ramp again, back in the real world, thumbs out, sign up. A truck stopped on the on ramp, not for us, but to take a leak in the woods. None the less he shouted at us or maybe us at him, and the next minute we were in his truck headed down the freeway. His name was Brad, he said it like Breead. He didn't talk much, just enough to say he was bound a town near Knoxville, TN. Heather read in the back on the bed, I went in and out of sleep on the passenger side.

We landed in a truck stop at dark and went to clean up, when we got back to the truck Brad had put down the top bunk, we both climbed to the top and watched a couple movies with Brad and slowly passed out.

Keeping it Moving (day 13)
We awoke in the morning to the motor starting, I lept down and grabbed my shoes which were outside the truck, Heather had thrown them just outside the night before for all of our sakes, 1 more minute and they would have been lost forever. We went to drop off a load with the truck with hopes he would get dispatched home which was closer to New Orleans. We waited hours to discover he would actually be heading back to New York, so we got out at the next truck stop in search of a new ride.

A van of illegals picked us up, they said they were headed for Los Angeles and could drop us off in Memphis. We weren't sure why, but they dropped us off near Nashville instead which made little sense to our route, but there we were. It wasn't long until we were in a new ride, a minivan driven by a Chicago man and his wife. They were happy and eager to help us, sharing stories and going off their route to get us back on track, which strangely was a faster route for them afterall. They left us at a Waffle House, a craving built from our conversation of the south. We once again stuffed our bellies as much as we could, sipped on coffee, and headed back to the road.

A pickup truck slowed down with a giant plant in the passenger seat. Heather and I hopped in the back and rolled down the freeway. He pulled some pot from a compartment in his car and smoked us out well, leaving us further down the road and perhaps too stoned, but very happy. We waited for our next ride, for once enjoying the wait in hopes to come down just a bit from the smoke and seem somewhat normal. A tiny white car stopped with a small town driver, his explanation for picking us up echoed many of the others, "I don't usually pic kup hitchhikers, but y'all look innocent enough". We drove just near the Alabama border in Pulaski, TN. We picked up some Steel Reserve 40s and enjoyed them in our tent behind the Motel 8.

Getting So Close (day 14)
Our first ride in the morning was a trucker, Heather had to sit on my lap and we just laughed to ourselves down the freeway, barely saying a word to the driver after our initial introduction. He dropped us in an awkward spot where freeways colide, but a few mexicans picked us up, folowed by another ride, and then we were on another entrance to the freeway getting closer and closer to our goal. The next car to stop was a cop, he didn't say much but gave us a ride 20 miles down the road while running our licenses. We sweat bullets in the back of his car which was 10 or 15 degrees hotter than the heat of the sun outside, he let us out and went on his way, our sweat puddled in the back of his cruiser.

Another set of Mexicans getting back from work gave us a ride and bought us water at the gas station. Curtis, the hungover guy, took us close to I-59 just past Birmingham, AL. Our next ride stopped before we even reached the on ramp, took us a little ways, and left us with $5. Our third set of mexicans drove us further than they intended to go and put us in a good spot, that's where we got picked up by Chris, another guy who "doesn't usually pick up hitchhikers", but couldn't stand seeing us in the hot sun. He drove us just to drive us, he unfortunately missed the truckstop exit near Tuscaloosa, 71A, and dropped us off at the next one.

We waited about 2 1/2 hours with cars few and far between. One woman stopped, "Don't get excited, I'm not driving your way, I just thought you'd like a water", the water was cold and beautiful, and while a ride would have been much sweeter, we drank the water down. A sherrif finally pulled up, Sherrif Miller, she said, "You're not in trouble, I've just been getting a lot of phone calls about you, it's best you walk down the freeway to the next exit and try and make it there before dark", "Can you give us a ride?", asked Heather, "No, can't do that, it's about 8 miles".

It was 10 miles, we both knew that. She drove away and we started our hike down the freeway as the cars whizzed by. Every other state dreads people on the freeway, and here we were being ordered by the Sherrif to walk. Luckily, about 2 miles down the road, a truck pulled into the shoulder and we booked it towards him and jumped in the truck. He was a young trucker, he had a fast truck and plenty of energy and stories to tell. He dropped us off exactly 100 miles from New Orleans in Hattiesburg, Mississpi. We feebly tried to get one last ride in hopes to complete our journey that night, we were so close, but the sun was long gone.

We wandered into the gas station, hungry, tired, excited. We used the last of our hitching money on a foot long sandwich and a couple 40s. The employees there were very amused by us and our story, even somewhat shocked. We feasted and searched for a place to set up the tent. I turned a corner after we were set up in search for a bathroom, a gritty man jumped up with arms at the ready, ready to fight or defend himself. I put my arms up only saying "woa!", and then backed away a bit smiling at the situation. He cautiausly laughed to, "Looks like I scared you as much as you me!", I saw him again when I came back from the bathroom. He asked me for a dollar and change for beer which I gladly gave him, Cowboy was his name.

Heather and I stayed up in the tent for a while, sipping our beers with straws, a trick we decided would make it easier to drink and lay down at the same time. Our stories and jokes faded to sleep, and in the morning we were ready to go with only 100 miles to go.

Two Rides to New Orleans (day 15)
Our first ride took us 70 of those miles and into Louisiana. We didn't wait long until our final ride picked us up, a huge man in town for work driving to New Orleans for the hell of it. He pulled out the biggest joint I've ever seen and told us stories, eventually dropping us off right in front of Heather's house. We'd made it, we were high.

Heather's house was open and free, things everywhere, on the ground and the walls from parties past. People came and went freely, some paying rent, most not. We biked to the grocery store in a heavy summer rain fall where Heather got everything needed to make red beans and rice which we later enjoyed with a couple of her friends. We saw the Dark Knight at the theatre, and later went to two of her favorite bars with her friend Adam. One guy at the bar brought us back to his house just next door where we listened to great music and relaxed a bit, drunk off our $1 drinks.

Seeing the City (day 16)
The next day Adam, Heather and I biked all around the city checking out everything, Bourban street, the fairy ride, fancy donuts, someone on the street even handed us free and slightly sketchy chicken which we ate anyways. We picked up some 40's and our ground scored mushrooms and headed to the park. It was a wild night filled with madness, starting with the sunset, followed by a dark and wild walk through the park, and general insanity back at Heather's house on her porch swing.

Attampted Escape (day 17)
The next morning, this morning actually, I started packing my things and taking a good shower in preperation to hit the road again, Alaska as my destination with a hopeful stop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One of Heather's friends gave me a ride to the freeway, the on ramp was not a great one and I didn't stay long. I hiked a good distance to another, and then another, a man threw a water bottle to me at one point, sweat dripped off of me. I finally landed in a spot that seemed decent. I stood in the sun for 2 or 3 hours with a steady stream of cars, none of them stopped.

I walked much further west along I-10 and waited at another on ramp until the sun and my hopes for the day went down, 6 or 7 hours and no rides, it reminded me of my day in Tucson a while back. I find myself in a Mall now enjoying the air conditioning finally getting this lengthy story posted. Soon enough I'll convince myself back into the wet heat of the outside in search for a suitable place to break out the old sleeping bag and dream of catching rides when I awake. Onward and outward!

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