Prince George and a quick hitch to Kamloops
We went to the ancient forest outside of Prince George with our host Sandra and a handful of other friendly folk, big trees, clean air, good times. Back at Sandra's we all relaxed, had some drinks, great food, even played some games. The next morning we planned to hitchhike to Kamloops.
We were out the door by 8am in the morning and Sandra dropped us at the edge of town, the rain fell on us steady, but not too heavy. Again I walked ahead of Walter and Mandie so cars would see them first, and then see me a little ways down the road, the idea being if they picked them up they may have room for one more, me, or if they only had room for one they'd at least stop for me down the road.
A car did stop for me, a nice older man named Henry, he asked if the two he had passed were my friends, and then we were turning around to go and pick them up as well. He was really nice to talk to as we drove down the highway, he was a logger and told us about the current state of the environment with the beetles who ate up the trees causing all sorts of problems.
As we passed a little restaurant he asked if we had eaten, we hadn't, and he was set on buying us breakfast. We had a great one, coffee, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns and toast with jam and butter. We got back on the road full bellied and bright eyed, Henry took us a little ways more before pulling off to his mill, "one of the top four in the world, which one of the top four I'm not sure", he said.
Yet again I walked down the road from my new Dutch and Aussie friends, but this time they were the ones to get the first ride, soon enough they were stopping in a pickup truck picking me up with an 80 year old Ted at the wheel. Ted was full of life that he let out with guilty chuckles at almost everything that was said. The conversation stuck to the lighter topics, philosophy, the environment, politics, and religion. I was quiet for most of this listening to the opinions of the other three, I find myself with little to add when speaking of topics I have no control over when they're spoken of in a broad sense, I can usually only get into it when people start talking about solutions.
We stopped at a McDonalds, Ted offered to pay, but Mandie and Walter wouldn't have it, Ted's meal was comped (as was mine, awesome), and we shot rode down the highway with the same conversation topics until we hit Cache Creek, in total he drove us over 300km and we were now in front of a sign saying "Kamloops 84".
For the third time on this day I walked down the road from my friends, and Mandie took the third picture of me doing so. Just as I rounded the bend minutes later a minivan pulled into the shoulder, at the wheel was a girl younger than me and her friend in the passenger seat, I hopped in mentioning my hitching friends behind me, but they were in a rush and with little room. I'm not sure anyone told her she was driving a minivan, she was holding the wheel to a slick sports car shooting past everyone in her way, rap music playing at full volume, the lakes and rolling hills out the window disappearing as fast as they came up.
In no time at all I was getting out in front of a gas station, I was happy to find a seat in the restaurant with free wireless internet. I scrounged up some change and gave TJ a call, the girl with whom we'd be staying with that night. She picked up and was in the middle of something and said it would be a little while before she arrived, but I was happy to get online and catch up on some things, and also let Walter and Mandie catch up to Kamloops.
TJ came and grabbed me, we picked up Walter and Mandie in town, they'd got a ride shortly after I did. We should be staying in Kamloops a couple days or so. On our first night we went to an irish pub for one of TJ's friend's birthday parties, I had a beer called Kilkenny, my parents had once brought me a can when I was a kid, it sat full in my room growing up as a souvenir.
My friend's Aaron and Jessica have a wedding I'll be at in just a month now, I'm looking forward to that and possibly the excuse to cut through Seattle and see Portland once again, and of course Vancouver's on the list before as well. Good times are down the road I'm driving on, in my rearview, and on both sides of me in case I do some off roading.