Some days in Salt Lake before heading to California

The hitchhiking gathering had been filled with stories, now I was walking down the street in Boulder looking to get to Salt Lake City. A guy on his way back to work gave me a ride up to Interstate 70, I thumbed and walked a ways from there, eventually getting a lift from a girl who was heading to various neighborhoods knocking on doors to promote some politician. She was the boss though, so didn't mind taking me a ways towards Breckinridge.

The next ride was a long one, a guy heading to Las Vegas for a family reunion. Vegas was tempting, I considered going all the way down there with him, he intended to drive it all in one shot. We talked poker and gambling, about Alaska, and about his wild trips down to Mexico.

It was sometime past midnight when we got to I-15, I decided to pass on Vegas and got out there. There's close to nothing where I-70 dead ends, it seemed especially empty this time of night with fewer cars on the road. I briefly thought about camping out until the morning, but instead stood under the streetlight raising a thumb at each car that passed on the particularly cold night.

A guy stopped and picked me up, he was listening to a health radio show and talking about garlic being the cure all for just about everything. He was heading to Provo to bail his girlfriend out of jail in the morning, he said I could crash at his friend's place for the night if I wanted.

We rolled into the apartment complex and headed in. His two friends were on meth, sitting by the table and loading some pot into a pipe. I talked with them a bit, but quickly began fading to sleep, I stretched out on the couch. I listened to them talk for a bit before I passed out, mostly about court dates and the cost of house arrest anklets.

I woke up in the early morning after a few hours of sleep or so, the three of them were still talking at the table. I headed out with Mike, he got us breakfast and we headed towards the jail where his girlfriend was. He needed me to help bail her out, my valid ID was the reason, apparently neither him or his friends had this.

I showed my ID to a man behind a glass window, five or ten minutes later his girlfriend came popping out with a small tote of stuff, happy to be free.
We got in the car, they bantered back and forth and soon dropped me off at a bus stop in Provo. I hopped the bus, then a train, then another bus, eventually getting in the neighborhood I was aiming for up in Salt Lake City.

I stopped in a coffee shop for a while, then headed to my friend Cameron's house where I got a much needed shower. No one was home at the time, but his girlfriend got there and we talked for a while before heading to the Bohemian Brewery to catch a beer. We met Cam back at his house for dinner and a night of catching up.

I went on a hike with Cam's brother Josh the next day, wearing out their dogs and getting up on a peak for a nice view of the city. There was a log down across the trail, spanning over a deep ditch from one side of the trail to another part, we had a good time balancing across it end to end. We ate some rewarding massive burritos at a favorite spot afterwards.

That night I went with Cam to his friend's house, basically a massive tree house built on the side of a hill in Park City. We went on a good hike and had a nice Mexican dinner, it was a pretty great spot.

I went on a much steeper hike with Josh again the next day, reaching a couple great peaks. Later Cam and I filled some flasks and headed to the park for a boccie ball tournament, there was also a free concert going on in the middle of the park. Neither of us won the tournament, but it was a good time with the exception of a couple people getting tickets for drinking in public, I luckily was not one of them.

Peter had ran up on me while I was playing, an old friend from town, we met up with him at a bar afterwards and caught up. Later I went and played pool with Cam at another spot where we caught up with Bobby, another friend in town, the brewmaster at Bohemian Brewery. I wound down the night back at Cam's place, ending it with cigars and whiskey on the back porch.

The next day I was cruising out of town, westbound. I'd found a ride online from a guy heading that way, Harry was his name. He was a friendly guy, a dashboard full of trinkets from his travels and stories to match.

We explored around a rest area when the day of driving was done, eventually camping out for the night near Winnemucca. In the morning we pushed on, stopping once for coffee and also at a yard sale where we poked through some things.

I hopped out of his car near Truckee, he was heading for the coast and me for Chico. I bit into a peach from his farm as I walked down the ramp to the next road, soon getting a ride from a sailor in a convertible heading to grass valley. My next ride was from an ex-meth head, a missing leg was his punishment from that old habit. He fed me beers and told me about how he was going to see his son on a pot farm for the first time since having a falling out a while back, over money and pot.

He got me as far as Marysville and dropped me off with a slight buzz in the California sun. I got another ride further up the road where a guy dropped me off in a park by a lake after grabbing me some fast food burgers, I sat on a bench munching these before heading back to the road.

My next ride came from a preacher, traveling around preaching and recruiting preachers. He told me about the order of command with bishops and on up to the pope, he also told me about exorcisms and whatnot.

He dropped me off in Paradise, not far from where I was heading. I stood on the side of the freeway day dreaming about a girl in a yellow VW bug with Montana plates, one I'd never met and still haven't. I waited for her to come around the bend and pull into the shoulder to pick me up, she was instead replaced by a police cruiser and a mildly frustrated officer who was now going to go out of his way to drive me to Chico with a warning not to stand on the freeway.

He dropped me off just blocks away from where I'd be living the next month, I'd see him again within a half hour after I realized he still had my ID. A quick rendezvous and I was good to go, ready for the coming months of harvest season.