Camped in Indiana then Hitchhiked to Connecticut

After a couple days in Nashville, Marilyn was driving back up to Bloomington, Rebecca and I in tow. I'd just met her parents there to talk about hitchhiking, essentially accomplishing nothing except realizing just how freaked out they were about it.

That night in Bloomington the three of us headed over to a house party where there was some really good live music. Rebecca was also meeting someone there, a friend of a friend who had a farm. They had some extra work for her, so this is where we could part ways after having traveled together the past few weeks.

We'd originally talked about hitching another couple weeks or so, eventually looping back towards New York and Connecticut together. I figured I'd take advantage of the new situation to get some writing done.

The next day I went around gathering some supplies, like an external battery and a small solar panel. That night Marilyn and I went to a friends house to sip some beers and also pick up a tent they were letting me borrow.

The next morning Marilyn gave me a ride out to a trail head pretty early. A couple hours later I'd hiked down the trail and reached the lake where I had my pick of several empty secluded campsites. The one I chose was pretty excellent, right by the water with a big established fire ring and even large slabs of stones set up in benches and chairs.

Equipped with my notebook, phone, several batteries, the dinky solar panel I planned on returning and a wireless keyboard I was set to spend several days getting much writing and organizing done. It was pretty peaceful, taking notes, writing things up, sipping whiskey and cooking up ramen meals on the fire. Marilyn paddled in one evening and spent the night, a welcomed break to my solitude and also a welcome injection of more legitimate food and drink. She paddled on back in the morning and I continued on.

A couple days later I had one more peaceful morning on the lake before hiking back out to the road. I hitched a ride from a local couple that took me to Scenic View, a restaurant on the way back to Bloomington where Marilyn met up with me, I was happy to indulge in a big burger along with a cold beer.

The Kinsey Institute in town had a sex gallery going on that we went to, painting and sculptures and the like. After that I got a much needed shower before spending the night with Marilyn and a gaggle of her friends for some drinks and games of pool.

I'd spend another week there in Bloomington with Marilyn going to a craw fish broil, little parties and helping her move all of her stuff to a friend's house where she'd be storing it for the summer while she traveled.

I was just about ready to head east when I got word from Rebecca, she was done on the farm and also ready to head east, so as it turned out we'd be hitching back together after all. She met up with Marilyn and I for breakfast and we were staged to get going. During breakfast it came up that a band Marilyn knew from Nashville was playing in Cincinnati that night. Being that the city was in the right direction for Rebecca and I, we decided we'd catch a ride with Marilyn that far.

A car ride later we were sitting in front of a few beers in Cincinnati. Marilyn was going to get me a ticket to the show, Rebecca was still debating whether she could afford to buy a ticket or borrow cash from Marilyn to do so, wait around during the show for us or keep moving on her own.

After the beer she decided she was going to catch the last of the daylight and get moving to Connecticut on her own, so Marilyn and I drove her to the other side of the city so she could start catching a ride. We dropped her off and headed to the show, the band was called the Protomen, often billed as "megaman inspired rock opera". She was able to catch up with a few of her friends before and after the show, it was a good time.

As it turned out, Marilyn had a couple friends who were staying at a hotel in town and they were happy to let us stay the night there on the pull out couch in the room.

In the morning Marilyn gave me a ride to the edge of town as we'd done for Rebecca so I could get on my way to Connecticut as well. In no time I had my thumb out, just as quickly getting a ride from a guy heading to Columbus.

While we cruised I checked in with Rebecca to see what progress she'd made. Apparently after we'd dropped her off she'd waited and walked, only getting one ten mile ride from a guy who'd apparently solicited her for sex. She then plopped herself in a gas station where the employees gave her some food, then eventually a limo driver gave her a ride to the bus station with money for a ticket to Columbus. Once she arrived there she'd found a park to set up her tent in the bushes somewhere in cold and wet night.

The timing was good and the guy who I was now riding with was even better. He happily offered to go track down Rebecca who was admittedly in pretty rough shape, we scooped her up and then he gave us a ride to the other side of the city, together again for the third time to complete our adventure.

We got a ride from an older couple that gave us cookies, we were off to a good start. They got us a little ways down the road to a truck stop. Outside there were some cops with lights and dogs hassling a dreaded out couple, we figured we'd wait inside until that died down. Everyone inside was watching the show outside, taking bets as to whether they had drugs or what was going on. We sipped coffee and waited, eventually the police drove off, they'd apparently found nothing.

We headed up to the on ramp in hopes of another ride. It came in full force and couldn't have been better, a truck driver who was going straight to Rhode Island, just amazing. It was the largest truck I'd ever been in, the cab anyway. Usually the big rigs have bunk beds in the back, a couple there amenities maybe. This one was essentially an RV. He had a full kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, the bed of course, even a dog pacing around.

Rebecca spent much time napping in the back while I sat up front hearing the guys paranoid worries about his "cheating" wife and his general stories of himself being "a bad ass motherfucker". He constantly checked his cell phone account to check up on who his wife was texting. When he didn't realize a number he'd go off on a tangent about her cheating ways, at one point convincing me to let him use my phone to text one of the numbers and try to figure out who it was his wife was sleeping with. It went from "sly" texts trying to passively see who it was and eventually escalated to violent warnings to "stay the hell away from my wife!". It turned out to be one of his nine year old son's friends.

Texting texting, worrying and jabbering away as we kept rolling down the highway. I didn't mind too much, after all we were getting a free ride straight into the night directly to Connecticut, I thought for sure Rebecca and I would have spent at least another night on the road before even getting close.

We rolled closer and closer, at last getting to the bridge into New York City. His rage boiled over navigating the sometimes standstill traffic approaching the toll booths. A guy cut him off just a few car lengths from the toll, that's when he actually stopped the truck and hopped out shouting, "You nigger, what the fuck do you think you're doing!", pounding on the guys window who could do nothing but shout right back at him without flinching, as if was completely accustomed to such a thing. The trucker at last returned to the truck, I was just happy that no one in the toll booths had done anything about it and we could keep moving.

Finally around midnight we'd gotten through the city and were passing through Darien not too far from where my mom was living. I gave Rebecca a big hug, thanked the insecure alpha truck driver and hopped on out. Rebecca had just an hour or so left until he'd be passing through New Haven where she'd end her journey.

Minutes later I was in the company of my mother, cruising on back to her house for a good night's sleep and some days ahead of catching up with family and friends. Before I drifted to sleep I got word from Rebecca who was now on foot walking the roads around New Haven, happy to be back herself and now just looking for a place to camp until catching up with friends herself the next day. It had been a good adventure all together, now it was on to the next thing.

May 12, 2013 to May 27, 2013


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