Out of Tucson and Short Visit to SoCal

After a half day and then a full day of getting no rides out of Tucson, we were under a third sun hoping things would turn around for us. No longer shooting for Phoenix like we had been, we now were keen to get directly to California, my sister was planning on driving up to Wyoming with a friend and we wanted to catch that ride with her.

Sure enough, an eighteen wheeler came rolling to a stand still, we kicked up dust running up to it and climbing in, he was Phoenix bound. We rode just as far as a truck stop near the Interstate 8 junction, then got ourselves onto the freeway, walking towards the junction to catch the westbound traffic.

A couple of self proclaimed gypsies pulled over before we'd quite made the junction, but they were Phoenix bound as well, all the same we welcomed the good energy coming our way.

Once we got ourselves on the right road a convertible came and picked us up, a guy on his way to pick up some pitbulls he'd been hearing about it. He shouted through the wind, telling me about his old heroine habits that had since transformed to meth habits. It was a short ride, but Marilyn and I were happy to be cruising right along.

Before long a small car came pulling over again, a Persian man with his young son and daughter in the back, traveling in the US from Iran. He handed me a phone as we got in the car, someone who spoke English was on the other end, asking where I was going, a translator to facilitate the ride. I said my part and determined they were San Diego bound, which was great for us as that would put us close to my brother's place where we could stay before heading up to Hollywood to catch up with my sister.

We cruised right along, me in the passenger seat and Marilyn in the back with the kids. Eventually it was determined that the dad driving was dead tired, they'd been driving nearly straight from round about Georgia. Marilyn took over driving after a break for food and we cruised along.

We went through a checkpoint at some point, a patrol guy asked into the car through the passenger seat over me, "Is everybody in here a US citizen?"

Out of habit or deflection I casually said, "Yes", although that was surely not true I dumbly realized a moment after saying it. The dad pulled out some passports and paperwork, looking nervous, the border patrol guy was slightly confused, but everything was cleared up quickly and we got rolling right along again.

Eventually our roads were parting, Marilyn pulled us off the freeway and we hopped out thanking the family and giving the slightly more rested dad the wheel back. We walked to the next road where we caught a ride from some vintage clothing collectors from Vermont, then caught one last ride to Vista from a guy who dropped us off right at a brewery, perfect.

A beer, a burrito and another beer later my brother arrived to come pick us up, then it was back to his place on base for home brew and catching up. The next day we spent relaxing and heading to a couple beer spots in town, including a small Stone taproom we hadn't previously knew existed.

The next morning my brother gave us a ride to the north end of the base, a good starting point for our hitch towards Hollywood. Hitching through southern California can easily be a drawn out process of long waits, short rides and walking from one on ramp in search of a more spacious one. This trip, however, was one of the easy ones. A Marine picked us up and was on route to Bakersfield, he was happy to take a short dodge out of his way to get us right where we needed to be in Hollywood some hour or so later.

We caught up with my sister, she'd just been getting her car serviced in preparation for the trip up to Wyoming in the couple days. We spent the next few days exploring places to eat and of course tapping some good beer spots. We even went up to the observatory for a good view of the city and a planetarium show, hitching a ride back down from an excited astrophysicist who saw our thumb walking down.

That same night we hitched a ride from a guy to North Hollywood where we met up with a friend I'd made in Chico and her twin sister who were having a party. The people there were movie types for the most part, actresses and producers and like who most involved in the horror genre side of things. Much booze lead to a barely memorable late night hitch back down to my sister's in Hollywood before passing out.

Another couple days of the same, a trip to Venice Beach, then we we were ready for Wyoming. Jackson is one of my favorite places on the earth, so I was definitely excited to get out of LA and up to the mountains.

July 17, 2013 to July 23, 2013