Hitchhiking to Reno for the Zane Lamprey Interview

I first heard of Zane Lamprey through shows he had like Drinking Made Easy. I got in touch with him when I heard he was also making gear like jackets and backpacks, and doing standup comedy at breweries. We remained in loose contact, and when I saw he was going to be doing a show in Reno, I reached out to him about being on my podcast, then decided to head that way. You can keep reading, watch the video of this adventure below... or both.

Starting in Wyoming, where I'd come for a wedding, I began hitchhiking westbound. I had two or three days to get to Reno, so felt no rush and even considered detouring to Boise.

The first day started easy and finished in a drunken flurry. A ride from a couple women into Idaho came immediately, then another two rides, another two, and finally one last ride into Boise where I arrived well before dark. It was a lightning-fast day, really, waiting only several minutes between each ride.

I was in Boise, as I hoped, but really had no idea what I was doing. So - I went to Barbarian Brewing. Beer is often the answer, and so again it was. Sipping on a beer there, I studied the satellite map of the area considering possible stealth camping spots. I messaged a couple of friends I had that might be in town too, and also someone I knew online who'd started a beer-discount club.

You can't assume people will have a couch for you, but the hope is that at least someone is around to be a drinking buddy for the night. I wound up with both. The woman from Boise Beer Buddies was nearby and dropped into Barbarian to join me for a drink. This became a tour around to another three, or four (or five? six?) breweries getting sloshy into the night.

I crashed at her place and paid for it the next day: hungover and hitchhiking in the 105-degree heat, often with no shade as I slogged through the day. Three short rides and many hot hours from when I started, and I was only one town over on the far edge of Nampa. Luckily, I got one last ride to Winnemucca where I arrived right around sunset.

Only a couple hours drive from Reno, but no point in going any further. I was beat, and I wouldn't have a place to stay in Reno until the next night anyhow. If I was going to stealth camp somewhere, my choice of the bushes in the desert near the highway here was better than the dense streets of Reno.

In the morning I hitched a long ride from an 18-wheeler just short of Reno, and a ride into the city from a girl going to catch a plane to Indianapolis for a gaming convention. She dropped me off right in front of the El Dorado casino where I was fairly certain I could get a free comped room.

I was right, they stuck me in room 777, begging me to gamble (which I would do, to my detriment). Getting up to the room, I chuckled at the thought that a night ago I was stuffed in a bivysack on the side of the highway and now I was in a fancy-pants hotel room for free. I also realized I hadn't had a bite of food in two-plus days.

I walked, as if I hadn't been walking enough already, a ways from the casinos to a place I knew had all-you-can-eat sushi. It was more expensive than the last time I'd been there, but I was there, had the money, and was as hungry as I get. So I chowed down and perked up even more remembering that all-you-can-drink sake was included.

Over the next couple of days, I gambled away over a hundred dollars playing blackjack, hit up Revision Brewery for some tasty beers, and left myself with just around forty bucks to live on until I could make money some way. Stretching this kind of money is something I've had to do a lot, so I soldiered on with confidence.

I met Zane Lamprey at a nearby brewery an hour before he had to perform, and we hopped backstage to record the podcast. You can find that interview by searching for my podcast "Freestyle Travel Show" on your favorite app, or you can watch the video.

It went well and so did his show, and I wandered on back to the casino and was fairly certain I'd hitchhike to Sacramento in the morning, which is coincidentally where Zane was going too. Summer was well underway, so beyond Sacramento, California had plenty in store for me and my hitchhiking ways.