After being home for a few weeks from my trip to South America I was getting restless, antsy, agravated. Its not even about being on the move or traveling it’s just a way of life that exists in different places. you can just walk out to the street and immediately be around people, not that I want to talk to all of them all of the time but it’s having the option or possibility. There are public and private destinations accessible by all regardless of whether you have a vehiucle or not. Our suburban [sub-urban] existance leaves us disconnected, frustrated and stressed by the necessity to drive everywhere and yet still be nowhere in particular [borrowing from the title of a book I read last year, Geography of Nowhere. Suitingly, as I write this I am halfway through his second book, Home from Nowhere].
I was sitting here in the suburban Southeast missing my life back in Spain and my friends back there and a plan hatched. I began gathering supplies and information. i was going to hitchhike 2,500 miles across the southern united states stopping along teh way to se family and friends ultimately arriving in Los Angeles where i would meet up with Cynthia, a friend I made while living in Sevilla last year.
I was mentally, physically and materially ready for the potentially 2 weeks adventure. I had hitchhiked in Spain on a few occasions but here familly, naturally, was not too supportive of the idea though friends were really supportive. My only hesitation was not having a friend to accompany me.
Ultumately I talked with Cynthia, and decided to take a flight out to LA [so no crazy hitching stories to recount here unfortunately]. After working out the rough details of our road trip and booking a flight here is what happened:
I was dropped off super early for my flight [going through the airport can be stressfull enough so feeling rushed is not a great addition to the ordeal]. My friend Amanda who had just visited me and Cynthia, having just heard about Amandas fiasco with spirit airlines, had earlier wished me luck on getting to LA without problems. When I walked up to the counter for the airline I had flown a few times prior I saw that my flight was delayed by 4 hours. having not one but two connecting flights i was going to miss all of them. fortunately my early arrival meantnoone besides me at the desk and a not yet stressed representative who found me a flight on a different airline, booked and paid for it. the only down side was having to sit around the airport for 6 hours but because my flight was direct I arrived earlier than I otherwise would have.
I had last seen Cynthia a day or two before I left Spain for Peru back at the end of May But when she pulled up to the curb at LAX around 10:30PM it was almost like no time had passed between the two temporal points, though it was sort of weird being that now there was a car in the equation, something never involved back in Spain. Also there is something about memories and relationships that I feel is place relative and so like when Amanda came to visit in Florida and now me visiting Cynthia in California the juxtaposition of these people outside of the normal or usual backdrop just felt odd.
We fought our way out of Los Angeles and onto interstate 5 North. There were several planned stops between LA and Kelowna, Canada and some were more time sensitive than others so we were forced to cover some intense stretches of highway in the first few days. Cynthia drove until we needed gas i took over and drove through the early morning until I could no longer keep my eyes open and decided to pull into a gas station to sleep for an hour. We were determined to get to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park on the Oregon-California border in the morning to enjoy camping in the redwoods hoping there would still be a spot being that it was Labor Day.
Neither of us were very comfortable so we put it in gear and kept on, cutting across 36 and up the 101, Swerving along bordered by cliffs and enclosed by a ceiling of tree tops. Finally by mid day we rolled in and found our camp site of choice. By that point all I wanted to do was roll out my sleeping bag and take a nap but we instead got everything set up ate a snack and took a stroll around the park and down by the river where we met an over weight lady who said she was in an accident and crushed some vertabrea. she asked if we by chance smoked grass and wanted our opinion on whether we thought she could get off her medication and just smoke. Neither of us really were too interested in the conversation but she just kept on and on about her days working in a correctional facility and her accident. Once we broke away we went back to our site and got the fire going to make some food.