We must have had the biggest shit-eating grins on our faces since OJ Simpson walked out of that courthouse.
We had just left Ottawa not 25 minutes ago, and we were already dropped off, stoned for free and thumbing our next ride.
The July sun was setting and although the Newfie and I were on the road, we were determined to get farther. We walked another five minutes, when no exaggeration, a car with two occupants pulled over in front of us. We could see they were two youngish girls, and from the back of their heads and 20 yards away, (the best angle) they looked cute.
I remember distinctly having the scene from the end of Dumb and Dumber where the bus full of swimsuit models pulls over for them to join in. Every boy, traveller and of course hitchhiker's dream is to find some free spirited cute girl to bring along for the ride, or share a moment to make the story that much better.
We looked at eachother and our grins only grew wider. The drivers door opened and out popped a cute brunette, who looked right about our age. She greeted us with a smile that Mike and I couldnt have been happier to see. It was the kind of unbiased, open minded smile that knew exactly who and what we were even before we introduced oursleves. We tossed our bags in the trunk and jumped in the back seat. It was then that my heart started beating faster. Where did these girls come from?
The girl in the passenger seat was by far the prettiest girl I had seen all summer.
Not only that, but they actually stopped to pick up two hitchhikers! They introduced themselves as Jennifer and Anikka, told us about themsleves and about their background. They told us they stopped because they had also thought of doing the same thing; hitch from Ontario to BC for summer work. They were from a small town north of Toronto, I think they were shopping in Ottawa or something.
I guess this is going to be my side story to describe newfie Mike, because it will relate to how he and we were with girls. First off, Mike is the man. Mike is mostly a geek-turned hippie-turned traveler. Hes incredibly intelligent, the most sarcastic bastard Ive ever met and has quickly become one of my closest friends. Mike has many talents, however girls are not his forte. Ask Mike who runs the world, he'll tell you(the 'real' answer). Ask Mike how the stock market works, and for advice, he'll tell you. Ask Mike how to fix something, he'll friggen tell you. Ask Mike any fucking question in the world, he will tell you an answer, or find one for you. Ask Mike to fly as wingman, and he will give you the physical formula for the velocity of which that plane crashes. Mike should and could be good with girls, but his quiet personality mixed with his severe hatred for ignorance and stupidity has limited his experiences to a less-than-Fonzie status. However, the girls he does pick, are from the top drawer. I would later get Mike to open after days of prying and days of close-quartered living and found out he just thinks the majority of girls are more or less retarded these days and doesn't waste his time with them. Mike is well traveled and is content with his lifestyle now, and claims he'll settle later. I know he will, and I know she'll be hot, but my efforts of introducing him to girls in the meantime usually squandered. Now that we know Mike is the friggen man, however celibate he decides to be, we can continue.
So anyways, it really didnt take long until the girls had warmed up to us; the whiskered boys bumming a ride. We found out we had alot in common with them, and it was really cool to find girls that are different from the materialistic, socially centered ones we just partied with in the city. We talked about all kinds of stuff as darkness fell, and we continued driving well into the night. It started raining shortly after they picked us up, and I can remember at one point it was raining so hard we couldn't see out our windows.
I also remember the shortcut we took through what I believe was Algonquin Prov Park at what was probably 9ish. There were moose signs all over the place, and I knew that not only was it moose season, and moose country, but that this car was certainly not moose proof!
We we tearing through this hilly, dark and desolate stretch of highway in torrential rain with the risk of a blinded moose deciding to chill out on the road while we plow into him at easily 120km/h in a Japanese sedan. Im not going to lie, I was a little fearful. In fact, my eyes were peeled, scanning the medians for shiny eyes lit up from our headlights. I think I was even tightly grasping my seat with white knuckles while I tried to play it cool. The weed had worn off, and the paranoia stayed. I really thought this girl was cute, and just kept the conversations going, which I noticed was really easy as it didn't take the effort it normally takes when trying to chat up a vodka soaked first year at the bar.
The girls were heading home to a town with more letters in the name than actual people living in it. We were heading to North Bay, and had a difficult decision now.
The girls had invited us back to their house, another 2 hours out of the way than where we wanted.
We pulled into Huntsville, what would turn out to be the split from where they were heading and where we need to go. We pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot, and got out and stretched our legs. Mike and I both really wanted to go back with the girls. They were cool, really cute, and the trip hadnt given any indications that should we continue we would regret it. My 12yr old boy brain was overheating, and I of course had detailed dreams of how the night could end. Here we were thinking we'd be riding with stinky old truckers the whole trip, and we had these girls inviting us to come to their house. While they never indicated anything provocative, you know damn well we were thinking it, come one who wouldn't!?
Mike and I had to weigh our options, and if we went their way, we knew it would A) be harder and longer to hitch from there and B) we had somewhat of deadline to make, and our summer earnings depended on it.
We ended up choosing to split ways. Don't ask why, or how, but we did. We figured as cool as it may have ended up being, we didn't want to risk losing our contract with our friends out west and it just wasn't worth it. Looking back in hindsight now, I can ask myself if it was the right choice...and well while splitting didn't lead to us having some crazy Fear-and-Loathing trip, we did keep our jobs which turned out to provide us with the summer of our lives. As beautiful as I thought Anikka was, and as hard as saying no, goodbye was, we had to do it. At least that's what we told ourselves after.
We exchanged information and said goodbye. They had school in the fall, we said we'd keep in touch.
Mike and I were laughing out loud to ourselves as they drove away. We thought we had just made the dumbest move ever, and it really was like Lloyd and Harry turning down those models.
We went to find a place to set up camp for the night, and decided the lush flat grass patch behind the Wal-Mart would be perfect. Too perfect. It had rained, so we didn't notice the wet grass. We only put up one tent, because it was so rainy and there wasn't a point to doubling our wet crap. After we had settled ourselves in,we smoked a small joint to relax us and talk about what idiots we were for leaving the girls and staying behind a shitty ass WalMart.
Then the sprinklers kicked in. The tent was waterproof, but we didn't noticed the sprinkler heads, and one had popped up underneath the tent fly, and was spraying directly into the tent, soaking us and all of our gear. LOVE-R-LY. We scrambled out of the tent and I frantically stomped the sprinkler into the ground, rendering it permanently useless. Suck it Robert Walton. We laughed at our state. We could have had things TOTALLY opposite, but chose this. I chain-smoked several cigarettes in spite of our fantastic situation and slowly crawled back into bed, which was now soaked with poisoned WalMart water.
Mike and I had to reassure ourselves several times we made the right decision, morally and it kept my thoughts from wandering to other places.
That was life on the road as I would learn, and there would be many sleepless nights filled with debating with the stars. C'est la vie, right?
We finally dozed, off, well into the night. Soaked and tired, but none-the-less, we were on our trip, and had met a fitty bitty. Life was good.