Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ive been neglecting poor old Thumbward Bound as if its the son with no athletic talent....

Today I met Jeremy Marie, a famous world touring Hitchhiker. It was amazing. We just chilled by the water, and got to exchange stories of life via the thumb. Its hard to ever talk to people who have never done it, as its very hard to relate, but it was like a prodigal brother with him. A few years older than me and a decade of experience between, we exchanged stories, tips and plans. It was brilliant, and the full post will be up shortly.

Heres the link to his website, definitely check it out.

We're in Miami coincidentally together, both looking for a boat to the Caribbean.

More coming!

Monday, February 15, 2010


that is all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Its funny the things we take for granted, fail to appreciate, or focus all our gratitude towards. Its the food we expect immanently. the beauty of a newly influenced perspective, and the material possession. Its easy to overlook the meal were eating, as its always there, and we didn't have to do anything for it, other than a quick fiver, or boil a pot. We focus on our iPod, or Blackberry, as it is a cool material possession, as well as connection to the world we know. Well what about the world we don't know?
When I haven't eaten all day, I begin to rationalize and prioritize. It really puts shit into perspective, and makes me appreciate and see things differently.
Then I jump on google and find out almost 1/2 of the world doesn't know when their next meal will be......
I have an iPod, computer, cool gadgets. When I'm cold, hungry and tired, none of that shit matters in the slightest bit.

Maybe we should think about these things, even if they're sometimes intangible.
Or maybe that not everyone has the same opportunities we do, and we should consider ourselves lucky, instead of judging them as beneath us....

I know I didn't always think like the way I do now, and every day Im learning more and more about myself, and the people around it.

Change your thoughts and you change your world. Change your world, and you can change someone elses. Change someone else's and you can change the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So the trip has commenced, and I am on the road, although only a few hours down it.
Im going to be using the other blog; "where in the world is nate?" to keep the updates of my trip, and use Thumbward Bound to post other stories, links and related hitching articles.

Thats all folks!

Friday, January 22, 2010

If I got to chose a new set of friends, it would be from these guys.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Didnt you get the memo?

Finally got to snowboard today, and it worked out well, as it was the last possible chance to do this while still in Canada. I was chatting with a friend on the chairlift, and we reminisced about the good old days of being eleventeen. Lego, Saturday morning cartoons, basement forts, crushes, recess all that jazz. Man sometimes I wish I was a kid, in my Umbro shorts, and tearaway pants, worrying about when the sun goes down, as that was the curfew. Life was alot simpler back then, not a single worry. I think the inspiration and enthusiasm of youth is our single greatest resource. It encompasses all that we should strive to be; happy and carefree. Yes, the Hydro bill is due, and the kitchen reno estimations were through the roof, but its these material factors in our life which we prioritize before our general happiness. Unless you are a heroin addicted nymphomaniac (how did you find blogger??) you will have a roof over your head and belly full. We think that if we don't work our behinds off for 'the man', rush home in commuter traffic to boring old spaghetti, watch Corner Gas while balancing the chequebook before bed and do it all over again tomorrow and the next day, we will end up on the streets. We cant take that vacation because we have so many things that don't matter to attend to first! Its nice to have nice things, I myself am a sucker for some new gear, whatever it may be, but I'm not going to go out and invest myself into a life of unhappiness to obtain these things. I'm doing it now for this trip, and its awful. I hate waking up in the mornings, dreading my day ahead. And so many among us are living this everyday, all day for their entire lives. Oui, sacrifices need to be made, but are we seriously happy after 25 years when we have that out-of-our-price-range bungalow, and nothing to talk about? Its like the movie Officespace.

I was staring at some kids who had just climbed off a bus from school to go shred the mountain. I thought about how cool it would be to have had that when I was that age; the chance to snowboard right after school all night, through the school board. They were all like puppies, so excited, running screaming, lacing the boots with more enthusiasm than a Texan cheerleader during the Final4. I was being all Mr Deep Intellect, and realized something; Youth is not an age, or generation. It is a lifestyle. 5 or 50, do what makes you happiest. We only live once, but if you did it right, once is enough.

Young hearts be free.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I think you can still do it in prison.....

Have you guys heard of this? Ive known about it for a while, it was in a book I got a few years ago called street cultures and I saw a thing about it again a while back in Vice magazine. I think its a cool concept, not really my cup of orange pekoe though...

Guerrilla Gardening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I bookmarked this a while ago...its a link from a former travel editor at NBC. I don't think it compares to my article....Ill let you be the judge...
Robin Dalmas @ NBC "What killed hitchhiking?"
My early entry "Where did it all go wrong?"

So, who says it best? The travel exec in the big leagues, or moi?(not so big leaguer)

The Middle of Nowhere. LITERALLY.

The Most Remote Place on Earth....


I dont know about you, but I could hack it for a while....Pretty amazing isnt it? I wonder why they never teach us these things in school.....

Top Secret Level 3.

Ive delayed in posting some of my sites, for a few reasons. Some of these sites are primary resources in planning my trips and gathering info. Theyre also not exactly easy to find, or needing to be exploited...maybe Im just an arrtard, but I wanted to keep 'em a secret.

Heres a couple, but I dont think Im going to leave them up for very long.




Backpack Forum

Expedition Portal

You guys are so lucky Im nice...

Random SoccerMom Number 1.

You might have noticed I haven't posted recent entries following my story out west, and its due to one reason, what is coming next in the trip requires my full concentration, and long writing, as the individual, a Mr Mike-Steve(his real name) is such a character I cannot rush and cheat it.
So, instead I'm going to go through my list of hitching stories, and throw a quick one up, for entertainments sake.
I chose this one, because Ive been talking recently with a mate about the perspective of the drivers; and what persuades them to pick up a hitcher. We got talking and he was really into the idea of profiling the drivers. Why do people go out of their way to pick up and help random strangers? Who are they, what do they do, what do they have in common, what do they drive? Its an idea I haven't seen before and I quite liked it. I'm not changing the outlook of my blog, as it is still the experience I write about, but the kind strangers are what make up the adventure.


It was raining dogs and cats, tigers and turtles. We couldn't work due to the rain, so it was a bittersweet day off. As always on days off, we went into Penticton. Today was no exception and after breakfast in our electricity free kitchen(no lies), I threw my rain jacket on and went to hitch a ride with my good friend, Sarah.
We were on the main road, playing the 'alphabet game' the topic I think was bands, or cities(usually was) and we didn't wait more than 10 minutes until a car stopped for us. It was a four-door station wagon, I think a Subaru, the soccer-mom one. So would it surprise you that it was a soccer Mom that picked us up? Well it was and she was extremely nice. We found out she was an insurance agent who was taking a short cut home, as the forest fires had shut down the main road.[at the time, the BC fires were a huge problem, and alot of the people picking me up were from this pool] I don't know if its because Sarah was with me, but she told us she almost never picks up hitchers, but didn't think twice today. It was rainy, and we looked a couple, so I guess it was just the non-threatening vibes that coaxed her. We chatted small talk, about work in the Okanagan Valley, life and all that jazz. She was really nice, and it was encouraging to see a woman of her type; petite, attractive and vulnerable, pick up hitchers without hesitation.
She dropped us off at our usual cafe, and we parted ways. To us, it was just another hitch, but to her, I think it was so much more.
Another mutually beneficial hitch in the babystep attempt in opening minds and lives.
When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked Him to forgive me.

Yoda, Guru Kid and Dumbledore

"Your progress will depend on your social skills"

A quote I was just passed to in reference to my trip. Its a line that holds so much truth and power, and is detrimental for my success.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

So I announced the ambitious world circumnavigation I'm planning, and even though its SOLELY via hitchhiking, I'm going to throw up the current 'deets' about it on the sister blog. So refer to that, if you have nothing else to do....
Where In the World Is Nate?

Extra Hummus and a Dr Pepper too.

Shout outs to the dude at Sandrella Shawarma in Sandy Hill. We got talking about some cool stuff, and he made me best shawarma of all time. Word man, I said I would!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

So I announced on Where in the World is Nate? that Im planning a world hitchhiking trek circumnavigating the globe...
Im going to start posting my plans, route, and motives shortly....
I dont know if any of the 3 readers I have check both blogs, but I just threw up a post of a close call with death and all his friends today....

i suppose a good little read while youre waiting for the kettle...

Friday, January 8, 2010


So just imagine travelling from Canada to Chile. Toronto to the Tiera del Fuego.....
Then back to the Panama Canal, sail the Caribbean, and cargo ship it to Australia/Asia and hitch the rest of the land from Pangea.

So cool I think I just might do it.....

Yep. Im gonna.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Between rocks and hard places; pedders and locked doors....

Ive been doing alot of research for my writing and planned hitching travels, and Im stumbling upon more and more negatively perceived views on hitchhiking. Its somewhat discouraging, but at the same time, its only fuel for the fire. Although, I know for others its the final deterrent when deciding to try it. But realize; for the most part, the ways of the road do not change in different places. There are poor drivers, awful roads, weirdos, criminals and saints everywhere. Ill remind you it was a Canadian Greyhound(the preferred method of travel from say Queens University, like, to like, Western, like, right, like 90lb blonde cheerleader, like) that was the stage for international headlines when that awful decapitation occured. -Stange thing, we were actually (without knowing, a trucker later told us) dropped off and hitching from the exact fork-in-the-road that this happened.

I wrote a brief summary for an online hitching blog/community about what to do in the event of a hairy situation....It contradicts some of what I say, as I emphasize the slim chances of this going down, and that we should all be John Lennon give peace a chance, or something to that effect...but I have always said the risk is there.
Anyways, dont let it throw you off, but heres what to do when someone tries to get too close for comfort...

o o o

Ok, so youve been reading this blog for a week or so now, and have been inspired to the core on how insanely cool hitchhiking is. You stomach any doubt, and strap on a set. You feel so impusleively compelled, you run down to the basement to dig up your brothers' EuroTrip backpack, cram some clothes and Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist into it, grab the guitar and hit the road, thumbout. Your heart is racing uncontrollably at the thought of risk and adventure. You cant beleive youre finally doing this, if Mom could only see you now. A car pokes over the horizon, and it forces so much blood through your Aorta it skips a beat.....You almost need to change your fruit-of-the-looms when it swerves to pull you over. This is the epitomy of excitement. Hes heading your way, and hes got some twangy music that makes this feel all of too right. Feelings you have never experienced overcome your brain and emotions, and you feel more free than the wild West. It all comes to a crashing halt 20 minutes down the road.
It starts when he makes an unnannounced turn to a secondary road, and starts talking in one word answers. He turns, and looks at you with a satanic eye and half grin. Panic replaces euphoria. Gulp. What have I gotten myslef into?

Before I go any further(sorry!), I want to clarify one thing.
The risk of a dangerous situation while hitchhiking is so rare, its honestly not even worth worrying about. Although thats like saying shark diving is totally safe in the cage; youre still going to trip out about being eaten. My passion for hitching doesnt end on the highway, and I am an advocate in the movement of restoring hitchhiking, reviving it to an accepted means of travel. The negative stereotypes surrounding hitchhikers contradict my beleifs and preachings, but Im unfazed, however the risk is still evident, and should be factored in, especially when planning a solitary or extended trip.
Im not saying im the worlds most experienced hitcher/traveller. In fact, Im far from it... But I do have enough experience to give adivce to others considering their first hitching trip, or seasoned vets who want another opinion in sticky times..


Ok, I have somewhat of a formula to ensure that even if I had gotten into the car with Jeffery Dahmer and some Helter Skelters, I would leave with high-fives and smiles.

1.) Dont throw your packs into the trunk, I always try to avoid it. Sometimes you cant, but try to get it in the backseat, or between your legs.
>>My only personal rule is never allow myslef to be outnumbered by males. Even if its just one more, I cannot promise myslef Id prevail in a 2 v 1 or 3 v 1 situation. Its my only rule, and I do follow it, though not every single time. I have been in the car outnumbered and luckily nothing happened, but that is because I used my discretion. The driver will always be more wary of the hitcher. Remember; they dont not have to pick you up, you rely on them, so theyre always wondering if they made the right choice. You NEED that ride, and most likely would jump in without too much hesitation.(I know I have certainly jumped in dozens of cars without a proper feel out, and scan of the car) Its never truly burned me, but Im always improving my observation with experience.

2.)It is how you portray yourslef. You are the hitchhiker, and a stranger. You can be who ever you want to be, just make sure that person is confident. (with anything in life, act like youve done it before) and that includes hitching. Youve been on the road for hundreds of rides, hundreds of creeps, ...so you mr homo-flirty pants, are nothing new.

3.)Immediately after youve entered the car, strike the conversation as you normally do. After 20 or so minutes, Ill let them very slyly know that I basically dont f*ck around, and fear isnt a concern in my mind. I do this by just letting him know some subtle details, or my interests, and I dont really have to lie. I tell them im an avid base jumper(I am)-and this usually immediately has them commenting 'youre crazy'. Numero Uno. But dont go on listing how tough you are and that youve been in a million fights. Rather, coyly throw it in the mix, when he says something like 'wow thats quite a trip, have you had any problems?' respond with something non threatening, assertive etc. such as ' the trips been amazing so far, I cant wait to see what lies ahead.' Ive sometimes spoken about my expeiences abroad, where I had to fight(glory glory man united) and I will drop a very subtle hint of this, like 'well ive had to take care of myslef once or twice before'. Never anything blunt, or threatening, just a subtle hint that if you do want to f*ck with me, im not going to turn down the chance of fun. *Mind you this is only necessary when youre feeling the conversation with the bloke to take a turn. When SoccerMom picks me up, I talk about puppies and buttons.(Not actually, but you get what I mean.) I have been in a car once or twice, where I could tell he was gay, eyeing me, or thinking some thoughts I did not wish to partake in. Its easy to divert, make yourslef less appealing. comment how much you cant wait to have that shower tonight, as its been days and you smell like a foot. How do they know you dont know the entire high school football team or a cop in the next town?
You control how the driver perceives you.

Now when I have been in a situation where they wanted to get a little out of hand, I can and have done several different things.
~In my left chest pocket(easy to access with right hand) I keep my wallet, iPod and a quality folding knife. Ive never had to actually use it, although I have brandished it. Say to them 'look man, I have cash, I just dont want trouble'. At which point you fake reach for the cash, and uncover the knife. Pedophiles and homo-rapists are the scum of all that is human, and the result is theyre the biggest p*ssies on the planet. A computer nerd would fight me to death for his keyboard, a pedohile wants to 'prey' on kids or women because hes too weak to do anything else. The minute you show hostlitlty, resistance or anything else they are not prepared for, the chances are they will immediately throw you out. If not, you have a knife pointed at him, and you *always* very calmly direct the next series of events. Remind him that unless he wants to crash his mother's 98 Grand Prix into a ditch, which you can handle no problem, he should pull over. Its all about calm, dominant and assertive, just like Ceasar Milan, the dog whisperer hahaha. but, no seriously... its how its done.
Im certainly not the biggest guy in the world, Im usually fairly clean shaven and have boyish looks. I could definately be overpowered, but its not a physical thing; its 100% mental. And if you can flip a switch to act mental, he will piss his pants. You look him directly in the eye(they wont reciprocate) and let them know if he wants to f*ck with you, he can have a go. youre just going to beat the absolute f*ck out of him in the process. He needs to keep focus on the road, wheel and his dainty face. You destroy his car, nose and busted smile, he will not conitune. I dont think they find bum sex as enjoyable when theyre bleeding profusely from the face, in so much pain they cant see or think.

If female, and he tries something, IMMEDIATELY pop him a good one on the bridge of the nose. and dont stop. Be vocal whislt throwing your bony(very painful ) fists. You, in the melee,(he will not be looking at the road) scream a cop just whizzed by. He didnt see it, and neither did you. He just thinks you saw it and this will result in him ACTUALLY shitting his pants. Never stop punching his nose, teeth and eyes. Scratch, claw and fight him as though he was going to kill you. Trust me, he isnt going to kill you, hes just focusing on getting back to his computer chair and bwankey.He is now wondering whether or not he will survive.
Ive seen what a 90lb girl is capable of if she is desperate, and it would make me second guess anything. Remember that party, Murray?

Now, the worst nightmare for a hitcher; Ive had one. A big, strong, ex-football type wearing his Tapout shirt who thinks hippies are peices of sh*t, and funny to f*ck with. I dont really look like a hippie in my Helly Hansen, but I have long hair, sometimes tied back, and I hitch, a hippie thing to do. He wants any money you have and your iPod, becuase hes just returned from the gym, and is too much of a p*ssy to fight someone his size at a bar. Oblidge, pretend youre going to comply. Again, the hidden knife will throw him off. He doesnt have one, trust me.
I was in a car when this exact situation happened. He even jumped on the phone to scare me; tell me his buddies were waiting up at the light. I calmly replied good, then they will see your hacked up face you f*cking pussy. and I motioned to grab his head(hes still driving at 90) and with my far hand, slowly let him see the knife was open. He slammed on the brakes and it jerked me forward. Before he got a chance to do a single thing but cry(he did, he was so scared) I jumped out of the stopped car. I didnt run away, instead I was so angry, I turned, smashed the passenger window with the butt of the knife, and told him I knew his car (of course an Integra)and plate number, and that he should f*ck off while he still had the legs to carry him. (Brad Pitt in Snatch, baby). He was about 26, 220lbs. I was 21, 155lbs and I had him crying like the nancy he was. He apologized and drove away slowly. I was in shock, among other emotions, but it was still a bummer. One v one, no knife, he probably would have destroyed me. I could tell he trained MMA, but like the majority of those c*nts, he failed to realized fighting is 90% mental, only 10% physical. I had won the mental battle, and he didnt know what the eff just happened. His friends were never waiting, instead I think he went home and cried his little eyes out.
This story will be written in more detail as the story continues. It was not during my trek out west, rather it happened while I was out there.

Again, you control how you are perceived to the driver.
The odds of anything like this happening are so minute, it can't paralyze your fears of travelling. It happened in Canada, and Im off to work with Child Soldiers....so....

And most of the time, after these attacks, our reactions are the best rehabilitation for these monsters. It trumps over jails etc. Once some creepy 44yr odl peddy just has the absolute cork beaten out of him, he isnt going to try it again for a long mofo-ing time.
I pray these things dont happen to us hitchers, restoring faith in humanity and strangers. But if they do, stay calm. He has no idea what hes doing either, and you do.

and that being said; the issue of THE LAW.

Its true, chances are most of us hitchers have some sort of minor prior, which doesnt matter in the eyes of a rookie cop.
The driver could have robbed, raped and beaten you up, you are still the hitchiker in his new Mazda. Its always an uphill battle if the police are involved and youre hitching, and to put your self into the mercy of the law(worst thing of life) for a situation in which you are truly the victim is the worst. It goes without saying to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes; its unavoidable.

Even if youve beaten him up, wrecked/crashed his car, he was still at the intial fault, as you were reacting, not acting. He wont go to the police and tell them anything.
If he does, its an awful situation, your word vs his. Account Manager vs hippie hitchiker, always a difficult feat to overcome. Though, honestly usually prevails in my eyes....-even with the law.

If its gotten so bad somebody needs medical attention; provide it, anonymously. If someone needs to go to jail, use your discretion, as invovling the police can seriously hampen a hitch trip.

These are all 'what ifs' in the extreme of cases, and seldom ever happen. but when they do, trusting your instincts and remaining calm is the bottom line.

and f*ck the police, smiley face.

o o o

Ok, so Ill let you digest that yummyness. I know its going to raise some brows, and have you wondering about it all...but heres something else from the other side of the fence...

Let Me Stay For A Day.

later skater..

Ludovic Hubler

Michael Jordan to basketball, Gretzky to hockey, you get the point. Not that hitchhiking or hitchikers can be compared to world class athletes, but this guy was the one who grabbed hitchhiking by the bollocks, and created a media frenzy and massive appeal.

Ludovic Hubler was in 1977, in the northeast of France. He decided to do a world circumnavigation without leaving the surface.->coolest shite ever. He left his family and home in Jan 1, 2003, and set out to hitchhike across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the North, Central and South Americas. Transportation was solely reliant on hitching cars and boats. It was initially a heavily covered event in Europe, as the idea seemed somewhat ludicrous. The dude made headlines before, when in a hitchhiking race he advertised as having only €5. He made it across, beating all of the competitors and cheekily flashed the same five Euros at the finish line. He ended up successfully hitching around the world, finishing recently. Its probably one of the greatest concepts in travel Ive heard of. Pretty crazy, but pretty remarkable. He evaded corrupt cops, gangsters, mobs, wild animals, the whole lot. It is refreshing to see however, as we are a society too afraid to go anywhere or do anything, and here is a Gringo hitching all over the place, unscathed. His motive was to circumnavigate without spending a penny on transportation. He was very successful. It wouldn't be my driving force, but a brilliant idea.

His website.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Errrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaa. The Remix.

OK, so thus far ze blog has been my account of hitching across Canada this past summer. I wrote a brief rant at the beginning, but its been primarily long regurgitations of my journey. I am stoked to hear of friends, or strangers alike reading my blog and enjoying the stories, but I find that alot of them have been on the long side, and most people these days, with their short attention spans (blame rap music) prefer brief reads. Well, brief reads is what you will get, with the option to click and read further stories.
This does, however, mean more sarcasm, less detail, direct points and more ranting. Yay!

Im also going to look at changing the format, and making it more visually appealing to you, so its like a picture book, just like in grade school. Words are bowwing, we want mo' pichows. Otay, pictures you will get.

its 1:24 am and Im just getting started...

OMG OMG OMG We picked up hitchers OMG OMG OMG

Sturgeon Falls is a small Ontario town with nothing to offer. Forgive me for being a critical bastard, but the whole town had nothing but gas stations and old people. The entire town is on the local lake, and it would probably be great if you had a boat, which I think everyone did, as they were towed behind their pickup trucks. So maybe it was a great little Ontario town, only as a boat owner.
We posted up outside the local library, and took turns hitching, while the other ran into check their emails. The town is like many of its kind, and has one main street running through the 'downtown'. This allowed each and every resident of this place a chance to pass us. It seemed like people were friendly enough to wave or point and smile, but noone wanted to stop.
While we were waiting, a few teens approached us, asking if we wanted to buy some pot. We told them no spanks, but they were really insisting we try what was apparently 'the best this town sees'. These boys weren't the brightest of sorts, and I could tell they were intrigued by some hitchers from a new place, as they were lingering, everyones favourite. They were on their way to take one of their boats out wakeboarding. It inspired me, and I proposed a deal to them; take us wakeboarding for the afternoon, and we will buy some pot. Not a very mutually beneficial deal, but that's resourcing for you.
I don't want to go into great detail of the boat trip because it was highly uneventful. We found little to talk about, and had many awkward silences. The wakeboarding was fun, and although I'm not very good, I was better than most of them, which I found to be pretty amusing. Id be lying to say I didn't have some fun. I usually find that people who consume marijuana(potheads, straight up) to be friendly, social people who like to talk, and can talk/relate about anything. It also allows me to usually relate to a broad spectrum in the demographic pool. Not that Im a huge pothead, but I dabble. I always thought most of the consumers were cool, But not these guys, they sucked. We ended up refusing to buy their weed, which only made them give us some free samples. They brought us back to the library, and we thanked them acting like we were new best friends. I remember as soon as they left, Mike sarcastically, matter-of-factly announced 'Those guys were fucking douchebags'. The way he emphasized douchebags continues to make me laugh today. After everything, we got to get out on a lake, and they were still nice enough to have taken us out and toss us beers for the ride.
We decided to leave the library spot, and crossed a bridge over the local hyrdodam which provided us with some really nice sights. We walked to the last buildings of the Sturgeon Falls metropolis(extreme sarcasm) and rested on the lush grass of a car dealership. I improvised a great sign after asking the dealership manager for an old car ad. The white plastic served as an erasable whiteboard, so we had fun writing things to some unfortunate passersby. (It was sarcasm, not being meanies. Things like "r.i.p. Michael Jackson" and "we showered today") We then drew an elaborate mountain scene with the bold words "ADVENTURE TRAVELLERS." The newfie and I certainly looked the part in our Helly Hansen jackets and North Face packs. It immediately attracted several smiles, waves and curious gawks from the new prospective drivers. Mike and I noticed the reception to our sign, and for the remainder of our trip we would use these two words on every sign.
It didn't take long until a car slowed noticeably in front of us and turned around the corner to stop. A young blonde girl came running towards us, arms-a-flailin' yelling to jump in.
We actually ditched that sign-of-all-signs there, and hoped in.
The car was already full of stuff and we had to do some shuffling to get everything in. We played a game of rucksack Tetris and made it work.
They introduced themselves as Shawn and Kathie. They were a young couple from a small town nearby, and were on their way home from visiting family. They were a good couple, young, and clearly in love. And boy, were they friggen thrilled to pick up two hitchhikers. They told us they had travelled together almost a year ago, doing the touristy thing in mainstream Europe, and were both working to save for their next trip. It was refreshing to see two young people in small towns passionate about travelling. I meet travellers each and everyday, but in some spots, you can tell people have never and will never leave the comforts of their tiny towns. We told them of our travels, and they revelled. The conversation topics didnt stray far from vagabonding, and it was great. I personally enjoy hearing about people's first travel experiences, because I find them to be much more passionate and enthusiastic when reminiscing. Although they like many take the Mickey Mouse routes of safety and familiar sites, they did enjoy it, and I enjoyed hearing about it.
I can remember it starting to rain, and although the site of this was a bigger bummer than bad tan lines, we rolled with that punch. They offered a place to stay for the night, and promised to fill our grumbling bellies, but we declined immediately, as there was still several hours of daylight, and we were itching to get the eff out of Ontario. I don't think I have yet mentioned, but after treeplanting we went to Sudbury to stay at a friends house before Greyhounding to Ottawa for Canada Day, so in our eyes we were still in the red zone, as we had not yet surpassed a potential initial jumpoff point.
We continued our conversation about the world, teenagers and their (our) decline. We had made it to the outskirts of Sudbury, and were almost starting our trip of at km Zero, as our previous 420km (actually the distance) was still a backtrack.
They dropped us off on the side of the highway before their exit and it was still pouring. They were adamant on getting our contact information, and we exchanged info, said our thank yous and once again, parted ways with the inspired drivers.
Its funny how hitchhiking is followed by such negative stereotypes, yet the ones who do not let their fears paralyze them could not be more enthusiastic and cheery when interacting. Some are borderline insistent on us accepting their offers of free meals and couches. I love it. If I had a nickel for every man who told me he lives vicariously through me, Id for sure be able to by a yummy McDicks fix, everyday.
The young couple waved as they drove off, and I could see the girl looking back until out of sight. It was kind of funny.
Mike and I walked through a cool stretch of highway, blasted through the rock cliffs. We cracked a box of Oreos, chowed down and reflected on where we were. Pretty cliche, but we were still on a buzz and enjoying life, and its vanilla centres.