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.