This guy. Hiker “Paint Your Wagon.” If you’ve been on the Pacific Crest Trail the past four years you’ve probably met him. I met him when we both worked Ziggy and the Bear’s in 2014. He’s always upbeat, a hard worker, and has a really hard time finding hiking shoes for his size 17 feet. He happened to be at VVR with his engine running when I got off a private Edison Lake boat shuttle (which I yogied a ride with on principle that I’m a web developer for the tour company that commissioned it) and I had a ride straight to Mono Hot Springs with a blistered hiker quitting said tour group. This magic is part of how I… continue reading
My commute to Oregon has gotten interesting. We’re listening to Metallica together, me and sheriff Rooney, and talking about backpacking. Check cop car off the hitching bucket list! (Don’t hitch in Nevada. It took ten seconds after I stuck out my thumb to have two cops all over my ass, lights blaring, blocking rush hour traffic, and asking for my ID. What is this cop doing Googling while driving? He’s researching my BUS options for me. Damnit.)
So it’s 2pm at Furnace Creek and ~110° and I’m standing there melting in the heat, my thumb out. I’m trying to hitchhike 100 miles to Lone Pine. It’s not looking so good. Then these fuckers pull over on bikes and offer me a ride. What? Really? I throw my backpack on the back, lean into it, and suck up the exhaust pipe burn – taking one for the team. Yeah, my hitchhiking game just bumped up a notch, cuz 110mph on the back of a Harley driven by a total babe through the Valley… those open highways and those views are the best. Thank you to handsome Brian (who happens to be reading Desert Solitaire lately) and his babe… continue reading
How am I going to get into town from the middle of nowhere? Oh I know! I’m going to meet a family of Dimond alumni from Anchorage, Alaska. I am Dimond alumni (freshman, sophomore). I was big into cross country skiing and raced state at Kincaid, as well, so these sweatshirts were just blowing my mind. I got to ride in the back of a pickup 35 miles down a dirt road with these awesome Alaskans. And then their dad bought me pizza. How does this happen?! 😍😍
I just got into Portland, Oregon after hitching from Lone Pine, California to Cascade Locks for the 9th annual PCT Days. Most of the ride was much less eventful than anticipated, and took me much less time than I budgeted for. It took 16 hours in 6 strangers’ cars, with an overnight in Bend at a friend’s house. And then I was there at Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks having a great time with fellow hikers. More on the wacky part of the hitch hike soon.
Take it all the way back to Friday morning, standing on the side of the road at 7:30am in Lone Pine hoping to hitch to a remote trailhead near Bishop. Kelly picked me up and not only postponed his cookie baking lesson to bring me right to the North Lake Piute Pass trailhead, but stopped at Great Basin Bakery and bought me coffee, a muffin, and a baguette to pack out. Kelly retired young when Oprah went off television and has the fortune to travel the world having excellent adventures. My budget allows things like… hitch hiking! And so to meet people so gracious and open-minded as Kelly who will share in the fun is my great blessing. I only… continue reading