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61
old trailer and watched TV. A little while
later his mom called and we went a few
trailers down to eat dinner. While we
were watching the ball game the guy’s
sister called inviting us to her house.
We piled in the beat up old car and
went on a long ride. At this point, I was
asking myself ‘What am I getting into?’
This guy kept driving and we ended up
in a long drive way in front of a huge
mansion. This guy’s sister had married
some guy in the oil business and was
a gazillionaire. I couldn’t believe it but
they were all really nice to me. I was
the entertainment ‘cause no one could
understand why I was hitch-hiking all the
way to Oregon from Alaska.”
Clay is not a small guy. I would
imagine that in a fists-to-fists scenario
he could hold his own very well and
probably come out on top. Perhaps
that’s why he seems to have no fear. He
even tried to convince me for a while
that hitch-hiking should come back as
a great mode of travel. The dangers
of hopping a ride with strangers at
night didn’t seem to concern him. Even
when I asked if hitch-hiking should be
an option for female travelers, he said,
“Absolutely, as long as they travel with
a guy.”
Clay remembers something about
all 28 rides he caught while thumbing
from Alaska to Oregon. He was
impressed with people’s generosity and
diversity. His drivers took pity on him
and not only offered a ride they took him
home so he could have food and shelter
for the night. One driver even bought
him a hotel room for a night and Clay
remembers taking a much appreciated,
warm shower. That perk was in
exchange for driving the man’s car. He
was older and pretty tired and had a
long drive to make. He trusted Clay to
drive for a few hours in the direction he
was already headed. But what happened
during the adventure on those nights
when he couldn’t find shelter? Clay knew
he would have to spend nights on the
streets but he wasn’t scared. In his 60
pound backpack, he carried a tent with
avantoure
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adrenaline rainbow
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