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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ruthie's Birthday Hitchhike

I got picked-up by a guy in a tractor that was pulling about 40,000 pounds of onions on a flatbed trailer. That was my ticket out of the Denver, Colorado area.

Late that night, the guy pulled into a truck stop in the middle of nowhere and went to sleep.

So did I.

A few hours later I jumped out of the truck and walked up to the eastbound ramp to interstate 70.

Another guy pulling onions picked me up and after we were down the road a few miles he informed me that "nobody is allowed to talk in my truck."

I told him to pull over and let me out. He did.

There I was in a little town called "Flagler" or "Fagler" or something like that in rural Eastern Colorado.

It was 5:30 in the morning by this time [on my birthday, September 10th] and I spotted a Conoco station on the other side of the overpass. So I crossed the bridge and walked into the store.

Everything was quiet and I didn't see a soul. My first thought was that something was wrong.

I didn't know if there was a body in the back or a robbery in progress or somebody counting money into a till. But I did not see or hear anyone in the store.

So I stood by the door and hollered in a loud voice "Hello...Is anyone here?"

A woman, with wide eyes [I later decided that she was probably high] came flying out from somewhere in the back of the store.

"You know, there are cameras here and I have a phone." she said, brandishing what looked like a cordless receiver from the 1990's.

"Well, I should hope so." I replied and opened my mouth again to explain my presence there.

But she cut me off immediately.

"I can call the sheriff, too." she declared.

"Please do, that will solve the whole problem." I replied.

"Oh, you want me to call him?" she said, her eyes wide and unblinking.

"Yeah, actually, I do." I said and walked back through the door and waited outside.

A few minutes later a man with tired eyes and a kind face pulled up in some sort of landrover.

He got out and I handed him my ID.

After he ran it, he went in the store and returned with a cold bottle of water.

"Happy Birthday" he said and handed it to me.

"You might want to start hitchhiking again" He advised me "Cuz you're out in the sticks and about sixty-miles from the State line."

"Just go on down and hitch on the interstate" He suggested "With the price of fuel there won't be too many locals coming down that ramp from this gas station."

I smiled, thanked him for the water and headed back over the bridge to the eastbound ramp.

[post, cont'd.]

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