Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am exhausted and almost falling asleep at the keyboard.

This makes sense considering the fact that I was walking along Interstate 205 North in the dark last night.

I left La Grande and got a ride with an enthusiastic trucker all the way to the city of Clackamas, Oregon. Night was already gathering around me by the time that he dropped me off.

I started hitchhiking at 6:30pm. At 10:30 last night, I still didn't get a ride. What's more, in that four-hour time span, I dodged full soda cans, glass beer bottles, rocks and insults that were hurled at me from vehicles rolling down the on ramp.

Finally, at midnight, I gave up and decided to double-back on other ramp and return to Portland. I wasn't crazy about doing that. But it was the only choice left.

I walked down the shoulder of the interstate in almost total darkness. I walked from Clackamas proper to just over the city limit into Portland. I walked miles and miles.

And nobody ever stopped and offered me a ride, or called the State Police or asked me if I was okay.

No one did.

I finally caught a city bus on the outskirts of Portland and rode it all the way downtown.

I slept most of the way there.

And instead of charging me the usual rate, the bus driver only asked me for a dollar.

What a nice man.

Clackamas failed completely.

The bus driver was my hero.

He did what the entire City of Clackamas couldn't do:

He was a decent human being.

I'm sure he still is.


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