Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am hoping that I will be able to stay in this new little city until Feb. 1. It looks promising.

I left the fancy hotel in Mt. Pleasant and hitchhiked through the rain, left the main road and got lost. The rain fell in buckets and I got soaked to my skin. Then I started to shiver.

I went up and down hills in a rural area that even the cows avoided.

Finally a man who works for the Pennsylvania National Guard picked me up and drove me into Greensburg. I sat down on a guardrail, wet and getting colder, and stuck out my shaking thumb.

A couple in Harley-Davidson gear stopped their car and picked me up. They brought me to the cops in another town.

The cops were grumpy.

I mean, they were REALLY grumpy.

But when I told them that if they didn't smile, I was leaving back down the road, they got me a motel room.

Not just any motel, mind you, but the ABC motel just down the road from Ruthie's Diner. Yeah, and they have pretty good food there, too!

The motel, on the other hand, had a rotary-dial (I am not kidding!) phone on the table and enough hot water for a five-minute shower.

I left there the next day and headed back down the road.

It took awhile for me to get rides but I finally did. The first one rewarded me with three cookies and a five-dollar bill in a paper bag. The second one (with a retired Pennsylvania State Police officer)got me over "the mountain" to another small-town city.

After I was dropped-off, I went to the Visitor's Center where a man in a suit jacket gave me a crabby look.

I asked him if there was a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter nearby.

He sneered at me and said, "No, of course not...we don't have that sort of thing here."

I looked him right in the eye, flashed him an evil smile and said, "Well Sir, somebody better create one fast, cuz the Clampetts have arrived."

Then I turned around and walked back out the door.

I went over to a church where the people were much more friendly. They arranged for me to stay in a nice motel in the City of Breezewood, PA.

The next day, (which was yesterday as I type this) I walked out of Breezewood with no knowledge of what was ahead.

I began an agonizing, slow, steep climb with my fully-loaded pack on my back.

And I finally limped into Fulton County, Pennsylvania.

Now, for those of you who have never been to that part of PA...

Let me tell you...it is a shoot-first and burn the body County. For real!

I walked by rusted cars, boarded-up trailers and people who glanced side-ways beneath black hats. And when a State Police cruiser sped past me and never even hit the brake, I KNEW that I was in the WRONG place!

I finally dragged myself up to a sign that stood at the entrance to a State Forest. And I sat down. I. JUST. SAT. DOWN.

Five minutes later, a rig ran by me, turned around and came back.

The tag on the front of the rig declared, "You've got a friend in JESUS."

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