Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Yesterday morning, I left the motel and walked down the road, between the pine trees and bought a Diet Dew.

Then I turned around and walked up to what looked like a perfect spot to hitchhike.

I sat down on the guardrail, surveyed the mountains around me and took a long pull off of my soda.

Traffic trickled by and then disappeared. But I persevered.

I was clean from an earlier hot shower and my belly was full. The air smelled like fir trees and freedom.

Then I got my first ride.

The driver dropped me off in a small hamlet officially known as Blue River, Oregon.

He gave me enough money to get a bus all the way "down the hill" to Eugene.

I noticed a sign that said "Library" and decided to walk on over and see if they had Wi-Fi.

I walked around some little houses and headed up the path to the library building.

That's when I saw and heard a big dog charging at me from a nearby house. The dog's ears were flat, his ruff was up and his teeth were bared. And he was running full-tilt at me.

I yelled at the dog and who I assumed is the dog's owner. Then I took an aggressive stance and brandished my cane.

My rage and the voice of the owner stopped the animal in his tracks.

He looked at me, growled one more time and then trotted back to his owner.

I was livid.

That led to a five-minute verbal duel between the owner and I.

I never made it to the library.

Instead, I walked back down to the bench and waited for the bus.

While I waited, I looked around at the houses. I noticed rebel flags flapping in the breeze.

"Oh boy" I sighed "downtown Deliverance."

The bus finally arrived and I rolled down to the bus station in Eugene, Oregon.

And after spending some time at the library across the street, I picked up my pack and headed for the door.

I had no idea where to go so I found a pay phone and called the Eugene po-po.

I was given a contact point and went there.

The man there, named Bob, told me that there was nothing available for me in Eugene. No shelter, no meal and no help with transportation.

I got mad.

As I was walking down 11th avenue, a young man and his girlfriend asked me how I was doing.

"I'm having a real hassle right now" I replied.

They asked me why. I told them what was going on.

They brought me back to their apartment and after eating cereal and a bowl of soup, I was put to bed in their 1959 VW bus.

The VW is white and baby-blue with round headlights that look just like eyes. The bus is lined with wood on the inside and is in mint condition.

It sits surrounded by bikes and auto-stuff inside the garage.

And that is where I curled up with two blankets and fell asleep.

When I woke up, it was late morning and I left everything as best as I could and walked away.

I know that there is nothing more that they could have done for me.

So I continued walking out of the big city of Eugene.

I finally made it through.

And after consulting my Rand McNally road atlas, I set my sites on the small town of Veneta.

I now know,courtesy of the librarian here, that there is a helper here. But he won't be available today. Every Tuesday he goes to Junction City.

It's obvious that I can't win this one. What I will do about it remains to be seen.

And I don't think it will do any good if I look around for an old Volkswagen bus.

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