Friday, March 05, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

It was dark when I left an old man's over sized Buick and resumed my stance to get my next ride out of Vale, Oregon.

I was more than aware that Highway 20 threads out of Vale and into miles of nothing but desert.

But I had to go that direction.

A cop came by and told me that it is illegal to hitchhike in Oregon. I laughed.

When we parted, he left with my "information" and I resumed hitchhiking.

Because hitchhiking is legal in Oregon. And he couldn't prove otherwise.

Then a big pickup stopped...and it was filled with a young woman driving, a guy in muddy pants beside her and three toddlers scrunched into the back seat.

The woman is twenty-years young and the babies are all hers. The guy is a ranch hand with a penchant for beer.

The two of them insisted that I get in and after a few minutes of hesitation, I took the ride.

We ended up on a back country road where the guy picked a fight with the girl. The young woman pulled up by an old pickup and the guy got out and into it. A moment later he roared off and disappeared into the dark.

The kids cried, the woman produced a bottle of beer, opened and drank out of it and I bailed out of the truck and the whole situation.

"I gotta go" I called to her and headed for a ranch house that had one light on... beckoning me through the juniper trees and tumbleweed.

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