Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I left Winnemucca after I woke up with an asthma problem. I am not asthmatic, but something in the Springtime sage got to me. So I left.

I spent all day hitchhiking to Sparks, Nevada.

And I spent all the rest of my money taking a shower, doing my laundry and getting something to eat at the TA truck stop that night.

And I was amazed at the cold reception that I received in that town.

Early the next morning...after I had hitchhiked the entire previous day, been up all night, sitting on my pack on the shoulder of the on ramp, showered, wearing clean clothes but exhausted...

...a guy slowed down his rig, slid the window down and yelled, "I HATE YOU!" before gunning the engine and taking off again.

So much, people, for the City of Sparks, Nevada.

After he yelled at me, I got up and started walking along the side of I-80. Morning rush hour traffic zoomed by me and after a few minutes, it seemed to be coming at me from all directions.

A man who actually has the job of picking pedestrians off the freeway and taking them to a better location, stopped and gave me a ride to Reno. Finally.

But when I got there I discovered that there is no where to sleep (outside of a motel room) during the day in downtown Reno.

I couldn't sleep at the homeless shelter. I couldn't sleep on a bench by the city bus staging area. I wasn't allowed to sleep anywhere and that got me really mad.

So I trudged out of that miserable place...stopping and turning around only once...like Lot's wife...not to turn into a pillar of salt...but to level every known curse in the Universe on that city.

I literally felt the words that I spoke into the dusty wind.

A man in a pickup, with a closed bottle of beer between his knees, stopped and then drove me back up to the interstate.

I walked up past the orange barrels of predictable Springtime road construction and stuck out my thumb. I was now headed, by the Grace of God, for Sacramento, California.

As I was walking, a young man pulled up on the shoulder. He smiled and so did I.

He took me to his house in North Reno where his mom and sister prepared a great dinner for me. I met his dad and his brother, too. They were all very kind to me.

They live in what could be considered a rather affluent area. I obviously noticed that right away.

But that didn't affect their attitude toward me at all.

In fact, they brought me all the way back down to the seedy section of Reno and put me on a bus to Weed, California.

And Weed is where I am now.

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