Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part Three

The next morning, the smoke was gone, the sky was clear and I was ready to return to the road again.

I walked back down the Interstate and after about 45 minutes a man stopped his car. He drove me through Evanston, Wyoming (where we were happy to discover that Interstate 80 was open again) and dropped me off on the other side of that city.

It took awhile, but I finally got a ride with a long-haul trucker who took me from there, straight through to Cheyenne, Wyoming. He drove me right across the State.

But geez, he was boring!!

"I have Sean Hannity...professional...Tea Party...blah,blah,blah."

I listened to him talk and rolled my eyes.

He never so much as offered me a bottle of water. And when he made a phone call to get some money from his company, he was told that he was overdrawn by nine bucks.

I smiled. Karma.

As the sun was setting, he dropped me off on the street between a Flying J and a rest area.

Despite his mouth, he had driven me a long way and I knew that he needed to shut down and get some sleep.

So he drove his truck into the truck stop and I walked down the hill to the rest area.

I was now in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I thought that I could stay at the rest area overnight like I had in Oregon and Utah.


When I got to the bottom of the hill, I stopped. There, in front of me, was a big sign that declared: "4 Hour Limit/No Overnight Camping."

"I hate Wyoming" I thought and set-up my laptop outside of the main building. I plugged into an outdoor outlet and logged in. I found a strong wi-fi signal. So I started communicating with my inner circle on Facebook.

I was hungry. A man and woman walked out of the shadows and brought me some food and drink in a brown paper bag.

I ate, drank and typed.

That went on for about two-and-a-half hours until a couple of cops from the Highway Patrol drove in.

They told me that I couldn't stay there all night and that it was time for me to go.

I told them that I wasn't bothering a soul and I had been on the road all day from Evanston.

They didn't care.

I asked them if they would give me a ride to the local shelter. They refused.

It was now 10:30 at night.

I was going to have to walk down a dark stretch of road, with only my flashlight as a guide and find the shelter by myself.

Those two stupid cops won the asshole award that night.

The wind picked-up and I wrapped a scarf around my neck and put on a pair of gloves to ward off the chill.

It took awhile but I finally found the shelter.

A man came out and lit a cigarette. He was going to leave me sitting there, thought better about it and let me in, instead.

I filled-out some paperwork and was led to a bed where I slept for a few blessed hours.

The lights flashed on way too soon and I did what I could to get myself together.

After eating some cereal and drinking two mugs of coffee, I pulled on my pack and headed for the local bus stop.

The bus led me to a day center where I met the man who runs the place: A long-haired hippie named Steve.

He made sure that I got a shower, washed my clothes, ate and took a nap.

At three o'clock in the afternoon, the center closed and I was once again on the street in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I took another local bus to a road that led to the Interstate ramps.

When I was just about to walk on to the ramp, a woman pulled over in her car and stopped.

I said, "Please get me out of Wyoming."

She did.

She drove me to Kimball, a small city just inside the Nebraska border, and gave me some cash. Then she got me a room at a local motel, hugged me and then she was gone.

"Amazing" I thought as I watched the sun set outside the window of the Kimball, Nebraska Super 8.

Twenty-four hours made such a difference.

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