Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ruthie On The Road, Update

It's all about the heat now.

These aren't "dog days", for hitchhikers...they are "days of damnation."

The sun still rises early and when it does, the heat begins to simmer across every stretch of concrete and asphalt.

And I feel it when I stand or sit by the side of the road.

Cold water and ice are my partners now. I have learned that it is best to buy a large cold bottle of water and an equally large Styrofoam cup filled with ice at every stop. I fill the cup with water, snap on the lid, poke the strew through and sip like it's my last drink on Earth.

I left St. Joseph, Missouri yesterday. The morning storms disappeared and by the time I got out to my hitchhiking spot, the temperature had risen into the mid-90's.

Amazingly enough, just two rides got me all the way into Lincoln City, Nebraska. I stayed at a shelter here last night. The mission is a huge place that houses too many people with too few staff people to manage everybody.

After I checked-in, I got a brochure that declared, in part (I'm not kidding): "After you have stayed as an Emergency Shelter client for a period of time, we will decide if you are a good fit for our program. At that time, you may be assigned to a room. But there is no guarantee that will happen."

In other words, they intended to keep me on a mat in the Chapel until such time that they decided that I was "good enough" to sleep in a more comfortable arrangement.

I left there this morning and I will NOT be going back.

Screw Lincoln City...FREE AND EASY, DOWN THE ROAD i GO!


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