Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part One

                               -ALL PHOTOS BY RUTH RADER. PHOTOS EDITED
                                                   USING PICMONKEY SOFTWARE-

I decided to return to Colorado. But when I made that decision, I was by the eastern border of Oregon. And I already knew that Idaho would not let me hitchhike through their "Sacred Spud State."

So I didn't.

Instead, I turned back West and met Andrew on the road. He made sure that I had a warm and safe room in Biggs, Oregon.

Biggs is a whistle-stop between Here and There off of Interstate 84. It is comprised of  motels, convenience stores and one truck stop.

Andrew got me a room at one of the motels there and that is where I spent the first night of my
journey. I enjoyed watching the rows of tall, white windmills that stand on top of the hills above the
Columbia river. That river cuts through the Gorge and forms part of the northern border between
Oregon and Washington State.

The next day I walked out to Highway 97 with the intention of heading south.

Instead, I ended up sitting on a guardrail...all day long. I got plenty of waves, smiles, a sunburn
on my nose and a cramp in my butt...but no ride.

Finally, a nice young man from a small town just south of Biggs, called Wasco, stopped his little car and picked me up. He took me back to his house where I met his very nice, young wife.

They fixed me dinner and as we ate, we watched Netflix's independent production of, "House Of Cards" on the flatscreen.

The couple, who are so close to being newlyweds, that they still display the bride and groom from their wedding cake, got along fine with me. Their dog, a cross between a blue-tick hound and a Jack Russell terrier, didn't like me at all.

I tried everything,  but that dog just continued to growl at me until I finished my laundry
and left the next morning. In fact, the dog was growling up a storm, when I took his photo.

I walked down the street to a bar.  I wanted to make sure that I was going the right direction.

When I walked inside, I noticed ducks, geese, deer, a moose and a big turkey, hanging from
the ceiling.

A woman who works there gave me a ride out of town.

From there I spent a cold night near Biggs, Oregon...took a nap in a guy's cabin that stands outside of La Pine, Oregon and eventually got picked up by a man from Georgia...who was driving a Tombstone Pizza delivery truck.

The pizza guy drove me all the way down south to Red Bluff, California.

And, of course, Red Bluff is where I stayed at a nice Winter shelter and then got stuck out on Highway 36, the first time that I tried to leave that town.

My second try was successful and I was whisked through the high mountain passes via a
shuttle bus (for free) from Red Bluff to the high-elevation community of Susanville, California.
I spent the night in a motel, courtesy of the local women's resource center and then I hitchhiked out
on Highway 395 toward Reno, Nevada.

Two recent posts describe what happened to me in Nevada.

Following that disgraceful episode, I returned to California by way of  Lake Topaz. I hitchhiked down to Bishop, California where I met with a woman from a local social service agency. She got me a bag of food and a room in a nice motel. The motel is beautiful but the wireless Internet never worked on the night that I stayed there.

The next day, I hitchhiked down to Lone Pine, California where I then sat down on a concrete block, at the edge of town and put my thumb out, again. But nobody ever stopped.

So I called the local padre and he got me a room in the historic and famous Dow Villa Hotel . I slept in a fancy, upstairs room...with the ghost of John Wayne.

The next day, I continued on down to a BAD TOWN: MOJAVE, CALIFORNIA.

That city is evil. Literally. And it is by the grace of God, that a woman turned her car around and came back and got me!

She drove me to a truck stop/travel center at Kramer Junction, California.

That whistle-stop, which should have been the Southern mirror-image of Biggs, Oregon...turned out to be the meanest pit stop that I have visited in the Southwest. I had to sit outside, in the cold wind, all night long, there except for when I went in to use the rest room.


Because the hateful people there would not let me stay inside, overnight. Nope. And the fact that many other businesses have, over the years, didn't matter one bit to them. So, I was left to huddle in
the chill, on a big rock, outside...for the entire night.

But that experience, like the night, didn't last.

And the next day, a company tractor-trailer pulled up by me. It was Robert to the rescue.

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