Friday, May 02, 2014
IN HARPER, KANSAS-
Yes, I was in Harper, Kansas. But let me back up a bit and tell you about what went on
while I was on the road this past month.
I got through Colorado into Raton, New Mexico and then to Guymon, Oklahoma. Guymon
is located in the far northwestern edge of the panhandle. When I got there, I was informed
that I would have a difficult time hitchhiking through
because numerous prisons and even a few insane asylums (being bad and batshit crazy is
big business in Oklahoma!) are scattered across that end of
the State. So are big signs warning drivers: "Do NOT Pick Up Hitchhikers Here!"
So, I trekked across the southern end of Kansas...from Liberal to Harper before I finally
dropped back down into Manchester, Oklahoma. I originally planned to cross into northern
Arkansas. I made it as far as Siloam Springs, Arkansas before I crossed back into
Oklahoma last Sunday before the big storms hit.
Plains, Kansas: Plains is the place where I felt the most unwelcome on the entire journey, so far.
Many of the people there are strange and VERY STANDOFFISH. I sat by the side of the highway
for hours and tried to get a ride. I never got one...not by myself, anyway. When it got dark and
the cold wind picked up speed, you would have thought that someone would have
intervened. But they didn't...not right away, anyway.
After I recorded the video (that I have already included in a previous post), I walked back down
a poorly lit stretch of road to the main section of town. When I got there, I connected with two
female workers at a local gas station. They contacted a preacher who came and got me. He
took me back to his church and let me sleep in a classroom, there. The next morning, he drove
me out to the highway (far outside of town) and dropped me off.
Goodbye, Plains, Kansas.
Pratt, Kansas: After the preacher dropped me off, I sat on a guardrail, out in the middle of nowhere,
and waited hours for a ride. Finally, a lady stopped her rig and drove me into Pratt. She bought me
dinner and then put me up in a motel, there.
All was well until the next morning when the motel woman told me that I had to check-out at 10:30
instead of 11am. And she was VERY RUDE about it, too! I wasn't quite ready to leave, yet and
the subsequent confusion caused me to stumble and fall when I walked out the motel room door.
My laptop's battery pack was damaged (but it is still working alright) and I got angrier than a swarm
of hornets. The people at the motel cringed. After they felt my red hot vibe, they backed off and
left me alone.
No one should ever make me that mad....because when I am...I have a tendency to scare people.
I called my friend and she came and picked me up, again and drove me to a police station in
another county. The cops took over and drove me across two more counties to Harper, Kansas.
Goodbye, Pratt, Kansas.
Harper, Kansas: The cop who drove me into Harper, took me to a motel and made sure that I
got a room for the rest of the day and that night. And my experience at that motel was totally
different from my experience in Pratt.
I was greeted with a smile, given a plate of food from the nearby cafe and treated with sincere
kindness and respect.
Thank you for everything, Harper, Kansas.*
Wetumka, Oklahoma: Take my advice...don't ever go there. I got out there and no one even
acknowledged my existence. In fact, they all made a concerted effort to ignore me. And I was
sitting in the grass in front of a big Baptist church building on a bright, sunny day!
An older man finally drove into the driveway and glared at me. Then he drove up by the
building and parked, got out of his car, glared at me again and then slammed the car door.
(Hello, Westboro...anyone, anyone?)
When he stormed into the church building, I thought he would come back out with a big
sign that proclaimed: "God Hates Hitchhikers!"
Fortunately, a young woman finally came by and got me out of there. The lady took me back
to her house and I ended up staying there, overnight. I got dinner, a shower and my laundry
done before I watched a great movie on TV. The next day the woman drove me to
Henryetta. Before we parted, she handed me over $240 in cash and told me to go with God.
I did...right into a very nice hotel.
SCREW YOU, WETUMKA!
Henryetta, Oklahoma: What a great city! I ate right and slept like a baby. And the hotel staff
was even gracious enough to fix my computer when it ran into a glitch with the house wi-fi.
If I ever return to Henryetta, I am going to stay at that hotel and chow down at the nearby
I left Henryetta and made it to Siloam Springs, Arkansas...just before the storms hit.