tisdag 11 maj 2010

Across America

Arriving in Miami i expected a quite complicated border procedure but it went quite smooth.. I took a commuter train a few stations and directly start hitching north, got a ride quite fast, just when the rain were starting to bother me. A girl had stopped and she were very friendly, the perfect first ride in a new country, she provided me with some food for the trip and i spend a few hours with her and her friends, getting a ride to a gasstation in the evening. Took me some hours but finally got a ride north. A couple of hours driving, i end up on a gasstation somewhere outside Orlando. Its getting late 2 - 3 in the morning. I still want to continue, atleast make it out of Florida but there my luck ends and a policeman askes me what im doing,

- Im hitchhiking i say with a happy smile.
- You cannot do that here he replies, its illegal on the turnpike. How did you get here bla bla bla, ends up with him saying
- I have to drive you to the next onramp, you cannot be on the turnpike.

He takes me a couple of onramps further and leaves me in the dark and quiet onramp. I try for some hour to get a ride but the cars are few and looks suspicious on me. Luckily there is a forest closeby and i set up my tent and wake up some some hours later with the sunrise realizing in such a beautiful leaf forest i am in, oranges growing wild..

Takes me some hours to get the first ride, the sun is hot and im almost out of water(only some cocacola the friendly gasstation clerk gave me the night before) Finally i get a ride, ending up a bit off track, i dont really wanna use the turnpike again, ending up in the same situation as the night before. Walking along the road, a smaller one, going north. I realize hitchhiking along the roadside in these areas is not easy. motorhomes, retired people, motorhomes, retired people who looks at me like im crazy and would never think of stopping. Walking, meeting some people selling strawberries along the road. After some time there and some mouldy strawberries they offer me to give me a ride, ending up in a gasstation and getting a ride quite quickly, the first truck in America, A guy from Georgia, Takes me to the border of Georgia that evening. A big truckstop. There i meet two older men trying to hitchhike to Alabama. In the last week they have made something like 200km, having long long waits between rides cause of their appearance. I spend the evening trying to get a ride with another truck, its getting late and i have problems finding a place to sleep, the forest that looked nice from distance is a swamp and have signs "WARNING ALLIGATORS". Finally i find a secret place to sleep, between some bushes. The next morning i get a ride north, a truckdriver making a truck delivery to Wisconsin, I go with him for several days all the way to St Louis outside Chicago. At this point i have given up hitchhiking with the cars, just jumping from truckstop to truckstop. There are some difficulties thought, some gasstation dont like when you ask the drivers and i even got yelled at from angry managers a few times. A safer way is to keep a low profile and holding a sign outside the truckers entrance, saying hello and talking to people.

In St louis i waited a couple of hours holding a sign saying "west". Got an absolutely amazing ride, two Canadian truck drivers driving in shifts.More or less non stop Quebec - Los Angeles. They offered me a ride to L.A, well, would be quicker route stopping in Cheyenne or Salt lake city, and go north from there but this long comfortable ride i just could'nt say no to, 44 hours, 3000 km. Nice ride with friendly people, i could sleep in the top bunk, they had food and everything in the truck. We only stopped about once a day for fuel..

Six days had passed and i were outside L.A just having some 2000 km to go to Vancouver. Went a bit slower suddently, got a couple of rides with trucks, some with cars. Snowstorm in Northern california, Rain in Oregon and Washington. One cold night in northern California the gasstation ladies let me sleep in the gasstation for some hours, the night was cold and the trucks few. Getting a longer ride to Portland, Now very close to the border, and so the speed of the hitchhiking is slower. Washington was the most complicated state to hitch in, There its forbidden to stand on the onramp to the highway. Got an angry policeman telling me that if i was caught one more time on the onramp in the state of Washington I would end up in jail(i didn't really believe him). Tried to avoid the onramps, had to use them a couple of times thought, hoping i would'nt get caught again.

In Seattle, or outside Seattle in a empty gas station between the highways i felt a bit stuck, met some people and went with them to the city for some beers, The first city i acually went in to and saw the downtown. Got hosted in a big house and got a ride north the day after. Very close to the border but only getting short 10 km rides. Until finally 10 km before the border i get a ride with a Canadian man who takes me across the border and to Vancouver, or Shelter island, where s/y Nekton were waiting. 9 days across USA, ~7000 km

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