Home > hitchhiking, politics, travel > up north part 5: talking ’bout 9/11

up north part 5: talking ’bout 9/11


After being dropped in Grayling I again found myself on a pretty desolate exit. I again kept to the top of the onramp and took the opportunity to try to do some writing during the wait. I pulled out the red steno pad and started writing on the last blank line of page two:

“Narrative interrupted on on (sic) account of a ride. I’m gonna have to start writing more its brought me good luck. 3 rides in an hour and a half. The good news is I’ve made it to I-75. People are going where I want to go. The bad news is I’m at an exit in the middle of nowhere. Not even a gas station. I kind of wish I would have had breakfast when I had the chance. I’ve got a couple of apples though so I won’t starve. Better for me than fast food too.

Good folks picked me up. A nice couple on their way to Camp Grayling to take out the government garbage. I about jumped out of my skin when their dog came out of nowhere barking ferociously as only an enraged Daschund can. I was right to be cautious though. Daisy is a biter. They have to keep moving to save Daisy from execution for finger biting. When she calmed down I gave her my hand to sniff my fingers tucked away safely of course. The driver said he wished he”…

Once again my narrative was quickly interrupted on account of a ride. A nice silver haired gentleman in a big newish pickup truck picked me up and asked me what I was up too. I told him I was hitchhiking to get a feel for what people are thinking about the whole 9/11 thing. He told me he was glad the country had pulled together but it was a shame it took such a terrible tragedy to do so. We both agreed we were glad Bush was in charge. I told him I thought Gore (note the name) would have hit Afghanistan hard, without a plan, to prove he wasn’t weak and Bush had less to prove. He replied: “Gore’s a pussy who would’ve used sanctions, what’s sanctions going to do to a country that’s already ruined?”

I wanted to tell him that that proved my point. Gore would have been forced to act precipitously because of people like him and their impression of Gore as weak.  I did not tell him this because hitchhikers are always agreeable, out of both self interest and gratitude. I instead said I read in the paper yesterday that we gave Saddam Hussein his Anthrax strains in the 1970s. The driver was not surprised to hear this and his tone shifted to where he was almost misty as he talked about how we had made an alliance with death when we export weapons. I told him we gave Afghanistan their Stinger Missiles and that the U.S. is the largest arms exporter in the world.

There was then an intimacy as we drove along talking of these things, somewhat similar to therapy. He was really beginning to be moved as he talked about how the Taliban treat “their women”. “Like property”, I said. I liked this guy though, he was not afraid to feel deeply. All too quickly we arrived in Gaylord and he was gone.

I broke for lunch (sub & chips) and did some shopping at a large strip mall complex anchored by a Normans, a discount sporting goods store. I picked up some thinner gloves, as my thinsulate ones were in my pocket because they made my hands too hot. I also bought a pair of orange wicking socks because they like the gloves were only a dollar. I also looked for fire starter sticks to use in my zip stove (a forced air chamber that burns sticks and runs on 2 double a batteries) but they didn’t have any.

Categories: hitchhiking, politics, travel
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