Home > hitchhiking, travel > Up North part 8 – East on 2

Up North part 8 – East on 2



Day 5

After getting about eight hours sleep in about twelve hours I woke up cold but pretty refreshed. I polished off the Count Chocula which seemed to validate the weather report which had prompted me to set out towards home today. I packed up camp and packed my stuff the two miles up Rt. 2 to the dried fish/liquor store and got a cup of coffee and a paper.

“Two More Anthrax Deaths” was the headline as I copped a squat by my pack and I read the news and smoked a cigarette. I was more thoughtful on the fact that I very well might have to walk all the way to St. Ignace. The cars fly down Rte. 2 with no time to consider the fact that we all need to pull together and they should help a brother out. I figured it would take three or four days at a comfortable pace and was comforted by the fact there was nice camping along the way.

As I thought and smoked and drank and read a couple of guys had stopped at the store for coffee also one of them asked if I was hitching or hiking? I said “a little of both”, and they offered me a ride.  They were both dressed in camo and flannel and were in their early 40s. The driver, Sammy I later find out, laid a plastic bag over the pool of blood in the back of the truck and I threw my pack in and we were off.

Sammy and the rider Davey were hilarious. They were just starting a week long deer hunt and they had both scored does yesterday and they were pretty happy with themselves, in spite of having to break in on the hunt to drive to St. Ignace to bail Sammy’s son out of jail. It seems that the son was on his way to the big hunt and got stopped for speeding only they found his little sack of marijuana-reefer-grass. Apparently the courts were asking for $1,500 in bail, which Sammy thought was ridiculous, but he at least wanted to pick up the car and save it from impound. Sammy was hoping to talk to the judge and explain the fecklessness of youth and plead for a reduction.

During the drive Sammy’s wife called. He explained his plan which she interrupted with the news that his ex-wife has the cash and wants to wire it up. Sammy looked displeased at the news and said, “Your breaking up honey, I’ll call you back after I try to talk to the judge.” After a conspiratorial wink and a nod we talked about the errors of youth and going to jail. Davey said, “at least it wasn’t in Detroit.”

I nod knowingly, pleased he had named one of the three jails I had been in, and I added, “I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty. I just tried to sleep.”

“Well you better pay your child support cuz that’s where they send you if you don’t”, Davey responded.

“Good”, I replied earning a couple of comically menacing stares. I’d already told them I was a social worker during introductions and I talked about how hard it is on the kids when Mom is struggling and Dad’s not paying support.

Davey was unconvinced, “If the bitch doesn’t want to worry about money she shouldn’t try to be in charge.” Sammy nodded his emphatic approval and I looked to change the subject, hitchhikers are agreeable remember and I was not going to get any movement on the misogyny front. They were reveling in it, the great white hunters.

Instead we talked of other things, the road mostly. I asked the hitchhiking question and learned Sammy had hitched some and Davey spent several years on the road hitching all over. We talked of problems in Ohio with Davey topping my story of the 50 mile day, with one about being stuck in Wapokoneta for three days waiting for a ride with the Ohio State Police watching him in shifts so if he went to sleep they could arrest him for vagrancy.

We also talked about the beautiful people you meet who offer you a chance to start a new life. Sammy talked wistfully about a summer painting steeples across the South with one ride. I don’t get to tell a story because we arrived in St. Ignace and it was time to wish these characters good luck in court and say goodbye.

I found a bathroom, a candy store/gas station, and tried to go to the Father Marquette Museum. I had read a bit about the man and was eager to check it out but it was closed for the season. I did scrounge up a piece of cardboard out of their dumpster, because I was back on the Interstate, with Route 2 behind me, and I hadn’t even put out my thumb.

Categories: hitchhiking, travel
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