Dear brotherhood, I am writing you now from a cool little ranch with chickens and stuff somewhere in Centralish coastal California. I've been gone for one week and it's been amazing so far.
My dad hooked me up with a ride across the border into Northern Washington, the border guard was chill and we got through in under a minute. Hitch hiking in the state of Washington is illegal but honey badger don't give a shit. After a while waiting in the hot sun, catching a short ride and walking down the highway I got a ride from an awesome guy named Johnny and his dog Ginger, the dog had one eye and was licking me the whole ride. Really cool guy who has done lots of traveling himself, he drove me all the way into Seattle where I tried to hitch out of for around 4 hours. A lot of people seemed supportive of my decision to be hitch hiking but they never really followed through by picking me up, this is a very common theme in the hitch hike game, scared losers that are stoked to see you out there but are too ensnared by fear to pick you up. When you see a hitch hiker on the side of the road it seems like just another cool part of the scenery but the reality is that is a human being like you, me or your mom who has been on the side of the road, possibly dehydrated, possibly for 8+ hours and they desperately want someone to pull over, anyone, YOU!
Anyways after my long wait in Seattle, just around sunset a subaru pulled over and I got in to meet an awesome dude named Andrew. We basically talked non-stop the entire way to Portland about all kinds of things; human behavior, conspiracy theories, Phish, psychic abilities, weed, meth problems etc. He had a case of micro-brewery beer and I had a couple, he was already drunk apparently but showed extreme control behind the wheel so I wasn't worried. He let me crash at a friend's place, we all got completely blitzed and watched Uncle Buck, it was on an HD tv so it looked like some crummy soap opera, I was reminded of a dude that's been dubbed "John Candy". The next day I ate a greasy Alabama-style breakfast, eggs, bacon, sausage, gritz, biscuitz, all fried in bacon lard. I started hitching late that day, around 1pm, and didn't make it very far, had a few uninteresting rides, and tried hitching a ride until around midnight when I said fuck it and set up my hammock on the side of the road near a casino.
The next day I washed up in a gas station bathroom and hit the road again. I believe this day was probably one of the worst in terms of receiving rides, I didn't get very far at all, maybe a total of 1.5 hours of distance traveled and many, many hours of waiting. Ended up sleeping in a field on the side of the road, I awoke at around 3am to see an amazingly clear and full starry sky, it was worth it.
I got a couple more rides the next day and ended up in Ashland where I was picked up by a mother and son named Xochi and Kerris. Two amazing people who are totally on the same wavelength as me, we talked extensively about health, spirituality and psychedelic drugs (or as Xochi calls them, medicines). She agreed to drive up to Mt. Shasta with me, we picked up another hitch hiker on the way, his name was Harry and he was just cruising around America, cool dude.
Mt. Shasta was an awesome time, I went for a swim in the freezing cold lake, really refreshing, it was nice playing in the snow as well. After spending the day there with Xochi and Kerris I hit the road again. I ended up getting a ride from some people that looked like absolute in-bred rednecks, but it turned out that they were actually quite well-informed about the going-ons in the world and we had some really interesting discussions. They suggested I get off of the I-5 (mainland hwy) and hit the coast. So I camped out in some trees that night, took a poop in the bush and wiped with an old newspaper. I caught a ride out of Redding in about 10 minutes of waiting by an old couple and without even asking my name the dude just passed a packed pipe to me and I smoked. I forgot to mention that the whole trip weed has been seeming to find me, people who pick up hitch hikers are always more than happy to share some of the good herbs.
They couple took me down the road a little bit where I got picked up by another old redneck couple and their baby. These people already had 6 grandchildren and just had another baby of their own. They were amazingly sweet and caring and the husband was drinking beers. Drinking and driving in America seems to be somewhat prevalent.
I caught another ride through some twisty mountain pass and ended up in a small place called Junction City, the population was probably 30. I saw a burger stand and had been eating so healthy for the past few days I thought I'd get a burger, seeing as I was in America and all. I think it would have been tasty but my body just wanted nothing to do with the thing and I ended up feeling awful for the rest of the day, I think I'm a vegetarian now.
I caught a ride out of there from a really awesome old dude with a sweet white mustache, it reminded me of one of those old British big-game hunters in Africa. He had a ton of amazing travel stories, he lived down on the baja of Mexico and helped sea turtles make it to the ocean, he was retired and living the good life, just cruising around visiting friends and enjoying life. He was also a fan of the good herb.
At my next spot there was an older homeless dude with a sign asking for change or food, he offered me a bunch of food but I only accepted the banana because the rest was crap like sandwiches on white bread and ramen noodles, he didn't want any of it either. The ride I caught was with an awesome white-water kayaker named John, he kicked me down some home-grown bubble gum kush, which is quite excellent.
After getting hassled by some neurotic childish police officer, who had no confidence or control over himself, I caught a ride with a very clean-cut looking older dude. When I first got in I expected it to be one of those quiet rides where we just comment on the weather or scenery. It started out that way but the conversation evolved rapidly, it turns out he's been growing weed in the hills of Northern California for the majority of his life, he was one of the first to start pioneering the whole thing. He's also been at war with the government, special forces and national guard the whole time. He said they've been basically sparring, always tricking the guys but by the sounds of it the government is incredibly sinister. He's convinced that they were dropping tick-infected blankets from helicopters into the forests of the area. These ticks were carriers of a man-altered strain of lime disease that made many families in the area sick, dead or worse. His wife caught the disease and it ate away at her brain to such a degree that she is no longer the wonderful woman she once was, she's an evil shell of a human apparently and Ed didn't even consider her his wife anymore, as far as he's concerned his wife is dead. Just because they decided to take an alternative career path and grow a natural plant that has never done harm to anyone.
On a lighter note, the next dude to pick me up was an amazingly awesome dude named John who was coming back from spending a couple days on the river and was headed to the Kate Wolf music festival. We smoked some weed and had amazing talks, I felt like I was brothers with the guy right from the get-go. He smuggled me into the music festival where I used a fake rubber wrist-band to get past check-points. The festival wasn't really my scene but I met a couple awesome people and enjoyed hanging out with John and his friends. His friend Tim described to me an amazing Ayhuasca experience he had in the jungles of Brazil. I left the next day after saying my farewells.
I caught a couple great rides that day and ended up meeting with these 2 traveler kids who were doing the same thing as me. I asked them what they were up to and they said they were waiting for a girl to pick them up and drive them to a showing of DMT: The Spirit Molecule in San Francisco, seeing as I'm a huge proponent of both the movie and the medicine I decided I'd join them, plus a ride is a huge bonus. We didn't actually get into the screening because we didn't want to pay $12 but I ended up hanging out with them in San Fran, we set up camp (read: sleeping bags on grass) in a park, smoked some weed and made a couple clouds disappear with our minds, good times I suggest you try it.
The next day we stuck together for a bit, had some interesting discussions about citrus, T.H.E.Y, and Life. I split up with them because I felt the need to get back on my own path and caught a ride with a cool older guy named Mike. He told me all sorts of life adventures he's had about living in Japan and tons of other stuff. After many hours baking in the sun and waiting at different on-ramps I decided to start walking down the highway. It is illegal to hitch hike on the highway in California, but honey badger don't give a shit. Sure enough within a couple minutes another little piggy rolled up. He was freaking out and clearly had no control over his life. It felt like dealing with a small neurotic dog, you just have to remain really relaxed and eventually they'll follow your frame. He had me up against the hood and searched me down etc. In the end after a few Jedi Mind Tricks he just ended up giving me a ride down the road to the next good hitching spot, he never searched my bag and never found my weed :)
From there I caught a short ride with a cool dude named Joey, he was really fat, but nice none the less. I got dropped off at a fruit stand where I ate 2 avocados and 2 mangos. I was high so I wanted more mango, and started chatting up a girl in the fruitstand line, she agreed to drive me south a ways and after some great conversation she decided that she would show me a really cool hiking trail where I could camp out. The trail winds through a beautiful valley, as you first enter the hillside is shrouded with cacti and around the next bend it explodes into endless wild-flowers of all colors and types. As the trail progresses you cross a little creek and enter a red-wood forest, beautiful, wise, ancient, giant sky-scrapers all around you, really mystical feeling. I found a clearing in the redwoods where I set up camp that night. It was so clear I could see the milky smeared across the sky and I found if I just space out and look at the sky without looking at a particular spot the stars all started dancing in a really cool choreographed way, this provided much entertainment for me. I also saw a few owl shadows swooping over me which was very cool.
After an amazingly energizing sleep I awoke to a hiker walking past, we greeted eachother and discussed the powerful energies running through the valley, he told me it was definitely some ancient Indian ceremony grounds. I found a cool looking lizard that had a ticked stuck in its head, I pulled the tick out and let the guy go, he hung around for a bit and then scampered off. The early morning mist hung in the valley and really made me feel like I was in Middleearth or something. After hiking down I checked out the ocean for a bit and then caught a ride with a really cool guy named Mark. He was in no rush and I was in no rush so we spent the day driving down the 1 and checking out a bunch of cool beaches and places, he was originally from Vancouver as well so we had a lot in common right off the bat. Incredibly smart and open-minded dude, I stayed the night with him and all the people living on his awesome ranch-type place (which I'm staying at right now) I cooked dinner for the crew, vegan burritos with mango-guacamole. They all loved it so much, there are few things in this life that make me happier than putting all my love into a meal that brings people together and just watching them enjoy my creation to the fullest. It's a great feeling.
A big part of this trip that I never really went into detail with has been the alone time I've been spending every day. The majority of my day is spent waiting for rides or camping out alone, and it's these times that have been the most profound to me. I've been doing a lot of deep searching and have really grown spiritually in just the last few days. A situation is really only what you decide it to be, there is no difference between the time I'm freezing cold, waiting for a ride for 7 hours in the same spot, or cruising down the road with good tunes playing, smoking herbs. It really just depends on the attachment you decide to give the moment. Once you begin to completely let go of everything, even desires or aversions, that's when the true happiness of Being begins to shine.
I hope to inspire many of you to ditch what you think is necessary in your life and embrace the art of Living. Also read the last post I made, I think it's relevant to this whole thing.
Much love to everyone.