OWP Update: April 23, 2012
An Uncertain Farewell
For two years now, it’s been an intention of mine to hitchhike west across America.
Generally, the goal is simply to travel slowly across the floor of the country. . . using buses, trains, and anything with wheels, but mostly thumb. (No planes, that’s cheating.) I’ve put it off the past couple of years because of conflicting timing, changes of plans, and broken bones.
But this summer it’s got to happen, because otherwise it won’t.
Meeting different, new people is a main reason I travel. Short bus rides are fun. Interesting folks on buses. Trains too. But hitchhiking is a perfect means for both travel and really meeting people.
Great faces and stories always pick me up. Weird, fantastic people. In fact, I’ve gotten rides who’ve also given me food, water, friendship, and places to sleep.
Hitchhiking is a beautiful thing.
It’s a community building habit. If done more in this country, it would easily eliminate a fraction of the cars on the road. If more people would rideshare or hitchhike or carpool, there’d be a slightly smaller carbon dent, too, plus more space to drive on highways, and more connected happy people. How many vehicles do you see on the road with only one person in them, anyway?
Clearly the benefits and adventures come from hitchhiking are valid ones.
So that’s why I keep doing it.
I’ve been daydreaming about going back to the west coast, but I’ve not planned much. I have a few desires and schemes along the way that will happen when they happen: like sleeping in hidden outsides, lindy hopping in big cities, eating road kill, making relationships, maybe crossing a border or two, and documenting it all in notebooks, photographs, and blogs.
All this I’ve done before, but it is more intentional this time. And instead of only writing about it in a dozens of personal notebooks, I’m including my life of travel here on OWP, as well.
I’ll keep posting various poetry from thoughts and dreams, like I have been; but in the mix of all that I’ll post photographs, stories, and journals from the road.
Adventure documentation, or traveling writing, perhaps?
A few aspired achievements across America:
- Lindy Hop / Blues dance in 6 or more cities
- Sleep in a dug out
- Sleep in a Cemetery
- Skinny dip at Big Sur
- Jump of some Cliffs
- Hop a train
- Find a Ghost in New Orleans or Denver
- Visit some National Parks
- Talk to no one for 2 days
- Dumpster dive food
- Do something everyday that scares me
- Skin and eat a small wild game (or Eat Road Kill)
- (More to Come)
I leave South Carolina tomorrow morning, and I barely have $100 (in addition to 50€ that I’ve kept in my wallet since traveling Europe in October). My first stop is a farm in Georgia in order to make some extra loot, then on through into New Orleans and all in between until California.
I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Written in Columbia, SC. 2012