The week of no names. We feel terrible when we don’t remember people’s names. You might think “why don’t you write them down!” and I’m not making excuses but this week we had a lot of rides, we ate very little and we slept very little, and it was extremely hot.
Sometimes we get caught up in the trip, caught up in the moment, we think we’ll remember…and then we don’t. This trip is always a lot to process and I want to apologise because we truely appreciate all the help we get and we couldn’t do the trip without the help of these people and so we are sorry that we can’t thank you properly, by name.
With bellies full of pancakes we walked to Route 101, the Oregon Coast Highway, and stood with our thumbs out. We stood wishing that tourists would pick us up because then they would be more likely to stop for photos and then we could play tourists too! After a short while, a German couple picked us up! On vacation and driving the coast to visit their son who lives in San Francisco they took us a good 3.5 hours all the way down the coast to Florence. Stopping off at Pig ‘N Pancake for a huge lunch, then later on for ice cream, and all the while stopping for photos…what a glorious day! We couldn’t have asked for a better ride and our wish came true!
Very quiet old guy in pick up
We were stuck in Florence for a while and were approached by many people but none with the offer of a lift! One guy offered us a ball of weed and was surprised when we politely declined. Some hitchhikers that we’d repeatedly seen that day gave us a carton of milk. One old lady with incredible face paint clown make up told us not to hitch hike because it’s dangerous – great advice. Another lady pulled over to tell us we were in a bad spot because no one could pull over safely…what like how you’ve just safely pulled over? *Rolls eyes*.
Finally picked up by this old guy in a pick up who had just finished work and liked to drive but not to talk. Fine by us. We squeezed onto the tiny bench seat in his pick up, with legs poised out the way so he could change gear. We stopped in beautiful Port Orford for photos as the sun was setting. He told us he’d drop us in Coos Bay but ended up dropping us all the way in Gold Beach.
Family – pizza leftovers
It was dark. We’d not eaten since midday and had no where to sleep. The drive had been beautiful though and our spirits were surprisingly high. We went into McKay’s and asked if they throw any food away at the end of the day, they said we’d have to check with a manager the next day. OK. We then got lost in a caravan park whilst trying to find the beach. Walking back to the main road we spotted a pizza place and noticed it was closing soon so asked if they had any mistake or burnt pizzas that they were going to throw away. The kid asked his manager and we waited with anticipation. The manager said no. We walked off down the road in the dark, looking for a spot to pitch our tent. A car slowed down next to us and a lady opened her door with a pizza box. She said they had seen us asking for food in the pizza place and so hoped to catch up with us with their leftovers. I nearly cried. Not only did they see us and even think to give us their leftovers but they even drove after us. It was still warm and so garlicky and pizza has never ever tasted so good.
We had a crazy night in the tent behind a sand dune. The grass was so thick we hadn’t been able to peg our tent down so we just slept with it on our faces. We slept surprisingly well considering. We’d gone to sleep with warm hearts and warm bellies from our surprise pizza delivery. We’ve often said it feels like we’re in the Hunger Games and somewhere out there we have sponsors who drop us these special and much needed gifts.
We freshened up in a motel (“you can only use the toilet, you can’t shower ok!”) and ate a small amount of banana bread we had left from Portland. Even if we hadn’t got the pizza delivery, we wouldn’t have eaten the banana bread the night before because we ration our food and we would rather go to sleep hungry than not have food in the day when we need the energy more. We are constantly weighing up, do we really need this food now or should we save it for when we need it more?
A guy picked us up and took us to Brookings where he owned a pot shop. He was recently divorced and talked to us openly about his spiritual journey and how he is learning who he is and starting to care for himself, his mind and his body, removing the toxins that his ex wife had sown. It was interesting to learn about what he’d learnt, especially in regards to being positive and noticing when you need to cut loose someone that is negative, and not feeling guilty for doing so.
Charles was lovely and dropped us off in Crescent City. He gave us a list of names and numbers of people all over the USA that we could stay with. He tried to give us some money but we declined and explained we are actually doing this with no money. It’s always difficult to say no to money, not because we want the money, but because you see the disappointment on their face because they feel like they’ve failed in helping you.
So this prick was on his way to work. He works with low-risk prisoners who they train in wildland firefighting. He spent the journey talking about his wife and children and how they like to pick sea shells on the sea shore. Shortly before arriving at a gas station in the bum end of nowhere he asks us if we like to mess around – because he likes to mess around. “No, actually, we don’t”. Cheers for asking though mate. We often wonder what the sequence of events would be like if we said yes. Would we all just go off and fuck in the bush? Or in his pick up at the gas station? Completely and utterly gross. What makes it worse is that he’s a cop. One of those people you’re supposed to trust. Funny how the people that have propositioned us have been a soldier and a police officer. (And truckers of course).
It was bloody freezing stood on the highway with cars speeding past. One truck pulled over but was suddenly in a rush to leave when I said I was with a friend. Finally an ecologist pulled over. He was working out this way, studying owls or something. He dropped us off and bought us a couple of blocks of Tilamook cheese as a souvenir, so that was nice.
Stephan & Elana
We’d had short rides all day so were hoping for a ride that would take us a long way. These two students picked us up and it turned out that they were driving all the way to San Francisco but would be stopping off in Fort Bragg to sleep. We said that if they wouldn’t mind, we could find somewhere to camp and then continue the journey to San Fran with them the next day. When you get a good ride you don’t want to give it up! We arrived at a Motel 6 in Fort Bragg and it was the same price for two rooms as it was for one! So we ended up with our own hotel room! We were so happy after one night in the tent, we didn’t fancy another. The next morning, Stephen bought us coffee and pastries, so nice! He took us all the way to Oakland in San Francisco!
Ace took us up the road to Berkeley where we hoped a vegan student co-operative we had heard about would take us in for the weekend!
Lothlorien Student Co-op
We had sent out around 30 Couchsurfing requests for San Francisco and had no response. Whilst we were in Portland, we’d heard about a really cool student co-operative in Berkeley that might be open to letting us stay. We’d been told to say, like a secret code, that Ian from the Campbell Club had said that we might be able to stay. Unfortunately, they had no idea who Ian was or what the Campbell Club was. Our hearts dropped. It was getting dark and now we had no where to stay. Amazingly, they said that they would organise an emergency meeting at dinner and we could present our case to all of the residents and they would then vote to decide our fate. They invited us to join them for dinner – and by dinner, they meant feast. A long table was covered with huge pots of delicious vegan dishes. We lined up with the 50 residents and loaded our plates then waited with anticipation to speak. We presented our case, the residents asked us questions (“can you sing and dance?”), murmured between themselves then slowly one by one, raised their hands and wiggled their fingers, we glanced at each other (is finger wiggling a good sign?!) then the leader said that means everyone has agreed we can stay! Phew. We agreed that we would work a couple of shifts in return for food and accommodation and with relief suddenly felt like we had been accepted into Peter Pan’s Lost Boy’s Club.
The Co-op consisted of a couple of huge houses, a hot tub and a tree house. It’s a community where all the residents are vegan and all do a few work shifts a week (mainly cooking and cleaning) to keep the place running. It felt like a magical kingdom and we spent the evening exploring, ending up on the roof with a beautiful view of San Francisco.
We didn’t want to leave.
Hungover Ultimate Frisbee Girl
On the Saturday we hitched into San Francisco with a hungover girl that was regrettably on her way to Ultimate Frisbee. She dropped us in the mission and we spent the afternoon at an Anime / Cosplay convention and got into the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for free because it was in the last hour of opening YAY.
Annoyingly there isn’t a walking route between San Francisco city and Berkeley so we walked to the on ramp for Interstate 80 and held up our sign for Berkeley. We were stood right by a shelter that had homeless people queuing up. One homeless guy approached us and said he hoped we had a weapon for protection. Another guy approached us and said the bus is only a dollar, we awkwardly explained we can’t spend any money, he offered to give us 2 bucks so that we didn’t have to hitch hike. It was touching that someone with so little wanted to help us.
The cars were queuing up in front of us which gave us a good opportunity to make eye contact and smile at drivers and use our telepathic communication skills to reassure drivers that we’re friendly and won’t kill them. One guy met my eyes and then looked away. Ooo a hook! He is definitely debating picking us up. I caught his eye again and gave him my friendliest wave. He called us over and said he’s driving home to Berkeley so can give us a ride. He was a Lyft driver and had just finished his shift. He even dropped us right at the door of the student co-op!