Passing Through Humboldt County

July 2010

          After helping Richard unhitch his trailer at the campsite, he drove us back down the Avenue of the Giants. We had decided to stealth camp again since we didn't need showers or laundry facilities. The only problem with this was that it was about 10:00 and completely dark outside, probably not the best decision. So, Richard dropped us off right along the very dark and creepy Avenue of the Giants. The giant redwoods were looming above us and it was so dark we couldn't see a thing, let alone find a place to camp. I immediately start to regret not having Richard drop us off at a campsite. As we are fumbling through our packs to find flashlights, I am complaining that "it's dark and scary! we made a stupid choice! What are we going to do?", as if in response to my verbal complaints a Park Ranger pulls up and asks if we need help. We said we were looking for a place to camp and she offers us a ride to the nearest campsite. We were extremely grateful and jumped into the back of her truck. We only had five dollars on us, but they let us stay in a campsite anyways.
           In the morning we had to walk a good 2 miles to the nearest freeway on ramp. We thought this would be a good spot to hitch, but to our dismay it was located outside the near ghost town of Weott where little to no traffic was going by. After a couple hours of waiting we were once again saved by a park ranger. She also admitted to us that she has never picked up hitch hikers, but we had such sweet and innocent faces and such a handsome dog. Mai Tai and our charm came through again!
          She was only going 5 miles or so to another little town, but we figured anything had to be better than where we were. When she dropped us off we started to have our doubts about this theory. This town had a population of only 112 and even less traffic getting on the on-ramp. We decide to walk into the town to get some money out, so we stashed our packs and started walking. We got about 5 feet when a little pick up came around the corner and we both knew that we had a ride. Our intuition was correct! We stuck out our thumb and the man in the pickup immediately pulled over. I told him we needed to go around the corner to grab our stuff and ran off. As we came stumbling out of the bushes with our packs I saw him go by and begin to get on the freeway. We called after him and thankfully he stopped again. I figured he was having second thoughts, but he said he was just looking for us. We almost lost out on a ride!
          This man's name was Jon and he was a fellow hippy spirit who lived in Arcata which was where he was headed. Eureka and Arcata are both towns in Humboldt county with reputations for being chill towns. Personally I thought Eureka was an awfully dismal city.  Arcata was nice, but still quite dreary and sad. We stayed there for a bit, indulged in some more Mexican food and met some of the street peeps. We were offered a ride all the way to Oregon by some old sad man, but he needed gas money and had two other dogs with him. We didn't want to deal with 3 dogs and 3 people in a tiny car and we definitely didn't want to spend money on gas (which is why we were hitching), so we politely turned down his offer and walked to the hitching spot right on the edge of town. People we were strange in Arcata... a girl walked up to us and asked us if we wanted a chip, and we had our first hitchhiking competition, a young guy who rolled up on his skateboard and stepped directly in front of us, practically in the middle of the road, and busted out his sign. Astonished by his lack of respect, we didn't bother saying anything, but were beginning to regret refusing a prior ride 4 miles down the road. Luckily he was picked up a few minutes later by someone he obviously knew because they shouted his name. Not even five minutes later, a lady named Amy pulled up and offered us a ride into Medford, Oregon, we knew now we had made the right choice. It's amazing to see the laws of attraction in action!

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