So, sleeping in random farmer's fields! Thankfully no angry farmers/animals greeted us the next morning. But, have you ever wondered what it was like to wake up groggily in a humid field, not be able to shower, and face the prospect of hitchhiking over one hundred more miles? Oh it was fucking excellent.
My spirit of adventure hadn't worn off yet, so it genuinely wasn't too bad. We dug into our bag of bread cheese and granola bars for breakfast, and went back to the highway on-ramp, our new favorite spot in the whole world. Here we had the genius idea to split up. Mike would flag down cars as they exited, and I would do the pestering of people at the gas station. Yes, it really was an attack on all fronts.
I began approaching several people, whose discomfort levels visibly changed from "moderate" to "severe". Noticing nobody was especially delighted as my unshowered self approached, I tried to be extra polite, but I think I only succeeded in creeping them out more. I felt a little dejected and glanced back at Mike, ready to somehow communicate "I'm trying my hardest, but a variety of factors seem to resulting in consistent failure'" with a single shrug. But oh, what's this? Mike was shoveling his bags into someone's car! NO FUCKING WAY!
Much to I'm sure a few gas station patrons' relief, I suddenly ran from them! I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I braced myself for Mike to say "they're gonna bring us five minutes up the road, but it's a start!" when instead he said something beautiful. "They're going like, 100 miles!" I nearly shit myself with delight.
The drivers were a couple of delivery guys in their mid 30s. I'm not really clear on whether they worked for some company, or if they were just privately delivering things. Hmm, you know I don't know why I just included that last bit. Whether or not this was a private endeavor is probably the most boring detail I could've possibly included.
|OMFG I ALMOST FORGOT. THEY WERE WEARING BROWN SOCKS!!!!|
So anyway, off we went. These guys were talking about how you never see hitchhikers anymore. While this was enjoyable banter, it also served as yet another reminder that we could easily become stranded anywhere. Otherwise they were funny, yelling at their GPS for trying to take them through a service station. And oh man did they drive FAST. At least 80mph, and up to 100mph the whole way. When Mike and I were with that other speedy fellow before, it was a little nerve wracking because it was just one guy, and we didn't know the extent of his insanity. This time it was two guys, and while maybe a little bit reckless, neither were apparently crazy enough to have absolutely no friends, so it wasn't as scary. It was mostly awesome actually.
We went along with them as they delivered some piece of furniture, and then they dropped us at a roundabout, with about twenty miles left to Sterling. We certainly appreciated the help from these two, but boy did they leave us in a piss poor area to get picked up. Traffic was a bit thin. After about a half an hour of waiting, we looked at our map, and saw another roundabout about five miles closer to our destination. We decided to hold up our sign for Sterling while walking along the road, in an effort to look even more pathetic and evoke some pity from the drivers. It worked after not too long, but the guy could only give us a ride to the next roundabout. *Sigh* We took it, and then looked at the map again. It was a few more miles to another hopefully decent place to hitch, so we started walking again. It was hot and shitty, and we were getting tired. Traffic was so thin, that each time we saw a car we put our bags down, and put on a big smiley dance for people. Despite our individualized performances, nothing worked.
And then suddenly, cows.
"Haha Mike, look. Isn't that weird how they stood up, got in a line, and are now staring at us silently?"
"Yup, let's get out of here."
So we kept walking.
|"Oh look, they're running after us now."|
I braced myself for the impending cowpocalypse, but thankfully the thin fence did enough to deter them from angrily stampeding us. I don't know what the deal was with those cows, but it was enough to distract us from our situation briefly. We needed that.
We walked another mile or so, when the nicest guy on earth decided to fall from the sky. He had a big roomy truck, and asked us where we were headed. We told him about our plans to visit Sterling, and where we had intended to hitch from next. He knew the area really well, brought us out of his way, and dropped us fifteen minutes from Sterling in a busy area. There was also a bus nearby that went into Sterling in case the hitchhiking didn't work out. He chatted us up the whole time and was all around nice as hell. We thanked him, and began what was hopefully our final hitchhiking leg of the journey. We waited another hour, nobody stopped, and so that was that, and FUCK HITCHHIKING FOREVER SON OF A BITCH COCKSUCKER. We again, begrudgingly took the bus. When we arrived, we decided to explored the town a bit, meaning drink beer. We dropped into a pub for drinks and lunch.
I don't remember what I got, but I do remember what Mike got: Haggis.
If you're not familiar, haggis is sheep heart, lungs, and liver all minced together with oatmeal, fat and some spices. Perfect, and why not take the less edible organs, and mix them with something shitty like oatmeal? And hey, while we're making the worst possible culinary mistakes, why not cook it in the sheep's stomach?
|Worst water balloon ever.|
No, that's what food is supposed to look like after you shit it out, not before.
Seriously though, you obviously don't see haggis in the states, so he had to try it. I knew I had to try it too, but was glad most of it was his. How was it? Aside from the fact that it was probably never meant to be eaten, not too bad.
Then, off we went to Sterling Castle.
That's enough for now. Please enjoy the Empire Strikes Back as you wait for part 8.