Considering traveling around California? If on your checklist of trips to do is a road trip through the United States, do not miss out on the experience that Marina and I had as we hitchhike from San Francisco to Redding. An extremely hot day, waiting, kilometers, conversations, and anecdotes.
ANECDOTES OF A ROAD TRIP
I no longer remember what day of the week it was or the exact time we got up, but I do remember Jose’s studio apartment, the boy who, for a number of days, was hosting us. I remember the hammock in the corner and the bed that Marina and I shared throughout that couple of days.
And I come back, I come back and I see us getting our knapsacks, having breakfast with Jose before packing them on our backs and going out on the street, with Maps. I open on my mobile to direct us. And the subway entrance, the blue and white ticket that we bought and that took us after about 40 minutes on the subway outside of San Francisco, to that station from which we left with our knapsacks on our backs despite the heat.
That minute when a part of me thought that a good concept would have been to rent a car, so as not to struggle with the heat, nor do you anticipate it. To be able to travel by roadway through California at our own rate, playing our preferred songs to spruce up the roadway.
However I return, I go back to that moment and I tell you. The station, the train that leaves and leaves us there, someplace in the residential areas that we do not know and where it is supposed to be close-by – or so the Internet says – there is a great location to start our route to Redding by hitchhiking. However we head out, we head out and there is a square in which the sun scorches the benches, the couple of trees that withstand the heat. And a stand where we buy water before dropping in the shade once again to take a look at the map and see where the hell we can hitchhike.
I browse on the map at the roadways. No crossover looks good so I select the one that looks finest to me and we hit the road under the scorching sun. We pass urbanization, roadways that we do not know where they are going and in which the trucks move easily. 20 minutes later on, currently sweaty, we reached the start of a bridge where the roadway has only 2 lanes and although it is not the best place to lift our thumbs we decided to try our luck, so we put our backpacks on the ground and enter into a position.
I don’t remember just how much time passes, but finally, a woman stops and we get on her “track” a minute after she includes us in the turmoil of things that she has in her car. When inside, the discussion begins. I go ahead and to our luck, the lady speaks a little Spanish considering that her spouse is from somewhere in Latin America.
It is a short journey that leaves us at a filling station loaded with two brand-new bottles of water for the rest of the way and it is there, at that gasoline station where the 2nd cars and truck stops. This time a male in his 50s who travels for work and with whom we make a stop at one of those roadside shops where he again treats us with 2 other bottles of water despite the fact that we insist that we do not want anything.
The man does not speak much and our English is not the best however we handled to move forward up until we reached Vacaville, a town that we can not assist however be entertained by that name which in Spanish would be something like “Vacation home de vacas”. We stop a little prior to the gasoline station where we put our knapsacks on the ground again and prepare to hitchhike.
Vacaville to Redding
This time we stop a young kid. He rolls down the window and we ask him if he’s going to Redding or if he can a minimum of bringing us closer. He says yes and we get in the car. Once inside he discusses to us that he does not go to Redding however that he does not have much to do which he takes us anyway, but that he has to go home initially, so he drives to a small area where he stops the vehicle and leaves us there, waiting on the street. Marina and I exchanged two knowing and rather alarmed looks. There is a young boy playing in the street with a tricycle. We question if he’s going to kidnap us or if it’s simply a little odd, but we consent to be calm and wait, to see what takes place.
I don’t understand the length of time we wait. Maybe 10 minutes, possibly 15, maybe 20. We don’t have the Internet and we keep discussing what might occur. Whether this is typical and whether to travel to Redding with him, whether he looks like an excellent kid or has a psychopathic face, the face of someone who can kidnap you. But while we continue to illuminate, the young boy returns and we return to the road, with the radio in the background amusing our discussion in fits and starts.
I’m in advance again, in the passenger seat. Marina travels easily in the back and I feel that the responsibility falls on me to perk up the discussion and make the rest of the method as satisfying as possible.
All of a sudden “Quick car” begins to play and I smile, the boy smiles as he turns up the volume on the radio with his right-hand man and I begin taping to have a memory of that minute, of the charm that surrounds us on both sides of that straight roadway in which the landscape passes at terrific speed and the shadow of the car accompanies us to the right, following us at our very same speed.
David, his name is David and as we progress, we keep talking and find a little more about his story. Now he is studying, however, nowadays he is on a trip. He remained in the war in Afghanistan, stationed at the doors of hotels, those in which journalists and journalism remained. And I discover that he tells us with pride, with the pride of someone who knows or believes that he did something good, that he was safeguarding. That was his task, to secure journalism from possible attacks in a war that it was better not to speak about, so as not to taint the great experience that I want to outline here.
And we keep talking and he asks us what is the telephone code for Spain. Marina and I described to her that it is +34 and she informs us again with the very same pride that the telephone code for the United States is +1 since it was the first nation to have lines. And I smile not to break out laughing due to the fact that the remark appears as suigéneris as absurd.
However the trip passes placidly and entertainingly and kilometer by kilometer, we are moving towards Redding, where Lois is supposed to be waiting on us, who will be our coach for the next couple of days if everything goes as prepared, which in the meantime appears that it does.
And although the shadow of the cars and truck no longer accompanies us, I can’t stop thinking of how much I like to travel like this, by road, always proceeding land, seeing the modifications in the landscape, the changes in light, on the other side of the window. Appreciating the small distinctions, going through the villages and the largest cities, making a psychological map of what we are going through. Of the ranges, of the accents.
And as night falls, Redding gets closer and closer and we continue to practice our rusty English. The journey ends up being short and we get here in Redding, on that straight road lined with stores and cafes. And David leaves us at a Starbucks where he uses to wait with us as Louis shows up, however, we inform him that it is not required because now he is on his way back. So after a big hug and duplicating how grateful we are sometimes, David goes and we take advantage of the wifi in the coffee shop where he left us to write to Louis.
And the very best part of the journey is yet to begin. But again the roadway has actually offered us a new experience, once again it has actually been a success to lift the thumb, to go through the train bed, every kilometer, bit by bit. Moving at the pace of the wheels, on the road.
Do you want to travel around California by automobile?
We hitchhike, however, if you do not dare and still wish to live the experience of traveling through California by automobile, a great alternative is to lease an automobile with Avis, among the business with the most coverage and services, not just in the United States but globally.
We hitchhiked from San Francisco to Redding on Interstate 505, but a good journey that I wished to do on my last aggravating journey to California would be from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa, from Los Angeles to LA. Diverse San Francisco.
As you may have heard, another extremely well-known route is Path 66 (Rte 66), but practically any part of the United States is good for a journey.