A guy stopped, but was headed in the wrong direction.
And we stood longer.
A lady finally pulled up in a Saturn SUV. She let us climb in before informing us she never picked up hitchhikers and we should feel lucky. She was going a half hour up the road, but would drop us off at a great spot to find a ride.
She put us in urban sprawl hell. There was a 4 lane road intersecting with the highway, and large No Hitchhiker signs at the mouth of the onramp. There was no place to be seen and no place to turn off. The drizzly sky opened up and the rain started.
We went to a grocery store and got some meat and bread. The rain continued. We went to a bus stop to see if we could ride out the sprawl. The next bus was in five hours. The rain got harder. We walked to the highway and hid in some trees while we finished eating. They slowed the rain but didn’t stop it.
We set up camp on a drive out of the Wal*Mart and hoped for a kindly traveler. None showed. We canvased the gas station for cars with northern trajectories. None. We split up and took two close but different roads, well within view of each other. A BMW coupe pulled up to me, the driver had hair the same silver as the cars sleek body.
I died a little inside when I saw the lack of a back seat. I told him to go on, that I couldn’t abandon Amelia. He drove off and we stood in the rain. I was ready to get desperate when a portly gentleman asked if we were headed north. We piled into the front of his little pickup and shot down the highway. Forty miles from him. I told him that I was headed to Evergreen the next fall, he warned me to not become “one of those damn environmentalists.” I assured him I wouldn’t with a snort.
The next two rides were odd but safe, just people doing their jobs and helping out a fellow human. One worked with Dominoes pizza, he offered us free grub anytime we stopped by the store. He was trying to flirt with Amelia, but she deflected his clumsy jokes with ease.
The last ride was a twenty two year old girl. She was quiet and maybe a little nervous, but glad to help us out. She dropped me off at my front door.