The ride thru texas was as it always is, beautiful and took a lot of days. My first goal was to get to Tyler. Not knowing it would be after a long two days of standing at the entrance of the highway.
Managing to get a little sleep the first night, the second night was a good one and a welcome rest. The first night I tried to sleep in a lawn chair that I purchased at Walmart so I wouldn’t have to be sitting on the ground and hitch hike. Nothing like having the chance to sit and not get road grime all over your pants.
The second day at this exit I watched a elderly man and a woman holding up a cardboard sign begging for help. The last line said “Jesus Loves You” After about 3 hours they wandered up where I was and counted their loot for the day. Then headed south bound. That day was a long one.
I managed to get the first good sunburn on my face and arms. I had sun screen but didn’t apply it soon enough to prevent the burn. By the time I got to Tyler I was whipped. I called a nephew and his wife and cousin came and picked me up. That night I slept real sound. Their grandmother that owned the trailer where they were staying said relax take your time and rest.
So about 5 days later I received a phone call from a traveler who was going all the way to Washington state for the rainbow gathering in July. He found my name and number from the website sqattheplanet.com and came by early one morning and off we went. I suggested we take the roads that would avoid Dallas and go diagonally across the state heading northwest. He agreed. We were rolling along and was about forty miles from Amarillo and he needed to return back to Houston for a family matter. So he dropped me off at a little town called Shamrock at the I-40 on ramp heading west.
It was just turning dark and I decided to try my thumb a little more. Well that was a bust. I walked across the road of the entrance ramp and spread out my sleeping bag behind some pinion trees. The stars were out in there full glory. Around day break I got up and enjoyed the sunrise and went right back to sleep.
I was all packed up and ready to hitch that Sunday morning, walked back into position to hitch hike and a tractor trailer stopped. The driver was heading west for a little ways. He was traveling with his wife and they decided to help me out. We talked for about 2 hours or less and pulled over at a pilot truck stop. I thanked them both and climbed out of the truck throwing my backpack over my shoulder. Just as I turned around to head towards the inside of the truck stop from the fuel pumps a guy says, “Hey where you heading? I said Reno! Well he says I can get you to Las Vegas in 9 hours from now I’m on a deadline. Damn that was a long ride. We talked and talked to keep him awake arriving early that next morning about 70 miles south of Las Vegas. With a couple hours of quick rest we headed into Vegas. I was now on the Northeast side of Las Vegas at the Cheyenne exit. The Pilot Truck stop next to Interstate 15 heading north. Then my luck turned stagnate. But not for long, hurray!
Jean Andre Vallery