The following is just a smidgen of the hitch hiking trip up here to Moscow:
The laughing continued. There I was at the side of some road in NE Oregon, 1,200 miles from home. I laughed to myself as i waited for rides. Some good ol boys picked me up and i jumped in the bed of their truck. We cruised down the 2 lane cracker box road. In the back, just in a grin and a laugh, I was bombarded with a dreamlike sensual enchantment: sun warming the face, wind dancing through deep, thick, dripping, honey clover, soaked and permeated the air. Wheat fields covering the surrounding steep hills bowed to ever approaching cars. Further from home, closer to a destination and undaunted with a sly smile, I laughed with pure delight. The good ol boys soon dropped me off, offered a "good buy" cigarette, then bade me "g'day."
Wheat lazily stood while a lone car, ignoring said action by the wheat; instead, intent solely on speed, raced on. I mimicked the wheat, stood, and waited for my next ride. It would come... after only 5 minutes. I only laughed as I ran over to the truck and hopped in. The back was filled with countless loafs of bread and other bakery goodies. In the front, a gruff, life-hardened, and witty lady who had seen for better or worse half a century openly welcomed me appreciative of the company. We chatted loudly over the roaring wind whipping through the hot car. She told of apple trees and cherry blossoms; of a bittersweet day gone by, almost lost, yet left alive, left only in memory. A tone of vulnerability through her outward gruffness, yet no regret with stinging darts to accompany, was heard. She dropped me off, insisting I take some bread. With bagels now in hand and mouth, I laughed and hitched some more.