After saying good-bye to Darlene, I hit the highway. Rides weren’t
good at first. Some guy picked me up and took me to the other side
of San Antonio. Memories of Jolynn flashed through my head as we
were driving through town, but they were cut short when I got my
next ride. Gary, a freak who turned me on to good pot, was on his
way to Denton, a town north of Dallas. He was on his way to meet up with his band friends. Just before we arrived, Gary bought a case of beer for his band-mates, and since it was almost dark, he suggested that I stay for the night. I was glad to accept his offer.
Gary was nice. I really enjoyed his company, but after we got to his
band mates’ place the atmosphere changed. Two days earlier the pigs busted the house, so I was not treated to a warm reception.
Everybody was paranoid. Gary was taken aback by his friends’
behavior, too. We were only there for a short time before he grabbed me, and the two of us went to a restaurant where we ate chicken dinners (his treat). When we went back to the house, the residents, after drinking a few beers, were in a much better mood.
I listened to the band rehearse. They were pretty bad. I was glad
when I was able to crash. The next morning, Gary drove me to the
expressway and dropped me off under the Texas sun, where I remained for the next five hours. While I was standing on the highway, a nasty semi-truck driver tried to pick me up on his front grill. He got a little carried away with the “joke” because he almost lost control of his truck before he managed to get it rolling down the
highway again. You learn to expect those kinds of things while
hitching, especially in Texas.
Around dark I arrived in Oklahoma City, and then some kid going to Tulsa picked me up. He was excited because he was going to spend the weekend with his girlfriend. After getting dropped off outside of Tulsa, things started to look bleak. It was dark, and the cold Oklahoma wind was still blowing even after the sun went down. It wasn’t supposed to do that. I was beginning to think I had gotten
myself in another mess when three freaks stopped. When I got in
their car they told me they were coming back from Mexico. When I
told them I was going to Michigan, the driver replied, “Is Ann Arbor
close enough?” We rode all night, and after taking a side trip to
Chicago, where one of the dudes got dropped off, I arrived back in
Houghton Lake before nightfall, tired, dirty, and glad to be home.