Getting out of Boise was harder than anticipated.
We spent our last day sending letters and getting warm gear ready for our trip up north, and by the time we finally hit the road it was nearly 5pm. We had a crazy 6 hour drive to get to our destination (Moscow, ID), and by nightfall had only made it a tad less than halfway (to McCall). After about 5 minutes in McCall the cops rolled up on us and let us know that hitchhiking is illegal in Idaho and so, while we were free to cross our fingers and walk down the highway, we couldn’t solicit rides with signs or thumbs.*
We walked, disgruntled, into the first gas station we passed, and were warmly met with free M+Ms, coffee, and taquitos courtesy of Sarah, the tiny, exuberant woman working the counter who knew everyone who came in her shop by name. Over our goodies we discussed the possibilities for the night. We decided to keep trying to find a ride asking drivers at the station, and that if that failed that we would sleep on the front steps of the church we’d passed just up the road. Fortunately for us, the last folks who had picked us up from Boise drove by to check on us after their evening meal and found us still stranded. They invited us to stay the night with a friend, who drove us to the corner of town this morning.
Today was another long day of hitchhiking (with a builder seeking personal happiness outside of financial wellbeing, a river rafting guide, a pothead Wells Fargo banker, and finally an internet repair guy who let us wait in his car while he did his last job and then drove us straight to the front door of the folks we’re currently couchsurfing with).
We have interviews with people who blocked the megaload shipments here in Moscow and then we’re heading north into Canada. That’s the part I’m most nervous about. It is cold as hell here and only getting colder the further we go. Ft. McMurray will have highs of 15degrees while we’re there. And hitchhiking in this kind of weather isn’t fun at all!
Maybe the worst part is that my winter backpack is probably twice as heavy as it will be when we finally head south to chase the summer.
*Idaho is among five states (also Nevada, Utah, New Jersey, and Delaware) that explicitly ban hitchhiking. Technically the law in Idaho just says you can’t hitchhike on the “travelled portion of the road”, but it then goes on to define that as not just the road itself but the shoulder, the grass by the side of the road, etc etc.