Monday, November 17, 2014

Hitchhiking Through Europe - From France to Turkey

From Montreal to New York City

After being shown numerous pictures of Greece by a friend, and after humming and hawing for a few days, I decided that was it, I’d quit school (for now) and hitch across Europe with her. This was 1978 and I was always up for an adventure. And as it happened, a friend of ours, who loved driving insanely long distances, said he’d drive us the 6-1/2 hours from Montreal down to New York City in order to catch a Fredie Laker flight to London - a bargain flight for $99.00. We could buy our tickets in New York on a first come first serve basis. So at the beginning of June, Mary Lynne and I headed off on our big adventure to Europe.

Unfortunately, when Tom pulled up at my friend's house the day we left, my ex-boyfriend was with him. Tom and Warren were long-time friends and co-conspirators and I smelled trouble, but I held my nose. We passed the border without a problem; of course, in the good old days you barely needed identification to get through immigration, just a wink and a smile from a Canadian neighbor would suffice, but the good old days are long gone.

The drive through upper New York State takes you through the lush Adirondack Mountains, the oldest mountain range in North America with sparkling lakes and cold rivers running beside hundreds of acres of green pastures dotted with dairy cows. In 1967 it was voted the most scenic highway in America. For good reason, but who knows what it's like now?

The next day, everything was going well until we reached Hudson, N.Y. and a flat tire. While the guys pondered how to fix it, Mary Lynne and I hitched into town to get breakfast. We mentioned our flat tire to the fellow who picked us up, who then took us to a mechanic who loaded up an identical tire into the back of his pick-up. We had a delightful breakfast and then headed back to the truck. The guys were there, filthy, cursing, and trying to make another tire fit when we bounced our prize off the truck. We waved our pal off and proceeded on our way, but it wasn't too long before the smell of marijuana wafted its way from the back of the truck from where Mary Lynne and Warren were sitting, to Tom's nose. He pulled the truck over and jumped out, waving his arms, cursing, yelling, jumping up and down and, because he was afraid to yell at Warren, yelled and cursed me out.
'You promised there'd be no dope in the truck!'
'I have no idea where it came from!'

I turned around and yelled at Warren for lighting up and where the hell did they get the dope anyway? Turns out our tire salesman gave Mary Lynne a little smoke. Okay, so we had two blowouts, I demanded the money back for the tire, and they dropped us off in Albany.

As Mary Lynne was purchasing our bus tickets to New York City, Warren came up to me. 'What about us?' he asked.