A day of hitching was. To be had when we woke up this morning.
The day started off great. We woke up and showered and then got sucked into a great terrible action movie. Ended up staying in the hotel until 10:30 even though we woke up around 8. After we left we walked about a mile to the road which we would start our hitch on. Before we did that we went to the Starbucks to cool down (it was already super hot even though it wasn't even 11) and get some coffee -- iced of course.
I Starbucks we met a few folks who were interested in what we were doing, thought we looked like mountaineers rather than bums, and we were pleased to hear that since for the past few days we had been more in the bum category. Finally, we were off, and the hitching began. Slowly.
The first two and a half hours were filled with false hitches. One butt hole who thought it would be funny to stop, and right as we got to the car roll off, and then a bus that stopped right next to us that was actually just dropping people off (no, we weren't just at a bus stop). Then, the magic hour began. A construction worker named Tom who drove us up the road a little bit, then nearly right away we got another hitch from a woman named Estelle, who drove us nearly to Modesto, then as we were walking up road a little bit to get to another highway, a kind -- but highly religious -- fellow picked us up and drove us another little distance.
After he dropped us off, we set up shop on a road and not two seconds later did we hear a honk from across the street. This guy as kindly mocking us for lack of good direction, and just happened to be going to Sonora, the next stop on our route. Another Tom, a chemist from around those parts, was super helpful and kind. He told us all about the history of the lands, and actually told us we would be better to go over one route than the one we had planned. However, he refused to send us off without some Mexican food in our bellies, so we graciously accepted and satiated our hunger. He dropped us off on the road to Yosemite, and then was off.
About half hour after the second Tom had left, a fellow named John picked us up. What a funny character. I guess that's how to describe him. Wen we opened the trunk, the pungent smell of cannabis attacked us. The guy looked fine, so we got in to find 4 large plants in his back seat. Just the 'males' nothing illegal... I suppose. He drove us about 30 miles up the road and set us up for the next hitch.
Getting to be around 8:30 now, our intentions began to shift towards making camp. However, we found a spot near by, so decided to stay on the road for the time being. About 10 minutes after being dropped off, a car that had passed us minutes prior came back around, and another JOHN picked us up! He drove us up the hill and to the edge of Yosemite to a town called Groveland. We set up shop for about 20 minutes or so until just after 9. We were just about to figure out camping spots when another car pulled over. Rab and Austin -- two kids on summer break -- picked us up and drove us about an hour down the road and finally into Yosemite. Ways into the park, their spot was off one road, while we had to stay on another, so they dropped us off, and we trekked on. We were happy and full of energy, so hiked on a bit.
Luckily we did.
All of a sudden, the moon peaked out from behind a cliff to illuminate the world renowned El Capitan. What a site to behold, even in the dark. We decided to do our best at snapping some shots at night and got a couple of good ones. We even saw people climbing El Cap camping out on the side of the cliff. We could also hear them as the echo was quite intense.
Just for fun, we decided to throw out our thumbs in the pitch black as cars went by. Not expecting anything, we got another hitch! Amanda, a woman who moved from New Hampshire to work in the park, picked us up and drove us up the road even more. We hiked on about a mile or so and finally decided to call it a night. Camped off the side of the road, we prepare to get into mammoth in the morning.
Just to recap, we had Tom take us to Estelle, who took us to crazy Jesus man, who took us to Tom Two, who took us to John who took us to John Two, who took us to Rab and Austin, who took us to Amanda. Eight hitches, one day. Good day indeed.
Thanks to all those who have helped us, and we are excited to finally get into trail town, and back on trail!