November 03, 2004

New Expats Part Two

That thing I said about Reno kids leaving Portland was all backwards, but you know what I mean. It's late and I'm grumpy because it looks like Bush is going to win. Hence the title. Unngh.
I had an excellent time in Portland and look forward to fun times there in the future. Zoobomb!
About midnight on, hell I can't remember what day it was, I boarded a Greyhound to Pendleton, Oregon and after waiting outside their Greyhound station for a few hours I headed off north to hitch up to Walla Walla. Vince, my best friend from my year abroad and the winner of the international Juanes look-alike contest goes to this hipster liberal arts school in Walla Walla called Whitman College. We met up at the library and accompanying Vince was a ponytail and the dirtiest moustache that a 19 year old up lip has ever seen. Vince lives right across from the university in a house full of Spanish students so I got my speak on and made full use of their porch couch. Vince is having a good time there, though I'm having a hard time convincing him to visit me either next summer in Juneau or next fall in France, the bastard. It was Parents' Weekend while I was in town and Vince's folks took us all out for Thai food and his dad and I bro'd down on hitchhiking stories. I was really excited at the prospect of embarrasing Vince in front of his parents but considering that they were treating me to dinner I didn't find it too appropriate to make fun of their son while we ate. All the better, it's just ammo I can save for the future, like Vince's wedding day. Hehe.
I had a very succesful hitch from Walla Walla to Boise and met up with my old friend from Costa Rica Jeff Cole in front of the Boise State library. Jeff was my other best friend in the Costa Rica program two years ago when suddenly Jeff's appendix was all, "Yo, motherfucker, I'm outta here." and he had to have it taken out at the hospital in downtown San Jose. Due to some unfortunate post-op problems Jeff was unable to return to Costa Rica to finish out the semester and after hearing about some of the problems we'd been having over the course of the semester (me getting pickpocketed, Vince getting jacked, too many backpacks and cameras and wallets disappearing) he smartly bailed on the spring semester, too. We hadn't seen each other in almost two years but I'll tell you, Jeff's such a hell of a guy that it felt more like two days. Jeff spent his days finishing up his undergrad thesis and I wandered around Boise and at night we visited scummy bars and watched the fate of the world hang in the balance as Boston won the world series. It was, like all the previous cities, a hell of a visit, and Jeff even dropped me off early the next morning on the corner of US 95 So., where I was hitching back to Reno.
The hitch home was the perfect end to SteveTour Pacific Northwest 2004. After getting mildly hassled by a cop I was picked up by a Canadian trucker named Bill hauling two big GMC trucks on the back of his white semi. He pulled over and asked me, "Where're you headed?" I said, "I'm hoping to get to Winnemucca." He responded, "Never heard of it. But I'm heading to Reno." With him I could ride, and so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside. Bill was hauling these two trucks from his town in BC all the way to Internet Auto Rent and Sales, a car lot all of five minutes from the Katherine House. Kind of eerie luck, isn't it? He told me great stories about trucking around the Territories and Alaska and even bought my breakfast at a tiny diner in a tiny town in southeastern Oregon. Having arrived in Reno much, much sooner than I'd anticipated, I said bye and thanks to Bill the trucker and started across town. I first headed to Jimboys and on the way passed the Katherinehouse, which was covered by a new coat of white paint and filled with new occupants. Damn, I miss that house.
So anyway, I'm back in Reno. Halloween weekend was relaxed and fun, about what I'd hoped for. I finally saw Kill Bill 2 and visited the Pneumatic Diner for the first time in years.
Now I'm way out in Washoe Valley hanging out with the moms and the stepdad. It's odd being out here. Today my mom and I went to vote at the baseball field where I played little league games twelve years ago. Washoe Lake is no more. Waking up in the desert feels like waking up without a mouth. W va ganando, lo que me da mucha pena y mucha rabia. grrrr.
Anywho, I've got a day to spend organizing my abundance of crap into what I'm taking with me to Chile on the 21st and what I'll be leaving here to languish in the trailer. On Thursday I fly to Albuquerque to spend a few days with my Grandma. I can't wait; Albuquerque is the best.
At this point it's late and I'm tired and frustrated that that goddamn idiot is busy getting reelected. On the Daily Show Al Sharpton said that if Bush wins tonight it'll be the first time that he's been elected president. I wish I voted for Al Sharpton, or maybe the socialist candidate if there was one. Oh well.
So that's it for now. I'll try to update this thing more regularly. Much love to Dawn and Kathleen, Amber and Paul and Thoren, Kathleen, Bob, Kathryn and Alex, Andrew and Billy and Krista, Vince, that one guy who tried to convert me from Baker City to Boise, Jeff, Bill the Canadian, and Drew for giving me tips and places to stay and food to eat and rides to get me where I needed to go. You'll all get what's yours and you'll always have a place to stay wherever I may be.

Posted by steve at November 3, 2004 03:10 AM