The RideShare

Dear Craig Newmark,

You and your list Craig. It’s sure has come in handy for me. Craigslist helped me find a house. It helped me find furniture to put in said house. A when I was traveling it helped me find a ride. A ride which would become one of my favorite stories and I would like to regale you with the tale. If you don’t have time to read it, just tell me this: how does Craiglist make money?

So.

I was helping a friend move to San Francisco (your hood). Rather than fly home from there, I decided continue the adventure up the west coast and fly home (Dallas) from Seattle. As a recent college graduate, money was tight (still is…) but the idea of a bus seemed flat out lame. This is supposed to be an adventure, not just a barge up I-5, I though to myself. How about a rideshare? This one will get me to Humboldt. That’s about half way to Portland plus my friend Leslie lives there.

Next thing I know, I’m on Mr. Toad’s wild ride up the 101 in the Prius from hell. The driver: a thirty-something dude who was on a marathon drive up the coast to work an interpretive dance festival. He was tired from 9 hours of driving prior to picking me up but said he was still feeling amazing from the sweat lodge cleanse he did in Ojai the night before. The trunk is loaded down with god-knows-what and The Doors 1968 Live at the Bowl is queued up. We leave the Bay Area and the trees become steadily larger.

Will you meet with the gnomes in the forest of Arcata, he asks me in all seriousness. Haven’t you heard that Humboldt is a portal to the next dimension?

We stop periodically to do deep breathing exercises among the trees. He offers me some of his cookies. I politely decline. We see a hitch-hiker. We pick him up (I guess I was just a digital hitch-hiker so who am I to judge). He happens to be going to the same festival! I’m extremely surprised, but they seems to be accustomed to the strange ways of the universe.

We discuss positive energies and the health benefits of drinking silver. We recount our favorite hallucinogenic experiences, of which mine pale in comparison. We compare the places we call home, and ultimately realize they’re not all that different.

And sometime after dark and our fourth listen of The Doors album, we arrive in Arcata. We part ways and the world keeps turning. I’m glad to be at my destination and even more glad I didn’t take the bus.

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