I picked up hitchhikers today– my first ever! Three women who were celebrating their vaccinations, all of them nurses, two of them labor and delivery.
I was just about to make a mailbox drop when I came over a hill and saw them. They had just gotten cell reception and were calling emergency services. One was calm, one was clearly the motivator, and one was in tears. All of them were lady-types, and none of them looked like a car jacker, so I pulled over.
They’d hiked the icy SHT up from Cascade, taken a wrong turn, and eventually decided that they’d keep going and look for a road rather than try to scramble and slide back the way they’d come.
They were so relieved. I was so excited! Excited to be helpful, to have nothing else I needed to do, to not be afraid I’d end up dead in a ditch. I wish everyone with their thumb in the wind seemed as safe to pick up. Even my mom, who would undoubtedly caution me against picking up anyone regardless of gender, hitchhiked in Europe– but that was a “different time.”
Well, I want to live in that time. When it’s good to be impulsive and adventurous and curious. When connection doesn’t have to be guarded, when disaster doesn’t feel imminent.
And what else is being at home in this landscape for than to help someone else feel welcome?
I told them the food at Cascade Lodge is amazing– the bison burger with gouda and red peppers. I wished them well. They said they hoped I’d be able to get back to storytelling soon, and that they’d send me something when they got home, and every year when they come up.
Maybe next time, I’ll hike with them. What a fun story: So, how did you all meet? A rescue mission on an empty gravel road is as likely a way as any to bump into kindred spirits, whether you ever meet again or not.
I could have made my delivery anytime. But here are all the subtle threads of fate and connection, and this time I see them. They’re always there, like animal tracks revealed by snow.