Woncho like Poncho

A hitchhiking blog and traveling advice for broke adventure seekers

Posts Tagged ‘cops

Day 5. Ohio to Detroit, part 1

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I wake up around 8am with a slight hangover. I jump into the shower to see if it makes me feel better. It doesn’t. I fall back asleep on the floor.

We leave and Tonya is late for work. We walk through her neighborhood, hop a wired fence and start sticking our thumb out.

The group splits into 2. I pair up with Angus and Tina pairs up with Arturo.

Teacup chirps us on the walkie talkie, and tells us she caught a ride and that they’re going to scoop us up. We meet Jeff, who turns out to be a successful millionaire in his 50s. We are super excited he retells a poem from memory and catch everything on camera.

He drops us off at a Pilot truck stop, we shake hands, trade info, and we part ways. We take this time to charge up all of our electronics and order junk food from McDonalds.

We walk on to the highway and not too long after, a cop turns on his lights and pulls over. He yells “What the fuck are you guys doing?!” and then he notices my camera and changes his tone. I greet him with a smile.

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Written by Woncho like Poncho

December 8, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Day 1. Hitchhiking the Midwest

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At a rest stop somewhere outside Texarkana

At a rest stop somewhere outside Texarkana

I blast Facebook asking if anyone could take the crew to Texarkana from Dallas so I can avoid getting arrested in Texas for warrants (speeding tickets). Vanessa Ramos comments and enthusiastically agrees to do it all the way from San Marcos.

Dwayne hosts all of us for the night and makes sure everyone is having a good time. We drop off my car at my house, cram into Vanessa’s car and take off toward Texarkana.

We start pretty late in the day. We hit the road around 10am.

We stop at a random Flying J truck stop about 20 exits away from Texarkana. After eating, we walk toward Vanessa’s car and I see a huge rapey/Bangbus/church-type van with Asians in it. I feel confident.

I run up to the driver side, “You guys going to Nashville??? I’m Vietnamese!!!”

“Actually we are…”


“…but we don’t have any more room”


I look toward the back of the van to see who’s in it. The van is full of Asian women and children. They seem genuine about wanting to help out, but can’t.

We cram back into Vanessa’s car and head to Texarkana. She drops us off at a rest area on the Arkansas side. Traffic is going hard, so this is good for us so we can talk to people. I tell Tina and Arturo to take the other walkie talkie and start trying to find rides as Angus and I finish grabbing our gear.

10 minutes later, Angus and I get a chirp and Teacup pulls through and catches a ride for all of us.

Ron, 28-year-old trucker, picks us all up. We jam out to country music and record ourselves rocking out. Ron takes us to a truck stop a little outside Little Rock, Arkansas.

We kick it here talk to random truckers and customers. I walk around the building and see dogs and backpacks outside a building. There’s gotta be hitchhikers around somewhere. I see them through the window eating, and they are gutter-punk type hitchhikers with tattoos and dirty clothes. Hitchhikers love meeting other hitchhikers so I say what’s up through the window and they wave us over to come on in.

We say what’s up to each other and they ask Tina and I if we’re hungry. They offer us a plate of food and Jessica the sweet waitress comes up to me and tells me that we can just grab a plate of food. She has an awesome southern, Arkansas accent.

I tell Tina to hold the fort down as I go and grab Arturo and Angus.

We gorge ourselves on all the food and I eat nothing but fried chicken, brisket, and mashed potatoes. Angus is a vegetarian so he only eats salad.

We watch movies in the lounge, get free shower vouchers from Ron, charge our all our electronics under the stairway and chit-chat with everyone that comes across our path. Everyone is very supportive and interested in what we’re doing (Including all the Petro employees) except for one young, dipshit-retard manager on a power trip.

He tells us in a passive aggressive manner that we need to leave, I tell him, “Hey man we’re not even bothering anybody, so what’s the problem?”

He says something about the truck stop not being a hotel and making assumptions us being beggars and soliciting showers and rides and makes a comment about our signs.

I tell him something along the lines of, “Look man, we have a truck in the back (as if we’re truckers taking a break), and we’re charging our stuff up. Is that a problem? There’s outlets here.”

He says something along the lines of “Yeah, yeah, sure, just know you guys can’t stay here.” And then I say, “Yeah of course not.”(Even though we were planning to) and then Angus and I go check out the bridge that we saw coming in to see if it’s suitable for shelter.

It is, even though it’s kind of wet because of the rain. The solution? Cardboard, we lay it over the wet dirt (not quite mud) and set up camp. We use the cardboard from the cardboard dumpster behind the Petro station like every other truck stop.

We stick around probably for another hour or 2 and talk to random employees and customers walking in and out as we continue to charge up or stuff and make excuses to stay inside.

I get pretty exhausted by 2a.m-3a.m, head to the bridge and camp out. Tina uses her bivy sack for the first time and doesn’t know how to unzip and tells us she’s stuck. Arturo is still inside watching a remaining bag while we set up camp.

The exhausted assholes we are, Angus and I acknowledge her but we don’t say anything for like 5 minutes while she’s groaning and gasping to get out. Finally after I finish setting up my shelter, I then ask her if she’s still stuck. She says yeah. I help her out.

It’s pretty hot and the bugs are relentless. Too tired to care, I fall asleep. Angus announces he is naked in his bivy sack. Tina has her Bivy set up the wrong way so she can breathe. Arturo doesn’t make it through the night and heads back to the truck stop around 6a.m. (Arturo correction, 5:30am)

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