With only my backpack, I landed in San Francisco. I managed to get to the hostel I would be staying at, where my friend already was. He greeted me outside and I checked in. That would be the first time I stayed in a hostel. The bunks were clean and had curtains around them, so that was nice. Now that I’ve experienced a few other hostels, I would say that hostel in SF didn’t have the friendliest vibe. Many people there seemed to be long term stayers.
Part two of my Hitchhiking adventure. Read Part 1 here. These are exact entries from the journal I took on my trip, so the grammar might not be up to par.
7/13/14 11:15 am
Yesterday I got a flier for this free walking tour from this Asian dude with long hair and a guitar. I told Ariel I was going and he joined me. We got to Union Square where the tour started and there was a pretty decent sized group of people. The tour guide was named Sunshine (Helen). She was very nice, free spirited, and had a ukulele. We ended up meeting two fun, gorgeous French-Canadian sisters on the tour also. I talked to Sunshine about my trip and we all got alone.
After the tour, all of us (2 Canadian French sisters, Australian guy named Jeremy, Sunshine, and Ariel’s app partner from Boston) went to dinner. It was a lot of fun. A few hours later Gabrielle and Marie, the French girls, came and met us at our hostel. We all met up in the Mission at Puerto Allegra and shared to pitchers of Margaritas and played “Never have I ever”. We all drank a pretty good amount and went out to a few other bars after. Ariel and I left around 2 am and took a Lyft back to the hostel. We had some drunk conversation and I went to bed. Today I am figuring out what my next move is. I checked out of the hostel.
7/13/14 3:30 pm
I watched the World Cup Final Argentina vs Germany in the Civic Center Plaza. It was awesome! Lots of people, big screens, food. Too bad Argentina lost… Still a great game.
7/13/14 10:12 pm
I’m in Sufian’s Apartment watching a Korean T.V show with Hugo, a 22 year old French guy, and Sufian. I found Sufian on Couchhsurfing. He was also born in Jakarta and is Chinese. He’s very nice and made us quesadillas and rice with chicken wings. His apartment is close to AT&T Park.
7/14/14 10:18 am
I’ve been in contact with a couple people for a ride-share to San Diego. A guy named Kyle is leaving tomorrow at 7 am and said if I drive, it’s free. I’m not ready to start hitchhiking yet, as I’ve also heard it’s very hard to get a ride out of San Francisco.
Stayed over Sufian’s place again last night. I got a Lyft ride yesterday from a girl named Kathryn. She just gradated but can’t get a teaching job. I went to Golden Gate Park and walked around. It’s a huge place. After I walked 5 miles back to Sufian’s Apartment, which took about 2 hours.
Sufian made really good pasta with meat. I told Sufian about the ride I set up with Craigslist and that I had to meet the guy at 6:30 am at Balboa Station. He told me that was a bad area and thought the guy was up to something. It made me a little nervous.
I woke up at 5:30 and Sufian was going to work. He showed me where the rapid train was to get to Balboa and we parted ways. It took about half hour to get to the stop and it was a pretty sketchy area. I walked outside and saw the white Lexus, as the guy described. That’s when I met Kyle. He was about 6’3, big dude, about 35 or so. He immediately got out of the driver’s seat and let me drive. The deal is if I drove all the way to San Diego, I wouldn’t have to pay anything. We hit it off almost instantly. We talked about politics, racism, girls, and we shared mostly the same views. We went to go pick up this girl who also responded to his craigslist ad. She looked young but was 26. Her name was Leah. Something seemed off about her but she was nice. She told us she was trying to get sober and got into a sober living program in Sand Diego. We all had some good conversations and Kyle told me he had hitchhiked before. He also has traveled in Thailand. We finally arrived in San Diego and dropped Leah off. Kyle dropped me off at Balboa Park and wished me luck on my journey. I had a friend I knew, Jacob pick me up.
Yesterday, I convinced Jakob to try surfing with me. We went to Mission Beach, rented some cheap boards and got out in the Ocean. It was amazing. I actually did pretty well for my first time, able to stand on my knees while riding. I also got on my feet for a couple seconds. Afterwards we got the best seafood tacos I’ve ever eaten. Cheap as hell too.
That night, after no luck finding someone heading to Las Vegas, I got a reply from someone on Craigslist who said they were going from San Diego to Flagstaff. I guess I would have to change my plans and just head there instead. I wasn’t really familiar with Flagstaff, but why not? The next morning, I went to meet the person, who I had assumed was a guy, at a local store parking lot. To my surprise, the person I was looking for, turned out to be a girl. She was in her 20’s and her name was Mariana. She worked at a hostel in Flagstaff. We talked a lot on our trip and listened to my music. We stopped at In-N-Out burger (both of our first time trying it).
Finally when we got to Flagstaff (8 hours) I did not get any replies for my Couchsurfing requests and her hostel was booked. She offered to drive me to a forest about 15 miles north so that I could camp out for the night. Very nice of her.
It’s about 9 pm now and I am sitting on my sleeping bag at the little camp I just set up. I don’t think anyone is around me for miles. I set up my hammock (First time using one and I think it’s sturdy) and made a small fire but had to put it out because there is too much dry brush around and it was spreading. I’m in Kaibab forest about an hour from the Grand Canyon.
It’s very dark, using my headlamp to write. I thought I heard bear noises earlier which was a little worrisome, but I am feeling good now. The wind is loud sometimes, but the stars look perfect. I really thought I’d be more scared but I am pretty proud of myself and being out in nature like this feels really good.
To be continued… I will wake up to try my FIRST real hitchhike.