Free shipping on all orders! (U.S. only)

Parted ways with Bryce. Started hitching towards Utah to start another trail! It was over a 10 hour drive from where I stealth camped. Got picked up by a Russian guy who spoke zero English, so I called my Dad to have him translate for us.
Later, got a ride with a truck driver named Clint! In all of my years of hitching, I was so happy to finally get a ride with a truck driver. To top it off, he let me drive for a couple of minutes since I told him I never drove a truck before. I was sweating profusely. 😂 Earlier, I told Spirit it would be awesome to check out the Salt Flats in Utah since I’ve never been. A few miles into the drive, Clint asked if I’ve ever been to the Flats & offered to take me there. Fucking blessed. He had really sick tattoos, most of which he did on his own. He said that he would get intense visions in his mind & he felt like he just had to get everything out into his skin. Rarely would he use a stencil.
We traded rings to remember one another by. He dropped me off in Mountain View, WY. Immediately, I noticed a guy on his bike spot me & I could tell just by the way he looked at me that he had a hidden agenda. He followed me for a good 20 minutes & eventually, I just introduced myself. He began asking questions about where I planned on staying for the night & how old I was. The way he stared at me reminded me of a recent traumatic experience with a man & I found myself becoming very nervous. I kept my answers short & sweet & told him goodbye. He continued to follow me, being less than 100 feet away from me.
For the first time, I reached out for help & asked the first person I saw if I could camp out on their lawn for the night. She had a huge log house with a big yard & I let her know I would be gone before sunrise; that I just felt extremely unsafe & scared. I could see him in the corner of my eye just standing & staring at me. I know it was just past trauma coming out, but it was getting dark & I don’t hitch past a certain time, especially when I am in that state of mind.
I felt extremely alone in that situation because she said I couldn’t stay there, not even on her porch. She instead tried talking to me by asking me about my future adventures. I think she was trying to calm me, but I felt completely disassociated. She called her brother in law who happened to be a forest ranger to come give me suggestions & I could barely talk to him, either. I had a lot of feelings come up. I felt as though he also dismissed what I was feeling about the man following me & said, “Sometimes there are weird people, I don’t think he meant any harm.” I have been in these situations so many times as a woman that I can read a guy’s energy… the way he looks at me, the way he talks to me. It’s a vibe. I have denied energies I felt & have been in some really fucked up situations because of it.
I was so grateful for the truck driver who drove me over 8 hours & not once did he make a move on me or make an inappropriate comment. At one point he goes, “Listen, I just want you to know that I don’t expect anything from you & there’s nothing I want from you. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable, I simply want to help you on your journey in the best way that I can.” I appreciated that he said that, however it is a bit painful to see how often these conversations come up. Either guys saying they will be respectful or them making moves on me the whole time… it’s so rare that I will meet a guy who will be genuinely okay with sharing a platonic space with me.
I feel this is the perfect time for me to hike in Utah since I will be completely out of service in a remote area. Completely alone with myself & fully immersed with God. The trail is going to be extremely challenging compared to the OCT, so I know it will force me to slow my roll & re-focus my mind back into stillness.
Side note: I am not looking for people to victimize with me. These are the emotions that came up for me today & I felt called to share some of the so called “down” moments of my travel adventures. I had a very traumatic experience happen less than a week ago & I am still processing everything & doubt I will ever share it on here.
I still believe in the kindness of strangers & I still feel hitchhiking to be an extremely empowering experience. There are painful experiences even in “normal” day living. Take it as it comes, take it as it goes.
I also realize I am very open about my sexuality & that I have a naturally flirty personality. It does NOT mean I want to have sex with every one of you. For fucks sake.