Monday, July 4, 2011

First Time Real Hitch Hiking & Ferry Living

I did not sleep well in the cabin at Millers Landing after the kayak trip. Mike, Mia (dog), and I shared a very bouncy bed. Mike mentioned he may go fishing the next day. I needed to be in Whittier by 10pm to catch a midnight ferry to Juneau, so I was a bit worried. It’s about a 3 hr drive. I thought there were buses but they do not run regularly and won’t take one person. A cab is $250. I saw this as an opportunity to do my first proper hitch hike. I always wanted to and in AK it is common. 

I made my sign and Mike took me to the gas station just out of town. I felt like a true hobo w/ my bags and sign. Mike waited till I got picked up and wanted me to text him updates. After about 20 mins a couple picked me up. They were going the other way but advised me to be further away from town, on the highway. So they drove me 10 mins to Bear Lake.  Now I felt strange and there were a lot less cars.

In 10 mins, 23 yr old Greg from southern CA, who just finished the Coast Guard in AK that day picked me up.

At the junction there was an area w/ sketchy motor homes and not many cars coming through. I was picked up in 5 mins by two older guys from Anchorage. They were preparing their boats for their weekend trip. They said they never pick up hitchhikers. Fred was from Portland and Mark from WI. I think it was a good experience for them b/c I broke a lot of the hitch hiking stereotypes. I did not smell, I looked clean, and I am well educated and had a career. They did not believe my age; most people don’t these days, including me.
I started early at 4pm to be on the safe side and got there at 7, so I had time to kill. I went with them to check their nice boats . Then they dropped me off the terminal.

Slept well in the solarium on lounge chairs with a few others rather than paying an extra $250 for a tiny, tiny cabin. Two people set up their tents on deck and a smart couple has an inflatable bed in the solarium.  Ferry has free showers, which is a luxury in AK.
It’s been a cloudy, so did see too much. Saw some mts, killer whales and dolphins from afar. The ferry was my time to catch up on blogging and some fall planning. I befriended a 19 yr old French guy, who just finished traveling the world in 10 months with a small backpack. My hero. Click here for pix.

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