Friday, June 24, 2016

Catching rides and Drinking Spring water in the California Desert 5/25



After running down the highway 101 in San Luis Obispo with our shopping cart me and Mary decided to stop on the side of the highway and hold our sign in what was probably the "Worst" spot to hitch hike from according to the first person who picked us up. The sun was frying our brains and did I mention we just came from a snowy day in Canada right before we arrived in the California heat.  As we started to wonder and give up while flying our cardboard sign, I recall saying to Mary something like, the right person will pick us up at the right time and before I could finish the sentence a grey VW westfallia van comes pulling up right to us. His name was Michael. A middle aged man who told us he was going to become a catholic monk earlier in his life but decided to do his own thing living in his van since it was too structured. The one thing he repeated to us was "Keep love in your heart" he took us to the middle of no where, the highway exit outside of Bradly, CA and filled our empty water bottles with fresh natural spring water he had collected. We waved good bye and he vanished onto the highway.

The sun was hot and we needed to catch another ride to get the festival grounds. We found a tunnel under a bridge and took a break while reminiscing on how crazy everything has been in only 2 days. We went to hold our thumbs up for another ride and the smallest car decided to pull over. Two dudes from LA going to the festival. Ben and Ngene. They were so excited for the festival that they just wanted to help us wave people down for a ride because we probably couldnt fit in there car. And as we held our thumbs up at approaching cars people honked and gaves us a thumbs up, its like they didnt even realize we were trying to get a ride. Ben and Ngene then decided to squish us into there tiny car and we fit! 

Ben
Ngene
We arrived on Wednesday, meaning we were only allowed into the festival grounds if we had a early bird pass which was 80 dollars per person for a tiny raffle ticket... Ben and Ngene went out of there way to do whatever they could to help us get in but the people were not budging. Me and Mary then decided to wait in the parking lot for the next sign, advice or help. One guy walked up and just handed us coconut chips and his girl gave us Coconut water. Some people we talked to drove an hour out of town just to pick up replica tickets at a store and would give them to us when they get back. We waited and kept talking to people. I even started asking people who were volunteering at the festival if they could low key get us some early bird tickets. We even had some one try to just drive us in but they weren't letting me and Mary in. It was getting dark, we were exhausted and decided to find somewhere to fall asleep.
 
I was wandering in search for a quiet place to sleep and as I walked backed to Mary she told me that one of the volunteer ladies has a offer to help us get in! I walk over to hear out the offer. She has two early bird tickets for us and needed drugs or money for them. That's the truth of it. I told her we were really low budget. She then said, well how much can you give me? I said 5 bucks. and you know what she said? Deal, I just want to help you guys out. I went and grabbed 5 dollars from my 30 dollar stash and handed it to her. 5 dollars doesn't seem like a lot for two tickets that would have cost us 160 dollars. The next catch? To get into the festival ground was at least a 20-30 minute walk and we had our heavy backpacks. It was past midnight and we were about to just say fuck it and fall asleep. All of a sudden.... the sketchiest guy who seemed like a edgy coc head offered us a ride in. I walked to his car, recognizing hats on the dashboard with life size foam birds glued onto them. No one has these hats I'm telling you. I asked him about the hats and it turns out that I took a photo of this guy last year on the last morning of the festival! Out of 20 some thousand people. That's just how it goes. We hopped in his car and he drove us straight in the festival and told the security guards at the gate he was sneaking his midget in under all his bags and they didn't even think twice. We drove into darkness on the dirt beaten path. and then....parked the car.

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