Route 113, Vermont
Submitted by Christopher BuxtonI was returning to Vershire at the end of spring break, a trip in which I hitchhiked from Chicago to Vermont. A ride had dropped me off at White River Junction, Vermont after dark, with about thirty miles to go until I was home. I disliked hitchhiking at night because it was really hard to get rides, but my other alternatives—walking and finding a place to crash—were things I wished to avoid.
I quickly got a ride the short distance I had left on the interstate, and started waling westward on Vermont Route 113, a local highway. Traffic was very light. Soon, I left the lights of the highway, and found myself walking in a very dark, cloudy Vermont night.
Finally, someone came—a pickup truck. I ran up to the cab and opened the door, and immediately noticed that there were two people in the cab, along with a case of Genesee beer. “Where ya goin’?” The driver asked.
“Vershire.” I said.
“Sure, I can take you to Vershire, no problem. Hop in back.” So I quickly threw my backpack in, and climbed in. I wasn’t the only thing in the bed of the pickup—there were two or three of what appeared to be stripped engine blocks in there.
The driver took off. I had to dodge the engine blocks as they slid to the back of the bed, along with me. I began to get annoyed with the driver. Couldn’t he see that I wasn’t sitting down? But just as I got settled, the driver slammed on the brakes. My backpack, myself and the engine blocks all slid forward.
I worked to avoid the objects sliding around as the driver started and stopped several more times. Finally, I got a good grip on the cab, and was able to keep from sliding around. I watched as the truck sped along the highway. At one point, it swerved, and took out a mailbox.
After a few minutes of this, the driver pulled off to do some hill climbing. He immediately tackled a hill, but didn’t have enough momentum to make it over, so he had to back down. I grabbed my backpack and jumped out when the truck stopped going in reverse.
My exit was noticed by the driver. Quickly turning the truck around, he proceeded to start chasing me down. I found myself in a small dirt field, welding a 50 pound backpack, and avoiding a charging pickup truck like some kind of matador. I was able to easily avoid the truck because it was constantly turning, and I could easily cut the angle. Finally, when I had enough time, I ducked into a patch of trees.
The truck left a few minutes later. I waited for about fifteen minutes myself, and then resumed walking down the highway. I hiked for about an hour before I saw the truck again. It was stuck on the side of a hill. The driver noticed me waling and invited me up so he could ’Take me to Vershire.’
An hour after that, I was picked up by a van that was returning from the White River Junction bus station with several students. I did not tell them about my last ride. I was dropped off at the trail head to my cabin a few minutes later, and made my way down the dark trail to my cabin.