When I was 14 years old I took one of the best trips in my life as we traveled across Canada by car and by train. The provided me with many memorable situations that I am sure would have worried any mother and father. You see, I left my house on a Saturday morning in the beginning of summer right after the school year had finished. It was a trip that was not planned and all along the way it was a series of day to day adventures, adventures that I would never forget.
My two friends Marvin and Doug came over to my house on a Saturday morning just after my parents had left for work. They said that they were going to hitch-hike across Canada and they wanted me to tag along. At first I told them that they were crazy and why would I want to leave the new job that I had just started. It was a fairly good paying job at my friend’s fathers saw mill and it was going to provide me with some serious dollars which I would enjoy all summer long. However, something inside me wanted to travel along with my two friends across Canada.
So I packed up an old suitcase with a few belongings and wrote a note to my mom and dad that I was going to pick fruit for the summer at my uncle’s orchard and away the three of us went with a total of $16.00 between us. I had hitch-hiked all over the local area before but never had I tried to hitch-hike across Canada from coast to coast. We had no plans, no goals, to time frames to get where we wanted to go, all we had was a destination and a desire to get there.
The late 1960’s were a great time to be on the road. There were young people hitch-hiking everywhere and at every town we had a chance to exchange stories with others who were also on an adventure of their own. There was no fear back then when it came to hitch-hiking as it was a time of peace and tranquility in many ways. True, in some towns we had to wait quite a while before getting a ride to the next stop but we always had something to enjoy while we were waiting.
People that picked us up were a great part of the story as we enjoyed the company of all types of folks. Once our $16.00 disappeared, and it wasn’t too long, we would get a helping hand from the unlikeliest places. Once in a restaurant, as we sat there sharing our last cup of coffee and toast between the three of us, a couple who were in the next booth helped us immensely. Unknown to us, they listened to our story of how we hadn’t eaten in two days and this was the last of our money. After they had left the restaurant the husband suddenly came back in and threw $5.00 on the table and said that his wife had heard our tale of woe and told him to give us the money. Traveling across Canada turned out to be the greatest adventure of my short life at the time but the fact is that it is still my favorite adventure.