In the 70s my friends and I hitch hiked everywhere. When we were 14 or 15
Very early one morning we threw a little food and blankets into a back pack, ate a hit of STP, and left my Soulard apartment. We didn’t have a cent on us. Dom and I actually hitched to
I’m not sure where we got the STP but it had been described as a “Businessman’s hallucinogen.” You tripped for 4 hours, then back to business. I remember a mild speedy effect but it didn’t matter we were tripping on youth.
Jethro Tull’s “Passion Play” had been out less than a week but we already knew it by heart. Every experience along the way was a scene from the album. Our first stop was
From the top of a hill we could see a perfectly cut path through trees. I think they were going to put up poles for some king of wires. We called it the negative Mohican. We laugh about it to this day. I guess you had to be there.
Our first night we found a sand bar in the middle of the river and slept under the stars. In the middle of the night we awoke to strange noises all around us. In silhouette, against the backdrop of glowing embers from our fire, we could make out a raccoon. One of us shined a flashlight into the dark. We were surrounded by hundreds of them. One of them was carrying our backpack. We ran up to it and it dropped our food only to grab it again. We threw rocks but the raccoons weren’t intimidated by anything. In desperation we lit rolls of toilet paper on fire and lobbed it at them. The next morning we inspected the damage and took inventory. We had a can opener and one can of peas left. We hit the road.
We made it to
I’ve been trying to remember for years where it was that we were picked up by a moon shiner from
I had to throw this post together quickly because my son Dylan and I are leaving for a camping trip of our own. I didn’t tell him we were retracing the steps of that previous trip. Now I have all the latest gear and lots of camping trips under my belt. I wonder if he’ll ever suffer through his own learning experiences without the impediment of adult supervision
Photos are a very young Dominic and a camping trip with my kids.