Archive for April 2012

Chris McCandless Revisited   5 comments

Chris McCandless

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
15 August 2010

Four days ago (11 August), I was hitchhiking in Idaho and this guy picked me up. He told me that he went to school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; he graduated in 1994. So I asked him about Chris McCandless (Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer) (McCandless went to school at Emory).

This guy said that he was three years behind McCandless in school. After McCandless’ body was discovered in Alaska (1992), he was in an English class (in 1993?) with a professor that had taught McCandless a few years previous. The professor had the class study some of McCandless’ papers.

This guy told the professor and the class that he thought McCandless showed a lot of hubris or suburban hubris when he tried to live in the wilderness of Alaska; he thought that McCandless was not well-prepared to live on his own. The professor and the rest of the class reacted very negatively to this guy when he used the word “hubris.” This guy ended up getting a C- in the class.

Hubris: “n. [Gk., violence] Excessive pride: ARROGANCE.”
Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Book Review:  High Plains Drifter
Into the Wild (2007) (Tragedy, Epiphany and Closure)
Chris McCandless on 20/20 (1997)
The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless

Into The Wild Documentary – Return to the Wild


I just discovered a couple of days ago that someone is trying to sell my manuscript (High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America) on Ebay.

I got a ride from Lolo, Montana to Orofino, Idaho on U.S. 12—I rode in the back of a pickup. I walked to the library in Orofino and googled “Tim Shey hitchhiker” just for the heck of it. One of the results was “Hitchhiking America/ Hiker Rage”, so I clicked-on to it. I was surprised to see that someone was trying to sell my manuscript.

I thought it was pretty funny.

An American Pilgrim:  Some Reflections on High Plains Drifter
Into the Steel
The Life of a Hobo
Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch
Stobe the Hobo

Dream: High Plains Drifter   2 comments

Last night I had a very vivid dream. I was talking with some friends and then I walked over to this table and sat down. I think I was tired, so I put my head in my hands and closed my eyes to take a short nap.

I then heard someone walking towards me. I opened my eyes and saw these cowboy boots. I then looked up and saw Clint Eastwood. He was wearing a cowboy hat and had a bandana wrapped around his neck. Eastwood was in his forties; he looked like the cowboy in those spaghetti westerns or The Stranger in his film High Plains Drifter. He was smiling at me.

He was there to talk to me and prepare me for the lead role in a film he was directing. I think the film was based on my book High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America.

Then Gene Hackman walked up to me, shook my hand and smiled at me. Gene Hackman was dressed like he was in the film The Quick and the Dead. There was more to the dream, but it is gone from me now.

Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973)
Meeting a Former Editor from Warner Brothers
Two Pleasant Surprises:  High Plains Drifter Revisited

New Camaldoli   6 comments

Back in April of 1983, I was working on a cattle ranch in western Nebraska.  After a few days on the ranch, I decided to hit the road and head west to California.  I wanted to see a lady who had written a couple of books of poetry.  She lived in Big Sur, California.  We had exchanged a couple of letters and I talked with her on the phone when I was living in Iowa.

I got a couple of rides from Nebraska into western Wyoming on I-80.  It didn’t take long to hitchhike across Utah.  Then I got a ride from the Utah-Nevada State line all the way to Sunnyvale, California.

This car pulled over to where I was standing and this young lady said, “I’m only going to San Francisco.”

So we drove across Nevada and talked about various things.  I slept part of the way to California.  She dropped me off in Sunnyvale; it was around four o’clock in the morning.  I thanked her for the ride and walked down this freeway (I think it was U.S. 101).  I found some bushes to sleep in for a while.

Just before the sun came up, I started walking down the freeway.  I saw this car parked on the shoulder.  I thought it was broke down or abandoned.  As I walked past the car, this guy in the back seat spoke up.  I was surprised to hear someone speaking from the car and I turned and talked with the guy.

“Where you going?” he asked.

“Santa Cruz,” I replied.

“Where you coming from?”

“I just hitchhiked from Nebraska.”

“Sounds like a long trip.”

I looked at his leg—it was in a cast.  “What happened to your leg?” I asked.

“I broke it while surfing.  You’re going to Santa Cruz?”


“You’re going in the wrong direction.  You’re going south—you need to go west.  Walk back to the next off ramp and take Highway 17 to Santa Cruz.”

“Hey, thanks.  I hope your leg heals up soon.”

“Me too.”

I don’t remember if his car broke down or ran out of gas.

So I walked back to Highway 17 and hitchhiked to Santa Cruz.  It was Providential that I met that guy with the broken leg.  He pointed me in the right direction.

From Santa Cruz I took a bus to Monterrey and then shared a taxi with a guy to Carmel.  I phoned my poet friend from Carmel.  She and her boyfriend picked me up a while later and drove me to her house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur.  She told me that it was a miracle that I arrived in Carmel when I did.  Two hours before I phoned her, Highway 1 north of Big Sur had reopened after being shut down for two months because of a mudslide.

I stayed at her house for a few days and then hitchhiked south to this Camaldolese monastery.  It is called New Camaldoli Hermitage; it is in the Santa Lucia Mountains.  As I walked and hitchhiked south on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), I met this bicyclist from Austria.

“Can I get through to San Francisco?” he asked.  “I heard that there was a big mudslide south of Big Sur.”

“Yeah,” I replied.  “I just came through there.  I walked across the mudslide no problem.”

“That’s a relief.  I just rode my bike from Belize through Mexico.  I am heading to Canada.”

“Have a good trip.”

I got a ride to Lucia (I am not sure if this town exists anymore) and stopped at New Camaldoli for three nights.  The monks put me up in my own hermit cell. They gave me three meals a day.  Each day I would have fellowship with the younger monks in the chapel.  The older monks (hermits) would stay in their own hermit cells.  The monks I met were very friendly.  It is probably rare for a hitchhiker to stay at their hermitage.  It was a beautiful, quiet place built on the side of this mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Back in 1980, I had been working on a farm in County Carlow in Ireland for a few months.  I met this school teacher while I was there.  She asked me if I had ever heard of a writer named Thomas Merton.  I told her I didn’t.  Thomas Merton had gone to college at Cambridge and Columbia and showed much promise as a writer.  He later joined this Cistercian Monastery in Kentucky.  Eventually I read a couple of his books and thought that maybe I should become a monk.

I visited a couple of monasteries in Ireland and several in the United States.  I thought I should become a monk because I really didn’t blend in well with the world system.  I didn’t blend in well with the world system as a 17-year-old atheist.  I still don’t blend in well with the world system as 51-year-old hitchhiker.  Some people just don’t blend in well.

I remember back in 1982, some people dropped me off at the New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa.  I stayed one night to see what it was like.  I talked to a couple of monks about the monastic life.  As I left the monastery the next morning, this older monk smiled at me, opened the door and saw me off.

“Where you off to?” he asked.

“I’m going to hitchhike to Iowa City,” I replied.  “Thanks for letting me stay the night.”

“You’re welcome.  Have a safe trip and God bless you.”

That old monk had such a serene smile.

After I left New Camaldoli, I hitchhiked back north to Big Sur.  I got one ride with this man and woman in a pickup.  They told me that a friend of theirs had a vivid dream of an earthquake that hit California, so she immediately flew to Thailand.  A week after I heard about this earthquake dream, an earthquake hit Coalinga, California.  Things happen for a reason.

Wikipedia:  “The 1983 Coalinga earthquake occurred on May 2, 1983 at exactly 23:42 UTC in Coalinga,California. The earthquake recorded 6.5 on the Richter scale. The earthquake was caused by an unknown fault buried under the surface.”

“This earthquake caused an estimated $10 million in property damage (according to the American Red Cross) and injured 94 people. Damage was most severe in Coalinga, where the 8-block downtown commercial district was almost completely destroyed. Here, buildings having unreinforced brick walls sustained the heaviest damage.”

California Earthquake
Hitch-Hikers Handbook
Sleeping at the Post Office in Bridgeport, California
Back in California
A Hitchhiker in Bakersfield
Branding Calves
Revival in Ireland?
Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch

Featured on Hitch-Hikers Handbook

Touch Not My Anointed, Do My Prophets No Harm   5 comments

Daniel in the lion’s den

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
7 June 2006

A week or so ago I had a dream where I was sitting in a library. I was at this table reading a book. Then three big guys walked into the library and sat down at my table. They looked like bullies. One of the guys was really big—he looked like he was around 350 pounds. He was probably the leader. So the biggest guy pulled out a knife and walked over to me and with one arm he grabbed my neck and started to choke me; with the other arm he menaced me with the knife. I resisted for a while. He said he wanted all of my money. I finally gave in and gave him my money. Then they left me alone.

Last night I had a dream where I was in the same library. I noticed that the librarian was at the front desk. I was at the same table reading a book when the same three big guys walked into the library and sat down at my table. The biggest guy walked over to me and pulled out a knife. I grabbed the knife from this guy and I grabbed his neck with my left arm and began choking him. With my right arm I took my knife and was ready to slit his throat—I was very angry and the violence in me was very real. The guy pulled out a wad of money and gave it to me, so I let him go. The other two guys gave me their money and then they walked away from the table. As they walked out of the library, the librarian said something like, “Don’t ever touch Tim again” or “Leave Tim alone.” I still had the knife in my hand when the dream ended.

Touch not my anointed, do my prophets no harm. No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.

A Prophet’s Eyes
Josephus on John the Baptist

A Short Hitchhiking Trip   7 comments

Oregon Highway

Last Thursday, Susie gave me a ride over Cedar Pass to U.S. 395 north of Alturas, California.  I walked a mile or so and got picked up by a tractor-trailer.

The driver was Ken and he said that he had picked me up before a few years ago.  He drove me to Lakeview, Oregon and dropped me off near the library.

I walked into the library and asked the librarian if there was a barbershop close by.  She said there was a barbershop on main street.  I spent some time on the Internet and then walked to the barbershop.

I was sitting in the barber’s chair getting a haircut when this older man and woman walked into the shop.  Before they walked in, I gave Diane (the lady giving me a haircut) my card.  Diane gave my card to the lady who had just walked into the barbershop.

The lady looked at my card and we started talking about my hitchhiking travels.  Then she said, “I’ve read your book.”

I said, “High Plains Drifter?”

“Yes.  A friend of mine bought your book and then gave it to me.”

This was quite a surprise.

She later told me that I should go to the local newspaper and maybe they would do a story about my travels.

After my haircut, I walked to the offices of the Lake County Examiner.  I talked with Ryan Bonham, who is a reporter for the Examiner.  He told me to come back at 2 PM.

I walked to this motel in Lakeview and got a room.  I made some money working for John and Susie, so I thought I would get a motel room.  I ended up staying in Lakeview for two nights.

I walked back to the Examiner and talked with Ryan Bonham for about an hour.  The last time a reporter interviewed me for a story was in Hamilton, Montana in 2008–the Ravalli Republic Newspaper.  That reporter interviewed me for about a half hour.

After the interview, Ryan told me that the article would come out the following Wednesday or in the next two or three weeks.  We shook hands and I walked back to the library.

On Saturday morning, I left Lakeview and walked north on U.S. 395.  I thought that I would go to Burns and then head north to Washington state or head east towards Boise.

This guy named Chuck picked me up and took me to Bend and then to Redmond, Oregon.  He had pruned some trees for John and Susie a few years ago.  From Redmond I walked a couple of miles and hitchhiked to Prineville.

I got a room at the City Center Motel in Prineville.  I watched Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks and some other Irish gangsters while I was there.  I have always thought that Prineville was a real nice town.

The next day, I got two rides to John Day.  From John Day, I got a ride to Seneca with this old codger in a beat up pickup.  He was wearing a worn out cowboy hat and had a few bags of groceries in the cab of his pickup.  I asked him how old his pickup was and he said that it was a ’63.  He said it was built before I was born.  I told him that I was born in 1960.

In our conversation, he said that he had spent some time in prison years ago.  When he got out of prison, he did some hitchhiking.  For some reason, he thought that I said that I was born in 1946.  I said, no, I was born in 1960.  He said, you look like you are 46.  I then asked him if he was born in 1946.  He said, no, that he was born in 1929.  Yeah, I probably said, you look older than 46–you look older than your ’63 pickup which makes sense if you were born in 1929.  1960, 1946, 1929:  I guess it’s all the same thing–especially if you were born after 1990.  Sometimes details get confused when a hitchhiker who was born in 1960 talks to an old codger who was born in 1929 who later spent time in prison who thinks that the hitchhiker is 46 when in fact the hitchhiker is 52 . . . . .I think I’ll stop here before I paint myself into a corner.

The old guy then proceeded to tell me how I could steal gas out of other people’s cars with this device that you plug into your dashboard cigarette lighter–which didn’t make a whole lot of sense because I didn’t have a dashboard cigarette lighter and I didn’t have a car and I didn’t need gas.  Some people don’t make a whole lot of sense.  He was an old ex con who probably drank too much beer, stole too much gas and spent too much time in the pen.  He dropped me off in Seneca and I hit the road.

I walked a couple of miles and got a ride to Burns with a guy who was born in Massena, Iowa.  I told him that I was born and raised in Iowa.  He went to school at Iowa State and worked for the U.S. Forest Service.  I told him that my grandmother was born and raised in Massena.

I got dropped off at this truck stop on the west side of Burns (Hines).  I hit the road and got a ride to Riley with a couple of guys going to Bend.

From Riley, I walked a couple of miles south on U.S. 395 and then the sun went down over the western horizon.  I laid out my sleeping bag in the sagebrush near this fence line on the east side of the road and went to sleep.

Sometime after midnight, I woke up and the night sky was overcast.  It started to sprinkle a very light rain.  I packed up my things and walked back to Riley.  I walked to this horse shed next to the gas station and laid out my sleeping bag in the shed and slept there the rest of the night.  It began to rain much harder and I was grateful to be out of the weather for the night.

At sun up, the rain had stopped and I walked to the gas station and got something to eat.  I walked back to the intersection and got two rides to Lakeview on U.S. 395.  From Lakeview, I got two rides to Highway 299.  From Highway 299, I got two rides over Cedar Pass to Cedarville.


A Thumb and a Prayer
Author Pens Tales Reminiscing from the Road
Take Me Home, Country Roads

Fairbanks Bus 142   2 comments

Here is a well-written account of a young man (Dave Korn) who hikes to the place where Chris McCandless lived and died in the wild of Alaska:

Fairbanks Bus 142


A Critical Review of Into the Wild
Into the Wild (2007) (Tragedy, Epiphany and Closure)
Chris McCandless Revisited
The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless
Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch

God Knows What He Is Doing   1 comment

My Utmost For His Highest
By Oswald Chambers
January 2
“Will You Go Out Without Knowing?”
“He went out, not knowing whither he went.”  Hebrews 11: 8
“Have you been ‘out’ in this way?  If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing.  One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question—‘What do you expect to do?’  You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.  Continually revise your attitude towards God entirely.  It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder—you do not know what God is going to do next.  Each morning you wake it is to be a ‘going out,’ building in confidence on God.  ‘Take no thought for your life, . . . nor yet for your body’—take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you ‘went out.’”
A few weeks ago, this guy picked me up outside of Jackson and we talked for a little while and then he asked me, “Do you have any goals?”  I forget what I told him.  I don’t make plans:  the Lord tells me when to go and where to go (the general direction) and then I go.  Yes, I wouldn’t mind getting married, if the Lord gives me a wife.  Yes, I wouldn’t mind hitchhiking no more forever, if it were God’s will.  No, I don’t have any goals:  I am obeying my Father.  He knows how to keep your nose to the grindstone.  My job description:  I have come to do the will of my Father who sent me or I have come to destroy the works of the devil.
“The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.”  Amen.  When I do the will of my Father, things go smoothly, and if I suffer for the Gospel’s sake, there is always peace in my spirit.  Whenever I do my own will–thinking it is God’s will–things go badly and there is no peace in my spirit.  It is such a comfort to know that the Lord has something good set up just around the corner even though I may not be able to see around the corner.

Dream: Escape from the Shey Farm   4 comments

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
12 April 2005

Last night I had a dream where I was at the Jerry Shey farm back in Iowa. I was escaping the farm. I had my backpack and I was dragging it with me. I was crawling through the corral and past farm buildings and fences. There were a lot more details to the dream, but they are gone from me now.

It is obvious to me what the dream means. Satan ran the Shey family. Jerry Shey built his wealth on Satan–deception. You have probably heard of the phrase: oh, the wicked web that we weave. There is so much witchcraft, deception and lies in the Shey family. The corral, the buildings, the fences of the Shey farm were all the webs of deceit that Jerry Shey used to control his wife, his kids, his friends at the local Catholic Church and his relatives. I saw through this years and years ago–before I was saved–but I did not have the power to overcome till the curses (that I inherited from the Shey family) were broken off of my life. The big curse was broken back in July of 1999. What a relief that was.

Dream:  Everything Was Falling Apart
Guernica Revisited
A Conversation with a Vietnam Veteran

Dream: Multiplication   Leave a comment

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
19 February 2005
About five days ago, I hitchhiked from Bozeman to Billings and then into Wyoming.  At Wyola, Wyoming two construction workers picked me up and took me to Buffalo.  It was nighttime and I walked south on I-25 a few miles and then found a shed at a ranch to sleep in.  I covered myself up with straw and went to sleep.  I believe it got down to ten degrees F that night, but the straw kept me nice and warm.
That night I had a dream where I was sleeping in a shed and just a few feet from me was a yellow-colored cow.  The next scene I saw the cow give birth to twin calves.  The next scene the two calves—one black, one yellow—were practically on top of me, playing with me, nudging me with their noses.  I took my hands and gently moved them in the direction of their mother.  The final scene:  the two calves were aggressively sucking from their mother’s tits.
At first glance, I wasn’t sure if the preceding dream was from the Lord.  Now I believe it was.  I believe the Lord is showing me the principle of multiplication.  If a rancher has a cow-calf herd and every cow produced twins, the rancher’s herd would multiply greatly.  Reminds me of Jacob when he worked for his father-in-law Laban:  Jacob’s herd increased greatly while Laban’s herd did not.
If a Christian abides in Christ, his life (the Gospel) will multiply in other people’s lives.  If we follow our self-will, there is no increase, no multiplication.  We must do the will of our Heavenly Father if we want the Gospel of Jesus Christ to continue to multiply throughout the world.

Posted April 10, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Dream: Everything Was Falling Apart   3 comments

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
27 September 2004

Last night I had a dream where I saw the Jerry Shey farm back in Iowa. I saw all the buildings: the barn, the sheds, everything that makes up your basic farm and it was all falling apart. There was this ice storm and the buildings would be covered with ice and then they would collapse under the weight of the ice. Everything was falling apart.

Guernica Revisited