Archive for the ‘Whitehall’ Tag

Three Dollars in Whitehall, Montana   15 comments

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About a week ago I hitchhiked from West Yellowstone to Belgrade, Montana.  From Belgrade I started walking west on I-90.  I walked a mile or two and these two young guys picked me up and dropped me off in Whitehall.

I tried thumbing west on the interstate, but the Lord told me to shut it down for the day.  So I walked into Whitehall and spent the rest of the day at the library.

Whenever I go to the library, I check my two blogs and/or any emails.  I usually spend the rest of my time reading other blogs—mostly Christian blogs.

I stayed there at the library in Whitehall till after 7 PM.  I then walked to this convenience store across the street from the railroad tracks.  I left my backpack outside and walked inside to get a cup of coffee.

I was now down to my last six bucks, a half a loaf of bread and a can of soup.  A small number of customers came and went from the convenience store as I slowly sipped on my coffee.

I really don’t care for coffee, but in the winter time, a hot cup of joe warms up the bones.  I usually put a lot of cream and sugar in my coffee for the extra calories.  I would much rather drink hot tea, if it is available.  I noticed on the weather forecast that it might get down to 18 degrees F, so that was my ulterior motive for buying a 24 ounce cup of coffee.

After I finished my coffee, I walked outside to my backpack.  I saw what looked like two dollars stuffed into one of my straps on the top of my pack.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I walked back into the convenience store and told the lady at the cash register about the two bucks that I found on top of my pack.  She smiled and I bought some hot popcorn for a dollar.  On closer examination, I noticed that it was three dollars that someone had given me.  I was very grateful.

After I finished my popcorn, I walked back outside, lifted my backpack onto my shoulders and walked a couple of blocks to the east.  I then crossed the railroad tracks and towards the rodeo grounds.  I found a machine shed on the outskirts of town.  Someone had obviously kept some cattle or horses in that shed:  I found a little stall with some hay on the ground.  I shook and scattered the hay on the ground (for insulation), unrolled my two sleeping bags on top of the hay, crawled inside my bags and eventually fell asleep.  It was a cozy and warm place to sleep for the night.

The next morning, I had a few pieces of bread and a can of cold soup.  I then headed to the convenience store and bought a small cup of coffee.

I then walked back to I-90 where I stood on the side of the road for maybe half an hour.

I started to get cold, so I started walking west.  I walked for around two miles and this tractor-trailer pulled over.  I ran up to the cab and opened the door.  The truck driver grabbed my backpack and I climbed up into the cab.

This guy’s name was Walentin and he was originally from Russia.  He spoke some English.  I told him that I was a Christian; he said that he was also a Christian and that he went to a Pentecostal church in the state of Washington.

We didn’t talk a whole lot because his English wasn’t so good.  We drove west through Butte.  We drove past this sign near Garrison which read “Jesus Christ is Lord over this valley”.  Walentin pointed at the sign, smiled and gave me a thumbs up and I said “Praise the Lord!”

Walentin dropped me off in Missoula.  I walked to the library where I spent fifteen minutes on the internet.  I then walked across town to Brooks Avenue.

I had just walked past the McDonald’s when this young man ran up to me carrying a white sack.

“This is for you,” he said.  He gave me the sack and ran back to the McDonald’s.

“Thank you and God bless you,” I replied as I looked back at the McDonald’s.  I was very grateful.

I walked to this gas station where I set my backpack down.  I sat down on my backpack and looked inside the sack.  There were three sandwiches:  two double cheeseburgers and a chicken sandwich.

I began eating  a cheeseburger when this lady walked over to me.  She had been filling up her vehicle with gas when I arrived at the gas station.  She asked me what I was doing.  I told her that I was hitchhiking and that I was headed to Lolo.  She said that she could give me a ride.  So I grabbed my pack, put it in her vehicle and we drove off.

Her name was Shannon and she told me that she used to live in Driggs, Idaho.  I told her that I had hitchhiked through Driggs many times over the years.  I told her that I used to stay with a couple of friends in Victor whenever I passed through, but their house burned down back in 2012 and one of my friends died in the fire; his dad barely escaped the fire with his life.

“You knew George and Mike?” Shannon asked, a bit surprised.

“Sure did.  Mike is related to some friends of mine that live in Jackson, Wyoming.  George and Mike let me sleep on the kitchen floor whenever I came through town.”

“A lot of people knew George.  We hung out at the same bar in Victor.  There were a lot of wet eyes in the Driggs area when people found out that George died in the fire.”

Shannon drove to this store where she bought some dog food.  I helped her carry a bag of dog food to her vehicle.  We then headed south to Lolo.  She dropped me off at this gas station at the intersection of U.S. 93 and U.S. 12 and we said goodbye.

I walked west on U.S. 12 for a mile or so and camped in a shed near the river that night.

Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch

Posted January 22, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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