“Hitchhiking in Northern Saskatchewan” by Conrad Charles ELA A30

Travels can be costly, unless you are hitchhiking. Hitchhiking is a form of transportation that works by asking a driver to give you a lift on their automobile, when you are on the highway or other traveled roads. It is not always free, but it is less money spent when traveling. A person must take caution, as hitchhiking can be a dangerous activity to you and the drivers. Hitchhikers ask owners make a risky decision, which is letting a stranger into their vehicle. You can help them decide by being friendly. It can take you a long way. Another helpful reminder for hitchhikers is to be always be visible to motorists. Giving drivers time to decide whether to give you a ride or not. Stand in a place where you can be seen from a far. The best travels are those with twists and turns, making journeys an extraordinary experience, and earn friends by hitchhiking.

It’s was December morning. I had plans to visit my grandparents in Pelican Narrows, so I took off from my cousin’s place from west flat, in Prince Albert. It took me 45 minutes to get to the highway. A motorist stop and asked where I was heading. I told him. I was going to Pelican Narrows. I said he was going as far as Nipawin. He said he was going to drop me off at the junction to Candle Lake. I get dropped off the junction going towards Candle Lake. I walked at least one hour and an old couple picked me up. While we were traveling we saw a lone wolf. Lone wolves may be stronger, more aggressive and far more dangerous than the average wolf that is a member of a pack. The wolf wasn’t far where I was walking, if the old couple didn’t picked me, we would have crossed paths. I was a little surprised, when I saw the wolf. The old couple dropped me off at Candle Lake junction. I was on the road for a while, when a middle age man stopped. I just got in his car and told him, I was going to Pelican Narrows. He was only going 20 kilometers ahead, where the pavement end and gravel begins. He said that is where he lived. It’s was already 5 o’clock and getting dark. I thought about giving up for the day. Me and driver were chatting. He asked me if I wanted to stay at his place for the night, because the sun was down and getting dark fast. I declined his offer. He dropped me off, where the pavement and gravel meet. I start walking and at this time it was dark. I walked for many hour and kilometers. I heard the first vehicle coming my way and approaching fast. It just drove by and kept going. I walked and walked, what seemed like I was going around in circles. I saw one vehicle in a last 5 hours. I walked a few more hours, until I needed rest. I sat on my backpack and looking up at the stars. There was no moon in the sky. The weather was warm for December. The wind was calm. I couldn’t hear anything or anyone, it was peace and quiet. I sat there for a while, sitting quietly. I had mucus in my throat, so I cleared my throat with loud coughs. I started hearing wolves howling in a distance. I guess the wolves heard my coughing. I got up and started walking. If they were coming towards me, I had no weapons to defend myself or lighter to make fire to scare them off. I was defenceless against a pack of wolves and I had no where to run. I kept saying “oh s#*t oh s#*t oh s#*t”. The wolves howling were getting closer and closer. Then I saw a light coming my way. It was a vehicle heading towards the other way, so I went to the other side of the road. I can hear the howling coming closer. The vehicle was coming closer and I put my hand up and thumb in the air. The car just kept driving. I thought I was going to get torn up to pieces, when the car drove away, then in a distance the vehicle’s red lights lit up and slowed down. I ran towards the car. My legs were tired. I was running for my life and my backpack was heavy. I didn’t want to slow down. I could hear the wolves were very close. I finally made it to the car. I got in the car and we drove towards Prince Albert.

It was summer and I was in Prince Albert. I was going to hitchhike to Stanley Mission. I was on the highway. I had my first ride to Sturgeon Lake junction. I walked about 10 minutes. I was passing the first house on the highway. I saw a dog running towards me. I figured it was tied up, but the dog just kept running towards me, I thought the dog had a long leash, or something. The dog was coming closer and closer. The dog made it to the pavement. I didn’t know what to do at that point. I couldn’t run, because there was nowhere to run. The dog kept running towards me. I could recognize the breed of the dog. It was a Pit bull. A dog with a locking jaw and viscious reputation. I had my backpack with me wherever I went, so I thought I use it as a shield. The pit bull was in few feet of me. The pit bull bit the backpack and pulling and trying to rip the bag. I was still holding to my backpack, because that was the only thing that kept me from the pit bull. There were vehicles driving by and nobody stopped and helped. I didn’t want to kick the dog, just in case the pit bull catches my leg. I remembered seeing a metal bar a few yards away, only if I could get to it, I could fend off my attacker and beat the hell out of this mindless creature that’s messing with me. I was walking backwards slowly with this b*stard that is biting on my backpack. I was working towards the metal bar slowly. I almost made it to the metal bar and a cop car pulls up right beside me. A woman cop from Prince Albert comes out of the vehicle. She tells me to jump into her vehicle. What I wanted her to do is shoot this drooling ugly dog, who needs to be put down. I had to move fast to get into the car. The pit bull might have had rabies or something else, so I didn’t want to take any chances at that point to get bitten. I got into the car quickly as I could, then we drove away leaving the dog behind.

I was on the airport highway in the outskirts of Prince Albert. I was on the road going Pelly (Pelican Narrows), when I saw another hitchhiker in a far distance. When he turned around and saw me he stopped and waited for to catch up to him. When I got closer I recognized him. I called him by his name and he wondered how I knew his name, his name was Ovide. I met Ovide before when I was hitchhiking from two previous winters. I was on the highway, when these drunk drivers stop next to me. There were two males, a woman and two children sitting back seat of the truck. They asked if I had a drivers licence, but I didn’t have a drivers licence. I only had a Saskatchewan I.D. I showed them my I.D pretending I had a drivers licence. They believed I had a driver’s licence, so they offered me to drive. I get into the driver seat and started driving to our same destination. I introduced myself and my family back ground. They knew my family. They said I was related to one of the kids in the back seat. He was my uncle’s kid. I never met this kid before, but I heard of him through my uncle. His name was Darnell. Darnell was being raised by his grandparents and is uncle, who were all in the truck. The roads were icy all the way to Pelly, but we made it to Pelly safe. That is how I met Ovide, who was hitchhiking to Pelly as well. I told him the story, how I met him and he remembered. He wanted to hitchhike with me. I knew it was a bad idea to hitchhike with two or more people, because I did it earlier with a friends. It took us hours and many km of walking. I agreed to it. We are now hitchhiking together to Pelly. It’s hard for two guys to hitchhike together. It was hours later until we got picked up and got dropped off at Candle Lake junction road. We walked hours on the road and chatted to know one another and not paying attention to our surroundings. All of a sudden my friend says “oh s#*t a wolf”. It was a lone wolf standing in middle of the road staring at us. We stopped and did nothing, but stared back. It was a stare down for a few moments and it run off to the woods. Ovide and I were a little surprised what just happened. We continued on walking, but eventually we made to our destination.

I hitchhiked many times to visit relative and friends in many places. I hitchhiked through my twenties. I met good people, creepy people, party people, and familiar people. I had bad days and good days. I stopped hitchhiking years ago because I have my own vehicle. Hitchhiking was a good experience in my life, but I won’t be hitchhiking anytime soon.