On my driving adventures to Mammoth Lakes and back this summer I had the opportunity to pick up two hitchhikers. One was a construction worker who had gone to the drunk tank in Bridgeport. (side note: the jail for the whole Mammoth Lakes region is located an hour north in Bridgeport, California. Not very convenient when you need a ride home.) He had been on the road walking and thumbing for four hours and no one had picked him up. I was surprised and a bit sad about that, what if my car breaks down on this drive I do so much? Not cool.
The other hitchhiker I picked up is named Eric, he’s a permanent resident of the urban outdoors. For three-and-a-half hours we rode together discussing everything from the military and music, to racism and how to make a living collecting bottles. It was fascinating to peer into the life of someone from another world. Eric is a Veteran of the US Military and a carpenter by trade, yet he has chosen to live in the streets collecting recycling for a living. Visiting with him made the trip North to Reno pass quickly in the summer heat. Some of the stories he told were beautiful and full of love, others were sad and lonely. I now see his face in the homeless of Reno, a simple connection I never had before.
When we arrived in Reno I asked if I could take his photo, he obliged and we stood awkwardly apart in a parking lot near the University of Nevada, Reno, while I pointed my camera at him and grabbed a few shots. The photos are nothing amazing, but they remind me of a person a place and a time, and reconnect me with Eric.
We have a bunch more work to share and will continue to post every Tuesday and Thursday. Brandon has been doing some awesome stuff down in Mammoth Lakes, don’t worry I’ve been busy too and will continue to have photos for us Northerners.
Thanks and have a great day,