All You Needs is Thumbs (and Condoms) - Part 2

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


By: Zoey Ross

The first person that picked me up drove me two km west because he was picking up smokes from the shop nearby. From this I learned my first lesson: make sure you know how far they are going. When I got out of the car, like sheading a dusty coat, I left my anxiety behind. The first trip was over, even if home was just behind me.

After being given a sweet tour of the Big Nickle, I made some ground and wound up in a van with Tom O’Flannagan, the Chair of the Fine Arts program at Algoma University. He and his wife told me how they hitchhiked back in the day. Tom said it’s about the intricacies and in time I would learn he was right. They gave me a ride to my relatives in the Sault, but not before giving me Tom’s vintage hiking jack, $40 and pat on the back. That jacket is now my lucky red jacket. I think it’s important to note in all my hitchhiking adventures, that I have never asked for anything except a ride and that’s how it will always be.

Great uncle Dean gave me a ride to the outskirts the next day and I started what I was told would unanimously be the hardest part of the trip. No one ever said it would be one of the most beautiful. The Lake Superior coast line, the shine of pancake bay and the wolves that could have eaten me which were less than 200 meters away from where I got picked up.  

I was lucky to make it past Wawa no problem. Again, another teacher gave me a lift and brought me north east to White River, which random fact, is where the idea of Winnie the Poo was conceived. It was in this 100 acre wood where things began to get strange and would lead to an event I am still torn up, embarrassed and vexed about.

The last person to pick me up before Thunder Bay was a wickedly nice person and decide to pick another hitch hiking duo along the way. Jerica and Kyle were hiking from Nova Scotia and it took them a month to get this far. While chatting, Jerrica said she was a lesbian and they were in fact not a couple. Our dear driver gave us a ride to the Confederation College hostels and Kyle paid for the lot of us.

I’ve spent the majority of the day so far with Jerica and Kyle and have got to know there story pretty well. Jerica has really piqued my interests; she’s older than me, from the east coast and is an absolute rocket – which make this next part so hard to tell.

I kept thinking, I need to seperate from these two so I’m sure to get a ride west. At one point Kyle went for a shower which left Jerica and I alone for a while. I swear, I just turned around for a second but when I looked back, there she was standing emphatically in a see through tank top and white panties. Maybe it’s because I was trying to focus on my mission west, but more likely because I was naïve and 18, that I wasn’t picking up on what she was throwing down. I thought she was a lesbian and damn it lesbians don’t have sex with men. Right?

Then she offered me a condom to which I honestly replied, “Thanks but I have some in backpack already."

She braced and said I could have that one for another girl, then grabbed her towel and hit the showers. I proceeded with the night mundanely and was absolutely oblivious of what just happened. It took a year before it hit me and this story makes my entirety frustrated to this day.

The following morning I hustled on a city bus to the edge of town and straight out of the movies, a traveller’s miracle occurred. The most beautiful Peterbilt 18 wheeler truck pulled over and I hopped in. Even the console was gorgeous, it was all gold switches, no knobs or electronic buttons. He introduced himself as Paul and I was sure to ask him how far he was going. “I’m heading to Calgary,” he replied.

My frusteration may have waned with each passing mile, but my supply of prophylactics did not. 



Zoey Ross is a writer and adventure from central Ontario. Ross has been to over 20 countries and filmed in them all. He's worked as an international video producer and as a dude at Tim Hortons (for 3 and a half hours). Now he's at the University Guelph taking polysci, writing for every organization that wants his words and is seeking adventure. Some of his interest include celebrity interviews, video games, exploration and good cocktails. Follow him on twitter @mrzoeyross or check out his blog Who the F is The Man named Zoey.

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