Time for a bit of a rewind in our story today. Last time I shared the story of getting our first truck, which barely made it to Grants Pass when we tried to leave. We ended up essentially killing that truck with our neighbors, some of our only friends we had in Oregon. I'm going to go back a bit today to explain how we met those neighbors and to share some of the adventures that eventually led to our truck dying.
We'll start with how we met, we were walking down the main country road we lived on towards the grocery store in town. We had David with us, the resident hitchhiking hippy, so naturally he stuck his thumb out at every car that drove by in the hopes that they'd pick him up. Finally, a 90s SUV did, with two young people in it. For the sake of the story, we'll call them Cassie and Rob.
Cassie was blond and pretty, straight out of California and it was obvious. Rob was talk, thin and dark haired, evidently having just returned to his hometown, the place where we were stranded. They briefly explained that they used to hitchhike here and there, so they were sympathetic to us in that way. The whole experience was alien to me as I lived in a place where that was borderline illegal for most of my life, yet people just seemed to travel the highways of the west coast for free rides.
They dropped us off at the grocery store after explaining that they're our neighbors, their family being the former owners of the house. We later discussed the possibility that they would eventually buy weed from us, as they seemed young enough to be interested in that. Considering we had no way to bring in money, we were hoping.
And they were, because they eventually came around asking for some. We helped them out with the stuff we had on reserve, marking some of the first cash we made in Oregon. Slowly, through buying weed and occasional rides here and there, we developed a friendship with these people. They were nice, but our main motivating factor at the end of the day was an escape from where we were.
Then came the invite for the casino. There was one about 20 minutes away and they wanted to go to have a little fun. They had a two year old son and were living with Rob's parents, which meant they wanted an escape too. That escape evidently came in the form of a casino because they asked us to go with them repeatedly before we agreed. I'd never been to a casino but I hadn't been terribly interested before that. Not only that, but it was nervewracking to go on the run, as they demand identification immediately if you win a huge prize, which was random.
One night we finally agreed and it was interesting to say the least. If I remember correctly, we went with 5 dollar limits as that's all we could afford. We walked away with 30 that night but that's realistically the most I've ever pulled out of that place without someone handing me lots of money to play. The drive home was brutal and I almost threw up due to Rob's driving and hilly mountain roads as we had to take the long way home. Rob didn't have his proper licensing and was extremely paranoid at being pulled over.
On Christmas eve they came over for a dab extremely excited, as Rob had just won 10000 dollars in a scratch off lottery ticket. His form of celebration was naturally to go to the Casino, treating us, so we went. We honestly wasted a bunch of money. I walked out with 100 dollars, but that's because they fed more than 200 into the machine for me. Rob made a comment to me that night "I've never seen anyone lose here as much as you." It was a sign, casinos aren't my thing.
As our friendship with Rob and Cassie developed, it became clear that he (or possibly even both of them) had a meth problem that he was working on kicking. He had off hand mentioned how bad meth is in that area and eventually explained he used to have an issue with it. After he turned 18, he essentially got a job in sales and went nuts with partying. He ended up with a pregnant girlfriend and a drug problem after several years. Eventually things got really bad, as they didn't have the money to pay for anything and they lived in Vegas with a newborn, so they went back to Oregon.
Somewhere in the time we knew him, he got back on meth, probably having something to do with living with his parents again. From what we can tell, he was pretty similar to his dad who seemed to be missing in action. He started to get a lot of shit from his mom and stepdad and things escalated. And honestly, that's a story for another day as that's essentially how our friendship ended. What's important is to introduce two important characters to our on the run story as they played an important role at the end of the day. Rob was also my first real interaction with a tweaker who was using, which was interesting as I grew up with a parent who was a heroin addict. I feel for his son, and for his sake I hope Rob pulled (or does) his head out of his ass.
Eventually we got enough money/weed together for that truck we mentioned in the last article, and they drove us to get it despite the fact that they didn't have good license plate tags. At the time, they were both still working at a local restaurant, so they left after confirming we intended to buy the truck.
With them, the money from the lottery and that new truck we attempted to start an impromptu illegal firewood harvesting business, as we needed money to get out of that house as soon as possible. That was an adventure to say the least, one I'll share another day soon.
Thanks for reading!