This is a story of my staying on a ranch for a couple of nights in southwest Montana.
This past week I was hitchhiking in Montana and I ended up in Ennis. I went to the library and typed up some stuff on my Digihitch blog and then I walked to the Exxon gas station.
I was inside the convenience store buying something to eat, when this older man walked up to me and asked, "Are you the traveler? Is that your backpack out front?"
I said, "Yeah."
His name was Arthur and he said that he had done some hitchhiking in his younger days. He was originally from San Diego and did a lot of surfing at one time. Arthur used to hitchhike with a guitar. He asked me if I needed a place to stay for a while. He told me he needed some work done on his ranch and that he had a bad back; he had been in a real serious car crash years ago.
So I told him that that would be great and that I would like to work for him. I grabbed my backpack and we drove around six miles to his ranch. He had a housemate named Hal who had lived there for five years; Hal was married and divorced and pretty much retired. Arthur used to be a miner years ago.
I fed the horses hay and grain while I was there. Arthur and I hauled some garbage to the local dump and we did a lot of cleaning up of some trash in the house and rearranging some boxes for storage.
I ended up staying two nights and then hit the road. I hitchhiked south and made it to Driggs, Idaho where I met up with a friend. I stayed at he and his wife's place in Drummond last night.
Yesterday, I checked my email and Arthur sent me a very kind and thoughtful note; here it is below:
(20 December 2009)
"Hello Saw man we are glad in the lord and holy power for leading you to us. We are very much lovers of good men who follow the path in life that few dare to seek, I find in you the good warm energy that god has bestowed upon you, follow your path no one else can, and remember us in your prayers we shall forever be in your kindness and have no regrets for the time you and we shared with you. Be always welcome in our tee pee. We enjoyed you and the god & man energy to shared with us. Have a safe and full filled life and some day return to us that we may share what god has given us to share with his chosen few. you are special in our hearts and minds so be good to yourself and we will not judge you but find in you faith to carry on and struggle with our human condition and remain thankfull to god first and the life of mammon second.
your friends Arthur And Harold.
ps glad you liked my cooking. pax goldbear"
["Sawman" was my nickname when I was working at Hanson Lumber Company in Ames, Iowa. "Sawman" is also my username on Digihitch.com.]
"No man has hired us
With pocketed hands
And lowered faces
We stand about in open places
And shiver in unlit rooms.
Only the wind moves
Over empty fields, untilled
Where the plough rests at an angle
To the furrow. In this land
There shall be one cigarette to two men,
To two women one half pint of bitter
Ale. In this land
No man has hired us.
Our life is unwelcome, our death
Unmentioned in 'The Times.'"
"When the Stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?'
What will you answer? 'We all dwell together
To make money from each other'? or 'This is a community'?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions."
"Remember the faith that took men from home
At the call of a wandering preacher."
"Choruses from 'The Rock'"
[Originally published by Digihitch.com]
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