How to Hitchhike Across America: Season 1 (Part 2/5)

Uploaded by vice on Jul 7, 2012

DAVID CHOE: Quick recap.
We got picked up in a van, like a delivery maintenance
van with a older white lady, someone that looked like her
son or her boyfriend that was about to go in the Army, and a
shady Mexican guy in the back seat.
We pulled over.
She got into a truck--
like, a 18 wheeler truck and drove away.
Her son went into Walmart.
And then Oncho, the guy in the back, got in the front,
threatened our cameramen to turn the camera off or else.
And then we didn't talk that much.
But we found out, A, he has no sense of direction,
which he's proud of.
But he's also a delivery man.
So that sort of doesn't go together.
And two, he lives in Nevada.
But his parole is in Arizona, which is where we are now,
standing in front of the American flag, the USA.
MALE SPEAKER: One, two, three, go.

DAVID CHOE: This is Lars.
This is a '56--
LARS: Pontiac.
DAVID CHOE: Pontiac.
He gave us a ride into Flagstaff today.
Why did you give us a ride?
LARS: Oh, you look like the friendly folk.
DAVID CHOE: And then were you scared at any
point in the ride?
LARS: Nope.
DAVID CHOE: Even when we were doing funny stuff?
LARS: Nope.
All right.
I guess he wasn't scared.
And I guess he was nice enough to give us a ride.
Thank you.
We appreciate it.
LARS: You're welcome.

DAVID CHOE: This is day four.
We're at Flagstaff, Arizona.
We got into some small town in Arizona last night.
And it was dark already.
So we had a really tough time getting out.
We were standing out there for quite a bit.
We made a sign.
We couldn't find too much cardboard.
Had no luck with our Flagstaff sign.
And on offense to our gay viewers.
But the second I made this adjustment, we got picked up
immediately in about 30 seconds.
I don't think the last one was gay.
I don't think he even noticed the sign.
But just one of those things that went that way.
So this sign's pretty useless now.
We're in Flagstaff now, where I guess a lot of
hippies live here.
And the locals here don't really like them.
They call them treehuggers.
I don't know if we're going to catch a train out
or hop out of here.
Yesterday was a little tough.
You see those dudes over there by the porta potty by the
train tracks.
So I think we're going to go talk to them.
So it looks like we have kindred spirits along the side
of the road here.
We got fellow travelers.
You guys--
TOBY: We're from Canada.
DAVID CHOE: They're Canadians.
TOBY: Montreal.
ROXANE: We came from Montreal.
DAVID CHOE: Did you guys hitchhike
all over Canada before?
TOBY: I did.
DAVID CHOE: You did.
TOBY: Not all over.
But I did few province.
DAVID CHOE: And now that you're hitchhiking with a
woman, do you get rides faster?
TOBY: Yeah, I think so.
ROXANE: Obviously.
Oh, yeah.
But everything's going pretty well.
TOBY: And you know what that was crazy?
Because we've been in a desert.
And we found people.
And they gave food to us and place to stay for free.
And they gave to us money.
And they had food and everything.
They were nice?
ROXANE: Oh, yeah.
TOBY: They were all nice.
I was scared to be hitchhiking in USA.
Because it's not our country.
TOBY: And I was like maybe we will get problem.
But you know, life is good.
And there is an angel somewhere in the sky for us.
ROXANE: Oh, yeah.
He helps us.
TOBY: Yeah.
DAVID CHOE: That's the road angel.
DAVID CHOE: How long has it been since you left?
TOBY: Pardon?
DAVID CHOE: How long has it been since you left your home?
ROXANE: One year.
Yeah, I left before July.
DAVID CHOE: What's the plan?
Where are you guys going?
How far and long are you going?
ROXANE: We don't know.
TOBY: We don't know.
We have to get to Montreal.
TOBY: And we don't have a lot of money.
So it should--
ROXANE: I have 35 bucks til there.
DAVID CHOE: Oh, wow.
TOBY: We just hope that we've going to get a ride soon and
we're going to get home soon.
And we're proud of what we got here.
ROXANE: Oh, yeah.
Everybody is so nice.
TOBY: Thank you for everything.
DAVID CHOE: Road warriors.
ROXANE: That was a pleasure.
DAVID CHOE: Fellow kindred spirits.

DAVID CHOE: We're trying to catch a ride off the 40 East
to go to Albuquerque.
I saw this spot also.
And I thought this would be a good spot to hitch out of.
And then I saw you hat.
And I said oh, there's someone else there too.
And you've been here since--
DONALD: Since about eight o'clock this morning.
I got up at daylight.
And then I had enough money to get me a cup of coffee.
Got a cup of coffee.
And I walked up here.
I've been here since then.
DAVID CHOE: If you haven't gotten a right in like eight
hours, you move to a different spot and you just--
DONALD: There's no place else to move to.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
DONALD: Unless you walk a long ways.
But that backpack--
I don't want to walk a long ways.
It's heavy.
DAVID CHOE: What's your story then?
Where are you trying to get to?
Where are you coming from?
DONALD: I'm trying to get to Al Paso.
DAVID CHOE: Is there a reason why you're
trying to get there?
DONALD: I stay there every winter.
I'm homeless.
So I stay there during the winter.
Because the winter's mild there.
So you migrate towards the temperatures.
DAVID CHOE: And the people that give you rides-- they're
nice, they're mean, they're weird?
I get a few weird ones.
But most of them's all nice.
I've had no problems.
DAVID CHOE: Can you tell us one of the weird ones?
DONALD: Oh, there's gays trying to pick you up.
Or some of them act like they're a little drunk.
They're just weird acting.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
Well, would you rather us hitchhike behind you or in
front of you.
DONALD: Yeah, you can go ahead.
Actually, if you want to go up there, you can.
DAVID CHOE: Well, I mean, if we get picked up before you,
then I'll for sure tell them to pick you up also, you know?
So out of respect, we're letting grandpa take the prime
real estate hitchhiking spot.
We were sort of assholes and we're trying to cut them off
at the pass and try to get a ride earlier.
But if we get a ride, of course, he'll give
grandpa a ride too.
It looks like he just almost got a ride.
But then I guess they weren't going where he's going.
So he's back out over there.
But I like our anywhere but here sign.
Because Flagstaff is--
it's no good here.
It's bad mojo.

We're trying to catch a ride off the 40 East to go into
Because Flagstaff is--
it's no good here.
It's bad mojo.
Thanks for picking us up.
I appreciate it.
WAYLON: Yeah, yeah.
No problem at all.
DAVID CHOE: Jump on in.
I told you we'd get--
DONALD: Could you throw this back there for me?
We'll throw it back there.
WAYLON: All right.
One big happy family.
What's up?
DAVID CHOE: It's awesome.
WAYLON: Look at this.
Wow, boy.
I dropped off one guy in town here in Flag.
Just picked up four more.
How about it?
DAVID CHOE: That's awesome.
WAYLON: So what do you guys got going on, you know?
DAVID CHOE: We're just trying to get as far as we
can get, you know.
WAYLON: Well I'm going to make it as far as Atlanta.
DAVID CHOE: Are you really?
So you guys are pretty styling as far as rides go if you guys
are into it?
DAVID CHOE: Well that's awesome.
But we're trying to get as many
different rides as possible.
WAYLON: Really?
That's sick.
So how far are guys going to rip with me then?
Until I get boring or what?
DAVID CHOE: No, no, no.
It's not that.
We just want to stop in every state.
WAYLON: You guys are hitching masters.
Check you guys out.
DAVID CHOE: Can you tell us a little bit like
what your story is?
Like have you hitchhiked before?
Obviously you've picked up hitchhikers.
WAYLON: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I've hitched quite a bit, man Yeah, on the East
coast and on the West coast.
It's not so bad on the West coast.
But I think they made a lot of movies back in the late '80s
about hitchhikers killing people.
WAYLON: So everybody's scared to death, not to mention that
the media's got everybody so scared shitless of each
other's shadows these days that nobody wants to pick up
anybody for jack.
DAVID CHOE: That's the same feeling I get is just sometime
during the '80s, like two or three people got killed.
But people forget that, like, everyone used to hitchhike and
everyone used to give rides.
And it was no problem.
DAVID CHOE: And then they blow something out of proportion.
And I've hitchhiked for years.
And I've never really had any major--
you get picked up by weirdos.
But nothing--
you know.
If you're out of luck and you need a ride,
it's nice, you know.
HARRY KIM: This is Donald.
And he's been telling me about how for the last four years
he's been homeless.
So he's kind of become like a US traveler.
DONALD: The thing about homeless, you know--
there's a lot of you get broke, and
you get a hard time.
But life's full of hard times anyhow.
You've got go through bad.
You have good times, all that.
But in a way, I'm free.
Because I don't have to worry about nothing really, just
surviving, on being alive.
DAVID CHOE: Where's home base for you?
WAYLON: Right here, my man.
DAVID CHOE: Oh, you're from--
WAYLON: You're right.
DAVID CHOE: You're from Flagstaff?
I'm from my Dolphin right here.
I'm from the RV.
DAVID CHOE: Oh, this is is?
WAYLON: Yeah, man.
DAVID CHOE: I think everyone that works an office job
secretly desires exactly what you're doing, like fucking
jump in your car.
Get your dog.
DAVID CHOE: Live from place to place.
Where you lay your head is home, just go.
Wherever you go, new adventures, new things.
WAYLON: You know, everybody wants a van.
But there's fewer and fewer people who are willing to do
what it takes or to succeed at their dream and live a
fulfilled life, man.
So I'm just trying to take advantage of my life is all--
WAYLON: Not take it for granted and appreciate this
beautiful gift we call life.
WAYLON: So other than that, my man, that's about it.
I worked for a while, saved up some money.
And I'm just doing my thing.
DAVID CHOE: Was it a girl?
WAYLON: Just kind of creating my scene.
What's that?
DAVID CHOE: Was it a girl?
WAYLON: Oh, this is the only girl for me
right here, this Angus.

DAVID CHOE: This guy is like basically
the hitchhiking paradise.
He picks up everyone.
He's living in the present.
Basically, our entire trip can end right here.
He basically offered us a ride to the
other side of the country.
So we'll see if we do that.
We have another guy down here that we're going to pick up.
So it's still a sausage fest right now.
But we'll see how it goes.
Is he holding a dog?
HARRY KIM: I'm Harry.
MALE SPEAKER: Nice to meet you.
Where are you from?
Where are you headed?
DAVID CHOE: Greenbay.
WAYLON: So who's driving, y'all?
WAYLON: Hey, brother.
DAVID CHOE: Do you know how to drive stick?
DAVID CHOE: Do you want to drive?
WAYLON: Ah, poor boys.
Wake me up in Saint Louis.

DAVID CHOE: Calling all lost souls seems to be the
theme of this one.
We're going to ride on the Dolphin.
It's like the Noah's Arc of hitchhikers.
We picked up two guys and two dogs also.
So total, there's five hitchhikers on there and one
awesome guy named Waylon, kindred spirits.
Just picked us up.
Picks up all hitchhikers.
He doesn't care if they're carrying a trash bag full of
french fries or smell like shit.
He'll pick anywhere up.
And weed seems to be the common
theme of all the travelers.
Grandpa here has a huge weed tattoo on his arm.
The other fellow--
I forgot his name--
was stranded on the street.
Because he had a weed deal with his cousin that went bad.
So his cousin had a hissy fit and then threw him out.
And then Waylon, who actually enjoys weed, but then doesn't
smoke it anymore.
He's got his own spiritual dilemma going on right now.
And all around, good guys.

So we're 60 miles outside of Albuquerque and our longest
ride so far.
In four days, we've gone through
California, Nevada, Arizona.
And now we're in New Mexico, in a place called Moriarty.
And it was funny.
Because the guy that picked us up and one of the other guys
that we picked up--
we're all of 30.
Those two guys still--
they're wandering souls.
But they still live at home with their parents.
And besides weed and drywalling, they
all had funny tattoos.
Great guys though, really cool guys.
It's about midnight right now.
And we're at the truck stop.
So we'll see what this own has to offer.
Thumbs up.

All right.
This is David Choe.
And this is Thumbs Up.
This is day five on our journey.
We are still in New Mexico.
Yesterday we rode for 12 hours.
We got a ride with a nice fellow named Waylon Powers.
And then we picked up grandpa.
And then we also picked up--
I can't remember his name.
Strong, silent type, looked like Paul Newman.
Paul Newman didn't say much for most of the ride unless it
had anything to do with
construction work or dry walling.
And then all of a sudden out of nowhere comes out with, I
think I tend to fall in love really easily if the pussy's
really good.
Where Waylon comes in with, on, man.
It's just a box, man.
It's just a box.
You got to deny yourself the box, man.
Deny yourself the weed, the beer, and the pussy.
And that's how you empower yourself.
I guess we all had that in common is that we all tend to
fall in love with the box, fall in love with the pussy if
it's really good.
I guess I don't know if that's love or not.
But that was that.
So we're going to try to get to Texas today.

So, hi.
We're in the town of Moriarty.
And this is in--
VANESSA: New Mexico.
BUBBA: New Mexico.
DAVID CHOE: New Mexico.
Everyone introduce yourselves.
BUBBA: I'm Bubba.
DAVID CHOE: That's Bubba.
VANESSA: I'm Vanessa.
DAVID CHOE: Vanessa.
SUSIE: I'm Susie.
CHRIS: I'm Chris
PUMPKIN: Pumpkin.
AMANDA: Amanda.
DAVID CHOE: So you guys want to tell us a little bit about
this town and what goes on here?
BUBBA: It's very small.
There's a lot of drinking.
DAVID CHOE: A lot of drinking.
Oh, everyone's waiting for the liquor
store to open on Sunday.
CHRIS: Yeah.
BUBBA: Yeah.
How many minutes?
Those open.
SUSIE: The average age in Moriarty to start
drinking is like six.
DAVID CHOE: What's the population here?
SUSIE: No, about 2,200 right now.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
Were you guys all born and raised in this town?
PUMPKIN: Fuck, no.
PUMPKIN: You're fucking funny.
SUSIE: Texas, yeah, born and bred.
DAVID CHOE: Which city?
SUSIE: These two were born in Albuquerque.
He was born in Florida.
I don't know where he was born at.
PUMPKIN: I was born in hell.
DAVID CHOE: So you guys seem to come from various parts of
purgatory, hell, and other parts of the South.
What brought you guys to--
SUSIE: These are my two daughters and my two
SUSIE: And my husband.
DAVID CHOE: And so why did you guys pick this town?
SUSIE: Because we hate Albuquerque.
AMANDA: New Mexico sucks.
Because Texas is better.
BUBBA: Texas is better, man.
DAVID CHOE: God bless Texas.
SUSIE: This is what one is.
We were out here.
We were looking for land.
And we were looking in Berlin and all that stuff, and
looking for land out here.
We came out here on his Harley, no less, huh?
And a 10-year-old boy held the door open for me and stood
there and said yes, ma'am, no, ma'am.
And I was like well, this is where we're moving.
DAVID CHOE: Just like that.
SUSIE: Just like that.
DAVID CHOE: So you guys all drink together as a family.
AMANDA: I don't know
I've never touched a drop of alcohol in my life.
SUSIE: The girls can't drink.
Because they're both expecting.
DAVID CHOE: Are you really?
BUBBA: Yeah.
DAVID CHOE: Oh, wow.
PUMPKIN: They call me Pumpkin for one reason.
Because I was born in McCaws's pumpkin patch, lost it at
McCale's motherfucking farm.
This is why they call me Pumpkin.
Because I roam with the wicked shit, here and everybody else,
feeling nothing but that acid trip.
Don't give a fuck.
Water fall down, all around.
Motherfucker, UCWC represent wicked clown.
Slit your throat.
Watch you die.
Motherfucker, I hope you croak.
Don't give a fuck on how many motherfuckers you
want to try to fool.
Because I hit 'em bad.
Beat you down, motherfucking 50 in my hand.
Be eternally fucking glad.
Don't give a shit.
Slit your throat.
Watch you fucking die.
Don't give a shit, smoking this J, send out your
motherfucking heart.
Beat your ass all around.
Smoking all that grass.
Because I am the wicked shit.
Remember that all about when you hit this fucking blast.
Wow, amazing.
You guys start early.
CHRIS: Why not?
You go to El Paso.
They start at like three in the morning.
So you guys are smashed by, like, two in the afternoon.
SUSIE: There's only two of us that get smashed--
him and him.
DAVID CHOE: And none of this leads to violence.
I do got a lot of misdemeanors.
BUBBA: And he's not here yet.
PUMPKIN: I do got a lot of criminal charges.
DAVID CHOE: But no felonies.
PUMPKIN: No felonies.
DAVID CHOE: That's good.
PUMPKIN: Just a lot of criminal charges.
That's all.
All misdemeanors, all misdemeanors.
DAVID CHOE: Well, it was nice meeting you all.
CHRIS: Same here.

DAVID CHOE: We're at a freeway underpass right now.
We're trying to hop out, hopefully get into a different
state by today.
We have some really classic graffiti here that I'm going
to try to decipher for you.
It doesn't get more perfect than this.
First we have the pentagram with the six, six, six, with a
pitchfork, a swastika, and upside down cross.
Here we have an abstract cow, and then of course Metallica,
another swastika--
awesome job--
hammer, white power, and the classic graffiti S that
everyone draws when they're in high school.
And I don't know if this is the exactly how it happened.
But this is how I imagine it happened in my mind.
I'm guessing white power, white trash, gutter punk
couple was up here getting drunk, spray painting.
And then those past two columns, the male, who is
usually more aggressive, was painting the swastikas and the
six, six, six.
And his girlfriend was like I took one of the cans and came
over here and did the Pac Man ghosts.
So here's the Pac Man ghosts, which are much more friendlier
and more light-hearted.
Oh my goodness.
Look at what I found.
I thought it couldn't get better than this.
A China man the only other color--
I mean, so for all the grafiti's been in black, but
they broke out the metallics for this one.
It's a buck tooth China man with a coolie cap on.
And someone crossed him out, saying no China man, with
silver paint.
And right there we have, of course, the
classic human shit.

We're having a really tough time catching out of
this part of town.
So we're breaking out the instruments, who, Hasinto, our
cameraman, has been carrying for us this whole time.
We're going to play our golden medley, the one that usually
gets us picked up, which is a fusion of Guns n' Roses, Mr.
Brownstone, the Police's, Every Breath You Take, and
whatever Led Zeppelin songs Harry decides
moves him at the moment.

Fuck New Mexico.
Texas is better.
Texas is better.
Fuck New Mexico.

DAVID CHOE: We rocked Moriarty, New Mexico.
We rocked California.
We rocked Nevada.
Is Texas going to rock us or will we rock Texas?
Find out in Thumbs Up, the next issue.

We're in New Mexico still.
New Mexico, Texas.
A lot of fucking cows.
We're getting hungry.
We're going to try to catch one, try to jump on one.

God bless John Wayne.

So as the day comes to a close, many lessons to learn.
A, as humans, we can't even run as fast
as chickens or cows.
We're in a beautiful town of Tucumcari, New Mexico.
We were in Moriarty, New Mexico, earlier today, where
we met an amazing beautiful family.
Well, I mean they were something really special.
They were beautiful human beings.
We learned lots of things from them, that going to the liquor
store in two different cars early on a Sunday morning is a
family affair.
And it's great, families sticking close together.
We learned that if you're a 15 or 16-year-old woman that's
pregnant, that's carrying, that's holding,
you shouldn't drink.
But it's OK to smoke.
We pretty much fucking rocked this town.
We came in.
We rocked it hard.
The chickens got rocked.
The cows got rocked.
The locals got rocked.
And that's about all I have to say about that.


DAVID CHOE: That's party is this possible.
DAVID CHOE: Take care, guys.

DAVID CHOE: Excuse me, sir.

I'm sorry to bother you.
But me and my friend, we're the two guys that just played
in the bar right here.
Do you think--
I mean, I think we could fit.
Do you think you could give us a ride into Texas?
DAVID CHOE: I mean, just anywhere.
Just we've been in town for so long.
We just want to get a ride out.

DAVID CHOE: So two in the morning.
We just entered Amarillo, Texas.
God bless Texas.
We are in Texas.
Things get weird in Texas.
[BLEEP]'s one of my favorite 24 hour diners that doesn't
exist in California.
Surprisingly, we haven't hit one of them
since our whole journey.
And this is the first one in Texas.
And our waitresses--
very nice, very kind, very shy--
would not go on camera, As we were paying the check, I asked
them, because this place is known to have the most insane
people coming in at all hours--
and I just asked them who are the worst people ever that
come in here.
And I thought she was going to say drunks or something.
All the waitresses at the same time chime in--
the blacks.
The blacks?
And explain why.
So the reasons why the blacks are the worst.
And this is not just at four in the morning
when they're drunk.
It's at all hours.
They're annoying.
They're loud.
And why they choose [BLEEP], not IHOP or Denny's is because
chicken and waffles.
And it's cheap.
And so according to Texas [BLEEP]
Amarillo, the blacks are the worst people.
I disagree.

Besides truck stops, 24 hour super mega-mats can be a haven
for drifters like us.
And I will show you why in one second.
Come on.
Follow me.
Let's go.

Besides the awesome savings, when you get here late at
night, everyone is cracked out, including the workers.
Sp they pretty much let you get away with murder.
We got an awesome ride and if we are lucky, a
good place to sleep.

Do you remember these things, this fun game you played when
you were kids.
You just open up.
And you go to sleep.
Good night.