The lesson of the Frenchman

Before I left LA I made up all these flyers to put up in hostels to find company along the road from place to place. I figured what’s a road trip without any company.

On my last evening in Vegas, the staff at the hostel said an old French guy was interested in getting a lift. I was a bit carried away by all the social activities, so I didn’t follow it up. Anyways, he found me and told me he was looking for a ride to see Southern Utah.

I told him my vague plans and said I could take him to Zion National Park, an offer he took up.

He wasn’t the best car company. It came to pass that he hadn’t understood that I was going to be camping and so he had a little melt down in the supermarket as he started to buy food provisions only to realise he probably wouldn’t be able to use them as he wouldn’t be able to stay at a campground.

I waited in the car while he checked out a number of accommodation options. I used this time to consult the map again and discovered that after Zion my next stop would be to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon instead of Bryce Canyon which is where Andre wanted to go.

When I told him this, he got a bit upset as he said there is no public transport to get where he wants to go. We arranged to be in touch and then I received an email from him saying he couldn’t get to Bryce and that if wasn’t going north then he would hitchhike back to the next big town to catch the bus somewhere else and he didn’t know why I’d changed my plans.

Part of the reason I have a car is that it gives me freedom and flexibility to make my mind up as I go. I also have the luxury of a schedule that means I don’t have to stick to a timeframe.

So now, I have learned a lesson in offering rideshares. I need to do my due diligence and specify that there are no promises beyond the next destination.


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