Picked up a hitchhiker & missed a turn...

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Century 21 Real Estate Sign
Billy.... we know people in Bandon....

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Tuesday, June 18, 2013


When you get an early start back on the road, rest stops are numerous thanks to copious amounts of morning coffee. We crossed over into Oregon and were about to pull out of our third stop in 10 miles when we decided to pick up a hitchhiker, Steve, and his very little dog Sampson. In fact, we didn't know he had a dog until it popped its head out of vented satchel on the backseat.

Steve and Sampson were on their way home to Kansas City, where they had set out 3 months earlier. Loyal partner for 11 years, Sampson had detected Steve's cancer - he couldn't figure for a long time why Sampson was nosing and pawing at his chest. The diagnosis was stage 3 lung cancer, which would require daily chemotherapy. After 3 months, the chemo had reduced him to 120 pounds and constant sickness, so he quit and took off with a backpack, his dog, his faith and $30 in his pocket to hike to the coast in search of alternative medicines. At one point he went 5 days with no food, not by choice, but he claims that actually helped slow the cancer and he felt better because when there is no fat for the body to subsist on it devours the cancer. Sampson never went without food, he assured, requiring only 1 1/2 ounces twice a day. Someone thereaftter helped him out with cash, which he promptly took to McDonald's and "devoured 5 double cheeseburgers and a Dr. Pepper". Talk about sick !!! 
He told great stories of kind people helping along the way. One woman picked him up,seeing how tired he was, dropped him off at a motel, paid for his room and drove off. She told him this random act of kindness was something she was supposed to do. Then there was the Coca-Cola truck driver who couldn't pick him up due to company rules but wadded something up and tossed it at him as he drove off. It was a twenty dollar bill. As luck or fate (or both) would have it, he related his "quest" to a fellow hitchhiker who pulled a sample of "Shanghai Coral" from his pocket. He had cancer as well, and the powder from this particular coral was working wonders for him. Steve claimed to be getting better thanks to the coral - he looked pretty good when we picked him up.

So we're taking him to Bandon, where he would head east to hitch the interstates back home.
Mary says, "Billy.... we know people in Bandon, Oregon..." 

Well I missed the turn at his intersection, so we rode up to the next turn, just beyond the shopping center, where we were faced with a Century 21 Realty "For Sale" sign. "Oh my God, I know that name!" And I know that name!  I didn't know where from, but I had seen it before. Mary looked at me wide-eyed, "It's my cousin !!" 

"Sure enough, thanks to Steve and Sampson, we had located yet another Corcoran and with about 3 hours notice, Teresa, husband Rudy and son Nick welcomed us into their home for another incredible dinner.

As for the hitchhikers, we sent them on their way with a new hat, a plastic bag for a raincoat and a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I wouldn't be surprised to see their story on the big screen some day.
We had already selected a campground for the night and while trying to reach Teresa were on our way to Sunset Bay State Park just outside of Coos Bay. I tried the number on the sign and since the Oregon Coast has little or no internet connectivity, I couldn't access my full Corcoran contact list so I called the cherished social director-Auntie Helen, to confirm what we thought we now knew (?!?!?!?!?) Teresa had recently moved and she suggested I call her Mom Joan for current contact info.  In the mean time Teresa called us back and, of course, in true Gypsy Tour form, their new home was only a few miles from our campsite in Sunset Bay.

Sunset Bay State Park turned out to be the most amazing place we've been to yet. The campground was very nice, but the 4 miles of sea cliffs, coves, trails, beaches and sea lions was stunning. Mary's finger seized up from all the picture taking. Especially fun was the Simpson Overlook, where one can view the largest "haul out " of pinnipeds [furry, flippered sea critters] on the Oregon coast. They all congregate on the beach of a small island and the surrounding rocks of the reef, creating a constant cacophony of clamorous croaks [okay, so they were barking a lot] that echoed throughout the park. In fact, Rudy said he could hear them at his house miles away.
Rudy and Teresa live in a great spot right on the bay and Pacific Ocean where ocean liners filled with logs bound for China pass by, and killer whales are spotted sneaking up into the bay to feast on seal pups in the early summer. I'm telling you, this place is a veritable National Geographic wonderland, and just when we thought we had seen it all, Teresa pulls up a "you tube" video that shows ocean swells pounding the same 200' cliffs on which we had stood, spray from the waves extending another 100' above the cliffs. And to think we might have missed all of this if we hadn't stopped for Steve and Sampson.

Dinner was excellent, even though Rudy claims it wasn't his best effort, but what was most impressive was the art that is created in this house. Rudy works in glass - in fact, he competes and teaches glasswork. After dinner he gave a demonstration of the creation of one of his pendants, a solid teardrop of glass with a flower inside.   

 It was Fascinating. 

 Then we went downstairs to Nick s room where he creates and records music, from techno to classical. His goals are to be famous, run his own business and move to Seattle, not necessarily in that order. He will be so famous he won't have time to run his own business. This kid is not only good, but he's incredibly smart as well, (with the added intrigue of a Lennon-esque persona to boot "Cube          is his stage name)  thanks to the home schooling his Mom gave him. We are the proud owners of his first CD, which hasn't hit the shelves yet. You'll have your chance !!

NOTE: I received a message from Teresa this morning that read "Have to tell you my Bandon sellers called the day after you left and took their house off the market! They are content in their home and decided to stay put. Add that to your story... the sign was only there to point you to us!"
Ahhhhh yes... A day in the life of The Artful Odyssey!

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Jim Martin on

We stayed at Cannon beach by the amazing Hay stack Rock. Love that country. Thanks for taking care of the hitchhiker with a purpose. Wow. Love you.

Banana on

My nephew worked at a golf course in Bandon for a couple years. Unfortunately for me, I never made it out there to visit. Fortunately for me, he now works in Sun Valley - another great place to visit.

PatMastro on

The Lord works in strange ways. A random act of kindness and I loved the story. I know many 'doubting Thomas' ' who would poo-poo this story just because they don't have the liberal and generous streak in them like we do. We also know the genuine from the fake... including the nay-sayers. Again I make it a point to give the beggar on the corner a dollar when I pass by. I'm not to judge if he'll spend it for booze or cigarettes - whatever we do to the least of them...etc.
Such a nice, heartwarming story when I need that to ease the pain in my hip.
Love sheds its light far and wide, you both are wonderful, generous, caring individuals and you will be taken care of with loving hands. XXXOOO AP/GMom

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