Our Final France Hitchhike

It was with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Therese and Wladek.
france autostop
At least the sunrise was exciting...
No, not because we had to wake up at six in the morning, but because we really loved being with them. Whenever the effusive Therese stops talking, you blink a couple of times and realize the absence of her words creates a small void. She is one of those few people that talks to you and it’s like she’s speaking fairy dust. What she says matters, and what you say matters to her, and let’s all just hold hands and feel good for a while, ok? She’s the perfect balance for Wladek, a quiet man who wisely chooses his moments to speak to either express his dry wit or some nice morsel to think upon.

I can only hope that my travels will bring me back to their quaint farm someday.

So as we set out to hitchhike from their house to Neuchatel, Switzerland, we didn’t realize that we were chasing a pipe dream. 7am start? Didn’t matter. Fate was finally working against us. We did find a bit of luck when big van pulled over and started saying something to us in French. I noted that the man’s accent was strangely reminiscent of my own attempts at French, so on a hunch, I let loose with the ol’ mother tongue and we found that our new friend was from Utah! Marty Jemison has possibly the best job in Europe, as he spends summers leading small groups on cross-country bike tours. Why does Marty get to do this while you and I don’t? Because Marty has biked the Tour de France…twice. But back to his bike tours…biking all day until you reach a five-star dinner and hotel at night…maybe a massage? Perhaps a pedicure? I want this. If you want this, check out his website.
marty jemison
Marty and Vanna White
He took us to a little town called Bourg-en-Bresse, where John and I threw in a stained and sweaty proverbial towel. I hate to admit it. But we’d covered a paltry 44 miles during six and a half hours of standing under the sun and peeing in bushes, so yes, we gave up. We just really really preferred a comfy bed with a Swiss lake lapping in our ears over camping in a ditch somewhere, so we bought train tickets all the way out of France and into Switzerland.

You can be sure, however, that my accounts of France aren’t quite over…stay tuned :)
The first two trains must have thought John was coming on board.
Now, that's not a very PC thing to say, is it?


  1. Dood, now you're hanging with world class cyclists?? M, you've got to edit that post: nobody "bikes" the Tour de France, they sweat, suffer and pour their whole beings into the TdF. Marty Jemison is the sh#t!

  2. Haha, you mean you don't think I could try my hand at the tour?

    I feel a lot cooler now that you think it's cool that I was in the presence of Jemison--yes!




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