After some distance a patrol car pulled up behind me and began flashing its lights and sounding its alarm. Damn!
The patrolman was courteous, but still he ordered me out and searched my van. I asked him what he was looking for, and he only mentioned that he had a call about Hippies that had done some shoplifting near Phoenix two nights ago. He let me go after I showed him my drivers license and vehicle registration.
I recalled that the Hippies had new clothes in bags––some with tags still attached. Phaedra even offered me a new pair of flared Levis. I thought about telling the patrolman they had also stolen my tires, but realized I might get involved in something I would later regret.
I made it to Wickenburg without incident. I ate a decent meal in a nice restaurant while waiting for my wheels to be re-rubberized.
When I mentioned a discount because of the tires I traded in, the dealer shook his head without emotion and handed me the bill, which included a five dollar disposal fee!
I was getting an education on the road courtesy of the hard knocks of experience.
I wanted my van painted, but aside from the cost, it would require sanding, and I would have to lay over a couple of days. I decided to save time and money and suffer the consequences. Kingman was my destination, and that was still a long way from Borax.
I stopped at a small village called Wikieup, for gas. The attendant was a friendly sort, and when I told him I was heading for California by way of Kingman, he suggested a shortcut on a secondary road called Chicken Springs Road, and that it would save me close to a hundred miles.
Chicken Springs Road was a two lane well maintained hard top road. My van handled it very well, being a natural creeper. I was occasio...
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...West of Rockridge. “Look closely at your map and you will see a small dot and crossed picks, near my mark,” he said. “That’s Borax.”
“I see,” I said, and laid the map aside. The town was on the map! But how was I to know that a dot and crossed picks was Borax?
“Is there a town around here somewhere?” I asked. I was exhausted. The recent activity in two states had drained mind and body. All I could think of was something to eat, and a soft bed and sleep.
“Parasite, about twenty five miles ahead has a motel, gas and food,” the trooper said. He turned and walked toward his car. “Have a safe trip, Miss Fisher. And––welcome to California!"
I looked in my mirror and breathed a sigh of relief: the patrol car turned and crossed the median strip and proceeded in the opposite direction, lights flashing. I put my van in gear and slowly continued on my way.
“This Hippy pai