I picked up John again coming up Boulder Canyon on Friday night. He was with his girlfriend Lauren (I asked if I could use their names). They also had the adorable Anubis (their dog) with them. I asked what he’d been up to since I last picked him up, which is a year ago now. He said they’d been traveling the country. I asked some about his journeys and how specifically they travel.
They hitchhike everywhere, and sleep in the woods, wherever they are. They avoid cities, and if they do wind up in one, will quickly hitchhike out, take a bus, or even pay for a cab to get out of the concrete where they can find a place to sleep for the night. I asked if they every get disturbed or harassed. He said very little, that they are very good at finding a good out of the way place to rest for the night.
In Nederland, they stay in the woods too. There is one officer that gives them a hard time occasionally. I didn’t ask if they are doing something illegal when they get harassed, and if they were I imagine it is something like camping too many days in one place, or something at that level of severity. Anyway, the officer will get angry with John and Lauren for not being productive members of society in his eyes – not paying taxes, for example.
First of all, if an officer needs to tell them something, it should stay within the bounds of the officer’s jurisdiction and certainly should not be their personal opinions. And as far as I’m concerned, if there are people that want to live on the edge of society, not rent or own a home, not earn a salary, and not spend much money, that is okay with me. I do not think they are cheating everyone else. They pay sales tax. They earn very little and their impact on the planet is small (no car, no house or apartment, etc…). So, I think it’s fair enough to society for them to live the way they do. There is no need to harass the hippies.