August 18: On a hot summer day I traveled in four vehicles 330 kilometers to Chiba city located east of Tokyo. The last driver went out of his way to take me right to the very door of my destination!
The first vehicle was a truck carrying long steel bars. The driver, a young man, said he needed to drop the bars off at Sanjo city first and then he would take me to route 8. Eventually he took me a bit out of his way to Sakae parking area which was just perfect for me! The driver asked me since I’ve been hitchhiking, and I told him since I was 13. :-)
After a bit of waiting at Sakae parking area, 22 year old Natsuki picked me up. She said she was a bit scared at first because it was the first time to pick up a hitchhiker. I told her, *congratulations!* Natsuki was on her way home to Tokamachi — deep snow country in the winter. She took me to Echigo Kawaguchi which was just perfect for me.