As we were driving to Lake Tahoe, we were noticing how we were becoming complacent. Complacent with the beauty that surrounded us and we just weren’t taking it in as much as we used to. As much as I wanted to concentrate on the beauty, I found that my eyes were glazing over and I wasn’t appreciating what was in front of me. It was a strong enough feeling that we almost wished we could pause the travelling for a little while an resume it once we were back in the groove.
Massive first world problem eh? Well we learnt that evening that you tend to get what you need, but not in the way you expect.
Our couchsurfing host had 30+ positive reviews and only one negative, complaining about the son. We figured that maybe couchsurfing reviews are like restaurant reviews, where at least one customer is never pleased, and ignored it. The lady who was our host was great with communicating, and told us that she wouldn’t be home until half 8, but we could head over at half 6 as that’s when her son would be home. It’s also worth mentioning that her offer to us was her front lawn to camp on. We were worried about getting in trouble with the police for sleeping on the side of the road so we were glad to have a safe place to sleep in the car.
When we pulled up, the first thing that immediately grabbed our attention was their dog. This dog only had three legs, but for what he lacked in the leg department, he made up for it in threatening behaviour. As soon as we pulled into the property, the dog went crazy and ran around the house several times, before the son came out and chased it into the house. I was firmly not ready to leave the car at that point, so Dan went to knock on the door.
Let’s call the son Kevin from now on. Kevin was not interested in letting Dan into the house. Dan came back after five minutes and simply said “I don’t think we’re welcome anymore”. So we decided that the best thing to do would be to wait until – lets call her Stephanie – to get home. After about an hour, Kevin came to our car and knocked on the window.
“Here, take some apples. Wanna get high?”. We thanked him for the apples, but quickly said that getting high wasn’t really our thing. “Okay bye then”. We actually had to shout after him to stop him for walking away. After asking him if we could come inside and use the bathroom, his reply was “yeah okay, then we can hang out and get high.”. We again said that wouldn’t be something we were up for doing.
Don’t get me wrong here, the kid could do a line in front of us if he wanted to, I just didn’t want to get involved. After asking whether the dog was OK or if he had ever attacked anyone (it was a big dog), Kevin’s reply was simple “It’s a fucking three legged dog. There’s worse shit out there”. I liked his avoidance tactics there by not actually answering the question. Once we were inside, Kevin asked us to “not touch anything, not a single thing, nothing”. This would have made sense if the place was immaculate, but it was in a state. So we sat down next to some dirty laundry and watched Kevin get high.
It was coming up to 8 o clock at night and it was already pitch black outside, and Kevin was losing interest in us fast. The conversation went form bad to worse, as Kevin was less and less interested in getting to know us and more interested in whether we were going to get high or not. Dan asked for the WiFi password so he could look up motels in the area under the table, while I kept painfully trying to find some common ground with Kevin that didn’t involve smoking his impressively large bong.
“The fucking WiFi password is s-e-m-e-n-d-e-m-o-n”. He didn’t explain that it was an in-joke with his family, and made full eye-contact with Dan while he was spelling it out. Dan was given all of 20 seconds internet time, before Kevin eventually got bored of us and asked us to leave so he could lock the door.
So we carried on sitting in the car until Stephanie came home. Kevin didn’t care so much for keeping the dog indoors anymore, and allowed it to bark and growl right next to our car. When Stephanie ignored us and walked straight past out car to her house, we knew it was time to leave. After several hours of driving around different motels, we finally found one that didn’t look like we’d get robbed in our sleep.
As soon as our head hit the pillow, we realised that we would never take a good couchsurfing host, or beautiful scenery for granted again.