Hitchhiking Near Paris, x2


Chance Encounters with Campsites

The most likely scene of the tresspass

The most likely scene of the tresspass

I was hitching through France on my way to Brittany from Chamonix. I vaguely remembered being in a similar situation before as the day progressed.  My ride was approaching the southern outskirts of Paris, and I had to make a decision on where to get dropped off. It was getting late in the afternoon, I had a sleeping bag and a bivy sack, and decided to get out at the next major motorway intersection near Paris. Maybe I’d find a youth hostel, or even a field to throw my sleeping bag on. When we arrived at the interchange, it was a busy place, but it looked a good spot from which to start hitching in the morning for Western France. After hopping the guardrail, I found a an unused grassy path that took off from the motorway, that led to a small field. It was getting dark, and I found a little spot in the corner of the field. Not far away was the roar of the auto route, and in the other direction I could barely make out a row of tall trees and an industrial warehouse at the field’s far edge. I decided this would work fine. There were no signs of vagrants, (besides myself) or even people about. I’d sleep here, and be up early in the morning, and be on my way before anyone even knew I was there.
I fell fast asleep. I awoke to what looked like a familiar scene but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I wondered if I had indeed been there before. The row of tall trees looked familiar, but I thought, no way, I couldn’t  I have ended up in the same field. I did remember hitch hiking through Paris years prior, but the chances of getting dropped off at the same place without knowing it were quite strange. I did a quick drawing in my journal of the scene, and headed for the highway.
It wasn’t until months later, when I rifled through my older journals, and to my amazement found a drawing and journal entry from 1980 or so, that depicted the same row of trees from the same vantage point. I compared the two drawings and they were clearly the same scene.  I’ve had other interesting experiences hitch hiking in France, but this was one of the more strange ones.

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