Three (and More) For The Road

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Author’s note: This slow-starting vacuous romantic stroker is fiction. All sex involves live humans over age 18 who eschew condoms. Tags: multiracial, bisexual, clusterfuck, RV trip, 2020 National Nude Day contest. Views expressed may not be the author’s. Details may be incorrect. Enjoy!

***** THREE (And More) FOR THE ROAD *****

Fucking along some carefree highways.

===== day one =====

Back in the day, like when my folks were in college during the upper Jurassic era, holiday breaks and end-of-year times saw Student Union bulletin boards covered with notes of rides wanted or offered. Room for three in a VW van to Denver. Share gas to Atlanta. Gotta get to Seattle. Who’s going to Milwaukee?

Regular student migrations: everybody’s going somewhere.

It’s all online now in this modern summer of 2000. Rides radiate across the continent. I was not the only collegian shifting from Berkeley to Boston at term’s end. On my laptop that morning I saw a request from Rhonda, a girl in some of my classes but not really a friend, and an offer from a guy named Rolf who could take two to Boston if they provided food. I emailed them both and hoped.

“Rhonda; Kaitlyn; Let’s meet.” came Rolf’s reply, “I’m in the Student Union parking lot, space AA-287, and I can leave at any time.” I answered quickly and so did Rhonda.

After a bit more keyboarding I packed the laptop, hoisted my rainbow duffel on one shoulder and my day bag on the other, and bid a fond farewell to my West Coast semesters. I escaped the dorm and saw Rhonda Rhode’s fluffy Afro blooming above her own shoulder-slung tote and Tibetan duffel. She saw my freckled Celtic visage and waved.

“Hey Kaitlyn, did you look up this Rolf Ritter guy?” she asked as we neared.

“I saw in the directory that he’s listed as ‘consultant’, not student or faculty, and he doesn’t seem to have a police record.” Yes, I did some fast online homework before heading out. I am good at research.

Row AA in the parking lot led on forever. I saw a small RV near the end. Could that be our ride? It was in the right location.

I recognized the man standing there from the image on his ride-offer posting. Tall and lean, dark longish hair, tinted wire-rim glasses, red sneakers, gray khaki shorts. Nice legs; a runner? And a BYTE tee shirt. Was that a nerd emblem?

Rhonda and I must have been just as noticeable. He waved.

“I’m Rolf. Ladies,” he gestured at the RV, “meet Twiggy, the Slim Princess.” Yes, definitely a nerd.

Rhonda and I dropped our duffels and shook hands with him. Rhonda was direct.

“What’s your story and why should we trust you?”

“Trust but verify, somebody said,” he answered. “I’ll let you figure how. My story is, I finished my work hereabouts and I’m on an unrushed scenic run to gigs in Boston. Take Greyhound if you’re in a hurry. Twiggy here has three beds, a small kitchen, a big bath, and doesn’t burn much fuel. Feed us while we roll and I’ll handle the rest.”

So far, so good. “I looked you up. What do ‘consultants’ do?” I asked.

“They consult. Me, I massage proprietary software,” he said. “A smarmy sales worm from my firm convinces academic departments they need our robust warez and I get to make sure the warez behave nice enough. Users vary. Ethnologists pay attention and poli-sci dweebs don’t so it can be a challenge. But this beats working for a living.”

“What’s with this Twiggy stuff?” Rhonda asked. “Three beds, you said?”

“This short class-C Sprinter is the Slim Princess because she’s only seven feet wide, a foot narrower than most others. Sleeping? There’s my king bed filling the back, a single bed in the cabover — that’s the platform above the front seats — and the slide-out dinette behind the driver’s seat makes a double bed. You ladies can fight over the accommodations. The big bath’s double doors give privacy. The tiny kitchen suffices. The seats are pretty comfortable. The roof ain’t low. Step inside and see.”

The interior was compact, spotlessly clean, and smelled good. We could all stand without stooping and none of us was short — or fat. On the sound system, baroque guitar music softened the air. It felt good. Rolf did not emit bad vibes either. His movements were fluid.

“You ladies have laptops and cellphones?” Rolf asked. We nodded. “Twiggy runs a WiFi hotspot. You can stay in touch whenever we’re in cell range. No satellites, sorry.”

I can let my folks know I am okay, I thought.

“One thing,” I said. “What food to you expects us to provide?”

“I don’t need cordon bleu fare but I’d rather avoid canned stew. Twiggy hosts a modest pantry, small fridge, smaller freezer, and you see the microwave over the two-burner stove beside the big sink.” Yep, I saw them. “Cookware is in those drawers. And I’m omnivorous,” he said without licking his lips leeringly. “Are you vegans?”

“Not me,” I answered. “One, I’m not rich enough. Two, thinking really requires complete proteins. And three, I was raised next door to a chicken farm. Vicious, Keçiören Escort Bayan nasty birds; they deserve to be eaten. Cows I’ve known aren’t much better.”

Rhonda laughed. “I’ve seen you ahead of me in line at Burger Thing.”

“Wopper Junior for a buck, what can I say?” I defended myself. “Ketchup for vitamin C. Relish for complex triglycerides. Cold filtered water for free. Ain’t capitalism great?”

“If we’re agreed,” Rolf said, “I figure we’ll first stop for supplies at Gross-Out.” That’s the Grocery Outlet discount market also known as Dented Cans. “It’s like a wedding. Something fresh, something frozen, something dented, something broken. I’m partial to lasagna.”

I looked at Rhonda. We nodded at each other.

“Looks good so far,” Rhonda said, “but what route are we taking, and for how long? You said ‘a slow scenic run’. How slow will we go? How much food do we need to buy?”

“They don’t expect me in Cambridge for a couple weeks but we won’t take that long,” Rolf said. “Stores won’t be rare along the way so don’t worry. I’ll hit scenic byways, northern national parks, big forests and plains, the Great Lakes, a run along the Erie Canal, yada yada. Some long days, some short. But it’s a nice easy ride today, just up to Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park. I like volcanoes.”

Rhonda looked at me. We nodded again.

“Where do I stash my duffel?” I asked Rolf.

=====

Rolf strapped our duffels in the cabover by two guitar cases. “Don’t need stuff falling on us,” he said. Rhonda flipped a coin; I won the toss and took the right-hand captain’s chair up front while she belted into the dinette, its table stashed, its seats wide. Rolf drove to the market where we filled Twiggy’s fridge and pantry. Rolf bought box wine. “Microwave lasagna for dinner, right?” he asked.

Miles started rolling away. San Francisco Bay and its fog stayed behind.

“I don’t really like freeways,” Rolf said. I could not blame him.

Back highways took us over coastal mountains, beside and over the Central Valley, then up into the steep Sierra and Cascade ranges. Before the climb, we parked below sheer volcanic buttes and lunched on fresh sandwiches and icy lemonade with warm fresh air flowing through open windows, vents, and doors. Very warm air.

“I need my duffel,” I told Rolf. “I’ve GOT to change out of these jeans. It’s too hot here.” Only about one hundred Fahrenheit. Yikes.

The bath area’s doors opened to give a two-yard-square private space between the cabin in front and the bedroom in back. This loo was HUGE for an RV, especially one this small, just a 25-footer. The bath in Dad’s old Winnebago was torture in comparison.

Off went my sneakers and long pants. On went my denim cutoffs, cute sandals, and a light tee over my bikini top. I did not think I would need much wilderness protection right away.

“Me next,” Rhonda said. Her short-shorts revealed taut dark legs; my cutoffs showed freckles down past my slim ankles. We adequately filled our long bright tees. Rhonda took her turn in the front passenger seat.

Conversation was easy. We found common or complementary tastes in music, art, politics, ethics, and absurdities. Rolf obviously did not mind looking at us but did not leer or insinuate. He was only a few years older than us and seemed pretty content.

“Long story short, I started playing with electronics as a kid,” Rolf said. “Dad’s job was documenting power utilities. Complex systems always grabbed me. I soaked up systems analysis and IT support, not computer science, because I don’t need to write compilers or data engines, just know how systems supposedly work and how they can be tweaked to maximize user satisfaction. Happy customers mean more sales, and more bonuses for me.

“I’m 26 now and I’m on the road all year, living in sweet Twiggy here. I work with wonks, dweebs, and boffins in academic departments. I’m in an area for a few weeks as needed and then I move on. Shifting between sites gives me mini-vacations all the time. Only faculty committees are boring; the rest is fun.”

Rhonda’s and my confessions were brief.

“I’m 21. Daddy’s a cop,” Rhonda said, “and I knew from up front that I’d rather do almost ANYTHING else. I wanted to be European and I read that Americans who don’t know what to do take liberal studies while clueless Europeans study architecture, so there I am, designing castles in the air.” She twisted in the passenger seat and asked me, “I never heard your story, Kaitlyn; we just had those classes.”

I laughed. “My family’s exotic nursery business doesn’t excite me but the plants do; I’ve been drawing and painting them since I was a little girl. Now I’m 20 and I’m studying technical biological illustration. Rhonda and I shared some tough graphics courses. I have a summer session at MIT and you’re at Boston U, right?”

Rhonda groaned. “A break would be nice but we do what’s necessary. Cape Cod Bay won’t be any warmer than San Francisco Bay. I’d rather be in San Diego Escort Eryaman or Miami. Life ain’t fair.”

“Yeah, life sucks; then we die,” Rolf said. “But Meher Baba told us ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ and somebody said that worry and guilt are the rent we pay on rooms we’ll never inhabit. I let other people worry. That’s above my pay grade.” He chuckled. “Rotsa ruck, suckers.”

=====

We rolled along after that hot lunchtime. Rhonda reclined her captain’s chair and stuck her now-bare feet up on the dashboard — showing off her long, taut, dark legs, sure.

“Nice legs,” Rolf said. He reached to pat a not-too-knobby knee. “Clean toes, too. Good going.” He hummed something funky.

“I never did like toe-jam football,” Rhonda giggled.

Belted into Twiggy’s dinette seat, I could display nothing but impatience. I would have more turns up front later. Rolf was cute. He could appreciate my freckled legs.

I watched passing landscapes, sharp verdant valleys, lush ranches, dusty conifer forests, and rising mountains. Rolf drove the heart of the shattered volcano that exploded almost a century ago. First came the steaming fumaroles, bubbling-hot volcanic mudpots.

“Bumpass Hell,” Rolf announced. “Like Lassen Peak, named after a Danish guy.”

I am glad my last name is O’Hannon. Kaitlyn Bumpass would never have survived in any elementary school. I thought of my poor classmate, Terry Hurd, usually called Hairy Turd. I shuddered. His folks must have hated him.

We skirted lava flows, deep gorges, cindered forests, with all northeastern California spread below our high-altitude road, almost two miles up. Breathtaking? My breath was took, indeed.

We rolled into the lakeside campground on the national park’s northern slope. Rolf took a full-hookup RV site. He secured and connected Twiggy, extended her awning and the slider — she was spacious inside and out now. He fitted a cover over the windshield to block views and moved his guitars and our duffels from the cabover to the driver’s seat. He spun the passenger seat to face the cabin and lounged in it. But not for long.

“I’m going to run the lake loop,” he said, bending to tighten his sneakers’ laces. “You’re welcome to join me. Anyone hot to trot?” he asked.

I could jog anywhere for free. No gym fees. “I run,” I said.

“Me too,” Rhonda said. “A girl’s GOT to know how and when to run. Let me get my feet on.” She dug into her duffel.

“Me too,” I said, and retrieved my footwear.

Socks and Nikes soon adorned our feet. Rolf locked Twiggy and we set out at a moderate pace, not too fast, not at this altitude and temperature, not for us sea-level Bay Area girls.

We trotted. Away from campers; between lakeshore and forest; past lava chunks, curious squirrels, and strolling tourists. On crunchy red lava gravel; over slender streams and fallen pine cones; with a breeze thinner, drier, and hotter than Berkeley’s air, and so fresh!

Running at 6000 feet in summer air sure squeezed the sweat out of me. We were on a ‘civilized’ if unpaved trail with occasional rest-benches and even a water fountain about halfway through the loop. We stopped for sips and splashes. I contorted to soak my long red ponytail for maximum cooling. Rhonda had tied her fluffy hair back for the run and she soaked up, too. Rolf just shoved his head under the water tap. Our wetted tees displayed our physiques.

“Doing okay?” Rolf asked.

“After surviving another school year and escaping, I’m as fine as can be,” Rhonda said. “A little mountain air doesn’t bother me.”

“I’m glad the sun is low and it’s mostly shadows here,” I said. “Without cloud cover, my pale creamy skin will burn bright unless I lather on the sun block. But I’m good for now.”

“You mean you won’t tan till you’re my shade?” Rhonda asked straight-faced. “No, I guess there’s not enough Ebony Coppertone for that. Your North Atlantic genepool obviously didn’t evolve in bright sunlight.”

I used my thumb at the water tap to guide a nice wet spray at her. Bulls-eye!

“Water fight!” Rolf called. I directed a spray at him, too. Then I soaked my head and hair again. “I surrender,” I said, ready to continue.

We kept trotting, taking turns leading, slowing a little on upgrades, dodging fresh-fallen branches, not talking until we were back at our site, totally dried-out now. Rolf unlocked Twiggy and hauled cups and icy lemonade to the camp table. We happily refreshed.

“If you ladies want luxurious sanitation, park showers are right over there,” he pointed. “I’m used to showering in Twiggy. Let’s hose down and lay back, hey? I left clean towels out for you. You might trust Park Service soap. Are you reckless?”

I finished my lemonade and headed for Twiggy. “Reckless, yes. Crazy, no. I’ll be peppermint-fresh.”

Fresh clothes, cute sandals, the squeeze bottle of scented soap, all from my duffel, and a rolled towel Rolf had left out — all these stuffed my string-mesh tote bag. Rhonda was right behind me. Her bath Sincan Escort Bayan tote suspiciously resembled a pillow case.

“Hey girl, I use what’s cheap and handy,” she said. I gestured like, ‘whatever’.

I know Rolf watched us walk the paved pathway before he climbed into Twiggy. Other campers watched us too. I blame our short-shorts.

“Reactions? Thoughts? How are you with this trip?” I asked Rhonda en-route.

“We haven’t had dinner yet and we’re not even one night out but I feel pretty good,” she said. “Rolf seems decent, smart, not psycho-slimy, and I must admit, he’s eye candy.”

“Yeah, he looks good, and I don’t feel creeped,” I said. “Not that he’d do crimes here on patrolled federal land. But what’s he like drunk? Hey, what are YOU like drunk?”

“Haven’t been arrested yet,” she said, “but there was one time… shit, I was young and stupid then. Nope, no frat parties for me.”

We took adjacent shower stalls in the fieldstone building. No space for a private chat. I sudsed thoroughly. Peppermint-fresh, fuck yeah! How fresh would Rolf be? I fantasized a little. Only a little, I swear. Well, maybe a little more. What would the future bring? I rubbed myself a little. Well, maybe a little more.

I trusted Park Service liquid handsoap to de-funk my sweat-stained undies and outers under the shower. Suds up; rinse well. I had packed little in the way of underclothes; I would be field-washing them often. They would hang-dry real fast in this high dry air.

I had brushed out my long red hair and re-established my ponytail when Rhonda emerged, a towel wrapping her wet Afro, both of us in clean tees and long jeans. The evening would be chilly.

=====

Twilight reigned when we returned to Twiggy. Twiggy’s porch lights glowed. Nicely cleaned-up Rolf had an electric lantern and a small-ish guitar on the camp table beside clean plastic cups and a gallon box of wine.

“Easy dinner tonight, right?” Rolf asked. “Microwave the lasagna and drink some cheap vino while I loosen my fingers.” He picked notes on the guitar. I noticed only four strings.

“Funny axe you have there,” Rhonda said, but I knew what it was. No, not a big ‘ukulele.

“My folk guitar is inside,” he said. “This is different, a tenor guitar, strung and tuned like a jazz banjo or a mandola, that’s a big mandolin. Fifths versus fourths — various stuff plays better in each tuning.” He fretted chords, picked notes, and sang, “Blue skies, shining on me, nothing but blue skies do I see…”

“Hold that thought,” I said. “I’ll start dinner and then I can maybe play along.” Once the meal was absorbing microwaves, I pulled the chromatic harmonica from my day bag and resumed the camp table. “You were in D-major.” I blew an arpeggio. “Start over.”

Verse and chorus. Jazzy riffs, then Celtic. I knew where this was going. I anticipated his chop chords and improvised around the melody. I backed off in his last vocal and wove a taunting descant.

“Not bad, kids,” Rhonda said. She dug into her own day bag and retrieved… brass finger cymbals? Wow! She looped them on her left thumb and index finger and clanged for emphasis. “Sorry I didn’t bring a drum kit but I can work a rhythm with my other hand.” Her fingers drummed a calypso beat on the cardboard wine box.

“Inspiration cometh,” Rolf intoned, squirting cheap vin rosé into our cups. “To a good evening.” Our cups came together. We drank and refilled.

“How about Saint Louis Blues in G?” I asked. I coaxed the lead-in and ran through all the classic variations with tight accompaniment from my ride-mates. We sounded pretty good.

I had just begun the clarinet intro to Rhapsody In Blue when a buzzer sounded in Twiggy.

“Microwave alarm,” Rolf said.

“My turn,” Rhonda said. She returned with steaming dinner. We feasted. And drank more.

The Milky Way filled the cloudless, moonless sky through gaps in the forest canopy. We played more music — folksy, bluesy, jazzy; Cajun, Irish, Cuban, surf; Arabic modes, church modes, odd modes. Not bad!

“Not bad,” Rolf told me. “You’ve been practicing.” He looked at Rhonda. “And you’ve practiced lots of percussion. I recognized those overlaid cross-rhythms.”

“You’re okay too, for a white guy,” she laughed. She eyed me. “That’s no blues harp.”

“Nope, not a Tennessee saxophone, and not orchestral, but it almost replaces a concertina.” I blew a familiar phrase. “Remember, accordions don’t play Lady of Spain; people do.” I started playing Sukiyaki in C-major. It had been voted the most recognizable melody in the world. A nearby voice bellowed, “SHADDUP! IT’S LATE!”

“Maybe we should take this inside,” Rhonda said. “I’ll just curl up here on the table and sleep. No, it probably gets cold. Let’s crawl in. Can someone levitate me into the cabover?”

“Are you always a sleepy drunk?” I asked her.

“Only half the time,” she said. “Better sleepy than sloppy. Oops, I gotta pee.”

She barely reached Twiggy’s toilet in time. I could wait a little longer.

Rolf had cleaned up outside. Inside, he dropped the dinette table and laid out flat cushions — that was the “double bed”. He hung a little ladder to the cabover’s “single bed”. Overhead cabinets released sleeping bags and pillows. Easy bedding; all very cozy.

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