California Cornfields

Jul 21, 2017
Current Location
Vero Beach, Florida
So this is a story from February, when I was buzzing back to Florida from Oregon, trying to beat the money running out. I was somewhere East of San Francisco, or maybe south? I dunno, it’s kind of a blur. Anyway, I was trying to get to Sonora and the sun was waning, and I was fucking lost. I had committed to traveling the whole way without gps, and it had backfired. I was turning endless unmarked corners in cornfields and other kinds of crops, looking for an elusive rest area to finish my whiskey and crash til sunup, when I could see again (night eyes ain’t so hot). I’m finally getting ready to give up and sleep on the side of the road away from my car with my dogs, so they can’t take the car when they inevitably pick me up, when I run across a tiny little bar in the middle of the fucking corn!

“Yes.” I think, hoping they can at least point me to where I need to get to before the light runs out. I figured I was close, but upon entering, I’m told by the husband and wife owners that, “oh, no, honey. You’re way far from that stop. How’d you even get here, looking for there?” Fuck. So now I’m buying a drink to be polite. Sitting there. Watching the already nearly empty bar filter out, leaving me alone. The owners come to chat me up, and I can see they’re looking to shut down. I mention that I’m traveling and, as they know, am lost, and that my dogs are asleep in the car.

At the mention of travel and dogs they perk right up. Dogs? Outside? Bring em in! I said no, that we were gonna shove off and leave them to shut it down for the night, but they insisted. So I went and grabbed the pups, they stumble inside, tired, hoping this is where they sleep tonight. They meet a blind bar cat and befriend him, they are set.

I thank them for letting the pups stretch, and they ask me what I’m drinking. Now, it’s past close now, it’s just me and the owners. I tell them I’m broke. “That’s not what we asked you,” they respond.

“...well whiskey?” I say.
“Surely you can do better than that, honey,” and she proceeds to fill a pint with crown. “You’re not going anywhere tonight, honey, you’re staying right in the lot out front until you’re ready to go in the morning. And I’m not takin no for an answer.”

I sheepishly agree and thank them incessantly, then show them a bunch of great bluegrass from my neck for the next couple hours while the dogs, blind kitty, and ourselves have a wonderful time.

Woke up in the car round 11 next morning, work trucks whizzing by on all sides, wondering how I slept so late. Then I remember.. then I get grateful.

I’ve forgotten their names, but there is a thank you note in the door before I left, and I huge heart shape in my old atlas at the approximate location of that beautiful bar with those beautiful people.


Feb 20, 2010
Current Location
Kamloops... Chase
Wow your story is awesome... It's so rare to meet people who are still really nice and kind... And how random to find a bar in the middle of corn haha

I hope all your adventures have happy instances such as this :)
May 22, 2015
Current Location
Every time I travel I come across humble, kind people like this that restore a bit of my faith in humanity. The salt of the earth. Thanks for sharing this story.

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