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  • Matt, Ben and myself had decided to hitchhike from New York to LA, spending zero money on travel or accommodation. We called the mission chuteless ( - it was an experiment that involved stripping away a safety net and going on an adventure.

    On day 3 we landed at a reggae festival in Ohio. As we were license plate surfing (looking for people heading west), a car crawled by in traffic containing a 10 foot Burmese python. We flagged it down and managed to persuade the couple inside to drive us west. They were called Adam and Niki, and the snake was called Ivan.

    After we had crammed in all our gear (which included 3 folding bicycles) and set off, Adam asked if we were ok with Ivan roaming free. We couldn't exactly say no, so we spent the next hour trying to keep cool as the glorious reptile gave us the once over. It took Ben in particular a while to get his nerves under control.

    After we got comfortable, kind of, we started chatting with Adam and Niki. He was 22 years old and had just served 4 years in prison for armed robbery. She was an exotic dancer. We were enthralled. They drive us for 4 hours, all the way to their house in Zanesville where we swam with the snake, learned about prison gangs from the horse's mouth, and ate pizza. Nicer folks you could not meet. On paper no, in person yes. We learned a lot that day.
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