Just west of the Banff townsite there were a couple of hitchhikers along the road. The first two were a grubby looking pair of men which Evan barely looked at. But his eyes were drawn to the slim girlish figure standing alone clutching a small pack to her side almost as though it were a teddy bear. The wind was blowing her long straight blonde hair wildly from beneath her hat, a crocheted close-fitting soft turquoise cap. She wore a pair of flared, faded and somewhat tattered blue jeans and a shirt that was a tight fitting long sleeved soft knit fabric in a darker turquoise than her hat with a dragon boldly painted across the front. Evan whistled under his breath as he pulled over to pick her up. 'Geez, she's just a kid.' he thought, 'They just get younger.'
She seemed to struggle to pull open the passenger door and he was again struck by how young and fragile she looked. She put her bag on the seat between them and managed a shy smile at him before her eyes slid self-consciously to her hands in her lap. "Thanks." she said in a near whisper.
Evan put the car back into gear and glanced over his shoulder before accelerating back onto the highway. He glanced sidelong at his passenger, wondering what she was running away from. "How far you going?" he asked.
"Vancouver." she murmured softly, still only one word.
Evan chuckled lightly to himself. "Great," he told her, "I'm headed there too, you're in luck."
"Thanks." she whispered again.
Evan concentrated more on his driving now as the road wound it's way through some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent, the highway clung to mountainsides and traversed canyons and wound through rocky valley floors. He cast occasional surrepetitious looks at the girl beside him. She, for her part, was absolutely silent but her eyes watched the passing scenery with something akin to reverence.
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