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Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 10: 900 Miles and a Drug Deal

Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 10: 900 Miles Dallas to Chicago

I left Dallas around 10am and drove up to Oklahoma City for my first ride of the day. It was a decent drive without much traffic for a Saturday morning. I drove towards the downtown area and got a ping within a few minutes. I was taking a restaurant manager to work. She definitely lived in a sketchy building complex so I was really concerned at first when I pulled up. I saw a girl smoking on the second floor walkway in front of her apartment. I thought she was the passenger and I started to become irritated thinking that she was just smoking her cigarette while I was waiting for her. Luckily, my actual passenger came out after two minutes and she seemed to be very nice. She told me how she often works about 50 hours a week since she is salaried, so she doesn’t get overtime.

My next stop was Tulsa, OK. Here is where the drug deal went down (more on that later). The drive up was pretty nice, except for the fact that it was a tollway in and out of Tulsa. Surprisingly enough, my EZ-pass worked at the toll booths there. I was too concerned about driving through the E-toll they had there so I went through the toll booths a second time. The first time I pulled up to the toll booth, I tried to hand the attendant money but the gate opened automatically. He was puzzled as well until I told him about my EZ-pass. The second time around, the booth had a harder time reading the transponder but it eventually read it. I’ll be signing up for the OK e-toll for the next time I do this.

On my way up to downtown Tulsa, I got a ping fairly far outside the city. I accepted it and drove about a mile back down the highway to the pickup, which was one of the closer pickups I had in a long time. I pull up into this semi deserted motel and really think that much of it. But it does seem odd that someone who is at that motel don’t have a car. That should have been my first warning about these passengers. I get a message from the account holder saying that I would be picking up a girl. The girl shows up and says it would be her and her boyfriend and to not tell her uncle about him.

So it takes them a while to get out of the motel room. They looked fairly normal and they asked if I could use my phone charger. It was a bit odd, being that it was in the middle of the day. It didn’t seem as if they had a phone charger in their motel room. They asked to go to Walmart so they could pick something up, and then go pick up something from a friend and then drive back. I begrudgingly agree to it, even though I knew it would be a huge waste of my time.

So the boyfriend gets out at the Walmart (it was so out of my way as there were at least two other Walmarts on the way to their friends house highlighted in pink in the below picture. He takes about 15 minutes. During this whole wait is when she says that he was getting money from Walmart. Of course it always takes a long time. Luckily, it only took 15 minutes as I have been on that customer service line before. It can take a good 30 minutes since every transaction on that line takes so long. She noted that he still owed her money so they were getting money from Walmart.

So our next stop is the dot in pink. She gives me the address of the house next door and walks up to it. I am watching this encounter since I just want to finish the trip and get the hell out of there. I see that a person cautiously answers the door and doesn’t open it beyond a crack. At this point, I knew there was something fishy about it. Also, the lawn was a bit overgrown and didn’t look that nice (the rest of the house weren’t as nice either, so it didn’t really stand out). When she walks away from the house, she seemed to be clutching something in her left hand and tries to hide it as she is walking back to the car.

She gets in and as I’m driving, her and her boyfriend starts fiddling with it. It sounded like some plastic wrapper and they are actively hiding it from my view. At the next stop light, she asks if she can go back. That is when I knew it was drugs and I told them to get out of my car. He tries to play it off like its not what I think (don’t they always say that) but I kicked them out. Before I ended the trip, I sent a few texts to the account owner about what had happened. I end the trip and then drove off as soon as I could. I rated them a one star and a long comment with Lyft about what had transpired. A few hours later, I get a text from Lyft saying that they left a cell phone in my car and to contact a specific number. I knew they didn’t leave it since both of them had it in their hands when they left the car. I searched the car at the nearest rest stop just in case and found nothing. I never called that number thinking that it was some kind of trap.

This whole situation could have been a whole lot worse but luckily I got out safely. I’m not sure what happened afterwards and hopefully more drivers out there stay alert about what is going on.

After ending that nightmare ride, I headed north through Missouri to get to Chicago. I realized that St Louis is known for their ribs (or the cut of pork ribs that is) so I frantically tried to look for a BBQ place in Missouri that would be open as I’m driving by. The issue is that many of them close at 8pm on Saturday and I would get to St Louis just after 8pm. I didn’t want to go up to Kansas City since it would drag me about two hours out of my way. I found a place that was still open at 8pm, but by then they had ran out of many items. Luckily they still had the ribs and pulled pork. Both were very good, along with the various sauces they had. I bought some of their dry rub as well. I wanted to get a chicken dry rub as well, but they ran out.

I then drove north towards Chicago. Google Maps estimated that I would get there around 3am, so I picked a rest stop around 1am and slept there for the night.

How Can You Help?

I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise additional money for charity. It will be running for the next few months. Below is the link to the campaign:

GoFundMe Rideshare Dashboard Mental Health Drive

Even a dollar will go a long way so give what you can and it will be deeply appreciated!

You can also help by emailing ridesharedashboard at gmail.com with travel advice, what to see in each of the below cities and your best food recommendations. I have traveled extensively abroad, but I will be visiting many of these states for the first time.

Want to Know Where I am now?

I will continue to post regular updates of my trip on my Facebook Page and my Twitter feed so look there to keep track of where I am! I usually move through 4-6 cities a day so I’m definitely a moving target.

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