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  1. #21
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    I work / drive all over the country, commonly looking to pick up people to make the drive less dull - for several years now there has been no one hitching that I have seen

    some speculation: people hitching long distance that I have talked to have found it to be tremendously inefficient time wise, lets say 5-6 days to cross half the country, so if they are feeding themselves a 100$ flight would be cheaper

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I work / drive all over the country, commonly looking to pick up people to make the drive less dull - for several years now there has been no one hitching that I have seen

    some speculation: people hitching long distance that I have talked to have found it to be tremendously inefficient time wise, lets say 5-6 days to cross half the country, so if they are feeding themselves a 100$ flight would be cheaper
    I still hitch on occasion but only during my ranging backpacking trips and usually only to connect different forest areas separated by long roadwalks---or to hitch out during a blizzard to get out of the mountains to lower ground for easier pickup.

    Traffic in America has increased tremendously over the years and in some ways it's harder to get a ride on roads with very heavy traffic. I guess it's because drivers are lined up on the treadmill and aren't inclined to pull over and stop due to the 10,000 cars in front of them and the 10,000 behind.

    One time I hitched from NC up to Waynesboro VA and backpacked north on the AT thru Shenandoah NP and exited at Front Royal and then hitched into Washington DC and hitched on the Beltway around DC which I do not recommend. Too much traffic, too hard to pull over, hitching difficult, hitchhikers beware. But at least I did finally get to see the Vietnam War memorial.

    On the return trip I hitched thru Charlottesville and hung out at the campus and then hitched south to Swami Satchidananda's yoga ashram on some obscure Virginia backroads like 604 and 664. If you want to be a wandering sadhu in America and visit purported holy men, hitching is just part of the mix (along with enough gear on your back to stay outside).

  3. #23

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    I just hike a pant leg and stuff a fin in my sock.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    some speculation: people hitching long distance that I have talked to have found it to be tremendously inefficient time wise, lets say 5-6 days to cross half the country, so if they are feeding themselves a 100$ flight would be cheaper
    Under that scenario maybe. How people keep themselves fed and cost involve can be astonishly low easily less than $100 over 5-6 days in the US.

    I fly and bus long distances often over a year. I'm bicoastal as the WB User profile displays. GA, NJ, and HI. The notion that cross US flights are always available and fit into travel plans costing $100 is fallacy.

    While hitch hiking can be undertaken for cost saving motives that's not always the only motive or even primary motive.

  5. #25

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    I've never had a problem, found this post pretty strange: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f24QIRtG4A

    I don't buy the "stranger danger" argument; I've picked up people on the turnpike in the south to southern Canada, always makes the trip more colorful. Same thing as a hiker.
    Last edited by greenmtnboy; 04-04-2019 at 15:46.


  6. #26

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    Looking back on this there're some snarky curmudgeonly comments of what was a good natured thread.

  7. #27
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    I agree, another great NYT article. The author conveys the exhilaration of hitching as well as the dangers.

    Last September I got some interesting rides hitching from Yosemite to Reno, Nevada; an older couple from Durham, England who were traveling around the West; a woman who gave me some of her homegrown grapes, the most succulent I've ever had; an Asian-American who had his own contracting business and with whom I discussed politics and economics; a woman with a cleaning business who asked, after she pulled over, "You won't kill me, will you?"

    All good stuff until several cops in Carson City saw me hitching, pulled over, and read me the Riot Act. I had to pay for a shuttle to the Reno motel, but still made my flight the next day.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    I agree, another great NYT article. The author conveys the exhilaration of hitching as well as the dangers.

    Last September I got some interesting rides hitching from Yosemite to Reno, Nevada; an older couple from Durham, England who were traveling around the West; a woman who gave me some of her homegrown grapes, the most succulent I've ever had; an Asian-American who had his own contracting business and with whom I discussed politics and economics; a woman with a cleaning business who asked, after she pulled over, "You won't kill me, will you?"

    All good stuff until several cops in Carson City saw me hitching, pulled over, and read me the Riot Act. I had to pay for a shuttle to the Reno motel, but still made my flight the next day.
    I don't know who is responsible for the paranoia about hitchhikers being dangerous, but frankly I find those types of slurs really disgusting and deserving of an equally strong rejoiner; "you aren't one of those psycho women that kills harmless and defenseless hitchhikers are you?" Nasty judgments and stereotypes are profoundly dehumanizing.


  9. #29
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    Many years ago, I was on the highway near Ann Arbor a few nights before Christmas. It was snowing pretty steady and I spotted a guy with a 5 gallon plastic gas can and his thumb out. (I had a passed a couple different cars on the side of the road) I picked him up, knowing that the next exit where I was getting off was another couple miles, but also had a 24hr gas station. As soon as he climbed into the truck, he turns the can around and starts digging stuff out of it thru a giant hole cut thru the back side of it.

    Turns out, he was hitching to visit family down south and was using this gas can as a way to get rides. (probably lots of very short rides)

  10. #30
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    I don't know who is responsible for the paranoia about hitchhikers being dangerous, but frankly I find those types of slurs really disgusting and deserving of an equally strong rejoiner; "you aren't one of those psycho women that kills harmless and defenseless hitchhikers are you?" Nasty judgments and stereotypes are profoundly dehumanizing.
    Ha! I get your point gmb, but I think she was just being half-serious. Actually, I think I responded with "No, you won't kill me, will you?"

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    Ha! I get your point gmb, but I think she was just being half-serious. Actually, I think I responded with "No, you won't kill me, will you?"
    Well maybe if it is done with a smile it is forgivable, but there is no justification for it.


    Like this youtube hiker blog, talking all about someone who appeared to be a former prisoner who apparently had major issues that greatly disturbed her; why do people continue the ride if they hear terrible stuff in someone's past, if they are drinking while driving, etc.? And then she pulls out the video feature and starts recording for her mother "in case" she ends up killed....Strange. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f24QIRtG4A


  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenpete View Post
    Ha! I get your point gmb, but I think she was just being half-serious. Actually, I think I responded with "No, you won't kill me, will you?"
    You need a Fart ph and Anker Core with the Uber and Lyft apps. Enter the 21 century, man. Come outta the teepee. You're no longer on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.

  13. #33
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
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    It's been my experience that artful yogi-ing of rides works better and faster than hitching. When I decided to bail from the Hayduke, I needed a ride back to Moab where I'd stored my car from Hite. Struck up a conversation with a guy with a pickup bed camper at the next front-country campsite near Lake Powell there (great place, infinite hot showers) and got a ride to Hanksville. While we were stopped for gas, I struck up a conversation with a young couple who looked like they'd been out backpacking (they had) and got a ride initially for Green River, but they ultimately took me all the way to Moab.
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  14. #34
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    When the weather got bad on my AT hike a couple years ago as I got to Front Royal, I hitched a ride back to my car and moved it. (one ride all the way to where I parked in Waynesboro) Once I got to Harpers Ferry, I was having lunch in a restaurant and got to talking to a couple at the table next to mine. They happened to be headed south and went out of their way to take me all the way to my car. Everybody I encountered was so helpful and interested in where I was from, where I was going, and what I had seen.

    Another tidbit of advise: Make sure you have everything when you get in, and when you get out again. It would suck to leave something on the road, but you might be able to get back for it, but leave something in a stranger's car, and good luck.
    Last edited by bighammer; 04-19-2019 at 23:04.

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