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Topic: Searching for hitchhiking stories< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2013, 5:19 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi,
we are two Quebec journalists / travellers / ex-hitchhikers currently working on a collection of hitchhiking stories. It is a collection in which different travelers write about a particularly memorable journey on the road.

We are currently looking for travellers that have stories to tell.  We are open to all written submissions, whether they come from expert adventurers or from novices who hitchhiked only once to get to the neighbouring village.  Our goal is to present a wide range of stories from different times, cultures, places and genres; an absurd event, an introspective moment, a memorable human encounter, a subtle cross-cultural discovery, unexpected beauty observed next to the highway, a frustrating, strange or even tragic experience.  There are no constraints on style so be creative. Ideally, your story should not exceed 3 pages.

If you are interested, please send us your stories by email as soon as possible. The pieces may be published as is or may be modified with your consent.  They may be translated as the book will be in French.  You may also simply submit an idea that we can write up ourselves.  We will contact the authors of any stories selected in order to give more information about the process and confirm the final format prior to publication.

Please feel free to share this message, in particular with older people without computers or with contacts abroad.  Alternatively, let us know if you have specific people in mind that you feel might have good stories for us.

Looking forward to reading your stories!

Hélène Mercier and Philippe Marois
histoiredepouce@gmail.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2013, 7:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Best ride I ever got was back in 1983...got a ride from Saint Louie O'Bispo down to Irvine (behind the Orange Curtain) with a born-again ex-pimp who was recently out of prison, and driving a 10-year-old diarrhea-yellow Cadillac. Told me these outrageous stories of his pimping and dealing days, every one of which ended with "...but I don't do that no more, not since I found Jesus." (Which didn't keep him from stopping in Shell Beach to pick up gin & juice, and in Santa Barbara to score some weed.) He had one George Clinton 8-track that played over and over, and to this day I think of him whenever I hear Atomic Dog.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does it have to be on a highway?

I started a backcountry trip once in Alaska by hitching a ride on a salmon fishing boat.  I've hitched numerous rides elsewhere by car, but that was by far the most memorable one.

Wrote a trip report about it here, if you're interested.  Best of luck in your search!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2013, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've only hitched once, pretty unremarkably (though when I casually asked what had happened in the last week or two, having been on the trail, I was told that Iraq had invaded Kuwait and we were probably going to war!).  But my husband has a lot of good tales of hitching, including a long trip in Australia.  Maybe he'll let me look some up from his journals and work them over for you.

My most poignant hitch-hiking memory is of my dad doing it.  Our VW van broke down in the East Mojave between Needles and Barstow back in about 1968.  I was 5 or 6 but I remember an awfully sinking feeling when he flagged down a car, got in, and disappeared into the distance leaving Mom with us 3 little kids in the desert.  This was well before the interstate--there was just nothing and no one out there.  And Mom, being a Pacific Northwest native, was none too comfortable with all that desert. . .


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, in the 50's, I hitchhiked home 15 miles about 3-4 times a week.  Had a buddy so there were two of us, getting home from ball and track practice.  This was in central Idaho, on US 30 which is now the interstate on that stretch from Caldwell to New Plymouth.

Mostly routine, with no drama, but there were a few drunks to deal with, a couple of guys looking for kids interested in sex and the Texan with a hogleg strapped to the steering column in his four door Caddy!  He was actually fine, a pipeline engineer, but we were a very silent, polite pair on that ride!

Best, most memorable ride we ever had was about 11 PM one cold, snowy night after a basketball game, when one of the regular highway folk, a salesman, who knew us, turned around about a mile outside town, and took as all the way home.
We were freezing our nuggies and we never forgot that guy, he came to lots of the games so we could tell him, and he always picked us up if we were going his way.

Can you imagine what our parents would be charged with in today's world, if they even allowed 15-16 year old teens to do that??  Once, let alone every day? Probably felonies, with years in prison!

My Dad hated sports and would do nothing to help me play sports and avoid farm work!!  Which, of course, meant that I absolutely had to play sports, no matter how crazy the arrangement might be!  Play was not in his vocabulary.

And then, there was the time when I was a 19 year old sailor, hitchhiking from San Diego to Idaho for leave, with another buddy, and we were picked up by escaped convicts in southern Nevada.

But, that is another story!  heh


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2013, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good stories, WWW.  I honestly haven't had any experiences getting picked up by folks that wigged me out.  I've picked up a few myself that were kinda creepy (and I was glad to drop them off shortly after), but most the folks I've had rides with have been quite friendly.

ETA:  I don't really do that much any more though, at least not when my family's with me.  Having school-aged kiddos in my back seat kinda changes the equation, at least for me.  But by myself, no sweat.  Pay it forward, and all.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2013, 6:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hitched from Rochester, NY to Anchorage, AK in 1975.  Lots of good rides, no real characters though but some funny experiences.

A young couple picked me up in Edmonton Alberta.  We all looked like hippies.  they had a had a converted van and two dogs to boot. As we neared the border we saw people stopped along the road side stashing their drugs under their cars.  We had no drugs but at the border we were searched extensively, my backpack was emptied and they even opened the metal film canisters I had for film and matches.  Then we had to put it all back together.  Meanwhile, all the cars we saw stopped along the highway were waived on without a problem.  

That was long before profiling became a dirty word.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2013, 8:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For years I picked up hitchhikers whenever I was driving alone, some of them for multi-state rides.  Met a lot of interesting people and never had any serious problems, maybe a couple of folks with mental problems, but never a threat of robbery or injury.

But, my children sat me down a few years ago and made me promise to stop doing that, when there were a couple of ugly incidents with hitchhikers here in Colorado.

Now the only time I pick up anyone is if I am in the mountains and see people who exhibit the signs of real backpackers, and those are always happy experiences.

Don't tell my kids, though!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 5:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On my first real backpacking trip, my best friend at the time, and I were dropped off at Pinkham Notch in the Whites of New Hampshire, by my folks.  Our plan was to hop a bus in North Conway and get a bus back home to PA.  All went well on the trip, and we had a blast, summited Big George, roamed around the Carters - great fun!  Well, somewhere along the way, we got a thought in our heads, and decided to save bus fare, and hitched it all the way home.  We got picked up without delay and made it all the way to about White Plains, New York the first evening, and slept at an interchange along I-95.  The next morning at about dawn, this guy picks us up.  He tells us he is the sound manager for a funk band (popular in the late 70's-early 80's) and was driving to north Jersey for a funeral of a good friend.  Well, we got to talking and he seemed like a very nice guy, and offered to give us the $.50 tour of Manhattan.  So he stops at some liquor store around Times Square, and comes out with quarts of Colt 45.  He also came out with a bag of heroin, that he proceeded to snort, much to his delight.  Now the guy was obviously grieving from the loss of his friend, so we just went with it.  But by the time we got to Jersey, his driving was a cause for concern, as we blew down the Jersey turnpike at 90+ weaving in and out of traffic, with the straw buried deep in the bag of heroin.  We got him to take us all the way to Rob's sister's house in Boyertown, PA.  Probably could have talked him into taking us to the Grand Canyon, actually.  By this time, he was coming down from his buzz and was a wreck.  We thanked him profusely, mostly enthralled with the fact that we were still alive, and for the ride, and wished him well.  

The next year, we only hitched from the Whites to Boston on the way home.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 7:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Summer of 1968, I hitched from Ky to Ca and back.  My parents weren't too thrilled, but I checked in from relatives houses in ABQ, San Diego, and LA.  I was standing on the road outside of Bakersfield, on my way home, when a moving truck stopped and asked if I wanted to help load up the truck.  Driver was taking a household to Chattanooga and would drop me off in Nashville, if I helped.  So, I spent 6 hours loading the truck, and 4 days listening to the driver tell me of the possible troubles I could run in to on the road.  He paid me $15 for the work, and wouldn't let me pay for my meals.  Most of I-40 was brand new, but there were some stretches where he drove on old US 66.  It was slow going on the 2 lane roads.  

My folks lived about 90 minutes from Nashville, but it took me an hour to catch a ride home.  I always thought I made pretty good time from Ca to home that trip.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Only once did I hitch a ride and it's on the (long) list of dumb things that could have gotten me killed.  A freshmen in college, it was about a 3 hour drive from home to school.  I got a flat tire about an hour from home, two hours from school.  I don't even remember the circumstances, but my roommate and I (two 17/18 year old girls) let a truck driver give us a ride back to the car from the truck stop we'd walk to in order to use the phone. (Can't remember who changed the tire,either)

Anyway, my mom just reminded me of a funny part of the story I'd forgotten.  My roommate and I hatched a plan that if the driver tried to come on to us, we were going to start making out and say we were lesbians.  Too naive to realize, that would probably have the exact opposite affect.  So young and naive!  We survived that, along with countless other dumb young girl antics.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 3:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After a night at a bar in Ann Arbor, three of us stopped at a restaurant to grab a bite to eat.  One guy was being a royal jerk, and after the other two of us retaliated against his behavior he got upset and ditched us.

So here we are, walking along the side of the highway at 3:00AM.  A car flies by, locks up its brakes, flies off the road, rolls down the side of an embankment and ends up right-side up in a ditch.

We run over to the car, and help the poor guy out.  He's completely wasted, and amazingly, uninjured, though a bit bruised up.  The three of us finally manage to flag down a car.  My buddy and I get dropped off just a couple miles up the highway, and we often wondered if the other guy even remembered where his car was the next day.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 11:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a few. I posted one here several years ago.  

I've had a couple of memorable rides or so. A one armed guy driving a Porsche with a stick. The motor home that picked me, and then a hitchhiking couple up in Knoxville, TN in an ice storm. The two 70+ year old women in a Pinto that picked me up in Kansas to ask me directions and then made a wrong turn right after they dropped me off.  :(
My last multi state hitchhiking trip was in 1997 from GA to VA. I got two job offers on the way.  :;):
The last time that I hitchhiked was several years ago when My clutch burnt out on the way to work. I made it in on time.  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2013, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

interesting
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 11:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hitch-hiked a lot in the late 50's and early 60's in Texas, going to college, and was certain I was more savvy than just about anybody else around.

...somehow, being so sure of my wit, it did not occur to me that smart guys do not find themselves on the side of a desolate Texas highway, at Midnight, with a suitcase whose only contents was a single cinnamon roll, and a Thunderstorm brewing.

I was about to crawl under a highway bridge to escape the storm when a rodeo cowboy pulls his pickup over, and offers me a ride into town (Mineral Wells), where he assured me the nice guys at the Fire Station there would let me sleep on the bench that was next their fire engine.

Before night was over, the nice guys at the police station (which was across the hall from the fire station), had me locked up in jail.

That's when I found out all jails were not like Andy Griffith's, with nice big gaps in the bars where you could look thru, and receive friendly advice from the local officers.

I also found out it's best to resist being a smart alec to folk who have the key to your cell, especially when nobody else in the whole world knows where you are.

....a lesson my cellmate had not learned until he was thumped in the head with a piece of leather-wrapped lead, and knocked totally unconscious.

I got released in a few hours, no charges filed;  my cellmate, who they had dragged unceremoniously into an adjoining cell for whatever reason,  was still either unconscious or hopefully asleep..... and I happily walked out into a driving thunderstorm.

I realized I still had some life lessons to learn, and that saying yessir/nossir to armed folk is usually  a good idea, and that maybe I was a tad bit lower on the savvy tree than I previously thought.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 12:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some of the best times of my life were in my early 20s when I did a lot of hitching.  I had a real itch to travel but didn't have much money. Hitch-hiking was a great way to get around then.  Things were different in the early 70s than they are now.  I hitched to Alaska and back twice. Around Europe.  Across Canada two or three times, to Mexico City and around the States , coast to coast and border to border more times than I can remember.  I learned more  from my travels than I ever could in college.  Other than being caught in the rain a couple of times and not being able to get a ride on rare occasions, except for one occasion, I had nothing but great experiences.  Even the two times I spend in jail turned out to be pretty positive experiences..  Wouldn't trade that time of my life for anything.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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