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Mendocino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:01 PM
Original message
Hitchhiking
Have you ever hitched and have you ever given a ride to someone?

I last did over thirty years ago while backpacking. Four of us got a ride from a logger in a pickup back to our vehicle at a trail head. However I haven't hitched since. Too many weirdos.

Last year I gave a ride to a young couple hiking in Zion National Park. They were staying at the same campground we were at and I ran them up to a far section of the park so they could hike back. We had their car license # and saw their ID's first so I felt safe.

Anyone else have any stories?
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've hitch-hiked in Europe, when I was a college student.
It went rather well, especially in Scotland and Ireland and northern France. The only problem I had with with a truck driver who tried to grope me in Germany. But I was sitting close enough to reach over and jerk the steering wheel back and forth (we were on the Autobahn) until he stopped. :D

I loved getting around the Scottish Highlands that way -- yes, even when it rained. I would never do it totally alone, though. I would also feel different about doing it in the US, honestly. I think it's perceived differently culturally here.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. Over 100,000 km hitched, 100s of riders, hardly ever pass up a thumb
The very nicest people pick up hitchhikers, and all the limos pass you by.

Did one trip with my partner from Portland Oregon to Guatemala, up to Minn.,
over to Quebec City, to North Carolina, back to Minn., then Seattle, and
home to Portland after 3 months with a backpack.

Oregon to Mexico numerous times.

Raced my brother, him driving, Portland to Denver. I beat him by 2 hours.

Phoenix to near Guatemala once in 60 hours!
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. I gave rides to random people a few times and accepted rides a few times.
I also dated someone who did this fairly frequently. Neither of us was ever harmed. Though she stopped when some guy who picked her up thought she was a prostitute and pulled out his ****.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. I Hitchhiked a Lot in the 1970s
and used to pick up hitchhikers as well.

One time, I was picked up by five young Southern guys in an old Chevy Impala. They said they were on their way to beat up some guy who had done something to their sister. Despite my protests, they insisted on showing me their car could hit 100MPH with six passengers.

I was once stranded the whole night in the Connecticut countryside, but occasionally got rides immediately and arrived faster than if I had driven. One time, I went from DC to NC overnight carrying a two-drawer filing cabinet packed with stuff from a dead car I abandoned in Arlington. Had to sneak that big thing on an Arlington bus at night when the bus driver driver left for a few minutes. Stopped right over the beltway at a residential overpass, push it over a high chain-link fence, climb after it, and then carry it down to start hitchhiking. Can't believe it worked.

In college, I picked up a young working class guy at night on a country road near Greensboro, NC. He turned out to be drunk, started telling me his life story, and gave me this metal bracelet which I kept for years. I drove him to an intersection where he said his grandmother lived, but when we got there he was kind of dazed and said he didn't recognize it. On the way back to town, he fell dead asleep. It was after midnight and I had no idea what to do with him. So I found a cheap motel, left him sleeping, and went in to get him a room. Found a half-empty bottle of whiskey in his coat pocket which I poured out. As I was signing in, he woke up and wandered in to the lobby. When the desk clerk realized the room was for him, he said "I'm sorry, we don't serve that kind of person here." The hitchhiker said "That's all right, I'll find my way" and wandered off.

Shortly before I got divorced, I would sometimes get up at night, go out, and drive around blindly for an hour. One time I picked up a young black guy who seemed to be wearing some kind of karate uniform. I said "So, what kind of fighting do you do?" He got very confused and alarmed. I asked him about him about his outfit and he said "Oh, this is just an old sweatsuit."

The last hitchhiker I picked up was about ten years ago . It was evening, and she was hitching on Kenilworth Avenue in Bladensburg, MD. She said she was going up the road aways. We chatted for a minute and then there was an awkward silence. She finally said "So, you want a date or what?" I started laughing -- it didn't dawn on me that she was a hooker. "Well, some guys are kind of shy," she said before getting out. She was sweet.

I also drove a taxi for awhile and have five rental houses in Baltimore. Those are even better for lurid stories.

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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. The last part of your story is why I don't hitchhike in the US.
I'm female.

I find it's just too risky in a culture where there is a prevailing attitude that anyone worth treating as a human would OF COURSE have their own car. And where a woman can be accused of "asking for it" just because she likes to drink and party.

I found that in Scotland and Ireland, a woman with her thumb out by the side of the road is presumed to be asking for a ride, if someone with room in the car happened to be going her way. If she has a little money to kick in for petrol, that would be nice, but not expected. That's what I always thought hitch-hiking should be--just as it is for men everywhere, a polite request for a ride if you have the room.

In the US, a woman with her thumb out by the side of the road is presumed to be sexually available, consensually or otherwise. And not only that, a female hitch-hiker seems to be treated as probably someone who wouldn't be missed if she was murdered and thrown in a ditch. (Whenever this happens to a girl in the US, you always get the mindless, masked Greek-theater chorus of "Well, what did she expect?")
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Picked up hitchers many times.
Never here in FL, however--only picked them up in western part of VA up and down I81. I only picked up females and also gave rides to women w/broken down cars (since I'm female). Still keep in touch w/a few of them.

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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. When I was a teenager in the late 70s, I hitched everywhere. My husband and I pick up hitchhikers
now and again but never when our daughter is with us.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
7. Last time I picked up a hitchhiker was about 10 years ago. As a single
woman (with my disabled daughter in the car) I was headed to Iowa. It was raining very hard and I saw this guy standing in the rain hitching. I knew I should not pick him up but I could not leave any human being out in that rain. He road with us for about two hours, we talked about what was wrong with my daughter and why I had picked him up. I never really felt comfortable but in the end I was glad I did. He got out on the edge of town when I turned in a different direction than he was going. It is not something I would do often. Just decided to take the chance that day.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. I have picked up service men.... when my dad was in the air force he and my mom were so poor
that they would buy a tank of gas at the beginning of the month and when that ran out he would have to hitch to the base and then back home the rest of the month.

I figure a hitching service member is trying to get home and I'm always willing to help. :0)
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The Midway Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. Be careful.
Hitch hiking is illegal in many US states.

http://www.hitchhiker.50megs.com/custom.html
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. I read that and then looked up the cited codes.
I find it to be preposterous at best on the half dozen I looked up (which is enough for me to falsify the claim; the rest of them may well support the allegation but the codes I read do not imply that, they're almost entirely about safety and are intended to keep you off of the interstate).

The basic rule of thumb is that exit ramps are fine to stand around at.

The best rides I ever got were at truck stops. Lots of lonely guys there welcoming to have some company. The stories you hear are amazing.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. I hitch hiked (by accident) one time back in the 1970's I was
about 20 years old. I had been a guest at a wedding and was all dressed up wearing high heels and trying to walk home. I was leaning against a stop sign and this guy (very cute) pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride. I hesitated but he said "aw come on", so I got in and he took he home ... no problem. The guy said he would call me for a date (but he never did). Now I shudder to think what could've happened and how I could've been so naive as to have gotten into the car.

Just once picked up a hitch hiker. My brother and I were coming home from a Rolling Stones concert (late 1970's) all jazzed about it and saw a guy standing along the freeway entrance with his thumb out. On impulse my brother said "let's pick him up" and he slowed down. I said "no, keeping going" but my brother said "too late here he comes", so we gave him a ride. It was actually fun talking about the concert and all kinds of things.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
13. We used to have hitchhiking "races" between Miami & Ft Lauderdale
The girls team always won :)


and I used to pick them up too.. this was in the mid to late 60's
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. I put 1000s of miles on my thumb back in the 60s -70s
as a kid running away from home and as a servicer guy going home for the weekends.

Never had any trouble, never caused any. Met a whole bunch of really nice folks.

I gotta go to work now but will post a few stories when I get back home.
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masmdu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. All over Japan...safe beyond belief...Often treated very kindly
Not uncommon for somebody to pick you up and either take you to the exact spot you are heading for, or take you out for a meal, or offer you a place to stay for the night.

Then again, a foreigner on the side of the road hitch hiking is a novelty there.

Great times!
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
16. Decades ago, back when it was common.
But even then I only hitched a couple of times, when I was stuck. I would give rides to people but it was never a big deal.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:17 AM
Response to Original message
17. I've hitchhiked to Cincinnati...
and Mooresville, IN, and Indianapolis, and Wausau WI, and thru Madison, thru Tampa FL, thru the state of Georgia, Tennessee, thru Denver, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Kentucky, and all points in between.
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