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Old 07-06-2006, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Detroit, MI
Do you pick up hitch-hikers?

I do not. Never have. I don't foresee that I will. I have watched too many movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Motel Hell ("It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters."). In a way I feel bad about it, as I know intellectually that most people who hitchhike are harmless. My base level of trust in my fellow man has never been overly elevated - still, empirically, Detroit isn't the safest place in the world.

Anyone here pick up hitchhikers? How'd it go?
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I picked up a hitchhiker once, by my house, huge old bearded guy that was standing out by the road, I stoped and then noticed that he was my old bus driver from highschool! lol.

He wanted a ride to a bar in town, so I drove him there, hell he drove my car-less ass home for like 3 years, it was the least I could do :-P
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Some place windy
I have never picked up a hitch-hiker. Usually, when I drive, I have my daughter with me. I would never allow a stranger in the car with my daughter.

I can't see myself ever picking up a hitch-hiker (with or without my daughter in the car). I can't see myself hitch-hiking either.

I have an uncle that has hitch-hiked all over the United States, Europe, Turkey, and even Vietnam. He often stays in the homes of people he meets on the road.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep, I have a number of times, but it's very unusual.

Never any problems to mention other than odeur terrible. Something about too much time spent walking asphalt.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've picked up six or seven hitchhikers since I started driving, because I would like to think that somebody would help me if I needed it.

Every person I've picked up has been female. This is because I'm not a very big guy and sitting behind the wheel of a car is not a particularly advantageous position for defending yourself. I wouldn't have a problem picking up another guy, save that most are bigger than me and I want some level of control should things go wrong.

I believe most people are at least some level of diagnosably "crazy," women as much as men (I've got ex's who prove some of the higher levels), but I also believe most people are pretty firmly in control of themselves... especially if they feel they are in the debt of another person.

I know a guy who claims to pick up female hitchhikers and trade on that feeling of debt for less innocent reasons. I'm much more scared of people like him picking up people than of people in need of being picked up.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have picked up women that needed assistance, but the last one was on her way to a mental health clinic and she spooked me more than a little.

On the other hand, my car broke down on the freeway and I was hoofing it to the next phone miles away, when a man stopped to give me a lift. I was feeling very lucky until he wanted to make some other stops first, and one was his home. All was well in the end, but he scared the living daylight out of me.

I think the only reason I would pick up someone now is if children are involved.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I usually do. Most have been good experiences. If I have time I'll take them whereever they need to go, once I went almost 200 miles past my own destination to take a guy home. There have been times when I have not picked up a person because I got a bad feeling about picking them up.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have only considered doing that one time when I was younger. The guy that was hitch hiking was very very attractive and damn if I didn't want to stop The thing is though, killers can be good looking too.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have never picked up a hitch hiker, but I have hitch hiked several times when I was younger.

I was surprised at how easy it was to catch a ride when I was wearing board shorts and carrying my surfboard. I wasn't too worried about getting stabbed to death by the people who picked me up, since oddly they were all women.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I know a kid who once picked up a crack-whore on accident... Haha she got in the car apparently, and then was trying to get him to give her like 20 bucks or something, lol, she offered him every sort of sexual favor he could think of, and more than a few he wouldn't have on his own. In the end, he told her "I'll give you 5 bucks not to do ANY of that!".

He gets out of the car, and she follows at an atm or something, as soon as shes out of the car, he locked the doors, and took off around the block, lol. Walked around in the city for 20 minutes until he was sure she was gone, and came back and got in his car and left.

Personally, yea, I would pick up a hitchhiker if they looked fairly trustworthy. Never have though, and probably will never come across one that looks trustworthy.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
I have picked up women that needed assistance, but the last one was on her way to a mental health clinic and she spooked me more than a little.

On the other hand, my car broke down on the freeway and I was hoofing it to the next phone miles away, when a man stopped to give me a lift. I was feeling very lucky until he wanted to make some other stops first, and one was his home. All was well in the end, but he scared the living daylight out of me.

I think the only reason I would pick up someone now is if children are involved.
I think the area around where you and my folks live is a little spooky for hitchhiking! My brother used to do it all the time, but he's 6'2 and 250 so I don't think he needs to worry.

I don't pick up hitchhikers, but I would in certain situations, just to pass on what has been given to me. My friends and I were stranded in a pass last New Year's Eve and were fortunate enough to be picked up by some college students heading where we were headed. I think I would probably pick someone up in the same situation--if I had other people with me and they were around my age and non-creepy.

But I think it really depends on the situation.

If anyone is familiar with Washington State: after several years of NOT having signs, they FINALLY got around to putting up signs around Green Hill School on I-5 (the school for bad bad boys in Chehalis) saying "DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS." I wonder who DIDN'T notice the school surrounded by razor wire...
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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When I have someone else in the car, and its convenient, I will pick up hitch hikers. I would want the same for me were the roles reversed.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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the first time I picked up hitch hikers my dad was with me... we were in yosemite national park and a couple guys were just hitching around the park climbing and wandering, like my dad had done when he was in college.

Other then that I havnt picked up any hitch hikers... wouldnt have a problem with it... just havnt... *shrug*
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I wish I could feel more comfortable picking up hitchhikers, but as a woman I'm always a little intimidated at the prospect, as I'm pretty cute and clean cut. I really want to, because I know it could be me in that situation, but as I am usually alone in the car, I just don't feel comfortable doing something like that.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would never pick up a hitch hiker, though I do feel bad for passing them by when it's raining out. Just too many kooks out there. Same goes for getting a ride from someone I don't know....no thanks.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by onesnowyowl
I think the area around where you and my folks live is a little spooky for hitchhiking! My brother used to do it all the time, but he's 6'2 and 250 so I don't think he needs to worry.

I don't pick up hitchhikers, but I would in certain situations, just to pass on what has been given to me. My friends and I were stranded in a pass last New Year's Eve and were fortunate enough to be picked up by some college students heading where we were headed. I think I would probably pick someone up in the same situation--if I had other people with me and they were around my age and non-creepy.

But I think it really depends on the situation.

If anyone is familiar with Washington State: after several years of NOT having signs, they FINALLY got around to putting up signs around Green Hill School on I-5 (the school for bad bad boys in Chehalis) saying "DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS." I wonder who DIDN'T notice the school surrounded by razor wire...
My last hitchhiking adventures were in Texas. The Purdy Women's Prison on Hwy16 has the same warning and I am more than happy to abide by it. Hitchhiking on Washington's Interstate highways is prohibited IIRC, but I would still pull over if children were involved. (With my luck, they would be just back from the island from "Lord of the Flies.")
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I was driving home late one night with a friend of mine, and we saw a teenager walking on the side of the road carrying a skateboard. My brother was a skater, and this kid was out at like midnight on a road with no sidewalk. Since I had a big strapping guy with me, I backed up and picked him up. Turns out he worked at the mall and had missed the last bus home, and his parents had turned off their cell phones. His dad met us at the driveway and was really grateful we'd given his son a lift. If I'd been by myself I would never have stopped, but I'm glad it worked out.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When I was a teenager, some friends and I picked up a hitch-hiker. He wanted out of the car less than two miles later.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hell no. I never have, and never will, pick up a hitchhiker. It seems like an incredibly dangerous and unnecessary risk.

I have no desire to hitch rides from total strangers, and I certainly have no desire to give them rides anywhere.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I did once but it was only because as I was pulling up I thought it was someone else. When I stopped I realized I didn't know him but since I had a passenger, the only place for him to be was in the truck bed so I was cool with it.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:41 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Detroit, MI
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltPork
I would never pick up a hitch hiker, though I do feel bad for passing them by when it's raining out.
Man, this just hit home. I remember driving by myself back home through the rain down the highway, and this guy appears out of nowhere on the side of the road with his thumb out. Riders on the Storm was playing on the radio:

"Theres a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah..."


With my luck, he was probably a Howard Hughes billionaire just looking for a gas station.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm a guy so I'm certain that will make how you view my answer differ from my intent...I do and always have picked up hitch-hikers...I hitched around the country in the late 60's early 70's. Today getting a ride is almost impossible and while I'm more careful of who I pick up I still recognise mans need for a little help now and again...it's also gratitude for those that helped me way back...we all have to contribute to make the world a better place...
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Umm.. if I can call hookers hitch-hikers....

Anyway, I have never picked up a hitch-hiker. I don't really know why. I'm not fearful of them or anything, I guess it's just that if I were walking down the road I wouldn't want anyone to pick me up. I'm just stubborn like that.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:19 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Once when it raining very hard this lady waved me down. She had a flat, and offered to pay if I took her home. I did it, and of course didnt charge her. That is 'bout the closes I have ever came.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:21 AM   #25 (permalink)
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When I am in a ski town and I see someone thumbing it with a snowboard or skis I pick them up. Sometimes if it is a place I have not yet ridden, I get good information on the best stashes.

Other than that...no.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:32 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I won't pick up a hitchhiker. I have picked up a few with car trouble but even then I am very selective. Too many crazies out there.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:54 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I can't remember the last time I even saw a hitchhiker. Nonetheless, I don't think I'd pick one up. I'm just not that social.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:21 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I'll stop and offer help if someone has car trouble, but I will not hitchhike nore will I pick someone up if I'm not armed.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:22 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Twice.

The first time was years ago ('82 or '83) when I was driving from Wyoming to Pennsylvania. It was early evening, and I saw a girl in shorts hitching for a ride, just west of Des Moines Iowa. She had a backpack, a guitar case, and a cardboard sign that read "Columbus Ohio". Right on my way. I don't remember all of her background, but her name, as I recall, was Amy Keep. She was a little cutie and quite pleasant. She was very intelligent, a good converstionalist, and could sing very well. She was very good company all the way to Columbus. We spent an innocent night together (although, no one ever believes that) in a motel in South Bend, of which we split the cost. I bought her dinner and paid for breakfast. For my trouble, she rewarded me with a full french kiss as we were parting ways. Kinda surreal, actually.

The second time was when I was driving home from work at around 7:00pm. I had to work late that night, and there was a bad snow storm. The roads were slick, and I was crawling along the interstate at about 35-40 mph, when I saw a car along the side of the road. No one was around it, but it looked fairly "fresh". About a 1/2 mile down the road I saw someone walking. I pulled over to offer a ride. Now...bear in mind...I was driving my old beat up chevy pickup truck that night. The woman, whose abandoned car that was, was a little reluctant to get in. But, it was very cold and snowing like hell. In her mind her choices mus've ran...homicidal rapist/killer...freezing to death in a blizzard. She must have decided that with me...at least it'd be a quick death. She got in, but was extremely nervous the whole way to where she had me drop her off.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:49 AM   #30 (permalink)
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It just depends. I try to trust my instincts when choosing which hitchhikers to pick up and which ones to blow on by. That seems to work, for the most part. I've had a couple of odd ones, but never any dangerous ones.
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:06 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I was about to mention that although I'd like to think I'd do it, I don't know if I would -- I thought of a time that I had.

It was about 2 am and I was driving behind an abandoned parking lot (I think it was Safeway) and this BIG black guy (taller than me, much wider than me) jumped out in front of me. He asked for a ride to his house (about 15 minutes away) and I drove him. I don't know if I was asking for trouble that night, but it ended up working out fine. We chit-chatted and he got a ride to his house. He offered to hook me up with something (he never really specified) the next day if I called him up, but I never did.

I think it was worthwhile. Then again, I'm a big guy with an invincibility complex.. sooo.. I could understand not picking up hitchhikers.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:23 AM   #32 (permalink)
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There was only 1 time I can remember picking up a hitch-hiker, and it was by accident. I was dropping a friend off at his house after playing a few sets of tennis with him, and as I pulled up to the side walk in front of his house, lo and behold, there was a hitch-hiker standing right there. Since I was already stopped, and his destination was on my way home, I said "what the hell" and let him get in. Coincidentally, it turned out that this guy was related to me in some fashion, like a third cousin twice removed, but I had never met him before. His mother used to visit with my mother on occassion, so I knew he wasn't lying.

I also had a girlfriend who picked up hitch-hikers all the time. She did it because of the Karma effect, but she admitted that a few of her passengers did freak her out a bit. She was a bit of a basketcase herself, but that's a story for another day.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:44 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I never have, and I don't think I ever will, although some situations might change that.
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:19 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I have on occasion, but I generally scare the shit out of them, because here in Ohio I have to carry my handgun on my person but in plain sight to stay within our stupid conceal and carry laws. The hitchhikers generally think that I'm the crazy one.
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Old 07-07-2006, 04:25 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Couple times, long ago. A young hippie couple, once (back in the days of real hippies) who looked so young and innocent that I had to stop -- and they really were. And a beat up older man who looked kind of confused. I let him out pretty quick, because he was hitching on the southbound side of the freeway and it turned out he wanted to go north. Like I said, confused.

Right now I'm working on a college campus that's about two miles from the center of town, and I probably pass up ten thumbs a day at the various campus bus stops when I drive off campus.

The students all have free bus passes, but there's always someone who wants to see if they can hitch a ride and get there faster. And it's usually a pretty girl who's shakin' it or a big, self-assured young guy. In other words, the bold, not necessarily the deserving. I have no problem passing them by.
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Old 07-07-2006, 04:42 PM   #36 (permalink)
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When I was living at home, I picked up a neighbor kid a few times, and once gave an old woman a ride back to her house when I saw her by the side of road.

I don't think I'd pick up a stranger, though. I might hconsider it with a woman if she appeared to be harmless, but that situation has never really come up.

Besides, anybody who watches enough movies knows that all hitchhikers are either psychotic, criminals on the run, or will steal your car at the first opportunity.

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Old 07-08-2006, 05:36 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I attempted to pick up a guy once when I was in high school...he had missed the bus and was walking home. He didn't want a ride, I don't know if I freaked him out or he just felt like walking. We ended up being friends the next year.

I also was picked up while in high school. My dad's car died on me on the way to the grocery store, and a girl that I vaguely knew from school was driving by with her father, and they pushed me off the road and took me to their house so I could call my dad. I didn't feel any discomfort in that situation, even though I barely knew the girl.

My dad used to pick up hitchhikers all the time, much to the distress of my mom. We actually ended up picking up this one guy several times, I guess he hitched a lot. He was a nice guy, very pleasant, and always very thankful for the ride.

I don't think I'd pick up someone while alone in the car, but if hubby was with me, I'd consider it. I don't think he'd consider it, though.
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:49 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Back in the sixtys and seventies that was the only way to get around. I stopped up here in NH in the late 80's when we were getting alot of unexplained deaths at rest areas. The last hitchikers I picked up were a pregnant woman and her boyfriend in the rain off the interstate, when their car broke down. I took them to the hospital. That was back in "98" I think.
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:30 PM   #39 (permalink)
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The world has changed, regrettably, and it just isn't common to see anyone trying to hitch a ride.

The last time I picked up a stranger was one evening about five years ago when a young woman approached me in my upper W. side Manhattan 'hood, as I was moving my car because of the every other day, alt side of the street parking regs ritual. She said that she was coming from friday night synagogue service and her friend who was supposed to meet her had gotten locked out of her apartment. I was hesitant about her story, but I gave her a ride because of my history.

Growing up in a smallish new england town, from age ten until I has a car, my friends and I hitched rides singly and in groups as large as 4 or 5, and though we knew and recognixed most people, even strangers would pick you up, and it was rare to feel uncomfortable enough about someone, not to accept a ride from a total stranger.

In the summer of '71, I had a male friend in my car, we were staying at my parents' house while they were on vacation. We picked up a hitch hiking couple in a nearby town, who were travelling to Maine by thumbing rides from nothern California. (Is that even a term anymore, "thumbing rides"??) We got acquainted and I ended up inviting them to stay for the weekend, I put them up in my parents bedroom, we partied together both nights, and when I dropped them off at an I-95 on ramp on monday morning, we exchanged addresses.

The next spring, another friend and I made a cross country trip in his old chevy malibu wagon, and when we got near Palo Alto, I called the guy half of that hitch hiking couple, and he invited us over to his parents house for dinner, an overninght, and breakfast the next morning. He had parted with his female travelling companion, and I never saw either of them again, but I still can recall his full name.

Two weeks passed, and....still travelling.....in So. Cal....my friend's car grew more unreliable, and he decided to sell it and hitchhike back to New England.
I checked out the cost of bus fare, and decided instead to use half of my remaining funds....$30...to mail almost all of my belongings back home. so that I could travel "light".

My friend and I decided that we would improve our chances of hitching rides if we travelled seperately. I started first.....19 years old with a knapsack and
sleeping bag, and $30 to my name.....We were staying with my friend's ex-girlfriend's sister, and she dropped me off at the on ramp to the freeway east in San Bernadino on a sunny, mid-march morning. I quickly got a ride from a guy in a small pickup, and he dropped me off at a desert exit, telling me that he would pick me up again if I was still there in an hour. An hour later, with almost no traffic coming by me, he picked me up a second time and dropped me off in the desert in Victorville, CA. There was already another hitchhiker on that ramp, and an hour or two went by as my lips seemed to dey out and peel in the sun. The a tractor trailer came by and halted. The other hitchhiker climbed up into the cab and then surprised me by truning back towards me and waving at me to join him.

It was cramped in the cab of the Peterbilt with two of us and our gear, but the trucker said he appreciated having people to chat with as he crossed the desert. It was a nice surprise when the other hitchhiker asked to be dropped off in Needles, before we crossed into Nevada. The trucker then told me that he had to deliver his load of produce in Boston by sunday, and it was then wednesday evening. He offered to drive me to Newburgh, NY where his girlfriend lived, about 100 miles from my destination.

He slept in the cab's sleeper bed that first night, in AZ, and he didn't sleep again, except for cat naps while I held the steering wheel for him as we moved along at 70 mph on straight, flat, uncrowded highways during the nights that followed. He kept muttering, half asleep, "I sure wish you knew how to drive"! The next three nights, he offered me the sleeper bed and I slept a few hours after helping him to take cat naps in the drivers seat.

He bought all of my meals at truck stops, and plenty of black coffee and Pall Malls, too. He talked about arranging for his trucking business partner to fly up from Fla to meet us in Memphis to take over the driving duties, but it didn't happen. We finally got to Newburgh at dawn on Sunday morning. He said that he was too tired to drive me to the bus station, so he offered me $2 for cab fare and I thanked him emphatically and said goodbye.

I got a bus down to the Port Authority terminal in NYC and I got home with $10 left in my pocket, that afternoon.

After that record distance ride, I don't remember hitch hiking much, or pciking up many others, although I can recall picking up two guys who were hitching a ride in Bar Harbor, ME, in '75.....I remember because I was driving alone in our new Celica, and my wife was off shopping in town and was hestitant to pick up two guys about my age while driving alone in a new car.

I think that is where my hesitancy started...when I felt like I had something to risk if I picked up strangers. Now it's been five years since I have even had the opportunity present itself.

I would pick up a stranger again.....if it feels right.....I have a sense that I should give something back....because of all the genorosity extended to me by other motorists in my past. I'm pessimistic about the economy and the stability of the U.S. currency. I think that we face a shortage of buying power, not of petroleum. If I'm right, and I have been so far, about the 2000 stock market bubble, the end of the housing bubble, and the price gains in gold, silver, and oil, we will be living in a country that is forced to become familiar with routinely hitching rides again, and that probably won't be a bad thing, In most parts of the country, there are very few violent crimes or car jackings. If you are driving with someone else in your car, and you see a hitch hiker who seems okay, I reccommend that you consider stopping to offer him or her a ride.....
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Old 07-09-2006, 05:53 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I've never pciked one up, and probablly never will, even though I really want to. It's a nice thing to do, and if I was ever stranded and needed a ride I would hope some passerby would help me out, but still, I won't picke them up. Perhaps I am just paranoid? Other than in movies I've never heard of a hitchhiker doing anything to anyone.
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