I’m not sure what the entire history of hitchhiking is, but I’m pretty sure it has evolved over the years. I know things were a lot different 30 years ago, than they are today. Back in 1987, when I first started hitting the road…thumbing my way around the country, it was a lot easier to get rides…not to mention a lot faster. In the old days, there wasn’t any of this standing around, and waiting two..three..four days, only to get a ride about a hundred miles down the road..if you are lucky. My journey from central Texas to Arizona has taken nearly a month….almost 3 weeks just to get out of Texas. Another 5 day in Eloy, Arizona….then four days stuck in Tonopah. It was also a lot easier getting help with thing that you needed, back then. Food…showers…laundry….coffee…smokes….you get the idea. Nowadays, if you are low on funds (flat ass broke), getting help with anything pretty much takes an act of the Universal Powers. You’re pretty much at the mercy of those that are willing to help with anything. Once in a while, some kind stranger will give you a much-needed boost to help you get on your way. It’s pretty much a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Sure, hitchhiking is a fairly cheap way to travel around, but it also has some serious drawbacks. Being stuck at a truck stop for three or more days is just the tip of the iceberg. You also have to worry about changes in the weather. During the winter, I found it’s not a very good idea to go through any of the northern states….especially across Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, etc. It can get cold….brutally cold. There are also only a limited number of places where you can get out of the elements, while trying to get a ride in the direction you’re wanting to go. If you are really lucky, you might actually find a truck stop that has a TV lounge for drivers….with relatively comfortable chairs in it. For the most part, nobody will bother you if you find a chair in the corner, and doze off for a bit. As long as you look decent, and aren’t bothering anyone, they won’t say anything to you. I’ve come across more than a few places over the years that tend to be not-so-hitchhiker-friendly, and found myself having to stay awake all night, outside, while trying to get a ride down the road. If the weather is nasty, it can make for a very long night. Trust me…having to sit outside when it’s storming, isn’t fun at all….especially if heavy rains are falling from the skies. Dealing with snow, freezing rain, etc, will test you…and make you question your decision to be out on the road in the first place. I know….I’ve questioned myself a lot, in the last 30 plus years. Personally, I don’t see myself hitching around the country much longer. I’m getting old, and in search of a new beginning….new career path….new life. I’ve been dealt some bad cards, and doing what I can to find my place….someplace to call home. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop exploring places I’ve never been, or getting new photos to share with the world….I’ll definitely continue to do that. But the time to settle down is near. The journey will continue, but with a new purpose….new direction. Hitchhiking isn’t for everyone, and the mental, not to mention physical toll it can take on you, can sometimes be too much. Sure, it can be fun at first, but after a while, the fun wears off….and the time to get off the road will be known. I know my time is coming, soon. Oh well…..enough of that rant. Thanks for stopping by, and having a read. I hope you stay tuned to my blog, there will definitely be more to come…just not anymore rants, like this one.
Until next time,