Click the button to switch the theme to
e-and-e-cover.jpg e-and-e-00.png e-and-e-00.png

Table of Contents

1 The Zen of Hitchhiking 3 2 Getting a Ride 28 3 Accepting a Ride 43 4 Talking 62 5 Self Defense 74 6 Packing 82 7 Roadmoney 102 8 Shelter 121 9 Eating on the Road 130 10 Women on the Road 162 11 The Thumber and the Law 184 12 Altered States 206 13 Hitchhiking Survey 258

The Provinces and States

Introduction 307

Alberta 313 British Columbia 313 Manitoba 319 Maritime Provinces 325 Ontario 321 Quebec 321 Saskatchewan 319 Northwest Territories 313 Yukon Territory 313 Alabama 441 Alaska 330 Arizona 577 Arkansas 489 California 600 Colorado 531 Connecticut 349 Delaware 381 Dist. of Columbia 377 Florida 405 Georgia 400 Hawaii 327 Idaho 555 Illinois 450 Indiana 445 Iowa 439 Kansas 525 Kentucky 420 Louisiana 494 Maine 334 Maryland 377 Massachusetts 344 Michigan 471 Minnesota 483 Mississippi 435 Missouri 464 Montana 545 Nebraska 520 Nevada 567 New Hampshire 337 New Jersey 365 New Mexico 572 New York 354 North Carolina 390 North Dakota 512 Ohio 411 Oklahoma 507 Oregon 593 Pennsylvania 370 Rhode Island 352 South Carolina 397 South Dakota 516 Tennessee 430 Texas 499 Utah 562 Vermont 341 Virginia 383 Washington 583 West Virginia 425 Wisconsin 477 Wyoming 539


Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Hey Now, Hitchhikers! This book was written by hitchers for hitchers and the data between these covers is all good, fresh stuff. The hitchhiking questionnaire, our source of information for much of the book, has been in circulation since January of 1980. With almost 1000 responses in from every state in the union and each Canadian province, we are getting a picture of where and how hitchhiking happens. We have tried to gather here, in the most general of scopes, things which might influence your travel for better or worse. We hope to lay on you tips accumulated from literally hundreds of years on the road that will help you find food, shelter, transportation, and fun on a low-budget budget. The survey has given us insights on low traffic routes that one person could never gather alone.

We have had fantastic response from thumbers out there, and many folks have contributed poetry, essays, and artwork that appear here. So here's the problem, amigos. We have such a giant, tremendous selection of contributions that you fine folks have sent us that we couldn't fit it all under one tent, much less between two covers. We would love to start a periodical for nomads


and vacationers who use "digital transportation solicitation". In the meantime, we have had to rework, abbreviate, and yes, even refuse some beautiful material because of the time and space problem. We have tried to give credit where credit was due, so if we have omitted your name by the comments, just drop us a line and we'll fix it in the next edition. If the text seems a bit disjointed at times, blame it on us editors. It's tough to pull together so much information from so many sources. We want and need your support of this and future editions and newsletters; hitchhiking CAN work in North America, and we for one would like to see the growth and development of a mobile society, supported by enlightened legislation and facilitated by the free exchange of information. Basically, we wrote this book because we love hitchhiking, so we hope that some of this love shines through. We can make it happen, we can make it happen, we can make it hap...


Chapter 1

The Zen of Hitchhiking

John Borchers, age 73, has been hitching for over 50 years. I happened to pick him up on a backroad in Kansas in 1980. He has been a life-long traveller, both hitchhiking and hopping trains. Some would call him a hobo, but he proudly disclaims this label, saying,"Most hobos couldn't beg a glass of cold water at the North Pole." He started travelling in the 1920's when he left home and worked with the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and he has been travelling ever since. He said that he works in one spot for a few days or weeks until he gets paid and then he's


back on the road again. "Once you have a taste for the road it's hard to give it up." He diagnoses the problems of today by pointing out that people sit on their butts too much; "they need to be out in the fresh air!" He told me he is in no hurry to get anywhere in particular, he just goes where the rides take him. He does try to head south for the winter and up north in the spring. John says, "When that grass gets green, and that o1' free wind is a-blowin', I really get the itch to travel. I've done a lot of everything, but I'm the master of none." He had stories of people who had offered him food, shelter, and jobs in exchange for his telling them the stories of his life. "Lots of people just stay in one spot all their lives, so they want to know what it's like to be a drifter." John does claim to be a good judge of human character and human nature and brags that he can talk to anyone about anything.

* * * *

I once travelled from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Lincoln, Rhode Island with $4.00 and a jar of peanut butter and jelly. It took me five days for the trip, and I still had 60 cents at my destination. The reason being one driver gave me $5.00, another bought me lunch, and a guy outside of New York


brought me to his parents' house for lunch and a dip in their pool. My problem is that I'm deaf in my left ear, and I'm always sitting with my bad ear towards the driver, and if he has the stereo going I can't hear a damn thing he is saying. But it usually works as I just nod my head whenever he says anything. Anonymous male

* * * *

Fear and Loathing in Iowa

It all started innocently enough. Last January I bought a hundred-dollar Ford Galaxy 500 from my brother in St. Louis, checked the oil, and started driving out towards Montana. At the Iowa border, I saw my first hitchhiker, an older fellow who looked cold and broke. I got him to drive, so that I could wake up and take over driving later that night.

I awoke from a deep slumber to the sound of sirens and flashing red lights, but hardly noticed. Something was wrong with my new friend; his eyes were glassy, his mouth was working aimlessly, and he wasn't holding on to the steering wheel. I got the car away from him, pulled off to the side of the road, tried to remember where I was, and think up an excuse before the cop came up to the window and said, "some


identification, please," in an unfriendly tone. The old hitcher explained that he was an epileptic and didn't have a license. I handed the cop mine and nearly shit my drawers. My brother's car had been stolen before he sold it to me, and since the ignition core had been pulled out, I'd been starting the car by inserting a screwdriver in the hole and turning it. The cop was holding my license, but he was looking at my ignition. "Where'd you get this car, Mr....Evans?" He squinted at me. I babbled incoherently for a few moments, apologized profusely, and followed him to the nearest service station (coincidentally owned by the officer's brother-in-law) where he told me to buy a new alternator or he didn't want to see me and my car back on the road. Seventy bucks, a new alternator, and two hours later, we were back on the highway. The nightmare was just beginning. Feeling jittery, I stopped for coffee and met two fellows who had a sob story about their Vega, which was tits-up in the parking lot. They offered me $20 apiece if I'd transport them and their tool chest out of state. Since my budget had gotten its nuts ripped off by the alternator hassle, I agreed. The tool chest was the size of a coffin, weighed a ton, and as we struggled in -30 degree winds to get it


in the trunk, my back tire flattened with a bang. Another cop pulls up, shines his spotlight on us, and angrily demands to know what we are doing. We say we are trying to get this toolbox out of the trunk so that we can change the tire, could he help us, we're freezing? But he's already gone. Rolling into a five-cent coffee joint on our only spare, we decide to rotate the tires and put the ones with tread on the back and the others on the front. A hideously drunken gentleman of Mexican descent, named Luis, approaches us, kisses the short hitch hiker, and tells us we are GREAT. He approves of our courage, he says, in driving across country, and he thinks we are so wonderful that he is going to give us a free tire. Maybe even two. By this time nothing seems unusual or even real; the cold is numbing, the gross quantities of stimulants I have in me are shuddering, my nerves are tattered, and this Mexican Iowan wants to give me free tires. Farout. The three hitchers and I pile into the car, now dubbed the Shark, and drive across the drive where Luis lets us into the garage he claims to own. He's even going to mount them for us, he says. The tires, I tell myself, but just after we have backed into the garage, four shadowy figures appear, one carrying a gun. I need a


drink. The Shark, seemingly on cue, coughs and dies, and I can't get it to turn over. The garage door comes down. I get out of the car and walk over towards the fellow with the gun, who is talking with Luis. Rather, Luis is yelling at him, "If I had a gun, you lousy mothafucka, I'd blas' you away. You doan gimme no shit. I'm gonna change these tires." I'm questioning Luis's diplomatic ability, and turn around to see that the little hitcher has picked up a tire iron and is easing our way. "Be cool, man, I think it's OK." (didisaythat?)

The guy with the gun comes over and tells us we should leave. I tell him we were just on our way out when the car stalled. (Couldn't say "died" for some reason). The fellow with the gun is very reasonable, we are very agreeable, Luis is very belligerent, and somehow within a few minutes we have stuffed these two hammered tires (one of which will never fit on the Shark) into the trunk and secured a jump start to get the Shark moving again. Back on the road, Hallelujah. Three am.

The next thing I remember, the big hitcher is driving us into North Platte, South Dakota at 80 miles an hour. Visions of Iowa patrol cars, speeding white lines, exploding tires,


and fuzzy truckstops swim in my head, but I can't relate. It is sunny and cold in North Platte, and the money supply is gone. Time to hock that tool coffin, we decide. Into a pawnshop, where a 300 pound pawnbroker tells us the tools are worth $50 and we haggle for $60. The big hitcher says they cost him over five hundred bucks, but I think he might have found them, myself. We grab the cash and skedaddle.

That evening, we are pulling into Douglas, Wyoming, our tires are limping badly, and the free tires from Luis look like a bad dream. We find a gas station where the attendant, a fourteen-year-old kid, says he will mount the tires and sell us one off the junkheap for $2 if we can find a fit. We do, and it looks like shit but beats the ones we have, so we get it mounted, and he accepts our oversized, mint-condition radial as payment. Another tank of gas, and we re snorting coffee in Billings, Montana, selling the car radio for gas money. Pulled the sunuvabitch right out of the dashboard for fifteen bucks, I did. Driving over Homestake pass outside Butte, I realize I haven't slept for quite a while. The road diffuses in the darkness, and I awake to a nightmare of flying snow. The dream clock ticks slowly; I watch the


speedometer needle drift lazily from 60 to 50 to 40, all out of proportion with the wild jerkings on the steering wheel and the nasty, muffled noises the car is making. I twist the wheel to the right, aiming the Shark back onto the road, and as the speedo needle sags to 20 and 10 we edge back onto the cleared pavement. I jump out and tug my dick out of my pants just in time to keep from pissing on myself. The epileptic hitcher, who had refused to pee in the snow twenty miles back, now rushes to relieve himself, and the little thumber is shaking so hard he is spraying piss in three directions. Only the big hitcher is still in the car, under a blanket, and he refuses to come out until after we arrive in Missoula and I must threaten him with physical expulsion.

I drive up to the Montagne Apartments, knock on the door, and Sharon asks me, "How was your trip?"




In my packsack I carry toys juggling balls and harmonica pennywhistle flute, pen and paper as well as the cards Let me draw one now, for the sake of poetry) Ah ha, the cold camp "No fire beneath the rain." Image: The hitchhiker sitting on his packsack Judgement: The traveller is faced with closed cars. He must choose to ride with such people. I fret--"Is my karma buttoned up?" "Is there some self-indulgence on my face?" "Has my aura worn thin?" "Am I to blame for the weather?" I remember drawing this card three times Once in Salt Lake City where not even the children would look in love Once in Missoula when the Great Spirit had a task for me And now, again today. You've surely drawn it too.


Do you carry toys? A mantra, a fantasy, a book a refreshing silence as the cars do or do not hiss past in the permeating rain? So I draw one more card. O do not anticipate the hunger or the blistered heel. Ah yes, Good Fortune! Today, brothers and sisters, I am warm and dry on the road. I draw and place face up atop the cold camp an $11.90 card the Greyhound Fm Parris Young enroute to Helena, Sep 15,'80 as a PS, Parris writes, "of course, the Greyhound isn't always in the cards."

* * * *


Thumbing in western Massachusetts

There, a fat factory worker points, is what you call "Arrowhead" or what I call "Whalemouse" because that, young man, is where Melville wrote what you call "Moby Dick." Up there, he points again, up there on the horizon, that's Mt. Greylock or what Melville called, "Moby Dick" because it reminded him of a whale. And over there is Hawthorne's Cabin what they use now for a practice house for what they call the Tanglewood Music Festival. Happens in the summer. ...And so, through the snow of March, this self-appointed tour guide and sometimes member of the proletariat identifies all the great literary landmarks to a cold, money-sapped hitchhiker, what you call me. Peter Kobs

* * * *



1 An hour before sunrise I stare down the empty ramp my wild ears filled with ice. Okay! I believe in glaciers even in Minneapolis! The penguins applaud. 2 The sun lifts its face and moans behind clouds. I am in Canada, or Minnesota. Far north in Minnesota the old road hugs the bank of a lonely river. A truck passes. Another. A third slows, stops. Behind the frosty windsheild, a large man uncaps two stubbies of warm beer, laughs, hands me one. We drink all morning. The sky clears.


I wake in warm sun. Everywhere snow is melting. The black-capped chickadees hop around in mud. I walk down to the river, kneel, look in through the window. Something moves. From under a rock, a crayfish swings into the open, into the first clear water of another year. 3 Up on the highway, a turtle drags his old body across the road. Hours pass. He gets to the other side, turns around. He starts back. In California, someone asks me why I hitch. I look slowly over my shoulder to New York. Bruce Baldwin Agte

* * * *


Why do people hitchhike? What possesses someone to seek such an unreliable, unpredictable form of transportation? The common bond is to save money. Two hundred and twenty six hitchers agreed they thumbed from lack of funds. Ninety eight others quoted "necessity" as their motivation. But this is by no means the bottom line. Over seven hundred people gave individual reasons for thumbing, and we grouped the most popular reasons together to reflect the many different approaches to the same road.

A good number of people hitch by choice, in one degree or another. It is a fast way to get from point A to point B, and seventy-five folks said just that. Fifteen others said "convenience" was the reason they thumbed, and ten folks said hitchhiking is an enjoyable method of travel. Twenty-two hitchers think thumbing is the best way to see the country, and thirty others hitched simply for fun.


One of the joys of hitchhiking is when you're left on the side of a highway somewhere and there's interesting scenery around, it's possible to investigate further instead of just whizzing on by. Jim Mc Grane

* * * *


Hitchhiking means more than just getting from here to there. It is pretty damn humbling to "beg" for rides, to be at the mercy of the elements, of other human beings, (their charitableness, their violence, their asphalt). It teaches one how to wait. To me it is important to try and understand what motivates people to give rides: kindness, loneliness, generosity, anger, money, and (it's easy to forget) love. Hitchhiking is knowing that I have enough love in me to stand up to the trials, to even meet a hard world head on. I hate the highway, but I love the road. happy miles, Robert Hinrix

* * * *

The only route that's impossible to hitch is from the earth to the moon. Anonymous

* * * *

On a lamp post along US 101 in Crescent City: Seashore washed by suds and foam, Been here so long got to calling it home.

* * * *

Want to become invisible? Just stick out your thumb! Road Ramp and Runt in Roseburg, Oregon

* * * *

My whole life has revolved around thumbing, either talking to those doing it or doing it myself. It put me on good cheap land with beautiful friends met through thumbing. Anonymous


* * * *

I consider hitchhiking, if done properly, to be a travelling art. How creative and flexible one is often correlates with the pleasure of the experience. These days, with gas and urban transportation being what it is, more and more people are on the road, and with greater caution, I hope. Ride boards and services are available to the resourceful, and I think it's important people use them more. Chris, Valley Ford, California

* * * *

The financial aspect of cheap transportation drives me to hitching, but then the feelings of freedom, adventure, and even brotherhood sustain me. The experience of receiving a ride or food from someone you've never met before, from someone who has no "good" reason to stop and give what the outstretched thumb asks for, is an effervescing feeling that seems to be unique to hitchhiking. It's a feeling that says, "Ain't it great to be alive?" Anonymous male

* * * *

Hitchhiking is free. Not particularly reliable or entirely safe, but on a sunny day when your thumb is pulling over cars two at a time like a super-magnet, it's enough to make you swear off busses forever. Be patient. Remember what you are asking. And


don't forget to say thank you. John Alexander

* * * *


The water, the wind all sunny with rain, flooded with happiness, joy and pain The days are the nights, and weeks never end. Today is tomorrow, and here I am again. Gypsy

* * * *

I got a job out of this hitch with an Allied Vans moving man. It paid for my busfare--it was cold and wet. Then I got picked up by a collection agency man. He and his family had to get three cars to Salem, Oregon so they picked up me and another hitchhiker. I drove a Monte Carlo he drove a pickup truck, and his son rode with me. They offered me $5 to drive on up to Salem, seventy miles away, but I refused.

Jim Meckel


Sometimes the day is slow. Anonymous

* * * *

Aside from the fact that it's cheap, hitchhiking provides situations that range from the uncommonly dull to the exhiliratingly fun. Not being in total control of your environment can afford opportunities for adventure that you could not personally arrange. Helms

* * * *

Hitchhiking is inexpensive, it is an easy way to travel. It provides a cross sectional view of people of a given area. It challenges one's skill in getting rides. It reaffirms or detracts from one's view of human nature. It enables one to place emphasis on the value inherent in "the journey" rather than simply getting to a particular point without regard as to what is in between. Hitching is not merely a means to an end, it is an end in itself. Anonymous male

* * * *

The sense of adventure and excitement compels forty five respondees to hit the road, while six felt the similar need to deal with the unknown, and four people sought the challenge of roughing it. Nine folks hitched because of the feeling of


freedom it gave them, but only three thumbed as a form of "escape". Eleven people were just compelled to travel, and this was the only way they could do it.

Two friends of mine in Missoula decided to have a hitchhiking race to Tuscon, Arizona. They wagered a steak dinner on the outcome, and both started on the same day. Bill hit the road on Saturday at eight in the morning, and didn't see Jim until a day later, standing on the freeway in Salt Lake City. Bill figured the race was his, but he got stuck outside Las Vegas. The rides finally came, and as he climbed into the car that would take him to Tuscon, he figured that he had won. Then he turned around and there, in the back seat, was his buddy Jim.


There's a little old lady in San Diego who goes out every Thanksgiving and Christmas and picks up all the hitchers within twenty miles of her house. She takes them home, feeds them, washes their clothes, and lets them crash out. Anonymous male

* * * *


The trans-Canada was my hardest hitch. Long waits, lots of other hitchers. There were many tourists, driving high speeds on often single lane roads. This makes it impossible for the cars to stop safely. I finally started riding the rails in Canada. The engineers offered the seat in the empty third engine. It was a nice comfortable ride, but slow. I was jailed in 1974 in Oklahoma as a material witness. The driver had escaped from prison and stolen the car in Chicago. I was jailed for a day and questioned by the F.B.I. Dave Mudd

* * * *

I was once given over $20 in nickels and dimes by a travelling insurance claims investigator. It was change he used to phone his company with. He claimed that it was a tax writeoff for him anyway, so it wouldn't cost him. Kirsten Berger

* * * *

A lot of the excitement of the last few years of my life has come from the "road life" with its self-reliance, serendipity, and friendliness. Hitchhiking enables me to travel slowly so that I feel how far I've really gone. Often when I'm travelling a long


ways, it is to a new life situation, and those long hours staring at the scenery give me time to assess where my life is at. Anonymous

* * * *

"To be cast forth into a situation and having to react appropriately." That's what hitching feels like most of the time, especially on a beautiful day in the mountains. John Anderson

* * * *

Hitchhiking for me is the total expression of freedom. I can write anything I want on the sign, and with a little patience, I'll be there. Michael Marty

* * * *

Hitchhiking is a part of many people's lifestyle. Twenty-nine people chose not to operate a vehicle for one reason or another, eleven folks hated busses, and twelve hitched as a resource-conserving method of travel.


I hitch because: 1) it's a cheap ecologically positive use of energy already in motion, 2) it can be exhilarating and magical; 3) it tunes me up; 4) the analyst function: meet good people and swap stories and get intense with people who will sometimes


tell you their best and deepest concerns (and I mine) 'cause we know we'll never see each other again, most likely; 5) it's an exercise in trust. Dave Haenke

* * * *

My general philosophy of hitchhiking is to take the backroads, don't have a deadline, take your time, enjoy yourself, go light, and keep an eye out for hotsprings. Anonymous male

* * * *

When I hitch, I know I will get where I am going, plus not have the responsibility of taking care of a vehicle. I used to have a '57 Chevy and picked up hitchhikers often. One day it broke down and I left it for someone to find if they wanted it. I am hitchhiking now and meet many more people. I love to hitchhike! Love you too, Debbie

* * * *

During the '60's renaissance hitchhiking got pretty good despite Charlie Manson and the hitchhiking cannibals of Yellowstone. But after 1972, with the start of inflation-depression, rides got harder to find. People had begun to doubt and


distrust more. The condition of the driver's heart hardened from fear to conservatism from 1973 to 1980, and it was hard to get a ride if one looked hip. Now, in 1980, people are looking more at ease, smiling, waving, etc. It won't be long until rides come easy again. Parris JA Young


Many people hitch because of the people who pick them up. Seventy-two folks thumbed because of the "new and different" people they met. Ten others sought learning experiences of some kind, four sought spiritual lessons, and three hitched to keep in touch with public opinion. Five people hitched for the "experience", and three to "restore my faith in human beings."

I find hitching enjoyable. Meeting people, observing their ways, and lifestyles... It is a good way to conciously slow your own lifestyle, remove yourself from the big race. Standing beside the road, looking for that ride, lets you see how crazy it is to hurry on without stopping to look around you. There's a world of beauty right here and now if you take the care to notice. Step lightly Eric from Dayton

* * * *


Hitching is the easiest way to meet people, usually the only ones you really want to meet, those that pass you up, you really didn't want to talk to anyway, and besides, you pass them and get to wave at them further down the road... it's a cheap way to see the sights; the locals give you the local history, scenic routes, party spots, and bad spots that you might otherwise drive right by. Anonymous

* * * *

Seems like all the roads I've been on have been easy. Some may be a trifle slow to get a ride, but that makes it possible to explore the inner and outer manifestations of the Creator. When I hitched around Chicago the heavy metal, city-electric energy was really strange feeling, but I was very fortunate to get rides quickly. Yana hay

* * * *

The Lord provides wonderful contact with people while hitching. The best route? It's all in your mind! Joe Trombone

* * * *

Fifteen people hitched because hitchhiking is "interesting", eleven others hitched to contact homosexuals,


and two folks said their main reason in hitching was to get high. Six people used their thumbs for canoe or hiking shuttles, and other people hitched "to talk," "to open up to people," "to get close to nature," "to get a good feeling in my soul," "to get to my job," or "to find reality."


Some people hitchhike to get from point A to point B--but a lot of people hitch for the adventure and experience--a lot to get involved in experiences on the road that they'd be afraid to become involved in around their own hometowns. The gay and bisexual trips that dudes get involved in are very extensive--and it's not a case of them being put in difficult positions, but many seek out such relationships through hitchhiking. One guy I know uses his vacation to get out hitchhiking around the roads with the primary purpose of meeting other dudes--having warm relationships and as he puts it, "living out some of my fantasies." Don W.

* * * *

Almost all the hitchhiking that I've done is from the bottom of a run back up to the place we left the cars. I kayak and canoe a lot, and hitching up to the cars is the easiest way to manage it. Anonymous


Chapter 2

Getting a Ride


Appearance is an underestimated factor in getting a ride. From the survey, only one percent of the hitchers mentioned appearance as a problem, or even commented about appearances contributing to their success in getting a ride. On the other hand, in the supermarket surveys we conducted, over one third of the people interviewed made a decison whether or not to pick up a hitchhiker based on appearance alone.


Cleanliness is the easiest aspect of your appearance to improve. Grab those grubby garments and get to a laundromat, college dormitory washer, or washtub. You can dry your clothes in a jiffy by hanging them out the window of the car and rolling it up.

Many state campgrounds, KOA's, college dormitories, and even truckstops have showers they will let you use. For fifty cents, you can use one of the do-it-yourself carwashes, but don't press the HOT WAX button. If you're less picky or more desperate, consider garden hoses, irrigation systems, sink baths (called a PTA bath by some irreverents), and the local river or lake.

Clothing is more debatable. We have some good suggestions from survey respondees listed below. I maintain the image of the backpacker with frame pack and boots, but the area of the country you are thumbing in matters, too. In the southeast, hitching shirtless didn't hurt my ability to stop cars, and shorts were necessary just to keep cool. In the midwest, many locals wear bib overalls, so I follow suit. It seems to help on


backroads, especially if you tuck any long hair you might have under a baseball cap. Out west, the cowboy hat is traditional, and in the southwest and Texas, cowboy boots are popular too. In the northeast and pacific northwest, everybody wears flannel shirts, usually with wool pants and stocking cap in winter. Hitching with skis in the winter will help you get rides in areas near ski resorts, but where do you get the skis? Many folks advocate the wearing of bright clothing, which makes you more visible and may catch the driver's eye. One example: try wearing a red shirt, green pants, and a yellow hat.

* * * *

In the last two years, I have been wearing a tie, and usually a coat, when I hitch. I feel this habit has improved both the quality and the quantity of my rides. Charlie Shaw

* * * *

A male friend of mine who does a lot of hitching swears by wearing light colored clothing such as white painter's pants. He says when he wears light-colored clothing, people are more


inclined to pick him up--like the good guy in white. Anonymous male

* * * *

One friend I know had to walk from Beula Coola to Williams Lake, (about three hundred miles, I think), due to no rides. It took him a couple of weeks or so. The best hitchhiking setup is a male and female, as neat as possible with a sign and not too much luggage. I've had good luck attracting attention by juggling oranges while hitching. Dan Leen, author of A Freight Hopper's Manual for North America

* * * *

Solution to not getting a ride
By Anonymous Male

1.  Hitch during the day.

2.  Choose location carefully so that the cars see you a long ways away and have a place to stop.

3.  Stay on heavily travelled routes.

4.  Dress like your moma would want you to. My favorite is


shorts with white socks, a college sweatshirt, and backpack.

5.  Establish eye contact with the drivers and keep that eye contact until they are all the way past.

6.  Don't get dropped off in a big city, it is better to get dropped off ten miles outside than to try to hitch through.

* * * *

Image Projection

Image is a more nebulous factor in ride-attraction, but nonetheless important. If you're drunk, you attract drunks. If you flip off the drivers that pass you, you're asking for a bitter driver. Sitting down implies nonchalance, and resting your hand on your hip or in a pocket is often interpreted as an insolent gesture.

Once, while I was hitchhiking with two women in Oregon, we began dancing alongside the road. The driver who picked us up minutes later was


impressed with our gaiety. If you are interested in getting a ride, and you can convey this interest effectively, it spurs interest in the driver. Eye contact with drivers is considered important by many hitchers, and a study made by psychologists claimed that, "eye contact doubled the number of ride offers" (emphasis ours)*. Another study also found that dependency cues actually reduced the number of ride offers, so if you're thinking of putting your arm in a sling, forget it.** On the other hand, thumbing in rude weather conditions seems to slightly improve your prospects of getting a ride, so take heart!

Several psychological studies have tested the relationship between a hitchhiker's clothing, hair length, and the length of time they waited and types of rides they got***. In general, the hitchpickers tended to reflect the image the hitcher presented. Longhairs got picked up by hippies, thumbers wearing conservative dress were given rides by republicans.

*see pg. 620 **see pg. 623 ***see Pg. 613


The upshot of these studies, and our own, is that the driver picks up the hitcher he can relate to. When you step out on the asphalt, you direct an image at the drivers. This image may drastically affect the amount of time you spend there. It's worth thinking about.


Impossibility in getting rides depends a lot on the image or stereotype projected by the person standing by the edge of the road. The potential for a ride is usually there--it's up to the hitchhiker to guess what will appeal to drivers. Allen, East Wind

About Reading Traffic Flow

thanks to John Alexander

Who Won't Pick You Up families on vacation older couples winnebagos and trailers cars with stuff tied on top a beautiful girl in MG greyhound busses most truckdrivers


housewives with kids taxicabs ambulances armoured cars motorcycles Who Will Pick You Up beat up pickup trucks ramblers driving ramblers people who can't afford a psychiatrist treeplanters needing workers volkswagens homosexuals hippies without papers travelling salesmen in caddys hip or tired truckdrivers europeans cars with out-of-state plates

Hints: see lots of apparently local traffic, (ie.: housewives & kids, cars with stuff tied on top, etc.)? Perhaps walking down the road a ways will get you to the highway.

Notice a particular type of driver passing by all the time? Aim your appearance at this type of person. Try to look older or more conservative, hold up a beer or cigarette, or a Canadian flag, maybe tuck up the hair...


Look at the number of out-of-state plates before writing a destination on your sign. Do many drivers appear to be headed to a common destination, (boats, hunting gear, campers, etc.)


It seems that for many people to pick you up, they have to pity you a bit. For instance, they'll say, "I figured in this burg NO ONE would pick you up, so I'd better." One time leaving Lewiston, Idaho on a snowy evening in February, it was windy out and the semi that picked me up said, "We're not supposed to have riders, but you looked so cold out there.." Even though I wasn't really cold because I was properly dressed, it was the pity factor that did it. Jon Cook

* * * *


Vague as this seems, it is truly the key to getting the rides you want. There seems to be two basic approaches, as we see it, the active and the passive approach. The active hitcher


optimistically believes s/he can bring the good rides her/his way, while the passive thumber figures the ride is out there and headed this way fast, so s/he might as well be comfortable.

Of course, there is a range of activity and passivity in hitchhiking; nobody is totally active or passive. We have arbitrarily arranged this list of techniques to show what we mean by "active" and "passive":

More Active

stand, smile, wave at drivers

make eye contact with drivers

make a sign

improve your appearance

send out good vibes

dance or juggle

play a musical instrument

play hackey sack

do yoga or meditate

play mind games.

eat or read a book

throw rocks at signs

get drunk or stoned

More Passive

As you see some techniques are aimed at


the passing motorists, while others are primarily to keep the hitchhiker amused. This distinction has nothing to do with the success of these techniques, it is rather a frame of mind the hitcher chooses to assume. Passive hitchhiking does shortchange you of some information that you might get from drivers who pass you by. If you're actively thumbing, looking into the car, and the drivers give you a lot of this


perhaps the next exit is a major on/off road and you should skedaddle on down there!

Some people approach hitchhiking from an almost mystical outlook. For such people I offer this advice. As you wait, keep gentle thoughts. Intense feelings generate intense expressions. Looks of anger, frustration, and hatred register immediately, if only subconciously, with the driver. As I face the


oncoming traffic, I allow my eyes to drift with the movement of the cars, trying not to stare, and I fantasize with the drivers about their lives. I imagine where they are coming from, where they are going to, and what brings them to the road. Going home? To work? To play? In this way, each car becomes a passing story, and my feelings of helplessness dissolve. To overcome this begging attitude is necessary for me, because that prevents what the masters call detachment. Any obsessive interest in our emotional scene, be it good or bad, tends to distract us, contract us, and impede the flow of gentle thoughts needed to attract that next ride.


A friend relates the tale about hitching with another friend in Arizona. After six hours of waiting, he was getting pissed off, giving cars the finger as they passed. His friend noticed this and told him that he had to change his state of mind; just think of it as you have arrived six hours early for your ride. My friend said that with this, his anger lifted off


him and the next car gave him a ride. By the way, this fellow was the luckiest guy I ever hitched with; he never waited more than three cars in a five ride hitch. Anonymous male

* * * *

The hitchhiker must want to meet people. If you don't, it is somehow transmitted to the driver. If you're down, get your spirits up before hanging out your thumb. If you don't, you'll just drive yourself lower... Carry a letter of introduction from your local sheriff or police. It ears the bearer an "excuse me" when they're shaking him down...I've hitched over 250.000 miles on four continents and love it. Tom Magnusam

* * * *

Hitching is one form of "giving witness" (to use a Christian term I never especially cared for) to a belief--that of being part of an exciting life, in communion with all others (drivers, travellers, etc.) Implicit is: 1) protection--nothing can harm you here; 2) you don't get something for nothing--someone offers you hospitality, help, or a ride, you must respond with grace, gratitude, and


love. 3) Expending energy increases energy (snowball effect). This also means if you ain't got any, and rest! Nothing more depressing than a crapped -out hitchhiker tearing people down. Don't worry, it'll come. Anonymous

* * * *

My best advice about hitchhiking is to use projection--state in your mind then out loud exactly what you want--direct it towards God, and express it with love towards all things... then maintain a positive, calm, and loving attitude until you get a ride. Daniel Rial

* * * *

Most of all, don't blame yourself for not getting rides, but don't blame the drivers, either. When things aren't going too good, remember you are doing what you WANT to be doing. You must forget the car that just pased you so that you can devote your attention to the cars on the way up.


Survey results

Forty eight people said their worst problem was Getting a ride, and the related problem of boredom irritated forty folks. Four folks suggested smiling and waving at the traffic, only eight people worried about improving their appearance or looking straight, and three guys made signs to pass the time, while three others sent out good vibes.

Other techniques included: Play mind games, Hackey sack, and Smoke pot (all received five votes each). Play music and sing, throw rocks at signs, meditate, and stretching or yoga, all got four votes each. Other ideas included: drink beer, juggle, draw on posts, scream, eat, pick up garbage, dance with my dog, jump rope, and dance.

Hitchhiking problems


Chapter 3

Accepting a Ride

Should I Get In?

Our survey showed that 80% of the men and 92% of all women had turned down rides at one time or another, and the overwhelming reason was something that many people would consider obscure--"bad vibes" How does one make a judgement like this? Many women have definite "rules of thumb" that they go by, which deal with obvious examples of male chauvinism and machoism. One


woman's comments are quoted below, and many others appear in the section Women on the Road.

Both men and women depended heavily on intuition. This is more awareness than descriptive, but some questions which might pass through your mind when sizing up a driver offering you a ride are: Does the driver look distracted? Does he look you in the eyes? Are his gestures genuine, or overplayed? Is the smile plastic? When the driver looks at you, is he looking at your sexual parts? Is he trying to pressure you to "hurry up and get in" for no reason?

Of course, there are no sure-fire methods of scoping out a driver in twenty seconds. Always ask the driver's destination before getting in, and get an idea of the type of person you will be dealing with. Appearances matter, but so does the "smell" of the situation. To use your intuition effectively takes practice, flexibility, and a good measure of self-understanding.

Our survey showed that women are ten percent less likely than men to get


into a car with more than one person. The situation of being "outnumbered" was also a major reason women refused rides. This seems like a sensible strategy. Let's face it, this is the one chance you have to avoid conflict and possibly assault without risking anything. Simply refuse the ride. Statistically, women rarely wait over twenty minutes between rides, so why not play it safe?

Another major reason people refused rides was drunken drivers. Don't be shy about smelling for alcohol, looking for empty bottles, and listening for slurred speech patterns. The driver may be safer if he has someone to talk to and keep him alert, but you may be in greater danger from a reckless drunk than a rapist. If you find yourself in a car with an intoxicated driver, don't get him upset or angry; reason with him, tell him this is where you are getting off, and offer to drive. If he doesn't want to let you out, you may feign nausea and threaten to puke on his automobile if he doesn't stop. I've never had any problems with the occasional beer drinker, but the hard liquor drinkers are sometimes incorrigible. Be especially cautious


about getting in with a drunk after dark, when the factors of alcohol and sleepiness combine to make matters worse.


I was hitching from Port Alberne to Vancouver, BC, when a car stopped for me about ten miles outside Parksville. The driver of the car was totally intoxicated and was going home to Parksville. I climbed in, then realizing the situation, I said I would drive him home, but he slobbered that as long as he kept one eye closed he could drive all right. As we rounded a corner into town, I saw the lights flashing and heard the bells ringing at the double railway track. It was obvious that the driver hadn't noticed so I said, "Hey man, there's a train coming." --No reply-- just kept on driving with one eye closed... I yelled, "Hey, man, a train!!!" as we entered the first track of the double set. Fortunately, we were going quite slowly and he slammed on the brakes. The front of the car was across the first set of tracks and just then a large engine went thundering by on the second set of tracks. My heart was in my mouth and I was thanking God I was


still alive. I strongly advise that if a drunk stops for you ask him to let you drive or pass up the ride. Albert Aris

* * * *

A third important reason hitchers refused rides was that the driver could only take them a short distance or would have to leave them in a poor spot to hitch from. In talking with the hitchpickers, try to find out the best place to thumb from. Perhaps they see hitchhikers at a particular place, like a busy corner or truck stop. Sometimes it will help to get off an exit or two before the driver turns off. Be sure to ask abcut things that might improve your visibility and access to drivers, like the presence of stoplights, streetlights, bridges, cafes, and the location of major exits and entrances to the road. Also, although it may seem obvious to many of you, avoid getting dropped off after dark in industrial parks, on city-bypassing beltways, or by prisons or mental hospitals. If you put yourself into bad hitchhiking situations (like midnight on the Syracuse beltway), you invite the impulsive, "crazy" driver, while at the same time you are in a


situation where you "have to take a ride".

Some of the many other reasons hitchhikers offered for refusing a ride were: "too many people, stranger than life, joy riders, paranoia, wierd premonitions, no eye contact, poor drivers, and because of a strange approach by the driver (too far down the road, stopped and turned around", etc). Some men never turn down rides, and their reasons included: "I like to encourage generosity," "every mile helps", "because of my illusions of omnipotence", and "Never met any bad types." Two women are often asked to split up by truck drivers, and a few women stated this was a reason they turned down ride offers.


My worst problem is the possibility of rape or other violence. I ask where a man is going, and if he doesn't have a clear answer immediately and look me in the eye, I turn him down. Women drivers I always accept. I also turn down cars with more than one man, or liquor bottles, or girlie magazines, or if a man seems macho, wears tattoos, or drives a loud, racy car. I prefer men


who are old enough to be grey-haired, or with obvious signs that they are working, such as tools, a watch, or briefcases, or drive trucks, because I read the labels and could identify the man later if necessary. Anyone who projects the least bit of bad vibes, if I feel uneasy for any reason, I wait for another ride, which means I pass up maybe a third of the rides offered. Once in the car, I immediately try to establish bonds of human trust. Ask questions, chat about positive things. I offer information about myself, try to be a good listener, etc. Also I almost never hitch at night and dress primly, nothing showing at all (long-sleeved shirt, bra, coveralls, boots). And though it may sound predjudiced, I turn down more rides from minorities than whites, because I read that it may be easier for a man of another race to dehumanize you in his mind and justify rape. All these precautions for the few potentially violent people out there. Over 90% of the time, I feel at ease in the first five minutes and enjoy talking to the incredible variety of people I meet. One more good sign I consider is marks of a college student: texts, parking stickers, or bumper stickers like


"Planetary Citizen" or "Split Wood Not Atoms" or even Jesus stickers, but not NRA stickers! Anonymous female

* * * *

For those of you who have trouble refusing a ride, here are a few patented turn-down lines: "Sorry, but I'm waiting for a ride all the way through." "OOoops! wrong road--I was going east, not west." "Thanks for stopping, but what I'm really doing is taking a survey..."

* * * *

East of Three Forks Mt. on I-90 there is an armchair right alongside the road at the end of a ramp. Symbol of long waits, even though it is a real nice spot to hitch from. Patty Cliff


Dear Abby, Dear Abby, I've been here too long. My feet they are frozen, And my dope is all gone. Twenty-six hundred cars, But not one has heard, And every last one of them Flipped me the bird. Signed, Hitchhiker Contributed by Hans Klemmer






Playing a musical instrument is one thing that many thumbers do to both pass the time between rides and to attract the types of drivers they want to ride with.
For more ideas about how you might influence the types of drivers you attract, see pages 32 to 42. Thanks to Don Karp of Cambridge, MA for the photograph.




The Hitchpicker

It is easy to recognize the need of the hitchhiker--s/he needs a ride down the highway. But what are the needs of the driver that may be met by opening up the car door to a stranger? In many cases, it may simply be concern for another human being in need, as Pamela J. Allyn shares with us:

What people lack, it seems, is an opportunity for the expression of their better impulses. We daily pass each other by, on streets, offices, and warehouses, not concious of each other's needs. By stepping out on that stony pavement and exposing my need, though only for a ride, I offer someone a direct and immediate way to act on that goodness residing in her heart."


The driver is thus opening up in the act of offering a ride--opening not only the door of the car to give his fellow person a ride, but also opening his/her heart to a brother or sister in need. Thus the entire hitchhiking experience may be seen as a mutual trusting between strangers, as in, "Love thy neighbor as thyself". Granted that there are gruesome exceptions, cases where either the hitcher or the driver takes advantage of this openness. But by far most hitchhiking experiences are based on the trustful acceptance of two strangers.

Another important motive is that of companionship. The questionnaires reveal that 73% of the people offering rides are single drivers. Many of these hitchpickers need someone to talk to, or to help keep them awake on a long drive. Less frequently, perhaps 12% of the time, the hitchpicker needs help with driving or expenses.

The unique relationship that develops between the driver and the hitchhiker is also influenced by the fact that they will probably never see each other again. Many of the folks who filled out the questionnaire mentioned the psycho-analytic service


they provide to lonely or troubled drivers who need an understanding, impartial listener.

"A driver meets a hitchhiking stranger, a sympathetic listener, and sometimes foregoes small talk to unburden her heart and tell of a disappointment, or a painful experience, or a secret ambition. The break from a daily routine with co-workers or family allows a break from routine conversation; instead, people often speak reflectively of their lives." Pamela J. Allyn

Many factors combine to make hitchpickers open up to the rider. The boredom of a long drive on straight highways, the chance to talk to someone from far away with a different lifestyle, and the excitement of the open road and those who travel it. Experienced thumbers speak of an acquired ability to relate to all sorts of people: construction workers and travelling salesmen, dope pushers and Baptist preachers, musicians, doctors, housewives, organic farmers, and Mafia hit-men, all may open up to the attentive ride-seeker.


Yet to assume that the hitchpicker's motives are purely altruistic is naive, and even dangerous. Homosexuals commonly seek contacts through hitchhiking experiences, and as one reader puts it, the obnoxious, mean, or lonely people are more likely to want companionship than the goody- goody types. Many "straight" people find homosexuals disgusting to talk to, but the wise hitcher may choose to be more open-minded. I've been picked up by dozens of homosexuals, from gays to queers. Offensively persistent men always drive me to demand to be let out of the car, but at other times I have had interesting and enlightening conversations with people (men and women) whose sexual preferences were different from my own. In such cases, it is important to assert yourself and not fall victim to the same social-sexual harassment that macho men try to use on women. (see the section Women and the Road).

* * * *

Some gay guys don't give ya any shit, like you know they're gay but they don't try to do it on you or anything, and you just put up with the


conversation. But this other time, me and my buddy got picked up by this guy by Warm Springs, and when we get in he has lots of dirty magazines all around. While we're driving along, he starts pulling out these gay magazines, and my friend took one and threw it back up front. Then the guy took his hand and put it on the magazine and said, "Now that's a nice shot.'" Then he started scraping up my crotch, so I turned to him and said, "Um, you can let us out anytime now." Neil Leitch

* * * *

Survey results

Hitchhiking problems

Mental anguish and worry were a common problem for hitchhikers. 23 people feared violence, and they offered these solutions: Don't hitch alone (5 votes); send out good vibes (3 votes); pray (2 votes); trust intuition (4 votes); and do


breathing exercises (2 votes).

Four people mentioned their resentment towards drivers who passed them by as a problem, and three folks were upset by drivers who "hassled" them, or swerved to scare or hit them, while wierd drivers were a source of difficulty for over a dozen of those surveyed. Drunk drivers annoyed over thirty hitchhikers.

The solution to these problems with the driver were consistent. People suggested having a good attitude, checking out the driver before getting in, developing conversation skills, and getting out. For a more complete discussion, see the next chapter.

Getting dropped off at a bad spot was a common complaint (19 votes). This happens because of lack of communication between the hitcher and driver, or as a result of unfamiliarity with


the road. The hitchhikers suggested "talk to the driver", "get off before the bad exit", and "walk".



Chapter 4


The attitude of self-assurance needed for making conversation is something that follows from the same feeling of confidence it takes just to hit the road. The hitchhiker must have the self-confidence to make decisions such as whether to be assertive or reserved, friendly or cautious. You must deal with agression, power trips, and mostly, communication. A lot focuses on your ability to communicate effectively with the drivers who pick you up, and talking with hitchpickers has come up again and again as a problem many hitchers face.


"My worst problem while hitchhiking occurs when two strangers brought together by fate cannot enjoy each other's company and alienation grows as the miles pass... How to avoid this problem: keep hitching and strive to develop versatile conversation skills." Jim McGrane

It is indeed a continual balancing act some days, treading carefully on the line between being too friendly and not friendly enough. Often I welcome a silent driver, as he frees me from constant attempts to make conversation.

Occasionally we are picked up by the driver who shares many of our views, or is in a reflective mood, but far more often the hitcher is put in the position of making conversation with someone who is quite unlike him/herself. This is the core of hitchhiking, the lesson the hitcher seeks and cannot help but find. There is variety in every car, and good in every driver. So? We, as hitchhikers, are continually exposed to new and different people. The best way to deal with this, we are constantly told, is to "Step lightly". Don't offend;


enlighten. Don't preach; but listen. Words are the colors we use to paint stories, and yet we often end up living in a watercolor world of our own descriptions. In passing through many people's private lives, we must be careful to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints in the woods of their world.

Yet the tool of conversation is also frequently used as a weapon. The same words that convey reason and sympathy are used to intimidate, manipulate, and control people. Freedom of expression is not free, you must earn it and use it to keep control.

How many levels do you talk on? We have a regular routine of chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, with a common undercurrent of implication. Imagine, for example, the way a hitchhiker might mention "a big DOPE" or "gone to POT" to the long haired driver to sense out his feelings, or the way the shy homosexual driver might start rapping about the "wonderful guy" he knows to the suspicious hitcher. Some people are wizards at this suggestive-implied method of conversation. I know a woman who can charm her way out of anything with the


provocative way she discusses food and drink.

One way to break down this level of implied understanding is to constantly question and examine the steps the conversation is taking, referring back to the original line that started the discussion, repeating the steps of your dialogue and re-examining the logic or the "fit" of the sentences. This process of examination allows you to gain a position of dominance or equality rather than one of implied submission. Never let yourself be told anything. Discover the wisdom, or lack of it, in each statement. Reject broad generalities when they are offered, or request examples whenever someone makes statements that are open to multiple interpretations. If you are able to keep everything "out in the open", then there is no room for an uninvited fantasy to influence the conversation. If you're not comfortable with the topic of discussion, say so and change the subject. Silence all too often implies approval.

Just as the "best defense is an offense" in the world of football, so it is best to be on your toes in the early stages of a conversation. Steering the direction of a dialogue


depends on favoring or disfavoring the content and implication of the discussion. While talking about food, do you discuss flavors and textures or recipes? If you get in the habit of bringing the conversation back to a starting point where you felt comfortable, you will find areas of discussion that you feel safe in, metaphorically. One who is not well versed in mechanics might get uncomfortable hearing graphic descriptions of pistons pumping and rods slapping, not knowing if there was a valid reason to be discussing these things or not. Be wary when the topic drifts into a subject you are afraid of. Change the subject if you don't want to talk about it. Prying out fears is often used as a power trip; to scare the person and then abruptly change and be supportive. The agressor becomes the only person around who can comfort you when you're scared. The hitchhiker must realize the parallels between intellectual and physical submission, and the similar relationship between intellectual and physical confrontation.

Another aspect to consider is the manipulation of the conversation by such things as stereotypes, endearing terms, and symbolic actions, such as


buying coffee for someone. People will try to hang dependency trips on you, but don't you let them. Buy your OWN coffee if it is being used to twist your arm. Turn demeaning remarks around. If you don't want to be called "honey", remind him what your name is. Work the conversation around topics of intense disagreement, and sound out the other person on unsettled issues before committing yourself to a position which you must defend.

Fear and uncertainty are most people's big problem in talking to strangers. Also, the role of fear in the evolution of the relationship between the attacker and the victim has been found to be significant. Fear leads to victim roles, and leads to a focusing upon differences rather than similarities. People are less likely to try to take advantage of a person they feel is similar to themselves. Therefore, we must try to control unpleasant situations rather than fear or flee them.

A friend of ours, Liz Dwyer, believes strongly in non-violence. She is a sincere Christian who firmly believes all violence can and should be avoided. Once we discussed this subject at length, since I was unable


to imagine my lifestyle without the ability to defend myself, while she firmly believed that the whole concept of self-defense was needless. When I asked her what she would do if she were physically threatened, she replied with an incident that occured one night when she left work at the crisis hotline.

Two men were waiting for her in the shadows of a corner. Their air was menacing. When she walked towards them, they closed to prevent her passage. Liz weighed under a hundred pounds. Use self defense techniques, here? Liz walked up casually, told the men that Jesus loved them, and she loved them, and laid her hand on one man's arm. He moved away from her touch, and allowed her to pass. Liz walked on down to the busstop.

Perhaps all of us do not have Liz's tremendous faith, but her understanding and awareness should be an example. Control of the situation is, first and foremost, the best and surest form of defense.

This control is developed in several ways. First, one must gain a concept of self-worth, as expressed in the statements, "I am basically a Good Person." and "Nothing can stop me


now!" This confidence is aided by the ability to fun yourself, calling yourself a big dummy or telling a joke about yourself. Play the balancing act. Joke with yourself, but don't let someone put you down, or make you different.

More important is the balancing of your own emotions. Yielding to panic, anger, or tears may give a potential agressor the chance to muster his nerve for assault.

By the same logic, if you are feeling unsteady in yourself, you must realize your vulnerability to victimization and move to correct it. If you are unsteady or afraid while hitching, realize the problem, go sit down off the road for a minute, smoke, eat, meditate, and relax yourself. Be aware of your body's response to fear, and learn to deal with it. Rapid, shallow breathing is called "panicked breathing". Rapid heartbeat is part of the old mammalian "fight or flee" mechanism our ancestors needed to survive, and serves no good purpose in a speeding auto. Practice at calming yourself will give you more self-confidence and improve your ability to control strange situations.


Talking your way out

This is surely the most desirable way of averting violence, if you find yourself in a bad situation. Drug and Crisis Hotline operators are the most experienced at these techniques, and we have borrowed a few pointers from them.

1.  Sympathize with the person. They are more likely a lonely soul in need of understanding than someone out for kicks. Rap about his environment, the pressures on him, and relate to them.

2.  Re-enforce positive behavior. Often someone will lose it and express his violent urges. Struggle with him, not against him, to get the sensible, real person out.

3.  If the person is intimidating you, don't panic. If you can muster it, talk to him, call him by name, tell him he's not going to solve anything by using violence. Wooden, sober disapproval is better than showing fear, and your own self- control is essential.


4.  Often things boil down to a power struggle. If you are dealing with a regular Joe who is getting out of line, or trying to use the macho routine, work on social angles. Talk about his family, kids, etc. Make the sexual part seem complicated and unsatisfying. Lines like, "I'm on my period." "I'm pregnant and the father..." "I'm having a herpes breakout today.." all may serve to take the bluster out of a programmed come-on.

Things to talk to truckers about

Places Where are you corning from? going to? What's your favorite route? Where do you live? Which place has the best climate?

The diesel how many cubic inches of displacement does the engine have? What make of engine is it? How many miles do you get to the gallon of fuel? How far can you drive on a tankful of fuel? How many miles does the engine have on it? If there's a lot of miles, has it been rebuilt? How fast will the tractor go (with or without trailer)?


Does it have a Jake brake if it's a newer model? How does the engine get a fuel and air mix if there's no carburetor ? Does the engine have glow plugs? How many gears does the truck have? How do air brakes work?

The "rig" Is this your rig or does it belong to the company? Who pays to replace tires, belts, accessories? Is the trailer designed for a certain cargo type? What load, if any, are you carrying? Are there company rules about hitchhiking? Have you worked for other companies, hauled other freight? How much does it cost to replace a tire? This is a (nice, shabby) rig. It has a (smooth, nasty) ride and the noise level is (decent, outrageous). The interior is (equipped, hammered, destroyed).

Trucking law Are there any state laws that apply to your axle weight and distribution? trailer length? cargo type? (example: Tennessee is strict on their length limit of 72 feet, Missouri has an overall gross axle weight of 80,000 lbs., and some cargo like dynamite, must be taken over regulated routes.) Are there any weigh stations up ahead? Do you get paid according to the weight of your load? Have you seen those portable scales the cops are


using now? They have two little boxes they drive the truck over. Do they ever do inspection in this area? Do they usually check your logbook? Are the cops tough on speeding in this state? Do you have a CB, how many channels? Got a fuzzbuster (illegal in Virginia, Michigan)?

Road conditions Some truckers made up this rating of the roads by state. Do you agree or disagree?

Bad New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida

Fair Kentucky, Michigan, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois

Good western states, Ohio, North Carolina, Massachusetts

The trucker must keep a log book, in which he lists information about his time, location, and etc. It seems that a driver is limited to ten hours behind the wheel at a stretch, or eight hours working and eight driving, or some combination thereof.

* * * *


Chapter 5

Self Defense

We have been discussing the many aspects of self defense which are psychological. Before even considering to use these physical self-defense techniques, one should have the necessary mind set to carry out the techniques until they are effective. You must be determined. Also, self-defense techniques should be geared for the situation. You don't kill a fellow for a suggestive wink or trying to hold your hand. You don't slap a man bent on rape.


The physical aspects of self-defense can be presented in a book, but to be performed, especially when one is fearful or excited, they must be practiced. Try to practice these techniques several times before assuming you will be able to execute them. The most effective techniques are those which are the most violent, and the speed and suddenness with which they are delivered is often crucial to their success.

Any pointed object five inches long or longer and not more than one quarter inch in diameter, such as a pen, pencil, sharpened toothbrush, hatpin, etc. can be used to maim or even kill an attacker.

Holding the object as shown allows for the greatest accuracy and force. The target should be the ear opening, but the temple or eye is also effective. Should you aim for the ear opening, aim straight in and press the base of the sharp object with the heel of your palm. This technique is can be fatal if properly applied, and horribly painful, probably debilitating with a


reasonably successful attack. Surprise is an important consideration.

Strikes on any of several pressure points can be effective in stopping an attack. Inside a car, the bridge and tip of the nose are ready targets. Although an upward strike with the heel of the palm is considered best, in the limited space of a car an elbow blow may be more effective. Injury is more assured if there is no recoiling of the head; a pull on the arm is shown as a possible way of achieving this.



To neutralize the effect of a stranglehold from behind, slip your hand between your neck and the attacker's arm, with your palm facing your neck. Slide the palm upward onto your face, and lift your elbow outwards to remove the pressure.



While the pressure on your neck is thus alleviated, gouge at your assailant's face and eyes or grab for the steering wheel or gear shift. The best way to avoid this situation is, of course, to never get into any car with a second person in the back seat.

As an aside, a can of hairspray can be as effective as Mace if it is sprayed into the eyes, nose, and mouth of an assailant at a close distance. Also, you do not need a license to own a can of hairspray, and a potential attacker is unlikely to suspect hairspray may be employed as a weapon.

The little finger bend is a gentler, but no less effective technique which is useful when the attack is offensive but not determined and sustained. Learn to use your fingers or thumb to pry the little finger out of a fist, and bend it backwards as if trying to make it touch the back of the assailant's hand. Done with proper force, this will cause a painful dislocation and allow you to control an attacker weighing twice what you do. For trained persons, it is not


necessary to dislocate the little finger to gain control. For persons unaccustomed to precise movements and the strength of the opponent, I would suggest dislocation as a way to insure control of the situation.


Other pressure points which may be used effectively include the collarbone, which is the easiest bone in the body to break, the floating ribs on the sides of the chest, and the solar plexus, at the base of the breastbone. Punches to the groin area


in men is also very effective, as are kicks to the backs of the knees. I encourage anyone wishing to use more complicated techniques to enroll in a class. There is nothing more dangerous than a little knowledge and too much confidence.

A Mechanical Form of Defense

Should the situation warrant it, you may wish to jump from the automobile. Opening the door is sometimes all it takes, but to be sure the car slows down, grab the gearshift lever and push it up. With automatic transmissions, this will throw the transmission into reverse or park, with much attendant noise and confusion. With manual transmissions, the noise and damage is greater if you jam it in a lower gear, and only surprising if you throw it in neutral. In either case, the car is going to slow down considerably, allowing you a chance to exit. Another option is to grab the steering wheel and crank it toward you. Running off the road is enough to make most people regain their senses. Try to have a clear grassy spot in front of you to land on, because if you jump from a car going over 15 miles an hour, you will hit the ground too fast to


run. Tuck yourself in a ball, cover your head, and try to spread out the impact; don't reach for the ground.

* * * *

I always wear a four inch Buck sheath knife prominently displayed on my right hip. If a driver is skittish, s/he won't pick you up anyway. If a driver is up to mischeif, s/he probably won't stop. If the driver is honest and knows that the hitchhiker obviously isn't hiding any weapons, s/he will pick you up. Honesty begets honesty. I once had a fellow in Utah pick me up and after a couple of miles asked me what kind of pistol I was packing! Here he thought it was a gun I was carrying and still picked me up. Its nice to be trusted/trusting. Police don't hassle me about the knife because it's small enough and not concealed. All I use it for is to make peanut butter sandwiches. J.C. Wilson


Chapter 6


Getting Ready

Some folks need to plan a trip-- smooth out the schedule, cancel the paper, lock up the house, and get a friend to water the plants. Other people decide to leave town at 5:00 pm. on a friday night and dream up a destination as they write a sign. Everyone has different wants and needs while on the road. Will you bring it all with you, or trust the unknown to provide?


Where you are going affects what you should bring. No reason to bring the tent into New York City, but don't forget the parka if you're hitching the Alcan Highway in December. You may want to check the temperature range of your destination in the back of this book before deciding how many sweaters to bring. Many folks take off with no more than the clothes they are wearing. For them this section is needless. For those of you planning on bringing stuff with, examine the following lists and comments, and refer to the comments on Robbery under Survey Results.

Survey results

Hitchhiking problems

The survey reports that 21 people thought that hitchhiking was a slow, unpredictable form of travel, and six folks said it was hard to fit hitchhiking into a tight schedule. Four hitchers said to plan ahead and allow ample time for the interesting people and places you will encounter while hitchhiking.

Other problems hitchers


encountered with their basic needs and wants were: No food (7 votes) Solution: Missions, dumpsters, orchards, and gardens. No water (5 votes) Solution: Bring a canteen. No money (8 votes) Solution: See section on Seasonal Labor. No dope (4 votes) Solution: Grow long hair, put on Indian jewelry. No Bathroom (6 votes) Solution: Use public restrooms, bring toilet paper. No company (5 votes) Solution: Comb hair, shave, smile more, and hit the road. No problems (7 votes) Reason: Hiking and waiting relaxes and relieves anexiety.

Quickie list--for overnight trips

1.  map

2.  canopener-knife

3.  sleeping gear

4.  raingear

5.  canteen

6.  paper, pens, and crayons


7.  food and cook kit

8.  first aid kit

9.  toothbrush, towel, etc.

10. bug repellent

First Aid

A carefully packed first aid kit and a working knowledge of first aid can be very helpful in any travel situation, although we hopefully will never need it.

1.  Gauze, bandaids, antiseptic wipes

2.  Vaseline, burn ointment, or cooking oil for burns. Bring along something that can double for chapped skin protection.

3.  Tiger Balm or VapoRub comes in handy on sore muscles, and it can keep you alert at night if you rub some by your temples.

4.  Aspirin or Tylenol

5.  Penicillin or Keflex comes in handy on long trips or in


conditions where you will be away from civilization for a while.

6.  Vitamins are a good way to assure proper nutrition, especially if you are prone to living on coffee and cigarettes.

7.  Kayopectate or Pepto-bismol tablets will stop diarrhea, and if you've got a case of the "road-runs" you'll be glad you brought 'em.

8.  Salt is helpful if you need an emetic, or if you will be travelling through a hot climate where there is danger of heat exhaustion. Baking soda is soothing when applied as a paste to beestings and insect bites. Cayenne pepper is a good way to shed mucus if you catch a cold. All these double as cooking ingredients.

Here's a thumbnail sketch of some afflictions common with hitchers and the best way to deal with them.

Food poisoning Symptoms: Nausea, sweating, muscle cramps, and general


malaise. Extreme or prolonged cases are often accompanied by diarrhea. Often re-exposure to the offending food will cause great chagrin. Remedy: Dissolve lots of salt in warm water and get the victim to swallow it, and encourage him to stick his finger down his throat. This will usually induce vomiting. Drink lots of fluids.

Hypothermia Symptoms: Victim is pale, cold, and weak. This condition often occurs when one is exposed to low temperatures combined with dampness or physical exhaustion. Remedy: Get Warm If many people are present, lay victim on top of one person and have another lay on top. Keep the victim warm with all possible clothing, taking care to protect the head and extremities. If you are alone and feel too cold, try to exercise. Hitchhikers may fall victim to hypothermia because they are standing in one place. Keep moving!

Hyperthermia Symptoms: Victim is flushed, sweating or not, occasionally convulsing, and may be unconcious. Remedy: Get out of the direct sun, lay down, and drink some water with a bit of salt in it.

Shock Symptoms: This may occur because of blood loss, trauma, or other


injury. The victim is pale, the skin feels clammy and cold, the pulse is rapid and weak. Remedy: Keep the victim warm, elevate the feet slightly. Get medical aid. Do not administer fluids if unconscious.

Bleeding First, apply pressure to wound directly with sterile gauze pad. If bleeding continues, apply pressure to the pressure points at the armpits or the inside of the leg. If internal damage is present, do not administer fluids. Seek medical attention.

Planning on camping out? Don't forget things like this.

1.  tent, poles, and rope

2.  hammock, groundcloth, bedroll, sleeping pad

3.  mosquito net or bug dope

4.  campstove, cook kit, and canteen

5.  matches, compass, fishing gear

On a longer trip, the hitchhiker must bring along many odd things to provide for the creature comforts. Always consider multiple uses for


everything, and try to eliminate things you won't use.

Personal things: Towel, toilet paper, toothbrush, nail clippers, crayons, stamps, pen and paper, duct tape, plastic bags, gloves, hat, soaps, knife, screwdriver, pliers, flashlight.

Crayons, of course, make the best looking hitchhiking signs. The stamps, pen and paper are to write home with, and don't forget to do it! Duct tape will patch anything from mufflers to sleeping bags and from raincoats to shoes. Plastic bags are good for keeping your dirty clothes apart from the rest of your stuff, collecting wild foods, and for use as a raincoat or rainhat. These same bags can act as a temporary water holder, mixing bowl, or be tied on the pack for extra stuff. Pick up the small ones at your local supermarket for free; they're over by the produce section. Gloves or socks come in handy for picking up hot pots and pans, as do bandanas, and wool caps. Headgear is an easy thing to bring along, and since most body heat escapes through the head, it is also a smart thing to pack. The screwdriver and pliers will allow you fix lots of things, if you know the Auto Troubleshooting Tips below.


Garbage bag disguised as raingear


Auto Troubleshooting at a Glance

The car dies or won't start.

1.  Is the battery dead? Remove and clean the posts and connections with baking soda and water. Check the cables to make sure they're not severed.


2.  Is the solenoid fried? Turn the ignition to "ON" and short across the solenoid with a screwdriver and a piece of wire. The engine should start.

3.  If the solenoid clicks but the car won't turn over, or if you hear a whirring sound but the car just doesn't start, the starter may be toasted. Take a hammer or a rock and pound on the starter while someone turns the ignition to "Start". This will usually do it.

4.  Is the distributor cap wet? Dry it with a towel. Are the spark plug wires shorting out? Another problem when it's wet out, especially if they are worn already.

5.  Is the coil wasted? Check the wire from the coil to the distributor. Oily insulating fluid on the coil could mean its dead.

6.  Are all the belts tight? A loose alternator belt could be why the car is losing lights or power.


7.  Are the plugs fouled? dirty engine deposits may build up on plugs and foul them, causing the car to lose power and stall.

Don't forget to bring along fun things, or as Parris Young calls them, "toys". Some easy-to-fit items are: dice, kaliedoscope, cards, incense, harmonica, kazoo, pennywhistle, wooden matches, origami paper, jumprope, books, magnetic chess set, and spinning tops. If you are well insulated against boredom, killing time is needless!

When you get around to packing, remember to put things you'll use often in places that are easy to get to. On top, pack your water, food, maps, raingear, first aid kit, and books. Under this goes the stuff you use daily, like sleeping gear, cook kit, and toilet articles. And, on the bottom of the bag, there's your clothes, sewing kit, spare shoes, etc.

The beggar's burner

The beggar's burner is a handy thing to have along when you can't start a fire and can't afford an expensive stove. To make one, find



yourself an empty metal can with a lid. Any shape will do, but the best ones are made with short, wide cans. Cut cardboard strips so they will fit into the can, and wrap them in spirals. Melt wax in another old can and pour it in until the cardboard strips are almost covered. Let the wax cool, and you have an unspillable, waterproof, and portable fire. To keep your pans


from getting covered with soot, rub them with soap before putting them on the burner. Put out the fire by replacing the lid.


Other cheap forms of portable fire are Sterno, which can be purchased in many hardware stores, and charcoal, which is nice if you want to cook meat outdoors. One fellow I met carried a bottle of propane and had a little gizmo with a valve and a jet that he used for a stove. He said it only cost him five bucks for the whole rig. In fact, even the basic blowtorch attachment on a propane bottle would make a decent cooker, if you don't mind the idea of carrying around a bottle of pressurized, flammable liquid.


Tom Allyn'S candle

Here is a quick-to-make source of light, and all you need is a bit of wax, a couple matches or small pieces of wood, and a lid from any type of jar. Since the jar lid and matches can be found anywhere, all you need to remember to bring is the wax.


The tramp's flyrod

Another great idea from south of the border. This is right up there with tacos. Just wrap your basic pop bottle with several feet of fishing line. Attach cork and sinkers and hook, and there you go. To cast just like the pros, swing your bait around your head several times and aim the bottle at the water. The line feeds off the neck of the bottle very nicely, and to "reel" in your fish, wrap the



line around the bottle and pull. For more talk about fishing, see the States section.

A free toothbrush holder

Annoyed by strange hairs in your toothbrush? This will keep your toothbrush away from the dirt and debris in your pack. Take a regular 35mm film can, cut out a V-shaped hole in the top as shown, and keep your toothbrush safe and clean.



How to make
a Peace Crane

1.  Start with a square sheet of paper, and fold it in half diagonally.


2.  Fold it in half diagonally again,


3.  and then a third time.


4.  Unfold the triangle to the large triangle in step 1,



5.  and then fold the acute angles together to form a square as shown.


6.  Fold the open edges into the center so they touch each other.

7.  the result is a kite-shaped figure.


8.  Unfold everything. The creases on the paper should look like this:



9.  Tuck the four sides in along the vertical folds so that they are all creased the same way. At this point, the paper will form a structure that will stand on its own four legs.


10. Fold this structure flat. All four corners will be together, and the result is another kite- shaped figure.

11. Fold tke two opposite corners up over the center of the paper. You have now formed a figure with two flaps and two legs.



12. Fold one edge of one of the legs into the center line between the legs, in a move that is similar to the fold in step 6. Repeat this fold for each side of both legs.


13. Fold the legs into themselves by opening the origami like a book.

14. Fold the legs up so that all four corners come together.



15. Again open the origami like a book. The flaps will flatten out.

16. Fold the flaps down so they become the wings.

17. Fold one of the legs down to form a beak.



Chapter 7


For some people, working on the move is a way of life. For many others, work and travel are two aspects of existence which should be separated as much as possible. The intent of this section is to alert those of you on a limited budget to ways of "earning your keep" in different parts of the country at various times of the year.

Fruit picking

The experienced fruit picker has no trouble locating work in many areas of


the country; in fact, hundreds of folks earn their living year round by following the ripening of the fruits. Each fruit is different, but here's some of the basics.

When you pick fruit, you must make sure the stem stays on it. Many fruits are sprayed with chemicals which harden the stem to prevent premature dropping-off of ripe fruit, because if the stem is broken off, the fruit will become infected with mold and be unmarketable. It's more work to keep all the stems on the cherries than on the apples.

The quality of trees and employers varies a lot. Some trees are so branchy and twisted it takes forever to pick them, and since you are paid by the amount you can pick, as a rule, bad trees can cost you time and money. Some employers are wonderful, and others are so cheap and twisted you're better off not trying. Most owners will let you stay on their land, and the better ones offer shelter for their pickers ranging from trailers or cabins to lean-tos.

In picking fruit, you are usually paid by the volume you pick. This is measured by the bin, which measures


three feet by four feet by five feet for apples. A full bin will get you from $7 to $12, and even an inexperienced picker can pick two bins a day. The size of the bin varies with the type of fruit; it is the size of an orange crate for cherries.

The seasons for many types of fruit are listed in the state-by-state breakdown. These dates are only approximate, of course, and vary with local weather conditions. The harvest may be damaged by hostile conditions, and even fruit which looks fine to the inexperienced may be unmarketable. For this reason, it is a good idea to arrive a week or two before the season starts and scout out the orchards, meet other pickers, and get settled.

In addition, many orchards offer "Pick-Your-Own" fruit at reduced prices, so someone willing to work for even an hour or two can gets lots of cheap fruit and fill the tummy. If you have a rig, or get in cahoots with a vehicle owner, you may try picking enough to fill up your rig and then sell it as you travel along to every gas station, store, and cafe along the way. Some folks I know made $350 in two days doing this; they had about five hundred pounds of fruit.



Hay is raised throughout the US and Canada, and temporary jobs often open up for a few weeks during the harvest. This work consists of "bucking bales", or throwing them onto a wagon as they leave the baling machine, stacking the bales, and etc. In the midwest and west, many farmers have switched to the gigantic round bales. These eliminate the need for bale-buckers, but if you can drive a tractor and know what a bale chariot is, you still may be able to find work. Take note that there are at least two haying seasons per year in the northern US and Canada, and even three cuttings per year further south.

Corn detasseling

Something to keep your eyes out for if you're heading through Illinois, Iowa, or parts of Missouri and Indiana during the month of June. Hybrid seed companies hire people to cut the tassels off seed corn plants so that they are pollinated by other nearby plants. The p ay is usually minimum wage, but the hours are regular and the season is short. You may note the little signs next to the corn fields as you cruise by.


Also, in the month of July, you may be able to find work "walking beans" or "chopping cotton". This consists of walking through the bean, cotton, or tobacco fields and cutting out the weeds that somehow outfox the herbicides.

Cutting firewood

This is sometimes a job one can walk into in the northwest and northeast sections of the US. Firewood is fast becoming a burning hot item as fuel prices rise, and the demand for wood has started many small businesses. If you know how to wield a chainsaw, maul, sledge and wedge, this is a good possibility.

Christmas tree shearing is another temporary summer job that can be found in many areas of the country late in June. Look for the neat rows of Christmas trees that still have the light green "candles" of new growth popping out the tops and sides.

Resort work

There are basically two times of the year that a wandering job seeker can hope to get work at a resort. One is in April or May, before the season


gets underway, and the other time is August, when college students are quitting so they can fart around before heading back to school. In the southwest and Florida, one may also find a Help Wanted sign up in late October or November, in anticipation of the Christmas rush. Good places include towns named "Hot Springs", beach resorts, towns in or by National Parks, and alpine villages, where both summer and winter sports are found.


The "professional" temporary work services, such as Manpower or Kelly Girl, can get you work within a day or two of receiving your application. In addition, these organizations will transfer recommendations and paychecks to other branch offices in other cities, allowing you to work/travel/work as you go along. Kelly Girl is mostly involved with secretarial types of jobs, but Manpower has turned me on to such varied jobs as freight loading and unloading, making deliveries, painting, and sales.

Also, US citizens should never forget the hundreds of Job Service Offices throughout the country which are helpful in referring us wanderers


to jobs from fruit picking to mowing old ladies' lawns. There are far too many to list in a book such as this, so just check the Yellow Pages under "Jobs".


If your needs are more immediate or less expansive, begging may solve your personal money crisis. Most cities in the States have laws against this sort of thing (see our section on Vagrancy), but panhandling does work. Some people report that they beg for money from the people who pick them up hitchhiking, and this seems to be a possibility, although I usually feel the person has done enough just to give me a ride. Here are some other suggestions for "excusing" yourself.

Try hanging out by the subway and requesting "subway fare". "Gotta buy a beer" works well on a bar street, and "buy a cuppa coffee" does OK by a restaurant. "Busfare home to mom" is pretty worn out these days, might get you more chuckles than quarters. If you have a harmonica or pennywhistle to play, your panhandling horizons are expanded. Lacking this, an 89 cent kazoo helps, and you can learn to play the kazoo in a jiffy. Find a busy


marketplace, like the Farmer's Market, and set down your hat. Signs saying "Donations", believe it or not, can help.

Traveller's Aid is a charitable organization established in St. Louis to assist people stranded in a foreign place. Their intent is to help the stranded traveller, not the habitual wanderer, and the several independently financed branches communicate their experiences to protect themselves against fraud. They will call home for you, find a place you can sleep (usually at a mission or church), and put you in contact with spot job services. If your credentials are legit, you may even get a small loan to get home.

Communication with people while on the road can be inexpensive; after all, why pay $4 for a phone call after getting your food for next to nothing? The Post Office graciously offers a service called General Delivery. Simply go to the post office and tell them your name and they will look through the general delivery box for you. The general delivery letters are only held for two weeks, so if you're two weeks behind schedule, hang it up and call it a day. All cities have a


Main Post Office, and the general delivery for a city is always at the main office, not a branch office.

Oil patch reality

with Tommy Kimmel

Question: Why in the Hell would anyone want to go live in the middle of no-goddam-where, get horribly dirty, work in noisy, dangerous conditions, and deal with nasty rednecks?

Answer: Money

No use trying to kid youself, if you're in an oilfield town, you're not there for fun. Today's oilpatch is as far from decent civilization as decent civilization can manage. However, if you're tired of checking the garbage cans outside truckstops, this is an answer.

What do you do? There are lots of jobs that totally lazy, unskilled laborers can find around an oil town. The want ads in the newspaper are often pages long. The best, easiest, and safest jobs are seismographing, or "doodle - bugging". The idea behind seismographing is to send out shock


waves through the ground by setting off explosives or vibrosizing the ground with a "thumper truck". These shock waves bounce off underground rock formations and are recorded by geophones, and that's where you come in. Doodlebugs take out the geophones, (called "jugs") and stick them in the ground and attach cables to them. This data is analyzed and tells where the oil is. Doodlebugs make four dollars an hour, plus maybe twenty bucks a day as a bonus or "hotshot" for living in the wilderness. Tommy says, "This easy work takes absolutely no brains or creativity."

Another idea is oil service work, or "roustabouting". These people drive trucks, dig holes, lay pipe, string fence, and do anything else. Roustabouts make more than doodlebugs per hour, but they don't get the hotshot for living in the boonies.

For those of you after the big bucks, roughneck work may be available. This involves working on the drilling rigs drilling for oil. It is dangerous, physical work; stay away if you aren't very hardcore. They expect you to have experience with oilfield work before applying, but everyone I know got on the first time by lying.


OK, where do I go?

Wyoming: Gillette, Casper, Rock Springs, Green River, Evanston, Riverton

North Dakota: Williston, Watford City, Tioga, Stanley, Dickinson

Texas: Midland, Oddessa, Giddings, Alice, Houston, Beaumont, Galveston (offshore), and Corpus Christi (offshore)

Colorado: Craig, Glenwood Springs, Rangley, Rifle

Montana: Sidney, Glendive, Havre, Billings

Also, look in the Yellow Pages under Geophysics, Seismograph, and Oil Exploration. As with many jobs, the best place to meet prospective employers is in the local tavern. Somehow, you notice the look of people who have been in "some godforsaken hole working their butts off". There is a high rate of job turnover in the oilpatch, cheifly due to the wonderful bosses and first - rate living conditions.


Housing in the oilpatch is a nightmare. Rundown trailers may go for $300 a month, rent, and Kampgrounds capitalize on the permanent tentfolk. Commuting is a daily necessity, in most cases. In any event, you must plan on a two week stay usually before the first check comes in. Be prepared for the stay, or you'll pay.

Nonetheless, people do head to the oilpatch. "I'm Oilfield Trash and Proud of It!" says a bumpersticker. "Don't tell my mom I'm working at the oilfields, she still thinks I'm a piano player in a whorehouse," begs a T-shirt. The jobs around the oilpatch get harder to find in the summer when the college students hit town, and positions open up again when school starts. Long hair may be a bit unpopular in Oilsville. Tuck it up when thumbing through, and don't profess opinions about leaving the oil in the ground.

Tree planting

Planting trees for contractors doing reforestation on Forest Service land or for large wood-products corporations is another form of work which may be available in the northwest and southeast sections of the States. It is not a desk job.


Wages start at around five dollars an hour, but men running augers can expect a couple dollars more. Work turnover is high, with hireds, fireds, and quits floating ever'whichaway. Don't forget to have work gloves when you find a crew.

Local attitudes toward the travelling tree "tramps" varies from friendly to downright hostile, depending on the population of loggers and anti-longhair types in the area. Some motels have been known to turn on the "No Vacancy" light when they hear the treeplanters have hit town! Living out of motels, as some crews do, can be an expensive way of life. Be sure to find out who pays for what.

Anyone who buys Copenhagen by the roll, pot by the pound, or beer by the keg is likely to be quite popular in the treeplanter camp. Living and working with the same small group of people encourages sharing meals, beers, rumors, pots and pans. Silly is the soul who brings more possessions than s/he can keep track of. A common saying which sums it up is, "You snooze, you lose."

Contracts are usually bid by the acre or by the number of trees to be


planted, and the spacing between trees is specified in the written agreement. Some contracts require the use of augers, which are chainsaw-motor-driven corkscrews that drill a hole twelve inches deep and three or four inches across. Other contracts may be planted with hoedads, shovels, or other special tree tools. Some contracts require that the area around the planted tree be "scalped" of vegetation, while others demand that wire "tubes" be placed to protect the trees from animals. Some contractors pay piecemeal on contracts using the anti-deer tubes, root plugs, and etc. Don't be timid in asking about how you will be paid! Salary advances are often given on request, and the squeaking wheel may be paid more for the same work than the silent one.

Both men and women plant trees, although women usually end up doing the planting instead of the "rougher" jobs of site preparation. The planter carries around a bag with around 500-700 baby seedling trees in it which weighs from 25 to 35 pounds. In addition, the planter often carries a hoedad or dibble to help get the trees in the ground.


On government contracts, the Forest Service provides inspectors which evaluate the success of your planting. They don't like to see things like (a) overplanting, (b) underplanting, (c) J rooting, and (d) poor compaction.


Other things to watch out for will vary from contract to contract.

Planting in the pacific northwest starts in November at low altitudes on the west coast, then continues at higher elevations as the weather warms up and snow melts. The crews then move


into the mountains of Idaho and Montana, finishing the season in June.

In Minnesota, planting contracts are more often awarded to small "ma & pa" type operations, but the local Forest Service Office will have information on contractors who need help. In any region, it is a good idea to check at the FS office and find out if there are any contracts going on.

In the Southeast, the employers are often large lumber or paper corporations such as S t. Regis, Georgia Pacific, or publishers. Work starts in early February, and there are lots of locations throughout Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. One contractor in Arkansas is AAA out of Witt Springs. Other spots are mentioned under the States section.

Here are a few of the larger reforestation contractors in the pacific northwest and their home cities:

Far West, Salem, OR DS&T, Eugene, OR Pacific Reforestation, Portland, OR Priority Enterprises, Prossor, WA Bud Pihlstrom, Newport, OR Cyclone Reforestation, Battleground, WA Interstate Reforestation, Bend, OR


Cooperatives are also formed to plant trees. Two of these are: the Hoedads, from Eugene, OR, and the Marmots, from Seattle, WA.

The Carnival

Putting up rides at the carnival is another form of occasional work the wily traveller may pick up on. It will help if you are a big, strong-looking guy, but if that isn't possible, look for half-assembled rides and trucks that need unloading, or find a boss man and follow him around.

Putting together rides involves lifting the seats, racks, and frames and then locking them together with a cotter pin and mouse key. Everything snaps together. It is a good idea to wear work gloves if you want to save your hands. Setting up a ride takes from two to four hours, and if you're on your toes, you might be able to set up a couple of rides back to back. Don't forget to ask the owner if he needs extra hands to run the ride once it's set up!

To find this type of work, find the dates of the fair or carnival in a newspaper or poster and show up about three days before it starts. Also,


taking down the rides happens the night of the last show in most cases, so if you are there, you might get a spot job, an offer of a longer job, and a ride out of town all at once.

You might also want to try your hand at running a booth on the Midway. Show up a couple of days before the show starts, and ask if anyone needs an "agent" to run the "joint" or "hole". This job takes persuasive ability; you've got to shuck and jive for hours. Don't go around trying to show everyone how the trick of the joint works, you won't be popular. Women especially may try the concession stands for work, and many women run joints.

The promoters usually pay cash on the spot for spot jobs, and you can expect the minimum wage. There are over 600 shows travelling North America these days. If you want to find out about their locations, write to Amusement Business Magazine, 1717 West End Ave., Nashville, Tennessee, 37203. For a buck and a half, they'll send you the latest schedules.

Fishing boats

There are all sorts of things people fish for, of course, and the


number of jobs available is limited. The best times to try to hire on varies with the type of fishing being done. We hear June 1 is the beginning of the peak shrimp season all along the Gulf of Mexico, and June is also the good time to check out the Alaska fishing boats and associated canneries in Alaska. Clam fishing goes on year round off the Cape in Massachusetts, where your chances of getting a job are better in the fall or spring. There seem to be no rules to this fishing game, it's really catch-as-catch can, and mostly a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

Selling blood

This can be a quick method of raising some bucks while you lower your blood pressure. As soon as you get in town, call up the Red Cross or a hospital and find out if they are in the market for blood or plasma. Hospitals associated with medical schools or universities are good bets. Be sure to ask how soon you can get paid, and see if you can get it in cajh. Selling plasma is better, because you get to keep your red corpuscles and you can do it more often.


Chapter 8


There are several low-cost places to stay overnight, out of the weather, in nearly every good-sized city. The most expensive, and easiest to find, are the motels. If you waste a few dimes calling up and checking prices, you may still be able to find a bed and bath for under twelve dollars. Six of us got out of the Montana cold for two dollars apiece once, but then four of us had to sneak in.

YMCA's and YWCA's occasionally have hotel-like rooms available in the ten


dollar range, and if you're a member, you can use the pool and gym, too.

Hostelling is by far the smartest bet for the low budget traveller. There are over 225 American Youth Hostels in the US and Canada, and they never charge more than $7.50 a night. Many are cheaper. Annual membership is required, which costs five dollars for the under 18 crowd and eleven bucks for anyone older. I've found the accomodations quite comfortable, though not private, and the use of the hostel kitchen helps cut food costs.

Colleges and universities often rent spare dorm rooms by the night for as little as four dollars. However, you may have to share a room, and sometimes even partners are separated by gender. Tell the people at the Office of Admissions that you're interested in the school, and you might ever get a room for free. This is an excellent way to meet other young folks, too.

The Salvation Army also provides shelter for those truly in need. These fine people save the destitute from misery and even extermination at the forces of rain and cold. If you do stay at a mission, and have any


valuables, remember that most of the people there have nothing at all.

One last option, and one which is rarely mentioned, is to crash in a public place. Before you decide to crash anywhere public, like a park, playground, airport, rooftop, railroad boxcar, beach, bus or train terminal, fire escape, subway, or under a highway bridge embankment in the city, it's a good idea to buy one of those fifty cent lockers they often have in bus stations. Just stash all your unnecessary luggage, pocket the key, and off you go!

One often sees persons seeking overnight shelter in a dumpster. While this seems a bit dangerous, since many dumpsters are emptied at night, I have been assured by reputable sources that the right dumpster, outside an office building or the like, is an odorless, dry, and warm form of shelter. (It's insulated by paper a couple feet thick, so R=12) I expect that people sleeping in such a place would sleep with one ear out for the garbage truck... And, don't forget treehouses and the amazing and creative shelters they make in playgrounds these days. Really, nobody ever plays there at night!


Crashing in the sticks

Finding shelter away from civilization is easier than you think. If you bring anything with you at all, bring something to sleep on. This makes finding a place to sleep much easier.

Throughout the midwest, the weary traveller can often find a vacant barn, which provides a fine shelter if you aren't allergic to the hay and mustiness. In the southeast, there are tobacco sheds, some of which even have gas burners used to heat the ripening tobacco. In the pacific northwest and Canada, one can often find a comfy matress and shelter from the storm under a spruce tree or other thick bushes. In coastal areas, the beach is a ready option for the hitchhiker. Be sure to note the tide-mark, as tides in the north may rise a dozen feet or more. Throughout the States, and especially in the west, National Forests and the BLM allow you to camp for a period of under two weeks anywhere 50 yards from the trail or road. Highway bridge embankments are often mentioned as overnight campsites, and we've all spent a few nights there, I suppose. Try to avoid those bridges with gravel slopes instead of cement,


as rats and other nasty rodents burrow under them, and being wakened by a rat running over you is no treat. Makes it hard to fall back asleep.

And so. You're out in the woods, with no protection, and it starts to rain. First, find two trees about six to ten feet apart. Take some rope, or lacking that, vines, and tie a large stick between the trees, about three feet off the ground. If you have no stick, but a good length of rope, it will work just as well.



Next, take shorter branches and lay them butt first (big end) on top of the horizontal pole. Keep piling on the branches, the biggest first, until you have a pile of sticks maybe a foot thick.

Finally, pile grass, leaves, and duff on top of the small sticks as thick as you can until it just slides down the slope.


A handy thing to bring along with you if you plan on doing a lot of camping is a hammock. The little nylon string units are very compact, and they make a great shock- absorber during a freight train ride. In addition, they allow you to catch some sleep even if the ground is pudding, and if you take a large piece of plastic and lay it over you in the hammock, you're as waterproof as any fancy tent.


Survey results

Hitchhiking problems

Big cities and darkness combined to give many people difficulties. "Dealing with a big city" was problematical for eleven thumbers. Solutions were: "catch the metro" (4 votes), "hit a truckstop" (2 votes), "time your arrival during the day" (2 votes), and "wait for a ride through the city".

Crashing at night was tough for fifteen respondees. In-city solutions were: "hit the Y", "find a hostel", and "missions". Rural solutions included,"scope it out before dark", "carry a tent", "bring


a hammock", and "park the car in a truckstop and crash out in the car".

Darkness itself made conditions bad for seven folks. If you hitch at night, find an intersection that is well-lit, carry a flashlight to shine on cars, or wave your hand in front of the roadside reflectors to get the driver's attention. Another solution, especially for women, is not to take a short ride at dusk. It may be your last ride of the day, and it is easier to hitch at dusk than at dark.





Chapter 9

Eating on the Road

Urban food


Although the best maxim for the penny-pinching traveller is, "Don't eat in restaurants and don't drink in bars", eateries provide for the survival of the hitchhiker in many ways.

How many of you have been saved by a warm, lit diner with a bottomless 25 cent cuppa mud? The Slimy Rind Cafe


can be paradise when it's ten below and dark outside. Some establishments still have All You Can Eat Specials for under two dollars, even today. For some reason, Tuesdays seem to be especially favored as a bargain day, though who knows why. Being a wild food gatherer myself, I always keep a supply of plastic bags with me, in case they forget to provide doggie bags.

If you're hungry and broke, you can still eat. Sometimes Donald goes into restaurants during the busy hour and scans around for a table where some extravagant person has left half their meal. He just walks over and sits down like he belongs there, and eats his fill. In a Pizza Hut in Louisville once, he ate half a pizza this way and then some one gave him a half-full pitcher of beer. Sometimes owners or waitresses will hassle you, but usually they just throw it out, anyway. And if it's during rush hour, they're usually too busy to notice or bother you.


If this doesn't work, there are always the dumpsters. These are the big green metal bins outside supermarkets, restaurants, and other places where they throw out food that is too ripe or


rotten to sell. The old joke about the garbage collector who got "Five bucks an hour and all I can eat," is the bottom line on American dumpsters.

At different times in various dumpsters, I have found cheese, lettuce, onions, garlic, peaches, cherries, avocadoes, grapefruits, bread, beets, canned food, carrots, strawberries, celery, and radishes. Radishes are one thing that always seems to get thrown out while still in good edible condition, so always check radish crates.

One buddy of mine made a habit of feeding his dog on meat he found in the dumpster, but I would shy away from eating dumpster meat. Staphylococcus aureus, a common toxic bacteria, grows easily on raw meat, mayonnaise, and dairy products. For this reason, many of these things are best left alone. We have also had trouble with pineapples and oranges, so if the stuff smells funny, beware.

One old timer I met had a long broomstick that he used to probe around in the garbage with. This really helps, because then you don't have to go stepping on things of unknown texture. Generally speaking, the


bigger the dumpster, the better the contents. Also, it is usually useless to bother checking out a dumpster where they flatten the boxes before they put them in. The best dumpsters are outside of chain stores and expensive supermarkets where the clientele are queasy about soft produce and dented cans. Another excellent bet is wholesale produce shippers and receivers, where the volume of food moved through the store is large. These places often discard produce from each shipment, sometimes as often as every day, and usually after eight at night.

Although many dumpsters have big "No Tresspassing" signs, arrests for scavenging garbage are rare. Usually the people who are throwing things out will shake their heads at you or even tell you what good things have gone out that day. Supermarkets and restaurants on the edge of town are often the best place to find good dumpsters. We have found locked dumpsters in some cities.

Other Possibilities

A commonly mentioned food option was missions. These are managed by private donations and are for the use of the destitute, and therefore not


everyone's cup of tea. To find one, look under "Missions" in the phone book, and remember, dinner is at noon.

And, don't forget the ever-popular Kiwanis pancake breakfasts and church socials and potlucks where infinite carbohydrates may be consumed. For this reason, be sure to check bulletin boards in the local laundromats, gas stations, and grocery stores.

The Roadside Gourmet

Well, you are what you eat, and you eat what you pack. Here's some things to bring if you're someone who burns the coffee water every morning:

dried fruit peanut butter tahini  beef jerky instant tea carrots crackers dry lemonade coffee  tomatoes green onions granola cheese hardboiled eggs celery  radishes pita bread miso    margarine pickles nuts   

Mixing sandwich spread in plastic bags saves time and dirty dishes. Get free bags off the roll they have by the vegetables in any supermarket, and you can mix these spreads "like the astronauts do" by squeezing the bag.

1.  Crabmeat and Creamcheese


2.  Tuna and Creamcheese

3.  Avocado and Creamcheese--alternate with cucumber, onion, tomato, and sardines.

4.  Refried beans or Bean dip with peppers, sour cream, tomato, or onion. bouillon optional also.

5.  Hardboiled egg with oleomargarine, sour cream, yougurt

6.  Bacon or TVP with sourcream

7.  Miso and Tahini is delicious and nutritious

If you're someone who confidently packs a packstove or beggar's burner, a frypan and a saucepan, here's a few neat and easy recipes for the road.

Tamari nuts: Heat up your frypan and pour in some shelled sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, cashews, or whatever. Shake the pan and get each nut well heated. The bigger the nut, the longer it takes, so if you mix your peanuts and sunflower seeds, start the peanuts first. When


the nuts start turning brown and popping, splash on soy sauce or miso dissolved in water. Try not to eat them until they cool, and for cleanup, just rinse out the pan with cool water.

Coffee and eggs: These two go together, so why not boil your eggs in your coffee and save yourself some time and trouble? The eggs take a bit longer, but they sweeten the coffee and settle the grounds. Be careful not to break the shells!

Chapatis: An easy alternative to taco shells or pan bread. Pack a bit of flour with you, add water to the amount you want, and work the dough until it is dry enough to roll flat with a wine or beer bottle or pinch between your fingers. Get it as thin as you can, and cook on an unoiled skillet for soft texture or in oil for crispy shells.

Pancakes are tasty and easy. Just egg, flour, and beer will give you a nice, fluffy pancake, although some folks like milk or a shot of vanilla in the batter. Bisquick or any pancake mix is a good alternative; all you need to add is water and oil, and if you like you may mix up a drier batter, wrap it in aluminum foil and lay it in


the coals you brought from Newcastle. Call it a biscuit or a dumpling, depending on where you are.

French toast If you suddenly realize you have six hungry hitchhikers expecting breakfast, go to the store and get a pint of milk, a half dozen eggs, and a loaf of cheap bread. Mix the eggs and milk, dip in the bread slices, and fry. There you go, french toast for under $2. Syrup can be made by heating two shotglassfuls of water with all the sugar you can get in it. A small pinch of instant coffee or miso will lend a carmelly flavor. Another nice idea is to add an orange to a half-cup of honey. Presto, gourmet syrup!

For dinner, I bring macaroni. It cooks fast, so you don't need a bonfire, and to give it flavor, you can throw in nearly anything. Here's some ideas : boullion cube, onion, celery, a can of condensed soup, hardboiled egg, dry milk, cheese bits, margarine, macaroni & cheese powder, vegetables, miso, or a can of sardines.

Another dinner idea is instant soup stew. Instant soups like cup-of-soup are cheap, easy to prepare, and they don't take up much room in your pack.


Just boil a pan of water, chop and add carrots, onions, celery, instant rice or barley, and any other favorite soup ingredients, then stir in the instant soup mix. A quick, hot, and filling meal.

Hint: All root vegetables keep well, even without refrigeration. Think of packing onions, carrots, potatoes, yams, turnips, kohlrabi, and beets. Cabbage is also a sturdy vegetable, as is cauliflower. Tomatoes are fine if they're in a can. 35mm film cans make good containers for spices and things like: salt, baking soda, alfalfa seeds, boullion, kelp, cayenne, brewer's yeast, and cinnamon.

When I get ready for a trip, I boil up some spuds so that I can cook up hashbrowns or potato pancakes in a hurry. It saves time, and if things get really grim, you can eat the boiled spud with some oleo and miso and call it lunch. Potato pancakes require only that you mush up the boiled spuds with a bit of water, an egg, and enough flour to hold it together. Fried in oil, there's nothing finer.

To sprout your own sprouts on the road is no problem. A pint mason jar with a screw lid, top, and bit of


screen does just fine if you pack carefully and refrain from throwing your pack off a moving freight. To be safe, use a plastic unbreakable jar. Bring along some alfalfa, lentil, bean, radish, or wheat seeds and you're all prepared. Soak the seeds in water for a day, then pour off the water and strap on the screen. Rinse the sprouting seeds once or twice a day and let them get some air, but no light. I once left Illinois and had sprouts by the time I made Vegas.

The ripening wheat one occasionally finds along the road or in fields can easily be made into a tasty snack. Just rub the heads of grain between your palms and blow away the chaff. Place the cleaned seeds in a pan with hot oil, and fry them up like popcorn, with a lid on the pan. Fry until the seeds quit popping, and add salt to taste. The result is quite similar to the wheat snacks found in stores. Friends tell me this recipe also works well with rye grain.

If you are hitchhiking and suddenly you are attacked by a herd of corn plants, you may have to kill a few in self- defense. What should you do with the remains? If the ears are full and the silk at the top is turning brown,


you are in luck. You can eat them. We call this condition ripeness, and it happens to corn on the Fourth of July in the southeast, and in early August in the midwest. Just lay the unhusked ears in the coals of a fire, or shuck 'em and boil 'em in water. Nummy.

Wild foods

Often when the rides are few, you get a chance to check out the land surrounding you. If you're hungry there is an abundance of food growing wild all around you. We've listed some easily recognized, commonly found wild foods in this section. For more detailed information see the references listed in the bibliography. First some wild food recipies.

Cooking with wild foods is as easy as with "regular" foods if you are familiar with ways to prepare them.

A good recipe for many berries is flummery. Take the fresh-picked fruit, put it in your pan with a little water, and cook them down for ten or fifteen minutes. Strain out the seeds if they are offensive, and add a touch of sweetening if needed. Gradually stir in flour until the juice thickens. If you let this mixture cool, it will gain


a pudding-like consistency, but it is fine as a warm, thick soup.

Things like cattail stems and tops, fireweed, daylily buds, wild garlic, and young lambsquarters make good filler for your basic noodles and miso. Many greens are good boiled or steamed, some after parboiling, and served like spinach with vinegar, tamari, or lemon juice. Lacking these garnishes, a vitamin C tablet dissolved in water will supply a tangy taste for a plateful of greens. Or, you may wish to fry up your greens with some lettuce for a wilted salad, or try some with scrambled eggs and cheese. Dandelion buds are delicious if parboiled and then fried with garlic in butter, and many plants, like asparagus, fireweed, daylily, cattail, and young thistle, are edible raw, in salads.

The edible stalk of the young asparagus plant is familiar to everyone, but not everyone knows to look for the yellow, Christmas-tree shaped stalks of l ast year's plants. That's the best way to spot these tasty greens from the side of the road. You'll find them growing along ditches, fence rows, and even interstates, in the spring before they branch out their feathery leaves, small yellow flowers,




and red berries. The asparagus is quite tolerant of salty soil conditions, and in irrigated, arid areas it may almost assume the profile of a weed. It is widely distributed from coast to coast.


The cattail is without a doubt the best supply of wild food an aware traveller can locate. It colonizes ditches along many highways, and can always be found in marshy areas. In the early spring, the emerging shoots may be peeled to the starchy base,


which has a texture and flavor not unlike cucumber, and eaten raw. This starchy, edible condition at the base of the stem lasts until the plant starts putting up flowers in the late spring or early summer. At this time, the stalk gets a bit woody, but by then the developing flowers are edible. The male flower of the cattail sits atop the familiar, cottony "cat-tail" of the female flower. At first, the pollen-tops are wrapped in a papery sheath, which resembles a corn husk, but this husk soon falls away. The male tops may be broken off easily with the fingers and boiled like a tiny ear of corn, or the pollen may be scraped off the inedible stem in the middle and used to thicken a soup. As the male flower ages, it dries out and sheds the powdery pollen. Even this pollen can be used for food. You may use it to extend your flour supply, or to bread tofu, fish, or mushrooms for frying.

In the fall and winter, you may use the fibrous, starchy rootstock of the cattail for food, but many find it unappealing. The dry, fluffy female flower is a fine source of insulation, however. If your clothes are inadequate for the cold, you may try stuffing this cattail "down" in the sleeves of your jacket or filling your socks with it.



Milkweed is the common name for several species in the genus Asclepias with the characteristic seedpod and milky sap. This is a well-known and widespread plant, but few people consider it to be food. In fact, the young shoots are a tasty potherb in the spring, although they do require boiling in two changes of water (parboiling) to remove the bitter milky sap. The seedpods, when just popping out, are quite a good source of vegetable in the summer. After boiling twice, the flavor is distinctly reminiscent of asparagus. Be sure to pick only the young pods, for once the silky puff develops, boiled milkweed is like eating cottonballs.



The Daylily is an imported member of the lily family which has escaped cultivation in many areas of the country. The bright orange flowers pop up in late spring, and both they and the flower buds make a fine vegetable. They have a pleasing, slightly peppery taste which is mild enough for salads and strong enough to make a good addition to your soup. These plants tend to grow in clumps along roadsides and near old gardens, where they may form patches dozens of yards across.



Lambsquarters is a relative of the domestic spinach, and closely resembles its cultivated cousin in flavor. There are many members of the Chenopodium genus, the most common being C. alba, which grows agressively anywhere the soil is disturbed, and has a white, water-repellent fuzz on the undersides of the leaves. In the spring, while it is still a sprout, lambsquarters can be gathered whole and thrown into the soup or boiled for just a minute and garnished with lemon juice. Later in the summer, the leaves are still edible, but the stalk gets a bit woody. If you are feeling industrious in the fall, the plentiful seeds may be added to your flour supply to impart a strong rye-like flavor and added protein.



Thistles may not sound like food to you, but both C. foliosum and C. vulgare have fleshy stalks which make a good potherb when peeled of the obnoxious spines and steamed or boiled. The flavor is not strong at all, and the peeled stalks are edible raw and have a texture like celery. The roots are also rumored to be edible, but I have never tried them. Thistles may be found in disturbed soil throughout the country, where their bright purple flowers make them conspicuous.


Amaranth, also known as "pigweed" in some areas, is another possible potherb for springtime vegetable hunters. Previously cultivated by the Aztec Indians, this agressive plant has assumed the disguise of a weed by growing along roadsides and in disturbed sites. The beet-like leaves are deeply veined and hairy, and the stem turns red in the summer as the plant matures. I have never eaten pigweed after the stem turns red, but the seeds make a milder tasting flour-stretcher than lambsquarters, and the spring greens are mild and tasty.

Fireweed is the common name for a couple species in the genus Epilobium. These plants are the first invaders of burned forests and can easily be found along roadways in the western US and Canada. The lanceolate leaves are tangy and edible raw and make a good addition to a wild salad. The entire plant may be boiled and eaten as a potherb, but some folks are displeased with the mucilaginous texture. I recommend steaming the young shoots, if possible. When the beautiful lavender flowers emerge later in the season, they too are edible, and make a good nibble while you're waiting for the freight.






The dandelion needs no introduction to most folks. It is an all too common weed in lawns and roadsides. This fine plant is a rich source of vitamin C, and as a cure for scurvy, it earned the name Taraxacum officinale from the Latins. The emerging green leaves are edible as a salad green early in the spring, but they become increasingly bitter as the summer days lengthen. When the bright yellow flowers start popping up, take a spoon and pry out the immature flower buds which are forming at the base of the leaves. Boil these little morsels, discard the water, and fry them with garlic and butter. Mighty tasty.



Species of the genus Allium, the wild onion, are the first plants up in damp areas in the spring. The thin, grass-like leaves and the unmistakable aroma of garlic or onion makes this an easy plant to identify. Pull up the whole plant, wash off the bulb, and throw it in the stew. Later in the summer, when the seed-pods are on the plant, they are tasty also. Never collect specimens out west which do not have the odor of garlic, for the similar-looking death camas may be mistaken for wild onion, except that it has no garlicy aroma.

Equisetum, or horsetail, as it is called, is a family of many species of primitive, non-flowering plants which are high in silicon. Although inedible and in some cases, toxic, these sturdy plants are a fine natural potscrubber. A handful will remove the toughest of


stains with a bit of rubbing. They are disposable, reusable, and FREE in any marshy area.

Mint may also be found in damp areas. It is a fine thing to make tea with, and the spicy, refreshing smell of crushed mint is easy to tell. Look for the opposite leaves and four sided stems on all our native mints.

Prickly pear cactus got its name from the reddish, spine-tufted fruits it produces in the fall. There are several members of the Opuntia genus which are called "prickly pears", and they grow throughout the southwest, midwest, and parts of the Rocky Mountains. The fruit is fleshy, gooey, and kind of sweet. It is edible raw, after you remove the tongue-torturing spines.

The familiar rose plant needs no introduction as a food source these days, when one can find "rose hips" listed as an ingredient in many vitamin C preparations. Besides being naturally high in this essential nutrient, rose hips are tasty and easy to locate. The fruit is ripe in late summer and remains edible until mid winter. If the red or orange fruits are as big around as nickels, which


Prickly Pear



they may be in cultivated roses, the hairy seeds in the middle are no trouble to remove. Once you've got them out of the way, the outer pulp is tasty and familiar. At one time in my life, my lunches consisted solely of rose hips and sugar cubes lifted from cafe sugar bowls.

The Vaccinium genus contains the cultivated blueberries, the huckleberries, and cranberries. These are short to medium sized shrubs, usually under a meter tall, with generally entire, elliptical leaves. The fruits are ripe in mid to late summer and are blue to pink colored, with a small scar opposite the point where the berry attaches to the plant, a "vaccination mark" where the bell-shaped flower was in the spring. There are fourteen species in the pacific northwest alone, and none of these fine plants has a single thorn!



The service berry is a common shrub in mountainous areas from Alaska to California and from Vermont to Georgia. These berries bear a conspicuous resemblance to blue berries, but have a mealier texture. The bushes tend to be rather robust, often reaching ten feet or more in height. The leaves have serrated edges and are alternately arranged on the stem. The berries ripen in the month of July everywhere I have encountered them, and they are often plentiful enough to make a meal of. These plants and their berries are sometimes attacked by a bright orange fungus out west, which should be avoided when picking the fruit as large amounts of it may cause stomach upset.



Ribes, the genus of gooseberries and currants, are medium-sized shrubs, some with thorns, which have reddish to dark purple spherical berries. Many species have edible berries, although an equal number of species produce



fruit which is too bitter to use as food. The good berries are juicy and sweet and make a fine pie, or taste great with a splash of cream.


Rubus, the raspberry genus, is another type of berry which is widely available and delicious. The fruits are agglomerations of several small berry units, called drupes, each of which contains a single tiny seed. These berries separate from the bush to form a tiny cup-shaped fruit. There are several species which are quite good tasting, and I know of no poisonous species. Some of the common names these berries go by are: blackberry, salmonberry, thimbleberry, dewberry, raspberry, and black raspberry. Thorns are the rule in this family, and the wise berry hunter is warned that a blackberry bush may charge when wounded. The bushes grow from three to eight feet tall.


Another common berry is the mulberry in the Morus genus. The mulberry tree can be recognized by its rough, three-lobed leaves. Mu1berry trees are abundant throughout the U.S. especially in the South, East, and Midwest. The drupelet-like berries turn red then purple when they are fully ripe, usual1y in June. Mulberries are quite tasty, and since you can usually pick lots of berries without much effort, they are good for making pies or flummery.



The Elderberries, in the Sambucus genus, are also found in a wide variety of locations throughout the country. The bushes range from the five foot S. canadensis in the midwest to the fifteen foot S. arborescens in the pacific northwest. The berries group in a characteristic panicle at the top of the plant, and are ripe in early fall. They are dark, dark purple when ripe, and they remain a bit bitter. With a little sweetening, they make a fine pie or flummery. Don't pick these berries if you don't plan on eating them, as they are an important food source for wildlife.



Wild strawberries, of the genus Fragaria, are often found along roadsides. The strawberry plant is easily identified: it has three-lobed, serrated leaves; it grows close to the ground like ground cover; it has white flowers; and of course the easily recognized fruit. Wild s trawberries are ripe in May (or even earlier) in warmer regions, and in June in cooler regions. Strawberries are great with cream and/or granola.

Watercress grows on the edge or bottom of creeks and springs throughout the country where the water is high in dissolved minerals. It is an excellent salad green, milder before the small white flowers emerge in midsummer. If the water source in which the watercress is growing looks questionable, wash them well before putting on the table.


Chapter 10

Woman on the Road

Long Hair and the Outstretched Thumb

by Liz Dwyer

Don asked me to write an article about women and hitchhiking, but as I began to write, I realized that my experiences are not a whole lot different from a man's. The differences are that women are typically relegated to the passenger's seat. By this I mean that we are not put in charge of things. As nurses, secretaries, bank tellers, cashiers,


swithchboard operators, etc. we carry out orders devised by others. In addition, we are thought to need the protection of a man (against other men). Women who hitchhike dispel both these myths. We make all our own decisions and are solely responsible for our own safety. In so doing, we step out of the background and into the foreground. In essence we grip the steering wheel with our own two hands.

At this point I should say something about safety, however, since fear is what prevents most women from experiencing the freedom and adventure of the hitch.

There are certain uncomfortable situations I have come to expect as a woman on the road. One is the middle-aged man who will caution you against hitchhiking, tell you of its dangers for a woman, and ask if you carry a weapon of some kind--wouldn't it be a good idea--all the while staring absent-mindedly at your breasts. Though annoying, this kind of man is usually harmless. He asks about a weapon from curiosity and not with the intention of hurting you. It's a good idea not to get nervous. Simply answer him honestly and shift topics when you can. Ask him about his job,


if he would ever consider hitchhiking, has he... This can lead to a speel of reminiscing which will give you insight into your driver, and make him, not you, the center of attention.

I really don't understand men's fascination with the problem of sexual harrassment among women hitchers, but I encountered it often enough to expect it and have a ready plan for dealing with it. If you feel uncomfortable with the conversation, simply shift gears. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Two of the easiest ways to protect ourselves begin before even setting foot inside a vehicle. One has to do with dress, the other with accepting or declining rides.

Both of the women I travelled with on my two major expeditions were large-breasted. One always wore a vest to cover her breasts. The other frequently wore overalls o r a woolen workshirt which gave her the appearance of being bulky overall. In general we found it helpful to dress like men, not just to avoid being stared at, but to keep warm and dry.

In addition to unalluring clothing, another way to avoid trouble is to spend a minute or two talking with a


prospective driver. Be sure to ask him where he's going before he asks you. This gives you the option of turning down the ride. Meanwhile, check the car for Playboy pinups, or the smell of liquor. If the drivers seems impatient or weird in any way, feel free to tell him you're waiting for a longer ride. Once you're in the car try to establish a good rapport with your driver early on. Be aware of where the conversation is leading you.

Another way to insure your safety is to travel with an animal. Most folks who'll offer a ride to two women with a German Shepard are on the considerate side to begin with. Travelling with a dog also helped us at night. Whenever strangers came too near our tent, she began barking. We would awaken, briefly, then drift back to sleep, knowing our gear and persons were safe--Princess was standing guard.

There are some problems inherent in travelling with a dog. You may have to wait a bit longer for a ride, but it's worth it. Our biggest problem was riding the busses in San Francisco. Number one, dogs without muzzles are not allowed on any form of mass transit. Number two, dogs don't like


to be muzzled. Princess pawed and whined, but we managed to keep the muzzle on her for the duration of the ride. Another thing that's very important in deciding which animal to bring is how well the dog behaves around people. Princess was a good choice because she is extremely loyal (ie. will not run away, good protector), yet relatively docile and not malicious in the least. She would never hurt anyone, but the fact that she's a Shepard makes most people wary.

On one trip we encountered a pair of truckers who wanted to split us up so that each man could have some company. They became rather insistent but we refused, to the point of telling them to go on without us. Finally one of them assented and we climbed in beside him, together. It was very important to us not to be separated because we felt our ability to defend ourselves would be diminished by doing so. Just as I would never hitchhike alone, I would never separate after flagging a ride.

Another policy we stuck to almost without exception regards getting high with the driver. This may seem overly cautious to many of you. One of the things I enjoy most when hitchhiking


around town is sharing a joint or bottle of beer with a stranger. It establishes a kind of unspoken bond between us, knowing that we both get high. But unless we felt an uncommon trust for a driver on these longer trips, we abstained.

As women we may experience a few more hassles than men do, but being a woman has its advantages, too. We never waited more than two hours for a ride (usually no more than half an hour), though we heard stories of men waiting for four, or even five hours. Free meals are another benefit. The tradition of men treating women to dinner still holds for many people.

You'll encounter people you would otherwise probably never meet. For instance, truckers live in a society of their own. They eat occasionally in restaurants, but most often in truckstops because of the difficulty of parking an 18-wheeler. Many have no family life, or spend days away from home. They rely on the hitchhikers and other truckers for companionship. More than one truck driver told us it was illegal for him to pick us up, but that he was eager to talk with someone he could see about subjects other than truck driving. Truckers see


hitchhikers as adventurers, and many are impressed with women hitchers for having the daring to do it. They want to hear what our adventures have been, what trouble we've had, and how other men treat us. Perhaps they measure themselves against this. Many truckers want to talk about personal matters with someone they'll never see again--and women are traditionally held to be good listeners. They'll talk about other women with you in a less boastful manner than with their men friends. If you're about the same age as their children, they may ask for advice on a problem they're having. One man told us that his grown son had gone on welfare and did nothing all day but smoke pot and listen to rock'n'roll. He asked us what we thought of this, but there was really nothing we could say. More than anything he just wanted to vent his feelings. He thanked us afterwards for being patient with him and bought us lunch. Other people will see similarities between you and their daughters and take an immediate liking to you. One man even took us home to meet his daughter.

It surprised me to meet as diverse a group of people as we did. We took rides from dope addicts and travelling


salesmen, from students, shopkeepers, a young man studying Buddhism, two carpenters, and a fisherman. A surprising number of older people picked us up. In the four to eight hours we spent with each of these people we got a good idea of what life was like for them. It's one of the best ways I know to studv American culture. We discovered our best strategy was to temporarily set aside our own opinions and beliefs and be as open-minded as possible. Our purpose was not to convert anyone to our way of thinking, but to learn how they viewed the world.

In closing, I just want to stress the point that women ought not to deny themselves the opportunity to experience the world through hitching just because they're women. There are many things women may never experience, such as lumberjacking, stock car racing , or playing professional football, just as most men will never experience giving birth or wearing a bikini. Hitchhiking need not be one of these things, particularly if we take steps to protect ourselves. So enjoy yourselves, and keep that long hair flapping in the roadside breeze.

* * * *


I try to dress in a subtle manner. For example, I would never wear a halter top or shorts, and I try to relate to men on a child-adult level; not to say that I act like a child, I just try to act like someone they would be unable to relate to sexually. Anonymous

* * * *

I judge by looks and attitude--I always make the driver, especially if a male, tell me first where he is going. Jean McDermott

* * * *

I am a woman hitching alone from the west and would not on a bet of $100 hitch east of the Rockies. My best luck was from Wenatchee to Missoula, my next best was Taos to Evergreen. Anonymous

* * * *

You will rise with the sun, and probably sleep soon after it's ducked beneath the grey horizon, and the day in between will be filled with adventure. Liz Dwyer

* * * *

When hitching with another woman, two truck drivers tried to split us up, one in each truck. We refused to ride with them. Anonymous


* * * *

Hitchhiking truckstops was OK even though truckers tend to be lonely and sexist and horny, and although bummed about it, they will respect a "no". Anonymous

* * * *

Southern truckers give you more hassle than Yankees. Anonymous

* * * *

Southern truckers seem more polite and less chauvinistic than their northern counterparts. Anonymous

* * * *

A Single Woman Hitching Long Distance

by Sharon Barr

I got a lot of flak from my friends when I told them I was going to hitch back home to Illinois from Montana. The more conservative women were the most discouraging, while those friends who had ventured a bit were more supportive. Before I left town, I spent more time with the people who supported my idea, because they had better ideas about my survival and comfort than the people who thought I was nuts. Instead of just telling me


horror stories and telling me not to do it, they talked with me about things to bring along and situations to beware of. The best thing to carry with you is the strength of your convictions. Any indecisiveness or fear of the experience will sour the trip for you and signal the driver to pursue this weakness. The female hitchhiker must expect sexual advances and be prepared to deal with them. It doesn't help to get upset, just get out if you must. As for self defense, I considered bringing Mace with me, but in a car that could hurt you as much as the other guy, and besides, having a violent thing like Mace with you may bring you violent karma.

Mostly, women will get rides with truckers. There are some things we should be aware of. First, a truck driver's rig is his home. It is just like family to him, especially if he owns his own rig. You should show respect for his truck, and don't climb into the sleeper with your shoes on unless he says it's OK. Truckers often put a lot of money into their rig, and some have customized "tractors" with special engines or body work on them.

Second, most truckstops dislike having hitchers hassling their


customers. If you decide to try to get a ride from a truckstop, be discreet and respect the wishes of the restaurant owner. Many truckers travel in pairs, or form convoys to chat about road conditions, police speed traps, and to keep each other awake. They will stop every so often to eat together and drink coffee. This is a time to find out about other rides. It's not a bad idea to talk over the CB to other truckers, you'll see how they act and you might even get another ride.

First impressions count in hitchhiking. Don't act spaced-out, spineless, or mindless. Show your smarts even if it makes the driver feel a bit dumb. Relating conversationally with stability and security, awareness and intelligence, is very important. I wouldnat suggest drinking, because it will make you tired and vulnerable.

I felt obliged to talk with the drivers who picked me up, they were all lonely or tired. This can be quite tiring, like being a counselor, but you get to see a lot of viewpoints. I always encouraged the drivers to discuss what they knew about the road, since it was winter and the condition of the road was important to both of us.


If you had to choose one word that would answer the question of why violence is rising, what would it be? Reflecting back on a hitch I had in Montana, when I was picked up by a very interesting and intelligent man. We got into a conversation on the exact subject. His question was the same one that I've presented to you here. It's hard, isn't it? Just one word. We came to the conclusion that the answer would be "Communication." By the way, his vocation was that of a privately hired social activist who dealt with mediations between management and unions! He is forced to deal with these problems every day. Communication is lacking in many areas of our society, from government to male/female relationships and education. Communication is also what I feel is essential in stopping violence on the road. The alternative is that females shouldn't hitch, or if so, only with a male! But at this point we cannot deal only with a dichotomy of yes or no, we are dealing with people, and this means variation and freedom of choice. With gas prices on the rise and employment on the decrease, hitchhiking is a realistic transportation alternative for some in our society.


When Things Get Heavy

Rememeber, sexual harassment is a power play. It is used by men who have the unfortunate attitude that all women can be manipulated in this way. It has nothing to do with personal attraction; it is a social trip. Proof of this is that it is almost always used by a male when a female is in a positon of vulnerability, and the implied or real threat that refusal will bring punishment. This same "It's her fault" philosophy applies to law enforcement officers as well. As a west coast detective told a reporter, "most juries these days figure if she had her thumb out, she was asking for it." Men are blaming the female role in society for their oWn sexual hangups or inabilities. Not a single female, all females. The key to remember is that this is a power play. Don't allow yourself to be stereotyped and packaged; the promoter of such thought has experience working with his concept of a female, and if you play along, he has an advantage. Avoid dependency trips; don't let him think you "owe" him anything. Buy your own meals, or at least coffee. Turn demeaning remarks around. "Aren't you glad to get a ride, honey?" "Sure, aren't you glad to have someone to talk with,


bud?" Sexual power trips work only if you let them.


Sexual harassment is my worst problem, especially when alone. Men assume that a single woman hitches in order to find a sexual experience. Road psychology! I begin conversation by saying that someone is expecting me and how anxious I am to see my mother, boyfriend, etc. I talk about religion in order to instill guilt feelings in them if they are thinking of sexual assault, etc. I've developed a good sense of people so that I know pretty much how and when to act like a nice wholesome nun candidate and when to feel free to talk spontaneously. Anonymous

* * * *

If I end up in a vehicle with a jerk, I usually give him a line about just having miscarried or being pregnant and being loyal to the baby's father. That usually settles that, because they don't feel it's a space they can step into...another thing is to blatantly pick your nose and if you're travelling with another woman, offer it to her. She can refuse, saying she's all full up...this usually


grosses out most folks. Chote, Decatur, Ga.

* * * *

Between June first and September twenty-fifth, I hitched over 2000 miles alone. In that period of time I was never picked up by another woman. Basically my hitches were good, and on a few days I was amazed to realize that I had not been sexually threatened even verbally. It was a real treat. I am always cautious and aware of what's happening and would be ready to leave my material plane behind to save my life. Candace Moon

* * * *

Being a woman myself, I look rather harmless, but women never seem to stop. C'mon, women of America, aren't you being liberated? Anonymous

* * * *

I have considered writing magazine articles for women's magazines encouraging women to pick up their sisters on the road. We need to challenge this bad media attitude. Anonymous

* * * *

My worst problem is having to say no during the whole ride to an


obnoxious man coming on to you. Especially when they don't seem to know a refusal when it hits them in the face. The only way to avoid this problem is to pick your rides carefully--still it doesn't always work, so I've found just to relax and remain friendly and get out at a rest stop or coffee break when they really don't expect it, if you really feel threatened. A smile and a friendly conversation can smooth out a refusal a lot better than anger. Anonymous

* * * *

I'm very busy now running a hypnosis training school. Occasionally I hitch to class in my business suit, with suitcase. Still fun. A truck driver threatened me once and sexually attacked me. I used suggestion on him to keep from being raped. Freda Morris, author and hypnotist

* * * *

My best friend was murdered hitchhiking in Maine (shot through the head). It's not all it's cracked up to be. Every woman I've met has put up with sexual harassment (verbal or physical) while hitchhiking. My advice--don't do it alone. B.C. Carroll

* * * *


One result of some longer hitches is that I've become more sensitive to the plight of women in our society. The two causes for this sensitivity are 1) having guys after my ass lets me know how women feel in the same situation, and 2) watching truck drivers' harassment of passers-by. Ted Rock

* * * *

The trend of assault and violence seems to be different in Europe than in the US. In Europe, if you refuse a driver sexual favors, he will more than likely pull over and kick you out of his car. Laura Fernandez

* * * *

My experiences hitching were both frightful and marvelously adventurous. Some of the rides were ordinary, but on the whole, they tended to go from one extreme to the other. I found the majority of people who did pick up my travelling companions or me were out of the norm either for the good or bad, bad referring to people who were very lonely, some dangerously so, if not handled accordingly. The hitchhiker has to be on guard always! Do not hitch in the South if you are a white female with two black males. I was harassed and the police sergeant did in


fact want to sexually enjoy me. I will never again hitch in the States if possible, but I did have some wonderful experiences and met a vast group of interesting people. I don't regret hitching. Kris

* * * *

I have problems finding common interests to talk to drivers about. I'm a lousy conversationalist. I usually resign myself to the fact that the driver will be bored until I get out or on rare occasions I get paranoid about who I'm riding with (despite my years of relative ease in finding safe rides), and lie to the driver that I'm getting out just ahead. Then I spend some time looking at the scenery until I regain my senses. Anonymous

* * * *

I have found that carefully hitchhiking isn't that dangerous at all if you dare to refuse rides and trust your intuition. People are willing to drop you off at the proper location you have to be, and sometimes they even offer you a bed and breakfast. What greyhound bus driver does so? Renate Huisinsveld, Holland

* * * *


Last Tuesday I met a biologist returning home from a trip to the Siskujon Mountains to identify plants, a travelling salesperson of "ladies' intimate apparel", and an artist-turned-truckdriver. Each of them shared her car, and her conversation, for a leg of my journey home. I've hitched a lot in the last two years, although my worried friends repeat gruesome stories they've heard and offer to help pay for bus fare. I consider hitchhiking a series of unusual and enriching encounters with people. I remember moments of intense pathos, a time when fear made my stomach leaden, and an afternoon when song bubbled like a spring from my heart. I recall skipping and laughing, alone one crisp afternoon on a Colorado byway through the towering emerald Rocky Mountains, tinglingly concious that no one on earth knew my whereabouts. Mostly, though, I anticipate these isolated moments of intense understanding between relative strangers. I know hitching's not perfectly safe, and I'll gradually desist. But I'll ask for help less hesitantly, knowing how people respond willingly, and I'll look for opportunities to help, knowing that people seldom ask. Pamela J Allyn


My worst problem is men giving me a ride and thinking I want a screw. I can only explain to the man, I need to hitchhike and don't want to go out with them even if they offer money. Anonymous woman

* * * *

If you're hitching with a guy, it may come in handy to wear a skirt, because then you can stoop to pee without exposing yourself.

* * * *

Survey results

Sexual harassment was reported as a problem by both sexes. Seventy-five percent of all women reported being sexually threatened at one time or another, and thirty women reported this as their worst problem while hitchhiking. Meanwhile, a dozen men complained about getting picked up by homosexuals.


Solutions to both these problems were similar. Five women suggested not hitchhiking alone, and four judged appearances of the driver to avoid trouble. Three women depended on intuition, and one mentioned that this was why she never thumbed while sleepy. Many women mentioned getting out as a way of avoiding trouble. Two women suggested never getting into a car that did not contain a woman, and a woman who was raped at gunpoint strongly recommends never getting in a car that has more than one man. Men, when dealing with homosexual advances, used these strategies: One demanded respect for his non-homosexual views, two started yelling and getting mad if the guy got persistent, and three simply asked to be let out.




Chapter 11

The Thumber and the Law

What are the laws concerning hitchhiking? Hitchhiking laws vary from state to state and even from city to city so much so that an overall discussion is vague at best. For detailed information about the hitchhiking laws in various states, see the States section. Most laws considered to be anti-hitchhiking laws follow the basic form of the Uniform Vehicle Code which states: "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride." Basically this form is to protect the


solicitor as a pedestrian from the oncoming traffic. However, the case by case interpretation of such laws varies greatly with the personality of the people involved. Again specific laws vary greatly as does enforcement. We get everything from police officers waving as they drive by to hitchhikers being ticketed and searched.

Unfortunately, police have traditionally viewed all hitchhikers as criminals. Granted there are folks on the road who are running from their past, but obviously not everyone on the road is a criminal.

"The hitchhiking menace has never been greater than it is today. In offering a ride, the motorist is playing a game which holds a deadly risk for him. The sign of the thumb can well be a sign of impending disaster." J. Edgar Hoover

So there you are, out on the highway, thumbing away and feeling groovy. You see a police car pull up over the hill. He pulls up beside you... What do you do?


The first thing is to be polite and friendly. Answer questions in a pleasant, positive manner. I usually take the "yes,sir" approach. Often the police officer will want to see some photo identification so that he can run a check on you. Without proper identification, you may be held for questioning, especially if any crimes have been committed in the area recently. If you are underage, a letter of approval from your parents may help. There are really no hard and fast rules concerning the rights of the hitchhiker while by the side of the road. Depending on the laws of the state you are in and the rapport you are able or unable to establish with the policeman, you may be searched, ticketed, or detained. If you get the officer mad at you, he may arrest you for vagrancy or some other "catch 22" regulation.

Once you accept a ride from a driver, you are legally a "guest" of that driver. This means that he assumes limited liability for any injuries you acquire while in his vehicle, although the law has been interpreted in various ways in different courts.


This guest relationship ends if the driver refuses to let you out of the vehicle after you ask to be let out. If the driver continues without heeding the hitcher's pleas to stop, the hitchhiker becomes an involuntary passenger under duress, and the driver must assume responsibility.

If you are in a car that is stopped by the police, there are several important things to remember.

1.  The officer is entitled to search the car only if he sees evidence of weapons or contraband, or if you have been placed under arrest.

2.  Police may do a pat search on anyone, but strip-searches must be conducted at the station, and women must be searched by a matron.

3.  It is often a good idea, if you are stopped, for the driver to get out of the car and go back and sit in the patrol car. The officer likes sitting in his car, he may be easier on you, and he is less likely to be probing your ashtray and shining his flashlight on your friends.


4.  If you are arrested, the police must read you your "Miranda Rights" (ie., you have the right to remain silent, etc.)

5.  You may demand the badge number and name of any officer you feel has violated your rights.


I avoid being hassled by people by being cool, calm, and most of all open, adaptable, and reasonable. Basically people don't bother people of their own kind, so I've learned to be many people. To avoid hassles with the police, I always act reasonable and dumb. Tom McMakin

* * * *


The survey indicates that over ten percent of us have been robbed on the road. This unfortunate incident usually occurs when the driver of the auto drives away and leaves you howling on the road without your pack. It's


happened to me twice, so I'll try to share the awareness gained in this painful manner.

One of the best protections against losing anything of value is not to have anything too valuable with you. This reduces the temptation for the kleptomaniac types, and anyone robbing you for your valuables will usually ransack the backpack and leave your clothes and useless stuff by the side of the road. You can carry a $10 bedroll, $6 worth of Thrift Shop clothes, a plastic water bottle, a pot to cook in, and a first aid kit and still not have anything worth stealing. Pack this stuff in a $12 army surplus duffel bag, and you can replace the whole works for $30.

Also, it's a good idea to keep your identification and valuables in separate pockets, and put your money in your shoe, sock, or underwear, or carry traveller's cheques. Consider mailing or UPS-ing larger valuables rather than hitching with them, and never carry irreplacable documents where you can be separated from them.

Maintain an awareness of the relative locations of your backpack and yourself. Are you the last one in the


car? Ooops! If you do put your stuff in the driver's trunk, this is an excellent time to memorize the license plate number and state. Get in the habit of doing this, and the police will be able to track the thief down every time. When you get out of the car to get your stuff out of the trunk, remind the driver where it is and wait for him to get out first. Talk to the driver about his occupation, destination, and name, if you suspect that he may have less than honorable intentions. Be wary if he wishes his identity to remain unknown, or if he is able to get you drunk enough to be clumsy. That is your fault. Some folks ask the driver of the car for money to imply that they have nothing, but this is not any insurance against being ripped off.

A trucker drove off with my pack on my most recent trip to the southeast. He picked me up north of Memphis and told me he could take me into Alabama after he got a load of egg cartons in Memphis. When we arrived at the place where he was to pick up the load, he ate a speeder to get set for the drive and we went in to pick up the load. Unfortunately, the egg cartons weren't going to be ready until midnight. The


trucker called his boss, who told him to get a motel. Well, it was useless for him to consider sleeping in his condition, so after we showered, he headed for the stripper bar across the street. I was tired, so I crashed out in the motel room, with the agreement that he would wake me at midnight when the egg cartons were ready. Like a big dummy, I left my pack in the truck.

I woke up at 7:30 to an empty room, and not hide nor hair of the truckdriver. Damn. I quickly made a couple of calls to the city where he was going, contacted the egg farm, and found out when my "buddy" was getting in. As soon as I hung up, the phone rings. It's the desk, and they want money for those calls. I tell him I'll be down in a minute, knowing that I haven't a cent. The desk clerk tells me that he'll send up some stevedores to collect the money. I say fine, and I put on my hat and sneak out the back, wondering, "What the hell is a stevedore?"

At this time, it was tough to figure out my plan. My pack and all my creature comforts were gone. I had only the thinnest of leads, and the road seemed like a very big place. I remembered what a friend had told me


once, "Strike while the iron is hot." And I decided that if I had a chance at a11 of recovering my stuff, it was by heading down where this fellow was and trying to catch him as he passed through Meridian, Mississippi on his way to deliver the load of eggs he got at the egg farm. I walked out of Memphis, someting I do not recommend, and caught a ride to Jackson, Mississippi, and then across I-20 to Meridian. I spent the night wrapped in 500 mile paper by a tiny fire on a railroad siding. Fortunately, I was able to charge several long distance phone calls to my brother in St. Louis, and I called up the egg farm again and by a great stroke of luck, spoke with the trucker, who was there picking up his load 24 hours late. He agreed to meet me at the Red Hot Truckstop, so I staked the place out, only to see the unmistakable truck fly right by on the interstate.

I was pissed. I called the police, told them what had happened, and they told me to call the highway patrol. The highway patrol told me to talk to the Sheriff, who in turn referred me to a judge, who took a look at my braids and said it was out of his jurisdiciton. I got the message, and called the egg farm one last time, this


time connecting with a sympathetic secretary who broke down and gave me the trucker's boss's name and phone number.

I called the boss up and found out he was upset with the fellow himself. I hitched down to Slidell, Louisiana, where the trucking company was and called up the boss again. This time he gave me the trucker's home phone, and I called him up and told him that I was planning on visiting his home soon if he didn't want to bring me my pack. He sheepishly met me in the truckstop parking lot, four days and three states from our last meeting.




The present status of vagrancy laws in various parts of the United States today is of interest to any traveller, especially those with little or no money. The concept o f a wanderer/ vagrant as a criminal is rooted in medieval common law, when such persons were likely to be runaway serfs. This presumption of latent or probable criminality persists today, and running into an officer who "doesn't like your looks" or finds you "loitering" may be all it takes for an overnight stay in the crowbar hotel.

The power to make and enforce vagrancy laws is assigned to local government in most states, yet several states make particular reference to acts which would "prove" a charge of vagrancy. These include: begging, gambling, fortunetelling, idleness, having "no visible means of support", tresspassing, prostitution, concealing your identity, and wandering the streets at late or unusual hours.

Vagrancy laws are generally aimed at a person's status and lifestyle. Several courts have challenged the constitutionality of statutes which make it a criminal offense to be a


person of certain character or live in a certain way. In the case of Parker vs. Municipal Judge Las Vegas,(83 Nev 214,427 P2d 642), the decision states that it is simply not a crime to be unemployed and without funds in a public place. "To make a status of poverty, rather than conduct, a crime is to violate due process."

While some states, such as Kentucky, Colorado, and New Jersey have abandoned the concept of criminal vagrancy, many more states have laws on the books whether they are enforced or not. In Oklahoma, for example, Gary Lantz writes,

"Vagrancy laws fluctuate with the township or municipality. Most have one on the books. The law is loosely interpreted by local officals; mainly it is a 'catchall' offense when needed. Hikers should be forewarned."

In many states, vagrancy laws were under the jurisdiction of county and municipal governments and the state office refused to comment on them. States which assumed this attitude were: Missouri, Idaho, Nevada, New


Mexico, Wyoming ("it's illegal"), Minnesota, Tennessee, Delaware, Georgia, North and South Dakota, and Virginia.

In the New England states, vagrancy laws are on the books at the state level, probably as a hangover from post-colonial days. In New York, for example, the law states that you may be arrested for loitering if you are sleeping in the bus station and can't explain why you're there. Also, playing a musical instrument with your hat on the floor could get you popped, although this anti-panhandling law is unenforced, especially in the Village.

In Kansas, a vagrant is a person who is not seeking work, loitering in public, soliciting for immoral purposes, or supporting him/herself by begging. A convicted vagrant may be sentenced to under a month in county jail.

In Michigan, a person who begs for money and refuses work offered him is a vagrant and may be asked to leave town.

In Nebraska, the vagrancy laws are such that the only way a person may be arrested for it is if s/he makes a nusiance of her/himself and bothers people for food or money.


Illinois has a law against tresspassing, but no vagrancy laws.

Arkansas prohibits loitering, ie., the creation of alarm or concern for safety of people or property in a public place.

In most cases, vagrancy laws can be proved unconstitutional, as they violate the fourteenth amendment's "due process" clause and because, "(1) it lacks ascertainable standards of guilt, and, (2) it is so vague, imprecise, and indefinite that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application." In any case, the smart hitcher should be able to beat a vagrancy rap by having cash, proof of "permanent address", or by expressing a desire to find work.

Laws as if hitchhikers mattered

In many states, hitchhiking laws today are out of date. These laws reflect the attitudes and needs of people fifty years ago, and should be updated. Yet we are still operating within a society where strangers can be dangerous. The single most important reason people refused to pick up hitchers was fear of their own safety.


This image of the hitchhiker as ax-murderer is the result of statistically few violent incidents and the resulting media coverage, fostered by t he flavor of the unknown the open road provides. The only way out of this stereotype is social awareness, and laws which lend hitchhiking some legitimacy. Since hitchhikers also rated safety as a prime consideration, it is all the more necessary to develop legislation which brings transportation sharing inside the law. Many of the hitchers who filled out the questionnaire had opinions on this matter.


The whole institution of hitchhiking can and should be different. We feel that the highway department should set up ride boards and areas where drivers and riders could meet in a safe, personal manner. This could be done quite easily at existing rest areas, even to the point of issuing hitchhikers some sort of ID card indicating the legitimacy of the holder. This would open up the multitudes of older and more conservative drivers who feel uncomfortable about picking up a hitcher. Also, safe areas to hitchhike should be established, so drivers can


stop safely, even to the point of big highway signs saying that hitchhikers may be found at the next exit, rest area, etc. Jay Janin and Myron Bradman

* * * *

Hitching got hard in the mid-70's compared with the '60's. I hope there is a resurgence nationwide in hitching. I'd like to see designated pickup spots on the highways. Let's form a hitchhiker's lobby! Anonymous

* * * *

Attitudes toward hitching are worsening because of the way the media stresses the violent incidents. The attitude of "help your neighbor" has changed from the time of our parents, since instead of a few cars and many people, now everyone has a car, so it's your tough shit if you don't. Anonymous in Colorado

* * * *

In the peace-and-love days it was easy and exciting to hitch. In these slightly more trying times, where a lot of folks are trying to seal themselves off, it has grown a little harder. I'm thinking of an endearing term--hitchpicker, f' instance-- to


shine some good energy on the driver who gives rides. I'm curious to see how things will be as the price of gas puts less adventuresome people on the road. A friend summed it up by saying, "God bless the lonely driver." Fm Parris Young

* * * *

I hitchhike to give people a chance to do a good deed, to reach out and help someone. Hitchhiking is a first step in attempting to break down social isolation and fear. I like to see how hard/easy it is to get a ride, because it is a good barometer of where America is at. Anonymous

* * * *

I hitch for a few reasons. First, I can't drive, or have a vehicle. Second, I can't usually afford a bus ticket. But the most important reason is, I truly believe that people should share their empty car space with others in need. It's better for the environment (less gas used because of the reduced cars as folks double/triple up) and it keeps roads safe by cutting down on accidents caused by sleepy drivers. To explain the above, I'll tell you what a tired trucker told me at a small hour of the morning when he


picked us up. He said that the reason he picked us up was to stay awake at the wheel. What if he dozed off and hit someone else's vehicle? Besides, it's part of my alternative culture to hitchhike. It's becoming more difficult to hitchhike. There needs to be a positive change in attitudes. Ann Casson

* * * *

I would really like to see hitching as a more feasible way of travelling in the US. However, as a woman, I don't like to hitch in the States because it's too dangerous (rape). I don't pick up hitchers after dusk. Anonymous

* * * *

I hitch because the transportation system in Amerika is very bad. Without a car in Amerika, you are like a dead man. The Greyhound is too expensive, the train is too expensive... Anonymous European

* * * *

Once along the NY Thruway, we were questioned by a cop at a toll booth. He checked our ID'S and told us that he could make us empty our packs, but that he wouldn't. Instead he told us that if we had anything that we wouldn't


want him to find we should go hide it in the bushes while he ran our ID'S through the computer. We had some buttons, so we hid them in the bushes. He came back and said our ID's checked out. He asked us about the adventure of the road, and we had a nice talk. He said that he had to go on down to the next toll area but if we were still there when he got back he would give us a ride. He left and we went back and got the buttons. He was a really nice man. Friendly couple

* * * *

Since many states currently give the police the right to search and ticket people they find hitchhiking, why not change the format of the hitchhiking ticket to a self-adhesive, flourescent tag that the hitchhiker can display while s/he solicits rides? This ticket would indicate to the motorists that the hitchhiker had been checked by the police and was not a wanted criminal, thereby making it safer for the drivers, and probably reducing the waiting time for the hitchhiker. Also, motorists might register as hitchpickers and be given bumper or window stickers to indicate their legitimacy.


I read an article about hitchhiking behind the Iron Curtain, I believe it was in Poland. Hitchers registered with the state, received a hitchhiking license, and bought stamps at an inexpensive rate. When given a ride, the hitcher would give the driver the appropriate quantity of stamps which the driver then used like S&H green stamps. This system provided cheap transportation, reduced paranoia, and gave the drivers some reimbursement. I'd like to see some variation on this theme adopted here in the States, perhaps with hitching stands at ON ramps, tollbooths, or rest areas. Sunshine, Teaneck, NJ

* * * *

I was arrested in Salt Lake City and spent a few days in jail. I was on I-60, I believe, where a few weeks before a hitchhiker was run over and killed by a cop at the same place I was standing. I know this to be true because I heard other people discussing the incident at a party. Anonymous

* * * *

Of course many police officers are friendly and helpful to hitchhikers. Many folks reported that they had had no bad experiences with patrolmen; some mentioned police being very nice.





Chapter 12

Altered States of Transportation

If it has a road, an airfield, or a dock, and is visited by a car, plane, or boat, you can hitch it! Anonymous in Washington

This section contains outlandish hitchhiking tales, humurous essays, and descriptions of other alternative ways of travel besides hitching. Generally altered states refers to the mind-set of the people involved: from bodacious bravery to innovative thinking about travel to being hopelessly twisted.


Here's proof that anything can happen on the road.

A Beginner's Guide to Hitchhiking
by John Alexander

Hitching is very simple once you have mastered the basics. It requires no special equipment, and only a minimum of intellect and physical coordination. With practice you will develop a style and technique of your own, but when starting out it's best to follow this procedure: stand beside the road and stick out your thumb.

There are several theories concerning the evolution of this classic and apparently universal pose. Some experts purport that the thumb points out the desired directioh of travel, as in "that-a-way". Although human beings generally point with their index fingers and not their thumbs, these scholars argue that the thumb is often used to point to oneself, as in "who, me?". They assert that the original gesture was the thumb pointed at the chest, followed by a sweeping movement of the arm to indicate the road, as in "me--go that-a-way."

It's a lovely theory, but it doesn't hold water. Clearly none of


these pedantic scholars have ever been stranded late at night by the side of the road with plenty of time to ruminate on the fact that it is abundantly clear--to anyone who can see you--not only which direction you wish to go, but that you want the ride for yourself and not for your cousin in Cleveland. The thumb expresses a question, not a statement.

Remember to stand beside the road and not in it. You don't have to motion back and forth like some Okie looking to catch a ride out of the Dustbowl on somebody's flatbed...just stand there. Fist loose, thumb approximately parallel to the ground. Smoking is probably not a good idea. Try to look optimistic and make eye contact with drivers.

Dress can be important, since you will often be picked up by people dressed about the same as you are. The only truly indispensable items are shoes. Hitching barefoot can be a unique experience, and is one which the author of this study would rather steal a car than repeat.

Knowing where to stand is an essential understanding of how to stand. Don't install yourself in the


middle of town or in front of a prison. Wherever you are, make sure that there's room for a car to pull over, and that the traffic will be moving slowly enough for drivers to see your friendly, confident face. Inter- sections with stoplights are good. Stand a little beyond the intersection; if you stand in front of it you won't know whether cars are stopping for you or for the light. This can result in embarrassing situations or, worse, missed rides. If someone else should be hitching the same way on the same road, it is proper etiquette for the later arrival to take the down-street position. Research has shown that this rule is widely ignored.

Hitchhiking's only guarantee is that you will meet interesting people. People who pick up hitchers often hitch themselves. They can be helpful in advising you about routes, places to spend the night, and such. People who don't pick up hitchers are no help at all, but they do provide a challenge.

Try reverse psychology. When you see the Mercedes approaching, give the driver a big shit-eating grin as if to say: I know for a fact that you won't stop for me, you bourgeois dog, I'm only sticking out my thumb as a little


joke between the two of us. He or she will pick you up just to prove you wrong. Theoretically. Actually, this method has never worked for the author, but it ought to, eventually.

Planning is very important. The easiest way to keep from getting lost, for example, is to carry a map. To avoid being stranded, plan your trip ahead of time; avoid desolate areas, travel alone during the day, and listen to weather reports. If you're travelling more than a few miles, carry a sign.

The first time you get stranded, you will be surprised by your own resourcefulness in inventing ways to pass the time and convince automobiles to stop. You will learn to use Bad Weather to your advantage, eliciting sympathy from motherly types. You will develop exotic thumb-flourishes, and become fluent in several body languages. You will synthesize complete theories about things like time, space, and motion. And you will still be Stranded. It isn't a whole lot of fun, but most folks prefer five hours stranded to one minute in a car with the wrong person.


Some authorities consider hassles with the law to be a sub-category of the Wrong Person. Hitchhiking is illegal in more places than you think. Few police officers will actually arrest you for it unless they have a good reason, such as suspecting you of another crime or not liking your face. In some areas--particularly the Southern states--representatives of the law may enforce vagrancy statutes with enthusiasm, so it's a good idea to carry cash, if you have it. If confronted, it wouldn't hurt to smile a lot and maybe throw in a few y'alls.

Remember that the interesting things in life all hold a certain risk. There are some Wrong Persons who do not wear uniforms--your basic robber, rapist, psychotic killer. You can tape your money to the inside of your pant leg, and look for missing door handles all day long. You can refuse rides from people obviously under the influence of mind-contracting drugs, and from people with tatoos on their faces, but you cannot avoid the Wrong Person forever. There is one simple rule for what to do when you find yourself in a speeding vehicle with a person or persons who want your money, virginity, or life: Sweat! Because you're in trouble. Good Luck.


* * * *

My best experience while hitching was a hitch from Gallatin Gateway, Montana to Salem, Massachusetts. I hitched with my dog, his dogpack, my pack, a rifle, a tool box, and all kinds of tie-ons. I made the trip in 76 hours. Jack H. Cahn

* * * *

Has anyone out there ever tried hitching with a horse? A fellow that picked me up in Missouri had tried it once, even gotten a ride about 40 miles down the road, said it was no more trouble than regular thumbing. Once he got to the end of his ride, he just hopped on the horse and trotted the last 5 miles to his destination. Looking at the number of horse trailers on the interstate, and the fact that at least half of them have room for another horse, it seems a possible combination of transportation modes that the wise equestrian might pick up on.


I have hitched with a pets a lot. It doesn't seem to matter much. I once


hitched 1500 miles with a goat and didn't have any trouble. I had a pet racoon once and no one could turn me down... Jim Hawn

* * * *

Going to Ann Arbor, two dealers stopped and said, "You can ride but we must warn you we have 200 pounds of weed in the trunk. Your risk is ours." We rode with them as we had been standing 4 hours at night and were cold. Everything was OK but we tried not to look too suspicious to cops along the way. Anonymous couple

* * * *

The terrors of the road
for a hitchhiking
wooden woman

by Sue Morgan

I'd never paid much attention to the dire warnings about women hitchhiking until a friend of mine named Ruby disappeared the day after she began a hitchhiking journey. She headed up to Toronto, Ontario to visit some friends of mine over two months


ago. She hasn't been heard from since. But, Ruby was no ordinary traveller. She was constructed of plywood, painted to faintly resemble her creator (me) and, I hoped, bound for glory.

The day before her departure, a friend of mine from Evergreen, Bob Foster, and I threw a big Bon Voyage party for Ruby and a close buddy of hers named Herman, who was also answering the call of the road but in a westerly direction. The party was complete with champagne toasts, snapshots, and confetti in honor of the two intrepid travellers. Ruby and Herman stood around grinning throughout the festivities and everyone wished them a warm farewell. No one knew when we'd see them again.

The following day, Foster and I drove Ruby and Herman down to the ramps which lead on to the I-70 just outside of Evergreen, amidst more fanfare, hugs, cries of "Good Luck" and a few misty eyes.

Foster and I had come up wit h the idea shortly before Labor Day weekend. Between the two of us, we decided to make two hitchhiking dummies to send off to old friends we hadn't seen recently.


We scrounged up a huge piece of plywood, some paint, hinges, rope and constructed hitchhiking replicas of ourselves. When we'd finished, we decided Ruby and Herman were such lovable characters that they should have a fitting send-off, so we invited some friends over for a farewell celebration.

Since we'd become so attached to them both, we bought plastic pencil cases which we tacked to their backs and filled with self-addressed, stamped post cards so kindly drivers who gave them a lift could send Foster and me news of Ruby's and Herman's whereabouts. We also enclosed journals with a brief description of their life stories, attempted to explain why they were on the road, and invited comments from the drivers who gave our dummies a ride.

The day to launch them arrived. We threw them both in the back of Foster's truck and drove down to I-70. The eastbound and westbound ramps to the I-70 in Evergreen are separated by two miles, so we couldn't keep our eyes on both of them at once, which was a problem.


We set Ruby up amidst astounded looks, honks, and cheers from passing motorists, took more pictures, threw some confetti, gave her some final instructions and then jumped in the truck to watch the reactions for a while. I had gotten slightly carried away with certain portions of Ruby's anatomy; she became quite a buxom little wench. I kept saying, "Well, she'll get more rides that way." Sure enough, while Foster and I were sitting there, three seedy-looking guys in a beatup old car passed Ruby, stopped and tooted at her, signalling that they were going to give her a lift. They waited a few minutes and apparently couldn't figure out why she wasn't running up to the car so they shoved it in reverse. A few feet from Ruby, they realized they'd been trying to pick up a plywood cutout.

Foster and I finally tore ourselves away and zipped down the highway to get Herman on his way. Once we had Herman propped up by the side of the road, I realized I'd forgotten to write the address of Ruby's destination on her back.

Foster and I were roaring back to the eastbound ramp and Ruby when, glancing in the rearview mirror, Foster


noticed we had a policeman on our tail. We began discussing the possibility of getting arrested for littering and had visions of sitting in court while they hauled in Exhibit A...a six-foot wooden dummy. In an attempt to shake the cop, we crossed the bridge and parked in a parking lot where we could watch the policeman and Ruby.

He stopped his patrol car directly in front of her. Then he sat there. He stared, scratched his head, and finally spied us across the road. He pulled out and drove over to where we had parked. I grabbed Foster and said, "Quick, pretend we're necking," so we sat there like two love-struck teenagers with the policeman parked suspiciously behind us. He finally left and as a precaution to make sure the policeman wasn't trying to ambush us, we decided to head back down the highway to check Herman. He had disappeared. Then it was back to where we'd left Ruby and...she was gone. Nowhere to be seen.

The story of Herman's travels unravelled sporadically as the time passed. He had a close call in Granby, Colorado, where he was arrested for illegal hitchhiking by the police. They sent Foster a mug shot of Herman


and in the enclosed letter, mentioned that he had refused to be fingerprinted, so they'd detained him for two days but then set him back on the highway with an admonishment. He also rated a big write-up in the local paper. Some truckdrivers in a Mayflower moving van gave Herman his next lift from Little Rock, Wyoming to Salt Lake City. They sent some snapshots of themselves and Herman standing arm-in-arm beside their van.

Then Herman seemed to go through some rough times and Foster didn't hear from him for ten days. Finally, simultaneously, two post cards arrived announcing that Herman was a TV star! He'd been found face-down in the weeds, but was cleaned up, back on his feet, and had been interviewed by KUTV in Salt Lake City. It's hard to keep a good man down.

Next some Polaroid shots of Herman crossing the Nevada state line arrived, along with pictures of him inside a casino trying to win a jeep and standing next to a fifty foot high cowboy. On the back of the picture of Herman and the cowboy, the sender had written, "Herman finds an old comrade."


The last news Foster received from Herman was that he was twelve miles from his destination when someone put him down on the highway going the wrong way. Word has spread, and some California buddies have started a "Find Hermant" campaign. News of his travels has spread and has been reported by radio and TV stations and newspapers.

In all the fanfare over Herman's marvelous journey, poor old Ruby's plight has been overlooked. She seems to have disappeared into thin air. Someone recently suggested sending out a plywood detective on her trail in an effort to locate her.

Who knows... she may be locked in someone's basement where people are doing unspeakable things to her. Or she may be lying in some field, torn and mutilated, this very minute. Despite her worldly appearance, she was really a babe in the woods.

If anyone has seen a voluptuous five-foot plywood hitchhiker going by the name of Ruby, remember there are a lot of worried people who would like to know if she is still in one piece.

And let this be a lesson to all those free-thumbing damsels out there.


Ruby's unfortunate disappearance is a graphic illustration of why women should be exteremely cautious when hitchhiking, even plywood women.

* * * *

Once I was hitching through North Dakota, and got a ride with these guys late at night. We talked and drank beer until the wee hours. They said they were going to sleep overnight at a friends house out in the country, and they invited me to join them. As it was cold and we were in the middle of nowhere, I agreed. Bright and early I was up and ready to hit the road, but the drivers were hung over and they wanted to sleep in. I went outside and saw that we truly were in the middle of nowhere--dirt roads and no signs of civilization at all. So I wondered, "which way to the highway?" I started walking down the gravel road, not really sure if I was even going the right way. No cars or people in sight, but at least it was a nice sunny day. Then I heard an engine droning in the distant and my hopes picked up. As the noise grew louder I saw it was a roadgrader. Unabashed I hung out my thumb, and lo! the roadgrader stopped. There was no room in the cab for my pack so we tied it on the blade. He


ended up giving me a ride to within a quarter mile of the interstate.




An Open Letter to the
Motoring Public

We thought some of you might be wondering about those strangely immobi1e figures right arm outstretched and mitted thumb aloft, that sometimes hover by the highway. We have the answer. These people are known as hitchhikers. They are standing there showing you the direction to or from town, as the case may be. The proper procedure upon encountering one is to smile and drive on by.

Under no circumstances should you pick these people up. They are freezing. The colder it is, the better they like it. With fortitude, you may be instrumental in helping one of these people achieve his/her dearest aim: frozen feet.

Of course the temptation to pick up a hitchhiker is tremendous--you'd be doing something few others do, which does great things for your feelings of individuality. You'd have company for the ride. You can fantasize that you're the rescue helicopter which would pick up this person were s/he similarly stranded in the bush.


When I have a running vehicle, I am sometimes unable to resist the temptation of picking up a hitchhiker. Although I know it's not the done thing, sometimes they're fun and they help warm the car. Kidding aside, give us a ride, we can help you dig yourself out from under a slide.

Yours truly,
Fascinating and Useful,
Louise Mrozsky

This letter appeared in the Lost Whole Moose Catalogue

* * * *

My buddy Roger hitched the Baja with kayaks. Don't ask me how he did it, but somehow he got a ride from Tiajuana south for himself and two kayaks, and then turned around and thumbed back.


My worst ride happened in Flagstaff, Arizona, when my buddy Bob and I found a crazy guy in a parking lot trying to put mirrors on his van. He was using the butt of a screwdriver like a hammer, pounding wood screws into the side of his van. While I ran over to another hitchhiker to give him a questionnaire, Bob showed the guy how to use a screwdriver the right way and


talked him into giving us a lift out of town.

We end up buzzing east towards Winslow with this guy, and it's easy to see that he really IS nuts. He's saying how everything has a "radiation" shining out of it, and how some of the cigarettes, the ones in the red bucket, were Winslow Marlboros, they had Winslow radiation on them, and the ones in the gray bucket were Flagstaff Marlboros, because they had Flagstaff radiation on them. And he'd given me a pack of cigarettes when I'd gotten in, even though I told him I didn't smoke, and now I realized they were Flagstaff Marlboros, because white men got the Flagstaff Marlboros and Indians got the Winslow Marlboros.

Just out of town, we stopped for an Indian hitchhiker, but the crazy guy wouldn't give him a ride, he just stopped to give the guy three packs of Winslow radiated cigarettes. The Indian was ready to get in, but the crazy guy zooms off and leaves the poor guy out there with no ride and more cigarettes than fingers and toes. On the next ramp, there's another Indian hitchhiking, but the crazy guy drives right past him, shaking his head and saying, "Shit, I can't keep the whole


Indian Nation in smokes by myself, goddamit."

At this point, Bob and I realize the guy really is out of his tree. He tells us he has a full disability for being crazy and that he gets $400 a month from the government. Not bad, we decide. The crazy guy wants to stop for beer, and since he's buying, we let him. As he goes into the store, I shake my head. Who would sell beer to a crazy guy? They sold it to him. Oh, Lord, I thought, what next? Well, the crazy guy hadn't finished his first beer when he started displaying his insanity.

Bob and I both ask to drive, but the crazy guy says he can drive and proves it by gently bumping the nose of the Econoliner into the butt end of a semi filled with lumber. Repeatedly. I say something unprintable about the state of the guy's mental h ealth, and climb into the back of the van and curl up in the fetal position, waiting for the crash. Bob starts yelling at the guy, swearing a blue streak and threatening to perform s terilization surgery on him if he doesn't cease and desist.


So the guy backs off of the truck, and begins to pass it, right in this area where there's big "Men Working" signs. He drives over a row of orange road-cones and crashes into a big bucket-like barricade filled with gravel.

Up ahead, there's surveyors out surveying on the bridge. They look up from their work and see this crazy guy driving towards them in the wrong lane, dragging their barricade. They had just set up their transits, so they didn't want to take them back down, but if they didn't get their transits out of the way, this crazy guy was going to run over them, and they are expensive. And if they don't get out of the way themselves, they'll get run over by the crazy guy. The poor surveyors don't know whether to shit or go blind. They stand there on the bridge, hugging their transits and waving their arms in the air as we zoom by.

Inside the van, things were intense. The radiator had burst when we hit the barricade, and the whole van was full of steam. Bob was cussing violently, describing the horrible forms of castration he had in mind for the crazy guy if he didn't get to drive "Right Now". The crazy guy is all


upset, because the van is still dragging the barricade, so he pulls off. I jump out. The crazy guy jumps out. Bob scoots into the driver's seat and throws the van in reverse. The barricade is freed. We jump in, and I pour the contents of my water bottle into the van's ruptured radiator as we limp into Gallup.

The crazy guy is confused, he doesn't have any cigarettes from Gallup, so he buys us both hamburgers at the DQ (an intergalactic chain started by martians with red saucers and green radiation). I grab my pack and sneak off down the street, glad to get out alive.

As I'm heading down the street, there's an old Indian tramp following me trying to panhandle me. He asks if I have any money, or food, or beer, or cigarettes... Cigarettes! I give him my pack of Flagstaff Marlboros.

* * * *


I heard about a guy who picked up four Mexican guys, each with a giant bag of reefer. He let them ride on the bumper and fenders of his rig. At the trip's destination, they were short one bumper-rider. He had dropped his pot, and then jumped off to retrieve it. Anonymous male

* * * *

Once I got a ride from Florida to Indiana by walking down the road and asking some guys working on their car if they needed help. They did, so I crawled under and rewired their starter. It did and didn't need it, we either had to drive straight through or park on a hill if we stopped. As we got going they wanted wine; three winos they were, one owned the car, one was called Coondick and one had one leg. Winos they were and they needed their wine. I was to drive all the way... through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and through Kentucky on Sunday. No liquor stores open on Sunday, the winos were cranky and had the DT's. Anonymous male

* * * *

Late one night a guy pulled over way down the interstate. I ran up


there and he wasn't offering a ride, he was checking his tires and his load. He only had room in the middle of the front seat--the rest was full. I rode along and he said he was going to Nebraska University to become the roomate of anyone there (through a friend). And do anything for money, including kill. He asked me if I believed he would kill. I had laughed. He held up his hand fully wide, he meant that he had killed five people, and he said so a moment later. When I got out he said that he had only killed four. Bye bye... Anonymous male

* * * *

Here are some humorous answers to some of our survey questions:

Question: How many times have you hitched more than a few miles?

Answer: Only once. See, I had this pair of pants that were way too big for me. I'd walk a ways, and they'd start sliding down, so I'd have to hitch them back up. This kept happening for a four mile hike...

Question: What is your feeling about hitching at night?

Answer: Okay under lights, with


a good warmup band, but only if the emcee knows his stuff.

Question: Have you ever been robbed?

Answer: Hell, yes; have you ever tried to get a condom out of one of those coin- operated machines at truck stops?

Question: How many people are usually in the vehicle that picks you up?

Answer: At least two, after I get in.

Question: Have you ever been threatened with violence?

Answer: Nope, no violence, but a couple of kazoos and a guitar.

Question: Why do you hitch?

Answer: I hitch 'cause I 'aven't bathed.

David Eli Shapiro


Drive Away and Ride Referal Services

While not actually hitching, ride referals and drive away agencies offer alternative transportation to travelers. There are some advantages of ride referals over hitching, and some disavantages.

First of all the advantages:

(1) Fast. If you are in a hurry and you're having troubles getting long rides, a ride referal may be the answer. You can usually find a ride that is going close to wherever you want to go. Usually the rides go straight through.

(2) Safety. You have the chance to get to know the people that you will be travelling with; much more so than when hitching. Most ride referal agencies are very selective about who they let drive their cars, and they have "bad driver" lists on all those people who have given them any hassle in the past.

Now the disadvantages:

(1) Cost. If you are the driver of a "drive away" car you have to put down $80 to $100 as a security deposit before they will let you have the car.


They usually give you the first tank of gas, but other than that you have to pay for gas. Riders should pay part of the gas fare also.

(2) Little leeway. The ride referal agencies that deliver other peoples cars usually have time dead- lines; you have to have the car delivered on or before that day or they contact the F.B.I. reporting the car as stolen. Thus you can't take your time and visit all the things along the way that may interest you, one of the freedoms that I savor most about hitching.

(3) Don't meet as many people. You can of course pick up hitchhikers, but travelling in a drive away car is somewhat like just going for a long ride in your own car. You really don't get a feel for the country, you just pass through it.

There are many different types of ride referal services, and the number is increasing constantly. Basically these services work in roughly the same manner, they match riders going to a certain destination with drivers going to the same or a close destination.


The differences lie in the amount of structure and organization that the various agencies may have. The amount of information that is handled and exchanged by a middle-person between the driver and the rider also varies.

The most basic form of ride referal is the ride board. Most large universities and colleges have ride boards. Some large cities have ride boards sponsored by radio stations or community organizations. Basically, a ride board is a map with various sections of the country marked off. Prospective drivers and riders fill out cards with their names and phone numbers, their destinations and when they plan to leave. The ride board is self-sustaining; no one needs to manage it, as it works by itself.

Another ride service is the ride referral agency. Such agencies perform the same function as the ride board, putting riders in touch with drivers and vice versa. However, ride referral agencies contact a wider range of people as potential riders and drivers. Ride boards are simple, but in order to use them you have to know where they are located and sometimes they can be hard to find. Ride referral agencies, on the other hand, usually advertise in


the yellow pages. (Let your thumb do the walking). Many ride referral agencies are in contact with drive away agencies who have cars going to various parts of the country. One ride referral agency even has information about places to crash, and about people with private planes who are willing to take on riders. These agencies make their money by charging a membership fee in exchange for information about rides. Membership fees range from $5 to $45 depending on how much information you recieve and how long you are a member. Here are two examples of ride referral agencies:

Half Cost Transit 2720 Grove Street Berkeley CA

Half Cost Transit Systems offers a variety of modes for travelling cross country. It offers listings for riders, for drivers, and for people wanting their car driven. One unique service they offer is called the Cheap Heap where a number of riders all wanting to go to the same area all pitch in and buy a cheap (less than $400) car. Then they drive the car to their destination and sell it, splitting up the money. Membership for


six months is $5. This agency operates mainly out of the San Francisco Bay Area, but it will reciprocate with most agencies throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. Membership is transferrable, so you can give someone else your card to use.

Travel-Mate P.O. Box 40303 Portland, Oregon 97240

Refers for rides throughout the US and Canada. Call toll free 800-547-0933. Various membership options. Fifteen dollars for a one-shot membership, twenty-five for six months. They put information into a computer, and over 40,000 people use it annually. For another twenty-five bucks a year, they will supply you with a list of hostels and cheap places to stay. (Ask about the Open Door program). They even have listings of people with private planes who are willing to take passengers to various points around the country.

Drive Away Agencies

Drive-away agencies deliver cars for people who do not want to drive them themselves for whatever reason. They are nationwide corporations with


offices throughout the country. They sign a contract with the owner of the car that they will have the car delivered to whatever destination by a specific date. The car is insured by the Drive-away agency, either directly or indirectly, through the owner's insurance policy. Since they are responsible for the car, these agencies are careful about who they let drive their cars. They require several references, photographs, and fingerprints of all people wanting to be drivers. Also they require approximately $100 for a security deposit. If anything happens to the car, this deposit may be kept. Otherwise, it is refunded to the driver upon safe delivery of the vehicle. If there is an accident the owner's insurance pays, then the drive-away company pays the insurance company. Mechanical breakdowns are billed to the owner of the car. Drivers also sign the contract agreeing to have the car at the destination the certain date. Since these agencies are under jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, any hassles that occur are immediately reported to the F.B.I. (heavy). Some drive-away agencies will refer drivers to riders, athough they are primarily concerned with getting drivers. Some examples of drive away agencies are:


Auto Driveaway Company AAACON Auto Transport Inc. American Auto Shipper Nationwide Auto Transporters American International Driveaway


Hopping a train is another cheap (free) form of alternative transportation. Riding the rails is quite different from hitchhiking, yet in doing it well, as in anything else, one discovers the Zen in it.

How to Hop a Train

First find the train yards (the place where they put together and tear apart trains). Larger cities may have several different lines, each with their own yards.

Once you've found the yard, scout around to see what trains are being put together. Usually you can tell this by the bumping of cars into one another, or by seeing an engine pulling around only 3 or 4 boxcars. Check around until you see a switchman or a brakeman working on the train. Yard workers are generally cool even if the yard bull is not, so just go up and ask them which


train is being put together in the direction you're headed. It's best to ask two or three different workers in case, for whatever reason, they give you the wrong information.

If there are no yard workers, look around for a tower or a building near the tracks. This is usually the caller's or dispatcher's office. Go on in and ask where the board is. The board is a coded listing of where trains are heading and approximately when they will leave. In bigger yards, brakemen and switchmen may carry copies of the board on a clipboard.

How to Read the Board
Thanks, Sparky

It is important to know what it is you are looking at and looking for. The board may consist of headings indicating the direction or destination of the train, or there may just be columns with numbers and names. One column will be the name of the train; this usually consists of a letter or two followed by 2 or 3 numbers. The name of the train indicates to the railroaders where the train originated, where it is bound, and its general direction. Odd numbers go south or west, even numbers go north or east.


Within a district, this numbering system will be the same, but different regions number trains differently. Here are a few examples: DS-11 (Decatur-St. Louis, going south), SM-24 (Seattle-Minneapolis, going east), LA-355, PNY-832. Other variations allow the number to come first, such as: 31-EgE, 44-PuY, etc. These reversed numbers are usually just locals and of little interest to the hobo.

The second column on a board is generally the engine name. These names are usually numbers, four digits long, and one train may have from 2 to 5 engines pulling (not to mention "helper" engines to help trains up a steep stretch of track). Some engines "names" are only three or even two digits long. Most of the time these engines with low numbers are yard engines or switch engines that never leave the yard.

If engines are in their home territory, there will be no letters, just the four digit number. However, locomotives from another company may be prefixed by the initials of the line that owns them. For example: locomotive 5555 in a Southern Pacific district becomes SP5555 in a Burlington


Northern district; similarly locomotive 3177 becomes UP3177 when it's off the Union Pacific tracks.

In the third column is the time and then the names of the crew. The time posted is the time that the crews are called; this is about 20 minutes before the train leaves.

* * * *


Once you've found the train headed in the direction you are, go ahead and scout it out for possible cars to ride in. Open boxcars are the standby. If you have time to be picky, try to get an empty boxcar between two full cars.


An empty boxcar amidst a string of empties gives you the bumpiest ride you can imagine, thus encouraging pickiness. As you check out the boxcar, make sure that the door is securely opened and latched. You don't want to end up locked inside an empty boxcar if the door should slide shut. There are many other types of cars to ride on besides boxcars. Covered hopper cars with the rounded sides (not the square hoppers) are OK. There is a small platform about 8x10 feet on the front and back of such cars, and even a hole to crawl in to get out of the rain or to hide. Hopper cars, even if anpty, ride smoother than boxcars, but you are right above the wheels so it's noisier. Gondola cars (long cars with short--4 ft.--sides) are nice unless the weather isn't. Flatbeds are windy but OK if you've got something to hold on to.

Tips for Hopping Trains

1.  If the air lines on the train brakes aren't hooked up, it's two or three hours before it will be ready to go.

2.  Different areas of the yards (or even separate yards in bigger cities) assemble trains


headed in different directions. Make sure that you're in the right yard.

3.  Ask about "hotshots", trains that have high priority and go faster than "locals". Piggybacks (flatbed cars with semi-trailers on them) are usually hotshots; so are trains full of grain or new automobiles.

4.  Long trains have fewer sidings that can accommodate them, thus they don't stop as often as smaller trains.

5.  When trains are pulling cars off, the cars to be taken off will be at the front of the train. Thus the cars at the rear of the train are headed for the destination farthest away.

6.  Track numbers are counted off starting at the main line. Often you'll hear that a train headed in your direction is being put together on such and such track. The main line is usually located on the edge of the yards. It will have the


shiniest rail and it will go all the way through the yards. Count over from the main line to get the track number you want.

Hopping vs Hitching

Planning your route is more difficult when hopping trains. Trains just don't go everywhere you might want to go, whereas the highways run on forever. Also to change directions on trains, ie. heading eastward then turning to head south, you must know the main crossover sites and yards. Trains only go where the tracks are!

Another difference is timing. Hitching is uncertain--you may wait 10 seconds or 10 hours for that next ride--this is part of its challenge. Trains, on the other hand, run fairly much on schedule, at least within a few hours. Once you're on the train, you know you'll get there, avoiding some places people have waited literally days for a ride while hitching. Another aspect of timing is determining how fast you want/need to get from point A to point B. If you are on well travelled roads and the drivers are at least partially accepting of hitchhikers, then you'll probably make


better time hitching. However, if traffic flow is low or nonexistent, or if you've been stranded fo r too long without a ride, go look for the train yards. If you get on a hotshot, you'll cruise along at 50+ mph.

There are of course risks involved in hopping freights. The main risk is that it is illegal to trespass in all yards as they are the private property of the line that owns them (enforcement of these laws varies greatly). Be on the lookout for the yard "bull" or "dick", the rail company's cop. They can usually be identified by the cars they drive around in the yards, or by the gun they wear. Keep your eyes open and lie low if you spy one, and hope that you saw him before he spotted you. Yard bulls may arrest you for trespassing if you are caught in the yards. Generally they will escort you out of the yards the first time, but if they catch you twice in the same day, they will probably take you downtown to the police. Police may add other charges to the trespassing charge such as vagrancy or loitering. This could mean a few nights in jail, "just to teach you a lesson." Generally speaking, there are more "cool" yards than "hot" yards in the west and south, but always use discretion when you are in the yards.


Also be forewarned that messing with anything on a train--destruction of property, etc.--immediately becomes a federal offense under the Interstate Commerce laws, and thus goes directly to the FBI. There are some rumors about members of organized crime rings sneaking aboard trains loaded with new cars, then proceding to strip the cars of valuable parts and dropping these parts off at a designated spot. So don't ride on a rail car full of new cars.

Another danger is that of injury from the train. Be careful when crossing over trains. Never crawl between the wheels, climb on the ladders. Don't stand on the couplings between cars, as these move when the cars are pulled. Use caution in boarding a moving train, and don't try to hop on a train that is moving too fast or jump on while carrying a heavy pack. Throw the pack on first, then jump on yourself.

Other than these risks, once the train is moving, there are few if any hassles to look out for. The problems of hopping freights are more clear cut and thus perhaps more easily avoided than some of the hassles you encounter hitching. You don't run into many


people when you ride the rails, just yardworkers and hobos. Since you don't see as many people, there is probably less chance of being robbed or assaulted when hopping as opposed to hitching.

In a more esoteric sense, hitching puts you in contact with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Hopping freights is a more solitary adventure... just you and the rumblin' of the rails. You will run into hobos (some prefer to be called tramps, but not bums!) in rail yards or "jungles" near the tracks. Generally hobos will help each other out--sharing food, wine, train and yard information--but when it comes right down to it, it's everyone for him/herself. Some hobos may not want to talk to you or anybody; maybe they're running from something. If you start to hop into a boxcar and there are other hobos in there, be sure to ask if it is OK (hobo etiquette).

Hopping freights seems to compliment hitching very well. If you can't get out of town one way, try the other. You can ride the rails most of the way to your destination, then hitch the highways on in.


Here's some stories about hopping freights:

This one guy got his brand-new, expensive car stalled on the tracks. The engineers see him in his car trying to start as they come over the hill. Then he got out of his car and he's standing on the tracks in front of his car holding his hands up to get them to stop. He sees that them suckers ain't gonna stop, so he jumped out of the way and watched his car get pushed about a quarter mile down the track. It was torn up to shit... Don't worry mister, we saw ya and started stopping a long ways back. (a train going 65 mph may take 2 miles to stop). Sparky

* * * *

I was in Seattle when St. Helens blew her top last May. The ash and mudslides closed all the interstates, so I went down to the rail yards. After asking a few brakemen I got on an eastbound, just as it was pulling out. I hopped on a hopper ca r with the little platform on front. It was a nice ride along the coast then across hay fields and farms, then into the


Cascade range. Beautiful lush mountains... creeks everywhere, waterfalls, moss, ferns, green dense woods all around on both sides of the tracks. It was very peaceful. Then the train pulled on up into the mountains and it got colder. Majestic snowcapped mountains all around, the beauty of nature totally captivated me. At the crest of the mountains, the train entered a tunnel. Train tunnels aren't vented, so the diesel exhaust fumes came right back to me. I tried to sleep, but couldn't. The train just went on and on into the tunnel...into the bowels of the earth. Weird nightmarish thoughts and visions about the train descending into hell, the tunnel still went on and on. My panic heightened, "Where the hell am I?" Finally I see a gray light ahead and my heart races. Ah, daylight! But as my eyes grow accustomed to the light, I see a thick gray haze over everything. The first few people I see have gasmasks on. My paranoia returns and I have visions of the bombs having been dropped, weird energy all around. Then I remember the volcano. No wonder various cultures have recognized volcanos as gods...

Got on into Wenatchee, and had to switch trains. I hung around the yards


asking when the next east bound pulled out. No one seemed to know, so I went in the office. I told them I was heading east, and they told me they'd have a train come in about midnight. One guy pulled me aside and said "If you're heading east, you'd better take one of these." He handed me a cloth dust mask saying, "The ash is pretty bad east of here." In Wenatchee there was about 1/4 inch of ash all over everything; I couldn't imagine it much worse. I went back to the yards and met an old boho. He was heading east, too. We made a fire and chatted until the train pulled in about midnight. We found an empty boxcar and hopped on. The empty was in the middle of a long string of empties, so it really started a bouncin'. About 2 or 3 hours out of Wenatchee, the ash got real bad. It was as thick as snow places it was 5 to 7 inches deep. The train kicked up the ash and it was a blowin' all around in the boxcar so bad that you couldn't see from one end to the other. I had on the dust mask that the worker in Wenatchee gave me, I asked the old boho if he wanted a bandana to filter out the ash. He said, "No, I'm filtering it through my cigarettes." He chain-smoked all night long. We got into Spokane about sunrise, and made up


some coffee. The ash wasn't too bad there, only about 1/2 inch deep. That sure is some volcano, God bless it.


This one kid was crawling between two cars and the train started moving and chopped off both his legs. A policeman came down and tried to write up the brakemen and the engineers as liable, because it was his kid. Shit, they couldn't help it, you can't watoh the whole darn train to see if there is someone underneath it. Sparky

* * * *

You should always be aware of which yards you are in when freighthopping. Once I left Yakima headed for Missoula. The rides were slow, as usual for this part of Washington, and as it got dark I rolled into Pasco and started looking for a train headed east or north. They were making up a freight when I arrived in the yards, and the engineer assured me that it was eastbound. Being suspicious, I then asked a brakeman, who answered, "as eastbound as you can get..." If so I climbed on as the train rolled out of the yards. The train was aimed west, but I figured it would be


turning up north just west of town. No such luck. It was a westbound, since I had been in the westbound yards. I ended up in Yakima, and hopped off to re-hitch the same road I'd covered the day before.

* * * *

Hitching private planes

"I'm waiting at the airstrip outside Billings, Montana. It is a clear, cool, sunny day. This big, green Learjet comes in, so I go up and ask the gentlemen aboard where they are going. It turns out to be the president of the Burlington Northern railroad and some other bigshots on their way to Las Vegas to play golf. They offer to let me ride with them, but I was wanting to go to Seattle instead. Boy, it sure sounded like fun, though."

These are the words of Patti Quill, one of the first people I've met who hitches private planes. I asked her to tell me a bit about plane hitching, and this is the picture she paints:


"Basically, I just wait around the lobby for a plane to come in and refuel. I've only hitched from outside Billings, but it is the same deal here at JB field here in Missoula. I go up to the guy at the desk and ask what the flight schedule is and find out how many pilots have filed flight plans for that day. The guy at the desk will give you the plane number, the pilot's name, and his destination. The best times are on Saturdays and holidays, when the air traffic is the heaviest. Some planes may take off on the spur of the moment, so there might be more flights than are listed on the flight plan. I always try to have on my best appearance. I wear a nice pantsuit and try not to have any luggage except for an overnight bag. Usually there's just a bigshot and a pilot in these private planes, and there's usually three or even six seats."

Another couple told me of the time they hitched a plane. "Jim and I were in a small airfield in New York, and we had our backpacks with us. It was on Christmas break. A plane landed. It was a two-seater with a cargo space behind. I talked with the pilot, who was alone, and he agreed to give us a lift. We rode with him into Pennsylvania, and he dropped us off


just fifteen miles from my parent's house."

Other things which may affect the ability of the pilot and plane to give you a lift concern the physics of flying. Weight considerations are important, especially in the summer, when the warm air fails to provide as much lift. You'll want to know how much you weigh, the weight of your pack, and etc. It will be easier for a pilot to find room for extra weight in the winter than on a hot summer day. Some agencies refer travellers to peaple willing to take passengers on their private plane, and many bush-pilot services exist in Alaska and Canada, but these do cost money.

Boat hopping

My friend Rose and I were thumbing our way through Washington state, taking the backroads to Brewster, where we were planning to meet my friend Debber, who was picking apples at an orchard near there. When we arrived in town and checked the general delivery under my name, we got a map of how to get to the orchard that Debber had left on a postcard. The place was nearly twenty miles away.


A bit discouraged by the prospects of getting a ride on that lonely country road, we slipped into the Cowboy Cafe and commenced to chatting with the locals. Before our eggs and hashbrowns had arrived, we had found a fellow who said he would take us down there for Lhe price of the gasoline, if we would help him get his gear on the boat. Boat? Sure enough, after breakfast we piled his groceries on a dinghy with an outboard and splashed eighteen miles down a lake formed by damming the Columbia River. Our new friend showed us his home, a lovely lifeboat covered with a tarp and equipped with a woodstove and bunks. Then he took us on down the lake to within a quarter mile of the orchard and dropped us off on the road that passed by Debber's trailer.

We don't have a lot of information about how people hitch boats. Crewing on yachts is one popular method of doing this, but it requires some knowledge of sailing and a willingness to obey orders quickly and precisely. Information and "Help Needed" notices may be found on yacht club bulletin boards, and seaside towns usually have at least one such club. Larger cities, such as San Diego, have an entire counter-culture of boaters, with their


own bars, restaurants, and hang-outs. On the east coast, we have a report of one clever fellow who hitched the Inland Waterway from North Carolina to Chesapeake Bay, and one attractive woman brags that she was able to find work crewing yachts from Australia to California. The work is there, the boats are sailing, and you just have to have the desire and ability it takes.

Another fellow tells us he negotiated his way to Hawaii on a freighter by talking to the crews and captains of boats that he unloaded while he worked on the docks in San Francisco. Another fellow advises us to check out the bars in the dock areas for possible jobs or rides on freishters. Good Luck!


The Commuter Connection is a government-backed ride-sharing idea aimed at people who don't want to drive a car to work and dislike public transportation. The program registers drivers and passengers and issues identification cards with a code which shows their destination. They meet at designated sites; passengers flashing their cards to hitch a ride to and from work and drivers displaying their cards


to show where they are going. Pickup points are along established bus routes, allowing unsuccessful "hitchhikers" to use mass transit if need be.

Persons using the system stress the importance of flexibility in their personal schedules as a reason they use this system. This seems strange, since most normal hitchhikers found hitchhiking tough to work a schedule around. Saving money was another factor; people were told they could save $1000 a year by using the system regularly. Yet another reason for drivers using the system was to meet new people, although press releases did not stress this factor.

The program is supported by nearly $80,000 in government funds, and then-President Carter said that 22.5 million gallons of gasoline could be saved each day if every one of the 50 million commuters who drive alone carried one passenger. Magazine and newspaper articles stated that in the Bay area, nearly sixty percent of the cars travelling the Golden Gate carry only one or two people. Ellen Eatough is co-ordinator of the project, and she gets a salary of $20,000 a year.




Chapter 13

Hitchhiking Survey


The stereotype of the hitchhiker as a potential killer by the media seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon. During the Depression and Dustbowl years, times were tough and when people heard rumors of work, off they would go, thumbing or hopping the freights.




In World War I1 the country worked together to conserve on resources that could be used by the military, so carpooling and hitchhiking were again in vogue. The Reader's Digest noted in 1941 that many thumbers were on the road, and made no mention of large numbers of criminals. After the war, the returning soldiers were hitchhiking heroes.

In the fifties, the attitude of the media towards hitchhikers soured as an increase in violent crime on the highway was noticed. The infamous George Cvek, who robbed the houses of the drivers who picked him up, and other roadside criminals led the AAA to start a "thumbs down on hitchhiking" campaign in the mid and late fifties.

During the same months Kerouac was writing On the Road, which has influenced so many thumbers, the Reader's Digest and the Saturday Evening Post were running articles by F.B.I. agents about the dangers of picking up hitchhikers. An editorial in the December 14, 1957 Saturday Evening Post noted, "the catalogue of crimes committed by hitchhikers ranges from rudeness to torture and murder." They went on to admit that, "While the average driver's chances of picking up


a multiple murderer may be fairly remote, he has a pretty good chance of picking up other unsavory characters." During this period, the Reader's Digest ran half a dozen articles about the dangers of picking up strangers. These articles typically had a gruesome story or two where the good guy gets it between the eyes, a shocking if shallow stastistic, and several rules of safety, which always began with, "Never pick up hitchhikers". Typical of these stories is the tale of the newlywed couple who pick up an escaped con. He proceeds to beat them both up and tie them in the trunk of their own car. They are rescued by a policeman who hears their muffled cries for help and stops to investigate.

One oft-repeated statistic comes from Sedgwick County, Kansas, where in 1956, 2 out of 5 hitchhikers on the road one day had criminal records. This ratio has been quoted over and over, in anti-hitchhiking articles for nearly twenty years.

With the beginning of the 60's and the popularity of such writers as Kerouac and Ginsberg, the beat generation took to the road. Many of our survey respondents rate this decade as the "golden age" of vagabonding. As


the average age of hitchhikers dropped, positive literature about hitching began showing up again. In 1966, Janet Graham commented about hitchhiking in an article appearing in Sports Illustrated; she spoke of hitching as, "a sport that requires nerve, ingenuity, endurance, and an unshakable faith that the next ride is just around the corner." She righteously described the upraised thumb as a valid ticket for adventure, and noted that, "the successful hitcher must look either utterly respectable or else surrealistic enough to pique the curiosity of every motorist."

In the early seventies, the age of the hitchhikers remained in the twenties, and the trend of hitcher-related violence shifted from the attacker to the attacked. Again this trend was noted, and exaggerated, by the press to the point where a 1974 article by Frank Thistle stated, "The majority of hitchhikers are teenage girls." One may wonder where Mr. Thistle got his information, since our survey shows only 1 in 4 of all hitchhikers to be women. Yet there was a rash of attacks on female hitchers in the 1972-1974 period, with much attendant posturing by the media.


Articles in magazines repeatedly warned "young girls" against the dangers of the road, and stressed the inability of a woman to physically overcome an assailant. The woman was stereotyped as a helpless, "willing" victim, as this quote demonstrates, "Today the weirdos don't have to stalk anybody. Victims willingly get into their cars. They stand on every street corner, asking to be picked up." Sounds almost like encouragement for the "weirdos", doesn't it? A Newsweek article described hitchhikers as, "the Woodstock generation...armed mostly with trust and innocence" and described college areas as, "the best hunting grounds for the lubricious motorists."

I think that people are influenced by what they read. If pornography is linked with sex crimes, then perhaps bloodthirsty tales of hitchhiking violence should be held responsible for creating an attitude of violence around hitching, and perhaps even with inspiring violence in unstable persons. In a survey conducted on psychology students at the University of Montana by Ed Blumgren, 100% of those surveyed felt the media portrayal of hitchhiking to be "very inaccurate". Sadly, instead of conveying information which might make hitchhiking safer and


easier, the attitude until now has been one of more or less unbending disapproval backed up with scare stories and justified by the "you-had-it-coming" school of thought. This is wrong. Sure, the hitchhiker is taking a risk. The hitchpicker is taking a risk. Better that they both understand these risks and adjust themselves to the real situation than operate in an atmosphere of ignorance and fear.

We need an open forum, a place for the open-minded discussion of alternative transportation and ride- sharing. We need positive legislation to make hitchhiking safer, rather than media campaigns to get people to stop doing it. Lets kill the fleas, not drown a perfectly good dog.

Surely there is room for the creative expansion of unused transportation, a way that the haves and the have-nots of the highway can be brought together in a way that is safe for both. It is for this reason that we started this survey. We wanted to determine the extent of factual evidence for the anti-hitchhiking bias in the media, since we have long travelled unharmed and unafraid.



In January of 1980, Donald and I drew up our first questionnaire and distributed the first thousand copies in our home towns of St. Louis and Missoula. Within two months, we had over a hundred replies and many suggestions for new and improved questions. In April of 1980, we revised the questionnaire to simplify the tabulation by computer and make the questions less ambiguous, and began distribution on a wider scale. Since then, we have distributed over 10,000 questionnaires through friends and by ourselves to every state in the Union and several Canadian prbovinces. We did this by thumbing around, giving the questionnaires to hitchhikers we met on the road, and by passing out questionnaires at places such as the Rainbow Gathering, rock concerts, universities, and various conventions. Over 950 people have responded to the questionnaire to date, and over 750 of these responses have been analyzed by computer.

Here are the questions we asked in our questionnaires:

1.  Which best describes your


party when hitchhiking? one male/ one female/ a couple one male and one female/ 2 males/ 2 females/ 3 or more people/ Your age __ Do you hitch with pets? yes/no Do you hitch with kids? yes/ no/ sometimes

2.  On the average how long do you wait for a ride? less than 15 minutes/ 15-30 min./ 30 min-1 hour/ 1 hour-2 hours/ over 2 hours

3.  How long was your longest wait? ______ When and where was this? _______

4.  Where have you done most of your hitchhiking? ____ How would you rate local attitudes towards hitchhiking? excellent / good/ fair/ poor/ bad

5.  How many times have you hitched more than a few miles? 1-10/ 10-25/25-50/50-100/100+

6.  What is the longest distance you have ever hitched in one trip? 100 miles or less/ 100-500 miles/ 500-1000 miles/ 1000-2000 miles/ over 2000 miles


7.  How long were you on the road? 1 day/ 2-5 days/ 5-10 days/ 1 month/ longer

8.  Have you done most of your hitching: over 5 years ago/ in the last 5 years/ both

9.  Do you display a sign with your destination? Always/ Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

10. Do you think attitudes towards hitchhiking are changing? getting better/ getting worse/ no change

11. What is your feeling towards hitching at night? Doesn't matter/ OK under lights/ only if I must/ Never

12. Do you stay at truckstops asking for rides? Always/ Often / Sometimes / Seldom / Never

13. Do you ever share expenses or driving? Always/ Often / Sometimes / Seldom / Never

14. Do you ever turn down rides? Often/ Sometimes / Seldom / Never Why? ________


15. How many people are usually in the vehicle that picks you up? one/ two/ three/ four+

16. How often do semitruck drivers pick you up? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

Do you ride with them for over five hours? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

17. Are the people who pick you up generous(share food)? Always/ Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

18. Have you eve r been sexually threatened? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Once/ Never

19. Have you ever been sexually assaulted? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Once/ Never

20. Have you ever been threatened with violence? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Once/ Never

21. Has anyone ever actually used violence on you? Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Once/ Never

22. Have you ever been robbed? Often/ Sometimed Seldom/ Once/ Never


23. Have the drivers ever hitched themselves? Always/ Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

24. Have you ever been: warned/ ticketed/ searched/ jailed/ arrested by the cops? When and Where did this happen? ______________

25. Have you ever hopped freight trains? Always/ Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never What railyards would you avoid? ______________

26. Do you contact rides over CB radios? Always/ Often/ Sometimes/ Seldom/ Never

27. What percentage of the drivers do you feel uneasy with? less than 10% / 10-25% / 25-50% / 50-75% / 75-100%

28. Why do you hitch? answer in any form,use back if necessary

29. What is your worst problem when you hitch? How do YOU avoid this problem?

30. On the back list a couple Of routes that you feel are truly


impossible to hitch, and a few that you have found easy or enjoyable.


We gathered the completed questionnaires together in Missoula, then coded the responses into numbers. These numbers were then entered as data onto an input file in the computer at the University of Montana.

Next we used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, an elaborate statistical analysis program put out by McGraw-Hill, to perform mathematical analyses of these results. First of all, this package sorted the answers and gave us percentages of each response. Some of these percentages were interesting by themselves, for instance the percent of women (25%) versus men (54%) who had never been sexually threatened.

Other responses were interesting when they were compared with each other by using the CROSSTABS function. A good example of this is the


relationship between a hitchhikers' gender and the likelihood of riding with a truck driver (75% of women often did) (73% of men never did).

Still other responses were compared to 3 or even 5 other questions through use of factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. An example of this is examining the relationship between the use of a sign and the level of the hitchhiker's experience, which involves analysis of questions 5,6,7,8, and 9.

The results

The survey results are listed question by question, with a brief discussion about the results and what factors may influence the given responses. It may be helpful to refer to pages 265 to 269 for the exact statement of the questions whose answers are listed here.

Question 1

Of the people who completed questionnaires, 60% were single men, 12% were single females, 10% were male-female couples, 5% were two male


pairs, 12% were two female pairs, and only 1% travelled as groups of three or more. The average age of hitchhikers responding to our survey was 24. Most hitchhikers today are single males; women are more likely to travel with someone else rather than travel alone. Travelling with three people isn't much different than hitching with two according to several reports, but with over three people getting rides becomes difficult. Several people reported that hitching with pets was enjoyable both in the sense of pets as companions and as protectors. While one woman bemoaned hitching with kids noting that,"people can be so cold sometimes", other people report hitching with kids to be OK.

Question 2

This question dealt with length of waits between rides. Responses varied from no time at all to over a week until that next car pulled over. Generally it seems that women waited less time for rides than did their male counterparts. We also compared the length of ride wait with the region listed in question 4 to get a regional breakdown of ride waits (see States section).


The average ride waits were as follows: 19% waited less than 15 minutes, 43% waited less than one half hour, 27% waited between a half hour and one hour, 6% waited between one hour and two hours, and 3% waited over two hours.

We also compared length of ride wait to other questions, such as sign usage (question 9) and when the respondee had done most of his/her hitchhiking (question 8). See these questions for more information.

Question 3

This question dealt with the person's longest wait. Some of the waits seem unbelievable (probably seemed so to the waiter, too), days and even up to a week or more. Most of the information from this question was compiled into the subheading Longest Waits and listed under the States section. However we did compile the ten worst places to hitch based on the total number of hours people waited there. Here it is, starting with the worst:

1.  Salt Lake City, Utah

2.  North Ontario


3.  Western Arizona, Eastern California desert

4.  New Jersey Turnpike

5.  West Texas

6.  Northern British Colunbia

7.  Richmond, Virginia

8.  Seattle, Washington heading South

9.  Northern Ohio

10. Nevada

Question 4

The information gathered in this question concerning local attitudes appears in the States section under the regional divisions. This question was combined with question 2 for a regional breakdown in terms of good and bad areas to hitch, based on how long folks waited and what they felt were the local attitudes towards hitchhiking.

Question 5-7

These questions, which dealt with how many times people had hitched and


how far they had gone, were conbined to give an experience quotient. Low scores on all three answers indicated that the respondee was an inexperienced hitchhiker, while high scores on all three answers indicated that the person had much hitching experience (hitched cross country). We found that 28% of the respondees were relatively inexperienced--they had hitched less than 10 times, less than 100 miles and had been on the road just one day. On the other hand 20% of the respondees were very experienced hitchers--they had hitched over 100 times, had travelled over 2000 miles, and had been on the road for over a month. The remaining 52% of the respondees fell in the middle somewhere between these two extremes. The experience quotient was also used to determine if there were some things that more experienced hitchhikers would do that inexperienced hitchhikers would not do, or vice versa. See Question 9.

Question 8

We found that most people who responded to our questionnaire had hitched in the last five years. Of the total respondees, 20% had hitched over 5 years ago, 50% had hitched in the last five years and 30% had hitched both.


We also compared this question with question 2, the average length of ride wait. We found a slight positive correlation between these two questions, which indicates that people waited less time for a ride five years ago or more. This in general may indicate that the 60's and the early 70's were indeed a "golden age" for hitchhikers.

Question 9

Overall, 10% of the respondees always used a sign when they hitched; 22% often used a sign; 29% said that they used a sign sometimes; 17% seldom used a sign; and 20% never used a sign. So as you can see, responses were spread out, the most Common response being that they sometimes used a sign.

We wondered if the spread in sign usage was affected by the experience of the hitchhiker, so we did an analysis of the two and found that 9% of the inexperienced hitchers always used signs as compared to 15% of experienced hitchers who always used a sign. Similarly, 50% of the inexperienced hitchers never used a sign, while only 10% of the experienced hitchers never used a sign. Thus we can conclude that more experienced hitchhikers are more likely to use a sign.


We also compared sign usage with length of ride wait (question 2) to determine how much affect there was in using a sign. We found a slight negative correlation between these two questions, indicating that the more likely you were to use a sign, the shorter time you would probably wait for a ride.

Several different creative slogans for signs were submitted to us:

Please Save Energy Car Poo1 OZ College Names I'm Cold It's Wet I Tell Storiees Help me get outa here Home to Momn ? Last hitchhiker Before Turnpike I Can Sing Hitchhiker Ahead--Drive Slowly I know where the open gas stations are

I once used a sign Escapee when hitching by a state prison. Got a ride With a guy who cracked up when he saw it. Anonymous male in Montana

* * * *


Bound for Glory doesn't get a whole lot of rides. David E1i Shapiro

* * * *

Two women hitching in Oregon were having a tough time getting a ride, so they made up a sign that said Free Kool-Aid. Soon a guy in a van stopped who was just laughing his head off...turns out it was Ken Kesey. Rainbow Sister

* * * *

Question 10

This question dealt with general attitudes about hitchhiking. 18% of the respondees felt that attitudes were getting better; 30% felt that attitudes were getting worse; 42% felt there was no change. We found that answers to this question varied from region to region, perhaps an indicator that some areas had recently had hitchhiker-related crimes.

Question 11

Peoples views about hitchhiking at night varied greatly. Overall, 13% of the respondees said it didn't matter


whether or not it was night; 19% said that it was OK to hitch at night if they were under lights; 52% indicated that they hitched at night "only if I must"; and 13% replied that they never hitched at night.

To determine how much this question was influenced by a person's gender we ran a CROSSTABS between sex and views about night hitching. We found that for single males, 15% didn't mind about hitching at night and only 8% never hitched at night. For single women, however, only 4% said that it didn't matter, and 30% said they never hitched at night. These same figures hold for 2 male and 2 female pairs. For couples, 10% said they didn't mind hitching at night, and 19% said they never did.

The most common response was that folks in general hitch at night only if they must. Women are much less likely to hitch at night, perhaps because of the increased likelihood of assault.

Personally I have gotten some of my longest rides at night. Anyone who is still on the road after dark is probably going a good distance. Some of the tips we recieved about hitching at night are:

Wear reflective stickers


Wear light clothing Flash a flashlight at cars

I often hitch at night. If I find myself in an area that is unlit, I hold my hand in front of the reflector road guides, and move it up and down. To the oncoming car this appears as a flash, signalling them that you're there. Crazy Dave

* * * *

Question 12

It seems that very few hitchers stay at truckstops and ask truckers for rides. Only 5% of the respondees used this technique very much, although by comparing this question to Question 16 it seems that those who do it are samewhat sucessful. Almost half of the respondees had never tried this mode of hitchhiking, and another 35% seldom used it. Here's a report from someone who has used this approach quite sucessfully:

I hitch Philadelphia to the midwest on the turnpikes or I-60 quite often. The service plazas are excellent places to hitch on these roads. I stand near the door of a restaurant with my pack in an unobvious place, and ask people


as they leave if they have room for an extra rider. It's difficult for a cop to even realize I'm hitching this way. However, I was nearly arrested trying to carry out my usual technique at an Illinois Tollway Plaza. Peter Blood

* * * *

Question 13

This question deals with hitchhikers sharing expenses or driving. Overall, 3% of the respondees always shared either expenses or driving, 8% shared them often, 37% sometimes helped out, 31% seldom shared, and 19% had never shared expenses or driving. From peoples' comments, it seens that hitchers were willing to help out if asked. Several people indicated that they were not in a position to help cover expenses, but that they were willing to help drive.

We ran a CROSSTABS between this question and the gender of the respondee, and found that fewer men had never helped cover expenses or driving --15%-- than women who never had--30%. In other Words, men were twice as likely to have helped with driving or expenses than women. This may be because women are less likely to be


asked to help out either financially or with the driving.

Question 14

It seems that most respondees had turned down a ride offer at some time or other. In general, 5% of hitchhikers often turned down rides, 41% sometimes turned them down, 35% seldom refused an offer ride, and 18% had never refused a ride.

The most common reason given for declining a ride offer was "bad vibes" about the driver; followed by "won't ride with a drunk"; the third most common reason for refusal was that "the ride was too short".

We compared responses to this question with the sex of the respondee, and found that single men were much less likely to turn down rides--20% never refused rides, only 3% often turned down rides--than were single women--8% never refused rides, and 9% often did. Similar figure hold for two male pairs as compared to two female pairs. 39% of two male pairs had never turned down rides, and none (0%) often


turned them down; for two women pairs, on the other hand, 10% never declined ride offers, and 11% often refused an offered ride. Statistics for male-female couples fell in the middle. Thus women are more likely to turn down rides than are men. This is probably because women are more often the victims of sexual harrassment, see questions 18 and 19.

Question 15

This question deals with the number of people in the car that stops to offer hitchhikers a lift. By far most hitchpickers are single drivers--75%. Only 2% of hitchpickers have 3 or more people in the car already. There are several possible explanations for this, single drivers get lonely, tired or bored; with only the driver, there is more unused room in the car for hitchhikers to occupy. For more information see the Discussion section.

We again compared answers to this question with the sex of the respondee. We found that 86% of women ride with single drivers, while 76% of men ride with single drivers. This difference may be due to the fact that single drivers view women as less likely to harm them.


Question 16

This question deals with how often hitchhikers get rides with semi-truck drivers. Overall, 11% of the respondees said they often got rides with truckers, 24% mentioned that they Were sometimes picked up by truckers, 40% seldom received rides from truckers, and 25% had never been picked up by a truck driver. The second part of this question assumes that you do get rides with truckers and asks how long such rides were. 35% of the people who got rides with truckers rode With them for over 5 hours. Thus if you do ge t a ride with a trucker, chances are good that it will be a long ride.

An interesting difference appeared When we compared this question with the hitchhiker's sex. For women, 75% often got rides with truckers; for men, on the other hand, only 9% often got rides With truckers, and 73% of men had never ridden with a truck driver. Thus truck drivers seem much more likely to stop for women (especially single women) than for men. This may be based on loneliness, or the fact that truckers view women as less threatening, or it may be 1inked to sexual harrassment. Whatever the cause, women can expect to get rides with truckers.


It may be to your advantage to stop at truckstops and ask for rides. A comparison between this question and question 12 indicates that the more you hitch around truckstops, the more likely you are to get a ride with a trucker (this makes sense).

Here's a story that points out the sex difference in rides with truckers:

We were hitching up to Lolo Pass to go skiing one time, and we were having a tough time getting a ride. There were three of us (all men) travelling together and another guy we met there. Whenever a car came by (which wasn't too often) we'd set up at different locations, since we figured they wouldn't want to pick us all up. After we'd been there a couple of hours, this fat lady wrapped up in a blanket (it was getting colder as the sun went down) walked up. We asked where she was heading, she said "Washington" and walked on down the road. Not 2 minutes later, this semi-truck came by and passed us all up; then when he saw the lady he slammed on his brakes and skidded to a stop on the gravely shoulder. She rode...we got cold. the authors



Question 17

This question concerned the generousity of the hitchpickers. Of all the respondees, 7% felt that the drivers were always generous, 46% said that the drivers were often generous, 39% said that the drivers were generous sometimes, 6% felt that the drivers were seldom generous, and only 2% of hitchhikers feel that the drivers are never generous. There are many reports of hitchpickers bestowing all types of things to the hitchhiker: food, drink, smoke, shelter, dips in their swimming pools, bus tickets home, laundry, and of course a ride on down the highway.

Question 18

This question gets down to the nitty gritty--dealing with how often hitchhikers have been sexually threatened. In general, 2% responded that they had often been sexually threatened, 11% said that they were sometimes threatened, 17% had seldom been threatened, 18% had been sexually threatened once, and 52% had never been sexually threatened. Thus you can see that roughly half of the respondees had been sexually threatened at least once while hitchhiking. You should prepare yourself mentally to deal with such threats before you take to the road.


We compared results across the sexes and got some interesting results. For single men, 54% had never felt sexually threatened, and 17% had been threatened once. For single women, however, only 25% had never been sexually threatened, and 75% had been sexually threatened at least once. For couples (one man and one woman) 56% never felt sexually threatened, and 15% had been threatened once. This is significantly higher than for either single men or single women. For two men hitching together, 79% never felt threatened sexually, and the other 21% had been threatened once. For two women hitching as a pair, 41% never felt sexually threatened, and 29% had been threatened once. In general, it seems that women tend to be sexually threatened at least twice as much as men while hitchhiking. It is also interesting to note that travelling with another person regardless of his/her sex significantly reduces the chances of being sexually threatened.

Question 19

This question deals with actual sexual assault. We divided the questions about sexual threats and actual sexual assaults so that there would be no confusion. We admit that


threats can easily lead into assaults, yet we feel that they are two different categories, and thus we have structured our questions in the way we have.

Overall, 87% of the respondees had never been actually sexually assaulted, another 8% had been sexually assaulted once, and 4% had been assaulted more than once. This shows that almost 90% of hitchhikers have never been sexually assaulted; however, for those that have it was a traumatic experience.

Once again we looked at this question in terms of the sex of the hitchhiker. Of the single men respondees, 90% had never been sexually assaulted, 8% reported that they had been sexually assaulted once. For single women, 84% had never been sexually assaulted, 12% were assaulted once and 4% were assaulted more than once. Couples hitching together (one man, one woman) 81% had never been sexually assaulted, 10% had been assaulted once and 9% were assaulted more than once (one of the highest groups). Of two men pairs, 96% had never been sexual1y assaulted; the remaining 4% had been assaulted once. And for two women travelling together, 69% had never been sexually assaulted, 21% had been assaulted once, and 10% were assaulted more than once.


These results are puzzling. Two women travelling together seem to actually be more likely to be assaulted than a woman travelling alone. One possible explanation for this might be that two women may be more likely to get in a car with more than one person in the car. Women in general suffered significantly more sexual assaults than did their male counterparts. However, these figures may be misleading. Even though we tried to clarify the difference between sexual threat and sexual assault, we received a wide range of descriptions as to what people considered to be sexual assaults. Some people responded that they considered verbal threats to be assault, others mentioned the driver "grabbing at them", and one woman reported that she was raped at gunpoint. This woman went on to advise all women not to get in a car with more than one man in it. It is difficult to determine from these responses how much actual damage the hitchhikers suffered physically and emotionally. It should be reiterated that sexual assault in these responses is not equivalent to rape.

Most of the men who reported sexual assaults described them as homosexual assaults. Two men travelling together were almost never assaulted. Sexual


assault of hitchhikers is serious; we recommend that something be done to make hitchhiking safer for everyone.

Question 20

This question and the following question deal with violent threats and actual incidents of violence, respectively. We recognize that sexual threat and sexual assault is a form of violence, so that there may be a high degree of overlap between these two sets of questions. In asking about violence as separate from sexual violence, we were looking for muggings, robbery, and criminal assault.

Overall, 75% of the respondees were never threatened with violence, 17% had been threatened with violence once, and 8% had been threatened with violence more than once.

Sex of the respondee was again compared with the incidence of violent threats. 74% of the single male respondents were never threatened with violence, 19% had been threatened once, and another 7% had been threatened on more than one occaision. On the other hand, 81% of the single women had never been threatened with violence, and 19% had been threatened once. For couples,


75% had never been threatened with violence, 15% had been threatened once, and 10% had been threatened more than once. For two men hitchhiking together, 84% had never been threatened with violence, 12% had been threatened once, and 4% had been threatened more than once. For two women hitchers, 91% were never violently threatened, 5% were threatened once, and 4% were threatened on more than one occasion.

These results are interesting in that men are threatened with violence more often than women. One reason for this might be that the driver may feel more competitive with another man, and more afraid of him. Another interesting point is that couples were threatened more than single males or single females. This might be due to some weird sort of jealousy trip going on between the driver and the hitchhiking couple. Other than this instance, two people travelling together were less likely to be threatened with violence

Question 21

This question deals with the incidence of actual violent assault. (again there may be some overlapping between sexually violent assaults and


non-sexual violent assaults). In general, 91% of the respondees never experienced violent attacks, 6% of the respondees were violently attacked once, and 3% were violently attacked more than once. Again there were a wide variety of experiences that people considered to be violent assaults: from grabbing at the hitchhiker, to fighting over the steering wheel, to knives and guns.

The gender of the hitchhiker was also compared to this question. For single men, 91% had never been violently attacked, 5% had been attacked once, and 4% had been violently attacked more than once. For single women, 92% had never been violently attacked, and the other 8% had been violently assaulted on one occaision. For couples, 92% have never experienced violence as hitchhikers, 5% were violently attacked once, and 2% were attacked on more than one occasion. For two men hitchhiking as a pair, 88% had never been violently attacked, and 12% had been attacked once. For two women travelling together, 91% had never been violently assaulted, and the remaining 9% had been violently attacked once.


Again it is interesting to note that men are more often violently attacked than women. This may be because women do not push the issue to a physical confrontation as much as men do. Another interesting result is that women seem to stop hitchhiking after a violent encounter, whereas men are more likely to continue hitching.

Question 22

This question asked if the hitchhiker had ever been robbed. 88% of the respondees had never been robbed while hitchhiking; of the renaining 125, 9% had been robbed once, and 3% had been robbed more than once. Most people who were robbed had someone drive off with their pack, as or just after they got out of the car. So keep an eye on your pack.

The correlation between the hitchhiker's sex and the percentage that had been robbed is interesting. 87% of single male hitchhikers had never been robbed, another 10% had been robbed once, and 3% were robbed more than once. For single women, 98% had never been robbed, and the other 2% had been robbed once.


Thus you can see that men are much more likely to be robbed than are women. Similar figures held for two male and two female pairs, although the percentages of both that had never been robbed was higher. For couples, 88% had never been robbed, 10% had been robbed once and 2% had been robbed more than once. This is interesting, it seems that if you travel with another hitchhiker who is of the same sex, the chances of getting robbed are lower, however couples travelling together have about the same chances of being robbed as a single man travelling alone. In general men are robbed more than women, perhaps this is because men travel more at night and turn down fewer rides than do women. Also it may be that someone who would rob a man might be more prone to sexually harass a woman rather than steal from her.

To determine the influence of travelling at night on the incidence of robbery, we compared this question to question 11. We found that 18% of the poeple who travelled at night had been robbed, whereas only 9% of poeple who rarely or never travelled at night had been robbed. This indicates that if you hitch at night your chances of getting robbed are roughly double that of travelling just during the day.


Question 23

It seems that most drivers who pick up hitchhikers (hitchpickers) have hitched themselves. The respondees noted that 98% of the drivers had hitchhiked themselves at one time or another. Of this 988, roughly half (51%) hitched frequently. This corresponds to other studies that have been done on hitchhiking, see the Discussion section.

In comparing this question to the sex of the hitchhiker, we found that women are slightly more likely to be picked up by someone who has never hitchhiked before. This may be because hitchpickers see women as less threatening than men.

Question 24

This question deals with various encounters between hitchhikers and police officers. Overall, 30% of the hitchhikers who filled out questionnaires had never been hassled by police at all. 40% had been warned by police about hitching, 12% had been ticketed for hitchhiking, 13% had been searched while hitchhiking, 3% had been jailed for hitchhiking or other charges that developed while hitchhiking, and


5% had been arrested while hitchhiking. This question was somewhat vague, some people put down that they had been arrested, although not for hitchhiking.

The information gathered from this question was compiled state by state and appears in the States section under the subheading Hitch-Ticketing Hotspots. For further discussion about encounters with police see The Thumber and the Law chapter. Also check the state by state listings under Hitching Law and Comment for a rundown of the state's laws and enforcement policies concerning hitchhiking.

Again, we compared this question to the sex of the hitchhiker. Of the single male hitchhikers, 25% had never been hassled, 35% had been warned by police about hitchhiking, 13% had been ticketed for hitching, 17% had been searched, 4% had been jailed, and 6% had been arrested. For single women hitchhikers 51% had never been hassled by police, 32% had been warned, 11% had been ticketed, 2% had been searched, 2% had been jailed, and 2% had been arrested. Thus you can see that single men are twice as likely to be hassled for hitchhiking by police than are their female counterparts. For couples, the responses were mixed: 40%


had never been hassled by the cops, 34% had been warned, 7% had gotten ticketed, 10% were searched by police while thumbing, 3% were jailed, and 6% were arrested. Thus it seems that travelling with a member of the opposite sex improves a man's chances of not being bothered by the police, while it increases a woman's chances of being bothered (as compared to travelling alone). For two men hitchhiking together, 48% were never bothered by police, 24% had been warned by police about hitchhiking, 8% had been ticketed for thumbing, none had been jailed, and 4% had been arrested. For two women hitchers, 46% were never hassled, 40% had been warned, 3% had been ticketed for ride solititation, 3% had been searched, 5% had been thrown in jail, and 3% had been arrested.

Thus it seems that in general men are more often hassled by police than are women hitchhikers. It is interesting that the percentages of encounters with the police goes down when a man travels with another man or another woman; however, two women travelling together seem to be more hassled by police than do single women hitchers. We do have one report of a woman who was sexually harassed by a police officer in the South.


Question 25

It seems that relatively few hitchhikers have hopped freight trains, 75% of the hitchhikers who filled out questionnaires had never hopped freights. Men were more likely to have had this experience than were women. Many folks travelling with other people (couples, 2 men, 2 women, three or more people) were likely to have ridden the rails.

The second part of this question, comments on railyards, has been compiled and listed in the States section under Trains. For more information about freight hopping, see the section on Hopping Freights under the Altered States of Transportation chapter.

Question 26

This question asked hitchhikers if they had ever gotten rides over CB radios. 78% of the respondees never had, 14% had seldom gotten rides in this way, and 8% had sometimes used this technique successfully. Some folks commented that this technique had worked in getting a ride with truckers.


Question 27

This question is phrased somewhat ambiguously; it asks the hitchhiker what percentage of drivers they felt uneasy with. So we've reworded the responses in terms of the percentages that the hitchhikers did feel comfortable with. In general, 68% of the respondees felt comfortable with over 90% of the drivers; 20% felt comfortable with at least 75% of the drivers; 7% felt comfortable with 50-75% of the drivers; and 2% felt uncomfortable with over 50% of the drivers. In summary, 88% of the hitchhikers felt comfortable with over 75% of the drivers who picked them up.

Once more we compared this question to the gender of the hitchhiker. For single men, 72% felt comfortable with 90% or more of the drivers, 21% felt comfortable with 75-90s of the drivers, and 7% felt comfortable with from 50-75% of the drivers. For single women, 66% felt OK with 90% or more of the drivers, 18% felt comfortable with 75% of the drivers, 15% felt comfortable with 50-755 of the drivers, 12% felt comfortable with 25-50% of the drivers, and 4% felt comfortable with less than 25% of the drivers.


Thus you can see that women tend to feel more uneasy about the driver who stops to pick them up. This is perhaps due to the incidence of sexual harrassment which women hitchhikers receive. The figures for two men hitching together were roughly the same as the figures for one man. The figures for two women travelling together, however were lower than for a single woman, indicating that women travelling together felt uneasy with more of the drivers than women travelling alone. This may have to do with the incidence of sexual assault (see question 19) which is higher for two women than it is for a single woman hitcher. Women in general felt uneasy with more of the drivers who stop to pick them up than did men.


The survey results have been useful in compiling problems that hitchhikers face, and solutions that various people have offered to these problems. Also we feel that the survey is s ignificant in that it is the only study that has been done with emphasis on the hitchhiker. The results, we feel give an accurate overview of the realities


hitchhikers are faced with as they take to the road.

The figures we have obtained can be used to debunk many of the hitchhiking myths that the media has generated. For instance, much of the media coverage of hitchhiking has either portrayed the hitchhiker as a psychotic-killer, or as a victim of horrible mutilations, rape, and other violent crimes. We do not deny that there are such incidents of violence on the road, we agree that the roads should be made safer. However we also recognize that hitchhiking is a necessary form of transportation in these times of economic "recession". Results from the survey indicate that only 5% of the hitchhikers we questioned have ever been arrested by police. This debunks the myth that all hitchhikers are criminals. Other results indicate that roughly 90% of all hitchhikers have never been the victim of sexual assault, violence, or robbery. This shows that the hitchhiker is clearly not "taking their life in their hands" when they take to the road. Indeed these figures are not dramatically, different from just the average person who lives in our society today. We hope that these figures lead to more enlightened media coverage of hitchhiking in the future.


Another interesting finding from the survey is the portrayal of the problems that the typical male hitchhiker must face as compared to the problems that the typical woman hitcher faces.

In general, the main problems women face center around the person who picks them up. Women are much more likely to be sexually harassed and assaulted than men are. Women don't have to wait as long for rides as men, but they turn down more rides if they get "bad vibes" from the driver. The drivers who pick up women hitchhikers tend to be mostly single drivers, and they are more likely not to have hitched themselves (as compared to hitchpickers who pick up men). Women are much more likely to get rides from truckers, and it seems to be beneficial to hang around truckstops asking for rides. You might try this technique if you don't use it already. Generally women should be prepared to deal with hassles that involve the driver.

The problems men are faced with are more of a direct nature. Men wait longer, are robbed more frequently, hassled by the police more, end up hitchhiking at night more, and get fewer rides from truckers. Men are


more often asked to share expenses or driving, more often picked up by persons who have hitched themselves, and usually feel comfortable with everyone who gives them a ride. Men should be prepared for long waits and the unpleasant.

Our findings on comparative ease in ride solicitation for women over men are supported by studies done by Morgan, et al., in 1975, and by Pozmal and Clore in 1973. Morgan noted that women got three times the number of ride offers men got, and Pozmal observed that one in five cars stopped for a woman while only zero to eight percent stopped for a man. In a 1978 study, S.J. Forsyth observed 10.2% of drivers stopped for a male. Baseline and methods in these studies were quite different.

Our statistics on frequency of hitchhiking experience by the drivers are challenged by Crasweller, et al, in 1972, and S.S. Forsyth in 1978. Crasweller noted 34% of drivers had hitched before, while Forsyth observed that 100% of all drivers hitched or had family members who hitched.

Our results concerning "typical" hitchpicker are confirmed by the works


of Pozmal, et al., and Forsyth, who found, respectively, that the hitchpickers were over 90% male and 83 percent alone; and that hitchpickers were 100% male. Campbell (1974) noted that 94% of all hitchpickers were male.

We conducted a supermarket survey at supermarkets and grocery stores in Kalispell, Billings, and Missoula Montanta, Seattle, Washington, Long Beach, California, and Flagstaff, Arizona. We asked anyone who consented to answer these five questions:

1.  Do you hitchhike yourself? (yes, no)

2.  Do you pick up hitchhikers (always, often, sometimes, seldom, never)

3.  Why would you (do you) pickup a hitchhiker?

4.  What would prevent you from picking up a hitchiker?

5.  How would you rate local attitudes toward hitchhiking? (good, fair, poor)

Our findings on appearance, safety, and pity considerations of the drivers are reflected in the chapter on appearance.


Studies made by Campbell, Alcorn (1971), and M.M. Clifford and P. Cleary all discuss the importance of appearances to the hitchhiker. Clifford and Cleary found neatly dressed persons were offered more rides. Alcorn noted that his wait time averaged eleven minutes as a straight and thirty-three minutes as a hipster, and mentioned the different motives of the hitchpickers; hippies got "good vibes" from him, while older, more conservative drivers said he reminded them of sons or their own younger days. His study showed that people are more likely to pick up persons whose appearances agree with their own. Campbell found the long-haired hitchhiker in his study to be more successful at getting rides than his short-haired counterpart.

In summary, it is apparent that the study of hitchhiking is just beginning. Our own results, while extensive, are yet incomplete. The variety of motivations and experiences in hitchhiking have been catalogued but not capped. We present this body of knowledge in the hope that it will lead to further discussion and progression in the area of transportation sharing. We urge our readers to contact us and join us in this forum.




How to use this section

The information gathered in the following pages is described in terms of interest to the hitchhiker. In the section on the environment, we give information on rainfall and temperature statistios and an idea of the ecosystem the land supports. In addition, we have put here comments on the social environment which may affect the hitchhiker, such as drinking laws.

Military base information is supplied so that you may adjust your attitude and appearance, and also to warn thumbers of restricted areas where hikers might be unwelcome.

Universities are good places to find rideboards, and sometimes reasonable food service or overnight accomodations. In addition, like at military bases, there are showers and washing machines available. It may also help in some areas to use the name of a local college or university to attract student drivers, and there is no better place to meet young people than at a college campus.

Prisons and mental hospitals are mentioned because often there are signs prohibiting hitchhiking around these


areas. You might also keep an eye on other hitchhikers who are wearing gray pajamas.

Rest area information may tell you of a place you can sleep at night, a possible spot to hitch from, or a place to wash up.

Most federal land is open to camping for a period of less than two weeks in areas 50 yards or more from roads and trails. In addition, these areas are often undeveloped and support native plant and animal life. The "borrow pits" which the highway department used as a source of fill for overpasses and the like in flatlands are now filled with water and many are stocked with game fish. Since these are frequently in remote spots, they are not fished much and the fishing is good. Enjoy...

Many states have similarly worded hitchhiking laws but differ dramatically in the degree and way in which they are enforced. While some hitchhiking tickets may carry a fine or threat of jail, many are toothless citations issued to scare the hitcher. We try to clarify the local attitude and enforcement position. We urge you to compare laws across state lines,


check out various routes, and try to avoid areas of rigid enforcement.

We have put in as much information as possible about the roads, gathered from the survey results. Some roads are unmentioned; we got no response concerning these roads. Use this information from hundreds of hitchhikers' experiences to plan your route. Do you want to travel quickly, through areas of scenic beauty, or through small towns? Decide what types of adventure you want, and choose the appropriate roads. Here is a quick comparison of Interstates and backroads that may help in your assessment.

Interstate Advantages

1.  Cover more mileage in a shorter time, and usually take longer rides.

2.  More single male drivers, and more need for company on straight, boring roads.

3.  More traffic flow, since they are major routes, and they are always plowed in the winter.


Interstate Disadvantages

1.  The major roads don't go everywhere; the emphasis is on long distance travel, and hitchhiking is illegal on interstates in many states.

2.  Interstates tend to get congested during the holidays with vacationers who won't give rides.

3.  Interstates are often hard to camp by. There is no local color, and all interstates look alike.

Backroad Advantages

1.  You travel right through many towns and can buy the supplies you need easily.

2.  More diverse people are driving the backroads, so you get more of a cross-section of the population.

3.  The scenery is usually nicer, the drivers tend to know the area better, and it's easy to find campsites.


4.  It is rarely, if ever, illegal.

Backroad Disadvantages

1.  Lots of local traffic and commuters who have no need for company.

2.  Low traffic flow, especially at night. Passive hitchhiking is unsuccessful.

3.  Often poor shoulders, nowhere for the drivers to pull over so it is dangerous to walk along the road. More likelihood of getting stranded.

The sections on hitch-ticketing hotspots will pinpoint areas where local ordinances or locally strict enforcement may be a problem for the hitchhiker.

If you study the section on long waits, you may be able to avoid duplicating other hitchhikers' mistakes. A four lane highway is no insurance against getting stranded.

The city information section is sketchy, but hopefully will enable you


to get out of some large cities painlessly. Paul Lieberman is collecting information for a complete description of "How to use the metro to get out of town", and his address is listed in the bibliography.

The trains section gives you a listing of the major train towns and connecting routes. For more precise information, railroad atlases are available and a couple are mentioned in the bibliography. Trains offer a viable means of alternative transportation in many hard-to-hitch areas.

The sections on employment will give you an idea of what jobs are open and when. More precise local information may be obtained at Job Service offices, and government publications describing available agricultural work are listed in the bibliography.

The truckstop listings are merely locations of truckstops which are remote from large settlements and is by no means intended to be complete. Many hitchhikers will welcome knowing of a place where they may grab a cup of coffee and scout out a ride.


For a list of abbreviations, see pg. 636.


General Tips on Canadian Thumbing

Stay on the ramps on the Queen Elizabeth Way as a general rule, although it may be OK to walk along the road in less metropolitan areas. Longer waits and longer rides are to be expected in the west, while shorter waits and rides are the rule in the east.

The proper approach for hitching the Alaskan highway and similar lonely roads is this: stand in the road and hold up both hands in the typical "HALT" gesture. If they aren't going to pick you up, they'll swerve and miss you (probably).

Alberta, British Columbia, and The Yukon

with comments on the Northwest territories

Environment The environment in these provinces is varied; the coastal regions of BC get over 80 inches of rainfall, the inland gets 15 to 20 inches, and the Canadian Rockies around Banff get 35 to 40 inches annually. Alberta generally gets around 15 to 25


inches annually, more in the mountains and less as one heads north. The Yukon gets over 50 inches on the coast, and only 10 to 15 inches inland. Most of the Northwest Territories get under 15 inches a year.

The growing season is short in the NWT, and gets longer in BC and Alberta, where wheat fields dominate the scenery. Along the coast near Vancouver and on Victoria Island, the temperatures remain mellow year round and the "liquid sunshine" that falls constantly has created huge rainforests. For the uninitiated, snow in July may seem a bit chilly; always be prepared for extreme weather in the Canadian Rockies.

The casual attitude about beer one encounters in the States is not the case in these provinces. One cannot buy beer at "quick stop" stores; beer is sold warm and by the dozen by state licensed stores. People thinking of bopping across the border for some Canadian brew may end up driving for hours.The drinking age in BC is 19, and the drinking age in Alberta is 18.

Crown Lands Waterton Lakes National Park borders Montana's Glacier NP. Banff NP is further north into the Rockies of Alberta, and just west


across the border into BC lies Yoho NP and its neighbor Kootenay NP. Yet further west is Glacier NP, with Hwy 1 running through it. Near Edmonton, Alberta, is Elk Island NP. Wood Buffalo NP in northern Alberta is near Ft. Fitzgerald off hwy 63. Kluane NP in the Yukon is off the Alcan Highway near Haines Junction.

Provincial Parks Near Telegraph Creek in BC sets Mt. Edzia PP, just off route 37. Tweedsmuir PP is near Ocean Falls on rte 20. On Victoria Island, there's Strathcona PP, and northeast of Vancouver is Garibaldi PP and Golden Ears PP, called "the Gorge" for its amazing rapids. Wells Gray PP is northeast of Hundred Mile House, and Brown Lake PP is off rt 26 east of Quesnel. There are numerous other provincial parks scattered throughout southern BC.

Military bases: Near Medicine Hat off hwy 884 there's a military experimental range, and by Wainright, off rte 41, there's Wainwright CFB. North of Grand Centre and extending into Saskatchewan is Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range. Vorth of Edmonton is Fort Saskatchewan and an airbase, off rte 15. There's also an airbase in Calgary.


Universities The U of BC is in Vancouver with 19,000 enrolled. The U of Victoria is in Victoria with 5200 students, and Simon Fraser U is in Burnaby with 5000 kids. In Alberta, the U of A in Edmonton boasts 18,000 students, the U of Calgary in Calgary has 10,000, and the U of Lethbridge in Lethbridge has 1000 pupils.

Hitching Law and Comment Hitchhiking is illegal in BC, and Calgary, Alberta has a local ordinance against it. I was never harrassed while hitching at the base of the ramp on the QEW by Vancouver or on the road to Blaine, Washington.

The roads Thumbing is generally thought to be good in BC. Victoria Island is considered the best of hitching by six respondees. Vancouver to Whistler on the Howe Sound Highway is good, lots of stoned drivers according to one report. Around Vancouver we get mixed reports. One student there writes, "People leaving Capilano College or the UBC in Vancouver will pick you up, because they know you're a harmless student like themselves." Three folks report hwy 1 going east is good, but stay on the ramps. Hwy 3 is reported by two folks to be good east of Rosedale. Hwy


99 down to the Delta-Pt. Roberts area is good, a popular beer run on blue Sundays. Hwy 3/395 is reported to be a good route to Spokane from Trail. Route 93/95 from Cranbrook to Radium Hot Springs is reported good, but watch out if you get stuck in Wasa. Multiple reports tell us that it is easier to thumb into the Lake Louise- Banff area than to leave it. Route 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert is reported bad thumbing, but it may help if you are a beautiful girl. We have three reports that the Alaskan highway is hitchable, if you are prepared for the long waits and the weather.

In Alberta, Edmonton is reported tough, but we have good reports from there west to Vancouver on hwy 16 and 5. We have reports of long waits in Alberta on the backroads: four hours here, a day there, a fellow stranded in Cardston for a day. The route 2 from Calgary to Glacier NP in Montana is slow thumbing; "Indians stop, but whites fly by". Route 3 in the northern part of the province is a good road to hitch, several reports of good thumbing in the Banff-Lake Louise area, but also many people tell of hideous waits. One fellow has told us of hitchhiking the Yellowknife highway from Peace River to Yellowknife; he


mentions long waits, and consoled himself by repeating, over and over, that hitching the Yellowknife was something most people only dreamed of.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Two tickets reported from BC, one from Quesnel on rte 97. Two warnings from the QEW, but no reported arrests, searches, or jailings.

Trains Trains offer a viable means of transportation in this area. Vancouver is a main international switching yards, and two people report it as "cool". Lines run south to Blaine and Seattle; other lines head east to Kamloops. In Kamloops there are connections running northeast to Jasper and Edmonton; and east to Calgary. Railyards in BC which are listed as cool are Prince George, North Vancouver, and Squamish BCR north.

In Alberta, Edmonton has connections east to Saskatoon, and south to Calgary. Calgary offers connections east to Moose Jaw, and south to MacLeod. From MacLeod, lines run south to Sandpoint, Idaho (USA) and northeast to MooseJaw. Rail yards reported as cool are in Banff, Lake Louise, and Calgary.


Jobs Apple and pear picking provide jobs in the Okanagan Valley in the fall. In Calgary for spot jobs, or a day's work, check at 112th Street (thanks to Eric Lefever for the tip).

Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Environment Most parts of these two provinces get 15 to 20 inches of rainfall yearly. Lots of wheat farming is done here, especially in the south central section. The growing season gets shorter as you go farther north. Extreme cold and blizzard conditions are not unusual in the winter. The drinking age in Manitoba is 18 and the drinking age in Saskatchewan is 19.

Universities Brandon University in Brandon is the home of 1000 students. The U of Manitoba in Winnipeg has an enrollment of 13,000 folks, and the U of Winnipeg educates 2000 more. In Saskatchewan, the U of Saskatchewan is the biggest school, with 10,000 students at Saskatoon. The University of Regina in Regina has 3300 pupils.

Crown land North of Prince Albert on highway 2 is Prince Albert National Park. Riding Mountain National Park is in Manitoba off of highway 10.


Provincial parks include: Meadow Lake PP on highway 55; Nipawin PP on rte 106 north of the town by the same name; Kenosee PP at the junction of routes 13 and 9; and Duck Mountain PP west on highway 83. In Manitoba, there is another park named Duck Mountain, just across the border. White Shell PP is off of highways 1 and 44; Clear Water PP and Crass River PP both lie north of Pas on highway 10. Turtle Mountain PP is located along the North Dakota border off highway 10. Spruce Woods Provincial Forest is located west of Winnepeg south of highway 1. There is a Provincial Recreation area around Lake Winnepeg.

Hitching Law and Comment We know of no hitchhiking laws in either of these provinces.

The roads We have received mixed reports about thumbing in these provinces, but in general Manitoba seems to be better hitching than Saskatchewan. Canada's central mining country is considered tough to hitch through, but one thumber reports getting a ride with a Mountie when he was stranded. The Yellow Head Highway in Saskatchewan is reported to offer good short rides with farmers. One report that highway 75 linking with


I-29 from Winnipeg to Fargo, North Dakota is good thumbing. Long waits but long rides reported along highway 1 through these two provinces. We have few reports of hitching in these provinces, as most folks seem to get rides right on through them.

Trains Saskatoon lines run to Winnipeg and Regina; The tracks in Regina run east to Winnipeg, and west to Moose Jaw. From Moose Jaw, the lines run south to Portal, on the North Dakota border. In Winnipeg, the tracks run south to Emerson, and then two different lines run east to Thunder Bay, passing through Ft. Francis along the way. From Winnipeg, the CN runs east to Nakina.

Ontario and Quebec

Environment Ontario and Quebec are both cool areas with an average yearly rainfall of 20 to 30 inches on the plains and slightly more (30 to 50 inches) along the St. Lawrence River to the coast. The landscape is dominated by forests of pine, tamarack, and spruce, and dotted with lakes. The drinking age in Quebec is 19, and the drinking age in Ontario is 18.

Crown land Ontario has several national and provincial parks: Quetico PP south


on highway 11 west of Thunder Bay, Pukaskwa NP on Lake Superior, Lake Superior PP south of Wawa, Sibley PP right by Thunder Bay, Killamey PP by Sudbury, and Mississagi PP right nearby. Algonquin PP is a large park between North Bay and Pembroke.

Quebec boasts five provincial parks all along the northwest side of the St. Lawrence River, in addition to La Verendrye PP on route 117, and Laurentide PP north of Quebec on rte 175. North of New Brunswick, highway 32 makes a loop around five provincial parks on the Gaspé penninsula.

The roads We have bad reports on the QEW through Ontario. Thumbers seem to agree that the people who pick them up are not from Ontario, either. The stretch from Perry Sound to Thunder Bay is reported as particularly bad. We get admonitions to avoid Wawa and Sudbury. Highway 11, further north, is suggested as a better route during the tourist season. Route 17 from Sudbury to Ottawa is reported good hitching, and highway 401 is reported good from Toronto to Montreal and worse from Montreal to Quebec. Montreal to Albany, New York on routes 15 and I-87 is said to be a good hitch once you get out of Montreal. Highway 132 on the


Gaspé penninsula is reported good. One hitchhiker reports that it is easier to hitch in Quebec if you speak, or attempt to speak, French.

* * * *

Any trip that starts in Montreal is in trouble. Local highway design goes for elongated, streamlined access ramps with no shoulders and -- six months out of the year -- tidal waves of slush. By contrast, any ride that ends in Montreal is fine; everybody is going downtown.

It's a bitch to hitch entering the US from Canada via Detroit, Michigan. The US customs and immigration officals have tighter assholes than at any other port of entry. Here you need $5000 cash, a letter of credit, a diplomatic passport, and a letter of reference not more than 48 hours old from Interpol.

Every hitchhiker has a treasury of bad memories of northern Ontario, for which you should allot a week. Never let anyone drop you off in Wawa -- so many others have it looks like a hitchhikers' jamboree every summer. John Presant

* * * *


There's an almost famous story among hitchers about the young man who was hitchhiking through Wawa and couldn't get a ride. For thirty days. As he returned again and again to the coffee shop there, he took a shine to the waitress and before he got a ride out of town, they decided to get married.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots Three people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in Ontario. Two of these occured in Toronto, and one in Hamilton. Two folks reported being ticketed in Quebec, and one of these was in Montreal. We also have two reported warnings, one in Toronto, the other in Montreal. Generally, enforcement seems to be tougher in metropolitan areas.

Long waits 30 days in Wawa 3 days in Wawa 36 hours in Toronto 8 hours in Ontario 16 hours in Sudbury 1 day Perry Sound

Trains Thunder Bay has connections northeast to Nakina, and east to Sudbury; Nakina has connections to Winnipeg and east to Quebec, 850 miles


away; another rail runs southeast to Sudbury. Sudbury connects to Sault Ste. Marie, south to Toronto, and east to Ottawa. Toronto's railways run southwest to London, northeast to Ottawa and Monteral. Montreal is a main train town with connections northeast to Quebec and Levi, east to Sherbrooke, south to Newport, Vermont, south to Albany, NY, and southwest to Syracuse, NY. Levi has a rail line which runs out onto the Gaspé penninsula.

* For info on colleges, see pg. 635

The Maritime Provinces Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick

Environment Rainfall on the eastern coastal areas is high. Fifty inches fall annually over much of the area, and over 80 inches drop on parts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The ocean ameliorates the coastal climate, and the population is the densest in Canada. The drinking age in New Bruns- wick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland is 19, and the drinking age on Prince Edward Island is 18.

Military bases Military installations are found in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Chatam, New Brunswick; Argentia, Newfoundland; and Summerside, Prince Edward Island.


Universities There are five schools in Halifax, NS, and the two largest are Dalhousie U with its 7000 students and St. Mary's U with 2200. St. Francis Xavier U in Antigonish has 2100 pupils, and Acadia University in Wolfville has 2700 kids. In New Brunswick, we find the UNB at Frederickton with 5800 students, the U of Moncton in Moncton with 2900, and Mt. Allison in Sackville with 1300 pupils. In Newfoundland, the Memorial U of Newfoundland at St. Johns educates 6000 folks, and on Prince Edward Island, 1300 attend the University at Charlottetown.

The roads We have four reports that hitchhiking in Nova Scotia is good, one report that it's easier to hitch out of Halifax than into it on hwy 1. One thumber comments, "Many friendly folks in Nova Scotia." New Brunswick is said to be fair thumbing along the QEW (called hwy 2 here), by two hitchers. One report that Prince Edward Island is good thumbing, lending support to the comment that, "islands are good places to hitch". Two reports that Newfoundland is good thumbing on the QEW: "scenic, good thumbing", and "fifteen minute waits followed by all the beer you can drink." Only one person reported having trouble hitchhiking in Newfoundland, and he admitted it was unusual.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots: We have no reports of any tickets, warnings, searches, or jailings from these provinces.

Crown lands Kouchibouquac NP is off hwy 11, Fundy NP is off rte 114, and both are in New Brunswick. Nova Scotia boasts Kejimkujik NP south of hwy 8 and Cape Breton Highlands NP (highest point in N.S., 2000 feet). On Prince Edward Island, there's Prince Edward NP along the coast off of hwy 15. In Newfoundland, look for Terra Nova NP off hwy 1.

The United States

We have arranged the states in this section according to region, so that adjoining states are nearby in the text. The table of contents is arran- ged alphabetically. Ninety percent of our survey respondees were from the United States.


Environment America's south sea island tropical paradise/ technology among the palms. The weather here is perennially mellow, with a rainy season to provide contrast. We have no indication of people doing any freight hopping, no news of rest areas, and no unexpected truckstops or long waits. The legal drinking age is 18.


Military bases Honolulu has three military bases: Pearl Harbor Naval Reserve, Hickman AFB, and Ft. Shafer. Two bases near Wahiawa: Schofield Barracks and Wheeler AFB, west of rte 99 on hwy 78 and Barbers Point NAS on Ewa Beach, at the end of hwy 760. Camp H.M. Smith Marine Corps Base is in Halawa Heights, and Kaneohe Bay MCAS is in Kailua.

Universities Two schools in Honolulu, the U of Hawaii with 21,000 students and Chaminade College with 2200. Hawaii Loa College in Kaneohe with 220 students is the only other school on the island of Oahu. On the island of Hawaii, there's the University of Hawaii Hilo College with 1900 students, and last but not least Brigham Young University at Laie with 900 students.

Prisons & Mental Hospitals State prison is in Honolulu, and there's a high security prison at Aiea, Oahu. One mental hospital at Kaneohe on Oahu, another by Hilo on Hawaii.

Federal land Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is off rte 11; on Maui, Haleakala NP is off rte 378. If you get inland, there's less development, fewer people, more mountains and jungle.


Hitching Law and Comment Hawaii antihitchhiking law forbids standing on the highway to solicit rides, business, etc. We have no reports of tickets, arrests , searches, warnings, or anything. Pedestrians are not allowed on controlled access highways.

The roads Generally thumbing is accepted as a means of transportation on the islands. On Maui, the road from Hana to Makena, hwy 31, is reported good hitching. Also, Honokahua to Lahaina on hwy 30 is good thumbing. On the island of Kauai, the west side is reported slow going if you are a haole.

* * * *

A good friend of mine picked up two hitchhikers; with little or no provocation they pulled a gun and forced him to drive to a field to "waste him". My friend wound up running, was shot twice, but managed to hide and survive. This incident took place outside Honolulu. Hawaii can be a violent place. Although such incidents are not common, they do occur. Mark Hughes



Environment Alaska is huge, with wide open wildlands, beautiful seashores, northern lights, Mt. McKinley, and bitter cold. Only a small portion of it can be explored by roads. Winters are severe in the interior, with winter temperatures dropping to -60 degrees for weeks. Along the coast, the climate is ameliorated by the ocean and temperatures are milder. Summer runs from June to August, but spring lingers and fall comes early. Land of the midnight sun, Alaska has grown economically from the discovery of oil. The state has a liberal marijuana law and a legal drinking age of 19.

Military Alaska is next to Russia, hence there are several military installations in the state. There are three in the Anchorage area: Shemya AFB, Elmendorf AFB, and Ft. Richardson. There are two installations in Fairbanks: Eielson AFB and Ft. Johnathan Wainwright. Along the Alaskan coast and on the Aleutians, there are four military air bases and a naval station on Adak Island. There are two Coast Guard bases along the southeastern coast near Ketchikan. Ft. Greeley is located near Big Delta off of highway 2. There is also a military


air base along the western coast north of Point Hope.

Universities The largest school in the state is the University of Alaska at Fairbanks with 4500 students. There are two schools in Anchorage. The larger one is the U of A Anchorage Senior College with 1800 students; the other is Alaska Methodist University with 900. There is a130 a branch of the U of A in Juneau.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals Prisons are located at Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Juneau. The state mental hospital is in Anchorage.

Federal lands Mt. McKinley NP is just off hwy 3. Glacier Bay NM is along the southeastern shore west of Juneau; Katmat NM along the peninsula is home of the Katmat volcano. Tongass NF extends all along the southeastern coast and includes the islands between Yukatat and Ketchikan. Chugach NF extends along the coast from Katalla to Seward, and also Afongnak Island. In the northeastern corner of the state is the Arctic NWR. Additional federal lands are being debated in Congress.

Rest areas Are frequently primitive and hard to find. Camping is OK along many


roads. The alert thumber will bring down bag and bug dope.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride...Pedestrians may solicit from the curb or shoulder off the roadway (as long as it is not) in a manner distracting to the drivers." In addition, there are local ordinances from city to city concerning hitchhiking. The antihitchhiking laws are generally unenforced.

The roads There are no interstates or divided highways in Alaska at this time, except in cities. Three folks report that the Alaskan highway is "good", although waits may be long compared with "lower forty-eight" standards. One hitcher reports that rte 2 from Fairbanks to Whitehorse in the Yukon is tough hitching, especially around Haines Jct. Another reports that Tok Junction, where hwy 1 and 2 intersect is poor thumbing. Two folks report that hwy 3 from Fairbanks to Anchorage is good hitching. Another reports that from Anchorage to Homer on hwy 1 is an easy hitch.

* * * *


Alaska is a nice place to kick back and enjoy the scenery. It was very easy to get a ride out of Fairbanks, but generally the rides were hard to come by and there were lots of hitchers besides me. It was great fun getting to know the other folks and enjoying the scenery. It's impossible to get a ride from Haines Junction heading to Fairbanks or Haines. Lots of RV campers who won't pick you up, and the locals are only going a short distance. Anonymous male

Hitch-ticketing hotspots We received no reports of tickets, warnings, searches, or arrests from Alaskan hitchers.

Long waits 4 hours on the Kenei Peninsula 2 days at Tok Junction 2 days on the Alaskan Highway 8 hours at Delta Junction 1 day at Haines Junction

Trains and Truckstops We have no reports of freighthopping in Alaska. Truckstops are on hwy 1 in Tetlin Junction, another in Gakon on hwy 4, and one in Paxson.



Environment Maine has lots of wide open spaces, much like Canada. There's also lots of neat seashore with 20 foot changes in the depth of the water from high to low tide. There are many lakes upstate. The winters are cold, with an average temperature of 25 degrees, and the summers are mellow, with an average July temperature of 67 degrees. The average yearly rainfall is forty inches. Maine has a legal drinking age of 20 years.

Military Brunswick NAS is off I-95 along the coast. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is located near Portsmouth. Loring AFB up north in Limestone is part of the early warning system, off US 1. There is a Coast Guard Base in Portland, and another in South Harbor.

Universities There are three schools in Portland, the largest is the University of Maine with 8100. Two more are in the Bangor area, the state's largest, the U of M at Orono, has 10,700 students. Waterville boasts two colleges. Colby College is the larger with 1600 students; it's off I-95. The U of M at Presque Isle has a student body of 1400; it's a few miles off of US 1 on Alternate 1. The U of M at


Farmington is on US 2 west of Waterville and has 1900 students. Bates College in Lewiston has 1300 students: it is a few miles off the Maine Turnpike. Bowdoin College is in Brunswick, off I-95 on the coast; 1300 students call it home.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals Prisons are to be found in South Portland, in South Windham, off US 202 west of Portland; and in Thomaston on US 1. Mental hospitals located in Bangor and Augusta, both off I-95.

Federal lands Acadia NP, near Bar Harbor, has hwy 3 running through it. Rachel Carson NWR is near Kennebunk off hwy 9, on the coast. Allagash Wilderness Waterway has private roads that access it, but you need a permit and fee to enter on them. Chamberlain Lake is in the middle, but it sounds like tough hitching. Some of the White Mountain NF overlaps from New Hampshire west of Augusta. Baxter State Park has been hitched, but the people were obviously of a patient nature.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or contributions." Pedestrians are legally excluded from


controlled access highways. Violations may get you fined $50; enforcement has been tough historically, but many folks say Maine is great hitching now.

The roads I-95 to Bangor termed "OK". North of there, things are tough. Things are better as you head south; Portland to Vermont seems to be a nice hitch; we have two reports. US 1 is said to be good thumbing, according to two reports, and it's pretty, too. Baxter State Park has been called a bitch to hitch, and North of Kennebec County is termed grim. Local hitchers use a sign with the name of a nearby town and look "straight".

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Three warnings reported in this state, one on the Maine Pike, one in Bangor on I-95, and one in Portland.

Long waits 4 hours in Baxter State Park 3 hours on I-95 3 hours north of Bangor

Trains Maine Central runs out of Portland south to Boston, north to Augusta, and northeast to Sherbrooke, Quebec. Bangor connects to Van Buren, on the northern tip; to Mattawamkeag, and south to Augusta. Freights


crossing the border are routinely inspected. We have no reports on cool yards.

Truckstops There's one in Blaine, on US 1 south of Presque Isle, and another on I-95 at the US 1 junction by Houlton; also stops in Bangor and Portland.

Jobs Potato harvest happens in September and October in northern e-and-e-57.png Maine. Blueberry raking jobs open up in August and last into September. The best places to look for jobs like this are between Bangor and Calais. Apples ripen in September and October. There are many orchards near Portland.

blueberry rake

New Hampshire

Environment The scenic White Mountains are in the central part of the state, and most of the population is spread


along the southern tip and on the coast. Winters are cold, with an average temperature of 17 to 25 degrees and usually lots of snow for the ski areas. Summers are mild, with temperatures in the high 70's. Average annual rainfall is 42 inches. The people of New Hampshire are proud of their state and rightfully so. The state drinking age is 20.

Military Pease Air Force Base is in Portsmouth off of I-95.

Universities There are three colleges in Manchester. The largest are New Hampshire College with 2100 students, and St. Anselm College with 1800. In Durham, just outside of Portsmouth, is the U of NH with 10,000 students. Dartmouth College in Hanover just off I-91 near the junction with I-89 has 4200 students. The University of New Hampshire Keene State College is located in Keene on hwy 10 and hwy 101; it has 3000 kids. U of NH Plymouth State College in Plymouth has 2900 students and is located on I-93. New England College in Henneker near Concord has 1600 students; it is on US 202. Franconia College is located on I-93.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary, as well as the state mental hospital, is located in Concord.

Federal land White Mountains NF, bisected by I-93, is located in the central portion of the state. It runs the width of the state, from Plymouth to Berlin.

Rest areas Rest areas are modern, and no camping is allowed.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, or guarding the vehicle..." Pedestrians are not excluded from the interstates, so it is OK to walk and hitch along them. Enforcement usually consists of warnings.

The roads I-93 is reported good hitching north to Concord, and good thumbing is reported in the ski areas, especially around Mt. Washington. I-69 is reported good thumbing from Concord into Vermont. US 3 around Nashua is reported bad; one thumber comments, "Nashua city cops are in the nation's top ten toughest". State rte 16 running north and south through the White Mountains and on into Maine is reported nice and scenic by three


hitchers. I-95 is reported to be good hitching through NH, where it's known as the New Hampshire Turnpike. Good hitching also found in the Portsmouth and Durham areas. Three folks said that New Hampshire has good hitchhiking in general. One hitcher says, "New England is a hitcher's paradise if you cue into the college crowd".

Hitch-ticketing hotspots No tickets were reported by people who have hitched through New Hampshire. Seven thumbers did report receiving warnings for hitching here; three of these were in the White Mountains.

Long waits Our longest wait is an hour and a half at an unknown location.

Trains and Truckstops Concord is the place to catch freights in New Hampshire. Canadian Pacific lines run north into Montreal (remember the border checks), north to Newport, Vermont, and south to Boston. Truckstops are found in Portsmouth and Manchester.

Jobs Apple orchards near Manchester ripen from September into October, providing picking jobs.



Environment The land of the Green Mountains, Vermont is one of the three states to attain autonomy before joining the Union, and the people are strongly independent. Vermont's weather is the epitome of the Northlands, with snowy winters and cool summers. Summer temperatures are a mellow 67 degrees on the average, and the winters are cold (avg 18°) and snowy (80 inches of snow commonly falls on northern Vermont). The rains are heaviest in the early summer. There are no military bases in Vermont, and the drinking age is 18.

Universities Three schools in Burlington, off I-89 on Lake Champlain; University of Vermont State Ag College is the largest with a student body of 8600. Bennington boasts two colleges with a total student population of 900. In the Rutland area, there's two schools; the biggie is Castleton State College with 1800 kids. Then there's three schools inside 20 miles of Montpelier: Norwich U. at Northfield with 1100 students, off hwy 12; Goddard in Plainfield, off US 2 with 1900 students, and Middlebury College in Middlebury with 1900 kids, just off US 7. Johnson State College off hwys 15


and 100C has 1300 students. And finally, Lyndenville is home of Lyndon State College and 900 students off I-91.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There's a state hospital in Waterbury just off I-69. State pens are in South Burlington; on US 4 in Woodstock, in St. Johnsbury off US 2, and at St. Albans off I-89.

Federal land Green Mountain NF covers the area east of US 7 from the Massachusetts border to New Haven, and west of the state highway 100. Abundant natural beauty and wild land here, for sure!

Rest areas It Is not illegal to camp in rest areas in Vermont.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand on the highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, business, etc..." The law also authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from the interstate, and seems to be enforced. Although interstate thumbing is faster, it is illegal.

The roads I-91 has two good reports of thumbing. One hitcher says, "Nice folks, and it feels good in the


winter!" I-89 from Concord, New Hampshire is reputedly a fine road to hitch. US 7 is excellent thumbing and great folks, but watch out for Georgia Center. Route 103 is a popular route; we have mixed reports as to how good it is. Two hitchers tell us that it's good thumbing from Maine to Vermont and back, probably on US 4 but we're not sure. Three folks tell us it's good thumbing in Vermont generally, and another fellow highly recommends hitching the Green Mountains.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Five tickets reported from Vermont, one from Georgia Center, another during 1977, and one reported warning. No news of searches or arrests.

Long waits Our longest reported wait in Vermont is an hour and a half at Woodstock.

Trains and Truckstops If you want to take a scenic boxcar ride to Concord, NH, go to Newport, just off I-91 by the Quebec border. All night truckstops are found in Bellows Falls, off I-91, and in Montpelier, off US 2 and I-89.

Jobs Apples ripen from September first to October 30. Lots of orchards located near hwy 7. The many ski resorts may need help in the winter.



Environment From Cape Cod with its whaling folklore and sand dunes, to Boston with its liberal college community, to the rolling hills in western Massachusetts, there is a lot to see and do here. The winters get chilly, with an average January temperature in the low 30's, and summers are just right, the average July temperature staying around 72 degrees. The annual rainfall averages 39 inches. The drinking age is 20.

Military Three installations are in the Boston area: Natick Laboratories in Natick, Hansom AFB in Bedford, and a Naval Air Station in South Weyrnouth. Ft. Devens is located off hwy 2 near Ayer . Westover AFB is located in Chicopee off I-91. There is a military reservation of the Massachusetts Air National Guard on Cape Cod off of US 6 and hwy 28, and a Coast Guard Base at Wood's Hole.

Universities There are 36 schools in the greater Boston area. The largest is Northeastern University with 35,000 students; next is Boston University with 24,000; next is Harvard University in Cambridge with 20,800 kids; then Boston College has 12,700 students, and


Boston State with 10,800. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge boasts 8000 students, and the U of M has 7400 pupils.

There are five schools in the Amherst-Northampton area. The largest is the U of M with 24,700 students. In Worchester, there are seven institutes of higher learning, with a total student population of 16,000. The largest school is Worchester State U with 5200.

There are four colleges in the Springfield area; the total student population is 12,700. Southeastern Massachusetts University in North Dartmouth has 5000 students and is located off of US 6. The University of Lowell has 10,400 students. Bridgewater State College off of hwy 18/28 has 7500 pupils. Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, off of hwy 24 has 7300 kids. In the North Adams area there are two schools with a total population of 4000, a few miles from hwy 2.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are several mental hospitals in the Boston area. One is in Hathorne, another in Medfield, one in North Hampton, one in Tauton, one in Worchester, and one in Westboro off of hwy 135.


Federal land Cape Cod National Seashore on US 6 is on the tip of the Cape. Monomy NWR is on the south peninsula of the Cape. Parker River NWR is along the coast east of Newburyport. There are some nice state parks and ski areas in the central and northern parts of the state.

Rest areas Camping is permitted unless otherwise posted.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Furthermore, the law authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access "faci1ities". However, pedestrians may solicit rides from the shoulder off the roadway. Hitchhiking is generally accepted, but we do have cases of spotty enforcement. Walking along the interstates is generally allowed, as long as you stay well off the travelled portion of the roadway. Enforcement is somewhat tougher along the turnpike.

The roads I-90 is the Massachusetts Turnpike, and although we hear from three folks that it is easy hitching, especially near Cambridge, some people have reported trouble in Boston and on the 'pike, where antihitchhiking laws


seem to be enforced. State hwy 2 is apparently a popular alternative for thumbers; four people suggest it rather than the turnpike. Watch out near Amhearst, and especially near Greenfield, where conditions are worst. I-95 is a much-used route to the Big Apple and down to Maine; two folks think it's the tops. I-93 north to Concord, New Hampshire is reported good hitching; experience says it's best to connect with I-89 to Vermont. We have no news on I-91, except that it's good heading south from around Northampton.

Backroads are generally good in Massachusetts, and it does help to use a sign. US 7 / US 20 from Stockbridge to Pittsfield is reported good thumbing. One report that hwy 27 around the Boston megapolis is good hitching, also hwy 25 / I-495 from the hwys 24/25 junction out towards the Cape. The hitch from Boston to the Cape is a popular one; one person suggests that rte 3A is good thumbing, but US 6 seems more travelled. Route 9 is said to be good thumbing across the state, slower in the "reservoir district" than anywhere else. A single report that rte 140 from Attleboro to Milford is easy and enjoyable. If you're thumbing around Boston, avoid Massachusetts Avenue and Huron Avenue on the way to Cambridge.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots Eight warnings reported in Massachusetts; one on I-95, one on I-81, and one in Boston. No tickets reported, but two folks tell of being searched, and one person was arrested for thumbing on the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1972.

Long waits 2 hours on the Mass Pike outside Boston 3 hours on rte 91 2 hours by Greenfield

City tips To get out of Boston headed north on I-95, take the Orange Subway Line to Sullivan Square, and you're within a block and a half of the interstate.

Trains and Truckstops Boston is, the major train town, with connections to Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, RI; Albany, NY; Concord, NH; and Portland, Maine. All night truckstops are found just off the Mass Pike in West Stockbridge, and on US 1 near Wrentham.

Jobs Resort work may be found in the spring on the Cape.

To get out of Boston, see pg 633.



Environment Most of the people live in the Hartford area or along the southern coast towards New York City. Much of the rest of the state is surprisingly rural, yet there are no federal lands. Some of the northeastern coastal towns are rich in culture and history. Summer temperatures average in the 70's, winter temperatures in the 30's, and annual rainfall averages 39 inches, much of which falls in the spring. The legal drinking age in Connecticut is 18 years for 3.2% beer and 19 years for everything else.

Military New London Submarine base is near Groton, home of the notorious Trident Submarine. The US Coast Guard Academy is in New London.

Universities Three schools are in New Haven. Southern Connecticut State College with 12,500 students, and Yale U. with 9700 are the largest. There are four in the Hartford- West Hartford area, the largest being the University of West Hartford with 8600 kids. Central Connecticut State College in New Britan has 13,200 students. The U of C in Storrs, off hwy 195 east of Hartford, has 22,700 folks learning there. Western Connecticut State


College in Danbury, off I-84, has 5100 students. There are two colleges in New London, off I-95, with a total s tudent population of 3000. The U of New Haven in West Haven has 5800 kids, and Fairfield U in Fairfield has 4900.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are four main mental hospitals: one in Newington, off I-91; another in Middleton, off I-91; one in Farmington, off hwy 10; and one in Norwich, off hwy 165 and rte 12. There is a federal penitentiary in Danbury for intermediate term adults, and four state prisons, the locations of which are unknown to us.

Rest areas Camping is permitted for one night in Connecticut rest areas. Many have been closed because of the high incidence of crime there.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". This is enforced and can result in a fine of up to $10, but hitchhikers are usually warned first. (A kind of "trial by traffic"-- if you get a ride before the cop comes back to give you a ticket, you win!) During the early '70's, a police crackdown on hitchhiking resulted in many tickets, but things have cooled off now. Hitching and walking along the interstates is


generally accepted, but in some areas it may be suicidal due to the poor condition of the shoulders.

The roads I-95 is a good road along the coast; three people report that hitching is good although the section which is the Connecticut Turnpike may be slower for rides. I-84 to Hartford and I-86 on up to the Mass Pike are reported good. Also, this route is used by truckers heading west from Boston to avoid tolls and get to the junction with I-80 in New York.

One thumber says Connecticut in general is good, and two reports of good thumbing on backroads in the state. One report that US 7 from Danbury to Norwalk is good hitching (did it at night). Route 2 from Hartford to Rhode Island is called bad, and rte 44 from NYC to Connecticut is rated "poor".

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Six hitchers were warned about thumbing in Connecticut. Three people reported having been ticketed, and one search and one arrest (in 1970) are known to have occurred. Our single long wait in the state occurred in 1973 on US 7. It was just two hours.


Trains and Truckstops We have no reports of freighthopping in this state. All night truckstops are frequent, but the one obscure one we know of is on I-95 north of Stonington.

Rhode Island

Environment Smaller than some California counties and Texas ranches, this little state has no federal land but several state parks. The winter temperature averages in the 30's, the summer temperature is in the 70's, and the annual rainfall is 48 inches. We have not heard of anyone hopping freights in lil' Rhodie, and we don't know the condition of the rest areas-- are there any?-- but we do know the legal drinking age is 20.

Military Newport Naval Base is on Aquidneck Island.

Universities The biggie is the University of Rhode Island in Kingston with 11,000 students. There are six


schools in Providence. The largest is Rhode Island College with 4000 kids, followed by Brown U with 6800, Johnson and Wales with 6000, Providence College with 5100, and Salve Regina College on the coast, off hwy 138, with 1200 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state mental hospital is located in Cranston, just outside Providence.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". The law specifically forbids pedestrians along controlled access facilities such as interstates. There are large "No hitchhiking allowed" signs all along the interstates. One report of successful hitchhiking right beside one such sign. Enforcement is tougher in Providence, do stay on the ramps. Generally any potential hassle can be avoided by simply waiting for a ride right on through the state.

The roads One report that Rhode Island in general is slow hitching. One report of I-95 being slow but hitchable from Connecticut to Providence, another report that Providence itself is nasty to get out of. One report that I-95 is decent once you get out of Providence.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots One ticket reported in Rhode Island somewhere.

Long waits

2 hours wait on I-95 heading east to Providence

3 hours getting out of Providence

New York

Environment New York is a large state, and its terrain and people are diverse. Temperatures in the summer range from averages in the high 80's in the coastal areas to the 60's in the Adirondacks. In the winter the southern part of the state averages from 30 to 40 degrees, while the Lake Placid area receives enough snow to and low temperatures to be a popular winter sports area. New York City dominates the social environment in a state where the legal drinking age is 18.

Military The Buffalo Coast Guard Base is in Buffalo, Ft. Hamilton and New York NS are in NYC, and Griffiss AFB is in Rome. Plattsburg AFB is in Plattsburg, the Waterlivet Arsenal is in Waterlivet, the US Military Academy is in West Point, and Camp Drum Military Reservation is off I-81 northeast of Watertown.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are 33 penal facilities in New York; we will only list the 7 major units, as they are the only ones likely to influence hitchhiking significantly. They are: Attica, on hwy 98 east Of Buffalo; Auburn, on US 20 west of Syracuse; Clinton, in Dannemora east of I-87 north on hwy 374; Great Meadow, in Comstock on US 4 by Lake George; in Elmira, on hwy 17; and Downstate in Fishkill and Creenhaven in Stormville, both near I-84 and the Connecticut border. Mental hospitals are so frequent and insignificant that we have decided it is useless to mention them.

Universities There are 87 colleges and universities in the New York metropolitan area. The most significant include CUNY at Brooklyn, with 35,000 students; CUNY at Hunter College, with 24,600; at Lehman, where 16,000 students attend classes; at Bernard, with 17,800 students; at Columbia, with 16,000 kids; at Queens, with 29,000; CUNY City College with 21,000; and Fordham University, home of i4,200 kids.

Major upstate colleges and universities include: State University at Buffalo, with 25,000 students; SUNY College- Buffalo with 12,000, and four


smaller schools in Buffalo. In Syracuse, Syracuse U has 21,000 students. In Rochester, there are six colleges. The biggest is the RIT with 12,000 kids, followed by the U of Rochester with 8700 students. Six more schools in Albany; the largest is SUNY, with 14,500 students and a spacious campus. Ithaca boasts Cornel1 University, with 10,000 students, and two other universities. Stonybrook has a branch of SUNY that educates 14,000, in addition to two other schools. Other large college towns are Hofstra U in Hempstead with 12,000 students, SUNY at Brockport with 11,000, and NYIT in Old Westbury with 10,800 folks. There are at least fifty other colleges and universities in the state, but these will probably have a limited impact on hitchhiking.

Rest areas According to the information sent us by the State of New York, it is illegal to park in any rest area or scenic overlook for three hours of darkness or 24 continuous hours, whichever comes first. No camping is permitted, and no fires are allowed except in designated fireplaces.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, etc."


Enforcement varies according to the type of road (tollway, interstate, or backroad) and the mellowness of the officer present. Hitchhikers must stand behind the tollbooths on the NY Thruway, but officers wave to hitchers on the backroads.

Federal land On Long Island, check out Fire Island National Seashore. Saratoga National Historical Park is in Saratoga Springs, and two Indian Reservations may affect hitchhiking near Buffalo. Near the Canadian border, be aware of the St. Regis Indian reservation and Ft. Drum Military reservation. In addition to federal land, the Adirondacks State Park is the nation's largest state park. Several roads, including hwy 30, hwy 26, hwy 86, and I-87 pass through the park. The park itself is a patchwork of state and private land; camping is probably allowed unless otherwise posted. Catskill State Park is east of Kingston, and hwy 28 runs through it. Several other state parks dot the landscape, especially near the Finger Lakes region.

The roads I-84 through the southern part of the state is rated excellent east and west by several thumbers. I-684, which joins I-84 in Danbury, is


reported to be a good way out of the city headed north, and getting north out of NYC is generally considered grim. I-87 from NYC up north is the main north-south route and part of the NY State Thruway system. It is said to be challenging to hitch, because of competition from lots of hitchhikers. From Albany north to Montreal, however, we have six reports that I-87 is the tops. I-95 is rated "poor" in NYC, but once you get out of the city, four folks tell us it is a fine road to hitch north to Boston or south towards DC. The Taconic Parkway is reported poor thumbing north to Pittsfield because of poor shoulders, fast driving by the motorists, and frequent police hassles. Of three routes north out of the city, US 9 is the only one we have favorable reports about. It is reported fair going north to Red Hook by two people. Highway 17 going northwest out of Jersey has mixed reports, 1 bad and 2 good; upstate, conditions worsen west of Elmira, where the traffic flow is low and parallel roads drain off local traffic. The George Washington Bridge is a good spot to get a ride going west on I-80, according to two people who have hitched around there. I-78 has one good report out of the city through New Jersey.


As far as upstate hitching goes, the NY Thruway is reported good coming in from Massachusetts. Albany is a bottleneck for hitchers; during the busy season, thumbers may be stacked up a dozen deep at the tollway entrances. From Albany west to Buffalo is rated slow on the Thruway; consider yourself lucky if you do it in under a day and a half. The Thruway heading south to NYC from Albany is rated as good. In general, three people describe thumbing along the Thruway as slow, but one fellow reports that thumbing improves in the off-season.

US 20 west of Albany is described as a "rural route" with lots of local traffic and short-hop rides. This route may be a possible alternative to the Thruway during the busy season. State hwy 7 southwest from Albany is reported by three hitchers to be slow and pretty (not the same as pretty slow) as far as Binghamton. State hwy 30 north from Amsterdam to Wells is reported good and scenic. State hwy 8 from Utica northeast to I-87 is reported good by one hitchhiker. State hwy 2 east out of Albany/Troy on into Massachusetts is reported good by three folks. I-81 is another main north-south route. Three people report it good from Binghamton to Syracuse,


and another reports lower traffic flow south of Binghamton. Yet another hitcher describes good hitchhiking from Ithaca to Potsdam via scenic US 11. State hwy 15 from Cenesco to Rochester is reported slow by one thumber. Highway 5 east from Syracuse is rated fair by two hitchers, and rides are easy to come by on rte 28 through the Catskills. State hwy 34 from near near Syracuse is a friendly, quiet little road that will take you through deciduous forests and by fine lakes on the way to Ithaca, even if it takes all day. Highway 417 from Portville to Olean is tough thumbing and long waits because it's residentially developed for most of its length and there is very little shoulder to pull off on. From Olean to 219, be patient and you'll get the short hops you need to arrive at Bradford, PA, where the thumbing gets much better.

* * * *

A friend of mine got stuck on the NY Thruway once, at an exit where there were at least a dozen other hitchhikers. Since he was a Marine and had his uniform with him, he went to the bathroom and changed into it, hoping that he would get a ride easier looking that way. He no sooner sits back down by the road than a semi truck


pulls up. Everybody rushes up to the door, but the driver pulls out a revolver and yells at everybody to "Stay back -- That is, every body but you there, the Marine. C'mon, I'll give you a ride." My friend was freaked out, but he saw a chance for a ride and he hopped in. The driver turned out to be a real jerk, but he took him down to Buffalo.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Twenty-three warnings were reported by thumbers in New York: Two occurred in NYC, one in Syracuse, one in Albany, and one in Cazenovia, on US 20 east of Syracuse. Thirteen people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in New York. Four of these were on the Thruway; one in Syracuse, and one in Ithaca in 1970. One ticket was given in Watertown on I-81. Three people report being searched: one in Syracuse, another in Buffalo in 1970, another somewhere unknown in 1970. Four people reported being arrested and one of these was jailed on hitchhiking related charges. One of these arrests occurred in Saratoga Springs. Another arrest occurred near the Canadian border in 1979.


Long waits
On the Thruway:

36 hours at Syracuse on the I-81 junction

2 hours in Syracuse in '73

10 hours along the Thruway

2 hours at Kingston on I-87

6 hours at Albany

3 hours in Albany

3 hours at the tollbooth in Albany

9 hours at Dunkirk on the Thruway southwest of Buffalo

2 hours on Thruway in 1974

General :

3 hours in Binghamton at dusk

1 hour on hwy 17

4 hours on hwy 17 at Arkport, 1981

4 hours at Elmira in 1970

8 hours at Rochester in 1967

2 hours on Long Island

3 hours at Fredonia

8 hours in NYC

2 hours in NYC

2 hours in NYC

2 hours in upstate New York

all night at Bear Mountain

City tips Six people report that it is a bad idea to try to hitch out of New York City. Hwy 25 A on Long Island is reported "fair" and the North and South Parkway is reported good hitching in the off season. The 135 Expressway and Sunrise Highway are both reported bad, as are backroads on Long Island.

* * * *


My least favorite place to hitchhike through or near is NYC. From the junction of the Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to the lower end of the NYS Thruway (I-90 & I-87) lie over forty miles of madness. There is always too much traffic, there are no shoulders, the highway is either elevated or a subterranean snake, the speed-up lanes are non-existent, and the entrance ramps are short blind curves. Plus the fact that the area is crawling with the criminally insane, so only the craziest of crazy bastards dare to stop and pick up a hitchhiker. Keith Buckley

* * * *

We have received a couple of tips on painless ways to leave NYC. One of these comes from Paul Lieberman, who is collecting information on leaving various cities from all over the States. He tells us the best way to get out of the city heading south and west.

"Take the PATH subway (Jersey City Line) to Pavonia. Leave the subway station, turn right, walk to the end of the street, and turn right again. After a few blocks, you'll cross a wide road, lined with cars and trucks, waiting to pay the toll and enter the


Holland Tunnel to go to New York. You are now on Port Authority property, so don't let the cops see your hitchhiking sign. The next street you cross will be the road coming out of the tunnel. It is, blessedly, lined with gas stations, so it's easy for cars to pull over. The cars in the right- hand lane will be getting on the New Jersey Turnpike, and one of them will offer you a nice long ride (D.C., or at least Philadelphia)."

Another tip concerns getting north out of the city and comes from my good friend Butch Dierlein. Butch says, "The Hudson Line goes north to Croton-on-the-Hudson. A one-way fare from the city is in the $3 range, and the last train leaves Grand Central after midnight. You can hitch rte 9 from Croton, but it's better if you can get to Tarrytown, where I-87 and I-287 intersect."

Trains and Truckstops Hopping freights is unheardof in this neck of the woods, but it may be quite possible in towns away from the City. Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo all have significant freight yards, but generally the conditions are hot. Truckstops off the beaten path may be found at Castleton-on-the-Hudson, Fultonville, Hamburg, Ripley, and West Henrietta.


JOBS Besides apples and grapes, New York has many "truck farms" where various fruits are grown. Here are the approximate dates of some of these fruits. Strawberries ripen from June 15 to July 10; Peas are ready from late June until the end of July; green beans are picked from July 20 to August 10; blueberries and raspberries ripen from July 15 to September 15; and apples mature from September 14 to October 14.

New Jersey

Environment Usually thought of as a metropolitan center, New Jersey is two-thirds covered by forests and farmlands. Average precipitation is about 45 inches annually, with summer temperatures in the high 70's and winter temperatures near freezing. Nice summer breezes on the coast, 1000 foot mountains in the northwestern area, gambling in Atlantic City, and a 19-year-old drinking law.


Military Ft. Dix and McGuire AFB are in Wrightstoun, north of hwy 70. East of Ft. Dix, in Lakehurst, is the Lakehurst NAS. There's a Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, at the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. Last but not least, Ft. Monmouth is in Oceanport, off hwy 35, and Picatinny Arsenal is in Dover, off I-80 on US 43.

Universities There are 18 colleges and universities in the Newark area. The largest are: Montclair State College in Montclair, with 14,000 students; Jersey City State College, with 11,000; Rutger's State in Newark, with 10,100 kids; NJIT in Newark has 5000 pupils; Seton Hall University in South Orange has 8000; William Patterson College in Wayne has 13,000; Glassboro State in Classboro has 12,000. Farley Dickinson University has branches in Teaneck (9100 folks), Rutherford (49001, and Madison (4200). In the Trenton area, there's Kean C ollege in Union with 13,700 students; Trenton State in Ewing with 12,000; Princeton University in Princeton, with 5900; Rider College in Lawrenceville, with 5900; and three smaller schools. Other college towns in the state are New Brunswick, where Rutgers/The State University educates 29,000; Mahwah, home of 4000 students


attending Ramapo College; and Long Branch, with a student population. of 4200.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are three prisons in the Trenton area, in Trenton, Yardville, and Bordentown. There are also prisons in Rahway, off US 1/31 southwest of Newark, and Annadale, near the junction of I-78 and hwy 31. State mental hospitals are in: Trenton, Newark, Marlboro, Hammonton, Greystone Park, and Farmingdale.

Federal lands Killcohook NWR is near Pennsville, Brigantine NWR is north of Atlantic City, Barnegat NWR if by Manawawkin, and Island Beach is off hwy 37.

Rest areas We have no reports of camping at rest areas in this state, but the Service Areas on the turnpike are often mentioned as places where hitchers may solicit rides.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in a highway for the purpose of, or while soliciting a ride from the operator of any vehicle." The law further, "prohibit(s) the use of any roadway of a limited access highway by...pedestrians".. Judging from the people who wrote us, this law is


enforced rigidly on the turnpikes and interstates and thumbers must take pains to get rides without getting ticketed.

The roads Well, nobody has yet said it is easy and enjoyable to hitch New Jersey, but we do have two votes to the contrary. Our best tips are to avoid the turnpikes completely if you can (7 votes), and if you must hitch there, stay on the right side of the tollbooths and solicit from there. An experienced turnpike thumber named Sunshine writes us, "Mainly stay at service areas, as the ramps v ary from mediocre to dreadful. Exit 7 and south of there is really hard, as the drivers can take 295 instead. Exits 3 and 4 seem good northbound, and exit 9 is good north, but dreadful south. Exit 11 is good both ways, if you can get by the Garden State Parkway connection with traffic going your way. Exit 11 or 12A is also good for avoiding NYC. To do this, get on the Garden State Turnpike, follow it to I-287, and wait at exit 129 for a ride to at least the end of the Parkway, or exit 163N, which is a good place. From 163N, get a ride to 287 and follow it to I-284. This puts you on the road beyond NYC aimed north."


Backroad thumbing in Jersey is apparentiy legal. One hitchhiker tells us that rte 29 along the Delaware is good thumbing and nice scenery, while another tells us that Wildwood, in the southern tip of the state, is bad. A smart tip from one exasperated New Jersey thumber is, "for Christ's sake, have a map!"

* * * *

Stay off the Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway unless you want to have pistols drawn on you in the "guilty until proven innocent" treatment by Jersey cops. Stick to the ramps or service areas. John Presant

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Thirteen thumbers reported receiving warnings in New Jersey, the third highest incidence nationwide. Two of these warnings occurred on the turnpike, one in Hackensack, one in Winston, and one on I-80. We have eleven reported tickets, and five incidents of police search, the highest in any state. Two of these searches happened on the New Jersey Turnpike, one on the Garden State Parkway in 1980, and one in Newark in November of 1980.


Long waits of long waits in New Jersey. Both were for three hours and both occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike in recent years.

Trains and Truckstops Nobody seems to hop freights in New Jersey, for some reason. Truckstops may be found at Bloomsbury on I-78/US 22; at Edison on rte 1; at Mahwah on rte 17; at Paulsboro-Mt. Royal exit of I-295; at Penns Grove on US 40/I-295; and at South Kearney on US 1/US 9.

Jobs Truck farming is big business in New Jersey, hence the "Garden State" nickname. The unemployed agricultural worker may find may openings throughout the growing season, picking blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, beans, tomatoes, and many other vegetables. Good areas to check are east of Trenton and in the southern section of the state; best times are from April to September.


Dear Readers,

As you may have already guessed, we did our own typesetting and layout for this book. At 10 pm on the day before taking this manuscript to the print shop, we discovered that we have two pages we call 370. Rather than re-number the remaining 300 pages, we are giving you


this page for free. We had to do something to keep our pages in order, so we thought you might like to look at this picture of Sharon and Deborah hitchhiking on I-5 south of Seattle, even though it has nothing to do with New Jersey.

Peace, Larry and Don



Environment Pennsylvania, land of steel mills, rolling hills, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Independence Hall. Most people live in the eastern portion of the state; the central and western sections are m ainly farmlands and woodlands. It gets cold in the winter here, with temperatures around freezing for months; summer temperatures are in the 70's, depending on where in the state you are. Annual rainfall averages around 35 inches. The legal drinking age for beer is 18, and for all other alcoholic beverages it is 21.

Military Carlisle Barracks is in Carlisle off of I-81; all other installations are in the Philadelphia area: Frankford Arsenal, Warminister Naval Air Development Center, Willow Grove NAS, and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyards.

Universities Thirty colleges and universities are in the Philadelphia area. Temple University is the largest with 31,000 students. Next comes the U of P with 20,000 kids, followed by West Chester State College with 8500 pupils, La Salle College with 6100, and Drexel University with 8500. In Pittsburg there are some seven colleges or


universities: the largest is the U of Pittsburg with 28,000 students, followed by Duquesne U with 6100, and Carnegie-Melon U with 4500. California State College is south of Pittsburg on US 40 and has 5200 kids. Clarion State College in Clarion off I-80 on hwy 68 has 5100 students. East Stroudsburg State College, located on I-80 at the New Jersey border, has 4000 pupils. Edinboro State College in Edinboro has 7000 kids and is located south of Erie off of I-79. Bloomsburg State College in Bloomsburg on I-80 has 5500 students. Indiana University in Indiana, Pennsylvania is located at the junction of US 119 and US 422, and has 10,300 students. Kutztown State College has 5000 students and is located north of Reading on US 222. Lehigh University in Bethlehem has 6100 enrollees. Millersburg State College, north of Harrisburg on US 209, has 6300 kids. Pennsylvania State U with 39,100 students is the largest in the state and is located in the town of State College, south of I-80 on US 322. Shippensburg State College has a student body of 5800 and is located in Shippensburg. Slippery Rock State College, off of I-79, has 6300 students. There are five schools in the Scranton area: Penn State University, the University of Scranton,


and Villa Nova State College are the largest, with a total student population of nearly 20,000.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal long term adult prison in Levisburg, south of I-80 on US 15. In Allentown there is a federal short term adult prison. Mental hospitals are located in Bridgeville, Carnegie, and in the Scranton- Wilkes-Barre area there are three institutions: one in Clark's Summit, one in Nanticoke, and one in Hunlock Creek. There is one in Danville south of I-80 on US 11; another in Coatesville west of Philadelphia on US 30; one in Torrance, off US 2 east of Pittsburg; another in Warren in the north central part of-the state off US 6 and US 62; and one in Wernersville, near Reading.

Federal land Allegheny NF is in the northwestern- central part of the state off of US 62 and US 6. There are several national historical memorials, including Gettsyburg National Military Park.

Rest areas Rest areas in Pennsylvania are modern and camping or overnight parking is permitted unless otherwise posted.


Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the proximity of the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride or business or guarding the car". The law does authorize exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access highways, and this seems to be interpreted as meaning the Pennsylvania Turnpikes. Walking and hitching along the interstates in Pennsylvania is tolerated according to several reports, and seems fairly common in the western parts of the state. Enforcement is tough along the turnpikes; it may be advisable to choose an alternate route.

The roads I-80 is the main east- west route across the state. Four people report good hitching, and one says, "I-80 in Pennsylvania is the fastest road in the US". The Pennsylvania Turnpike also runs east and west, and the north east extension of the turnpike runs from Philadelphia to Wilkes-Barre /Scranton. The east- west section of the turnpike, also called I-76, is reported by two thumbers to be good. However, two other reports rate the turnpike unfavorably. One hitcher reports that the Lancaster exit heading westbound onto the turnpike is tough. On the north east extension of the 'pike, the first exit north-- Lansdale-- is reported bad thumbing.


Generally hitching around the Philadelphia area is reported bad; there is adequate public transportation, "when they aren't on strike". No information on I-79 from Erie to the border; I-90 is tough on both sides of Pennsylvania, where it is a toll road, but we have no reports of hitching conditions in the state. No information on I-78 at all. I-81 from Harrisburg to Scranton is reported good, but traffic flow drops from Scranton north to Binghamton, New York. One hitcher reports good thumbing on I-84 east of Scranton. We have no reports from I-83 or US 11.

As for the secondary roads, rte 30 is said to be good from Haverford to Bryn Mawr. US 30 is good from Galion to Canton, and rte 75 is a winner from Detroit to Cincinnati. Thumbing is good at Bradford, Pennsylvania, where the four lane hwy 219 turns into a 2 lane. There's plenty of traffic heading south, and a well- located stoplight to thumb from. When you get to Lantz corners, get on us 6 if you're headed for I-80 west; that way you can crash out in the Allegheny NF, which surrounds hwy 66 to Cilfoyl, if you get stranded. They say there's bears here, too! Stick to 219 if you're I-80 eastbound; should be clear sailing once


you work your way into Ridgeway. In the southeast corner of the state, hwy 32 along the Delaware River is reported scenic, good thumbing.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Twelve people report receiving warnings in the state; four of these were along the Penn Pike. Three persons report being ticketed for thumbing in Pennsylvania; one of these happened in Philadelphia. Also, three people reported being jailed for hitchhiking on the turnpike, and we have three reports of searches by police, one in 1977 on the pike, and another on the pike in 1973.

Long waits 4 hours along I-80 at night 1 1/2 hours in Kane, on hwy 6 2 hours on I-60 in western Penna. 2 hours on I-81 north of Scranton 6 hours on the Penn turnpike

Trains and Truckstops One person reported being electrocuted on a train track running from eastern Pennsylvania to New York. This would seem to indicate that the rails in PA are "hot"... From Pittsburg, the Penn Central lines run east to Harrisburg, west to Toledo, and north to Buffalo. The B&O lines run west to Cleveland, Chicago, and Columbus, and run


southwest to Parkersburg and southeast to Cumberland, MD. Out of Philadelphia, you'll notice the Reading lines running south to Baltimore, north to NYC, and west to Harrisburg; the Penn Reading-Seashore line runs to Atlantic City. Harrisburg also has lines running north to Buffalo and south to Baltimore on the Penn Central.

Truckstops can be found on I-80 at the Brookville exit; at the junction with US 220 in Milesburg; at the US 11 junction at Berwick; and at Stroudsburg on the NJ border. On I-70, check out the junction with US 30 in Breezewood.

City tips To get west on I-76 from Philly, take the 45 commuter bus that leaves from the 30th Street station and goes to the King of Prussia mall. From there, catch the #99 bus to the service plaza or just walk a mile to it.

To get south out of Philadelphia, take the #36 trolley (subway surface line) Eastwick to the end of the line, walk a block or three to the next light south, and there is a major intersection. Hang a right and thumb on this road; there is lots of traffic going to I-95 south.

Pick up the TNJ #71 at the intersection of Broad and Cherry and it will take you to a service plaza east of Philly. Get off at Hartford Rd in Masonville and turn left; you can walk the quarter mile to the Howard Johnsons.


JOBS Grape and apple picking happens in September along I-79 north of Pittsburg to Lake Erie, and truck farming in the southeastern part of the state may provide some work in the months of July and August.

and the
District of Columbia

Environment Maryland is heavily populated along the coast but the population thins out as one moves inland. Chesapeake Bay wield s an influence on any ocean lover. The area is dominated culturally by the presence of the nation's capital and the city of Baltimore. The western portions of the state receive from 20 to 40 inches of rainfall a year, while the coastal regions get a bit more. Winter temperatures average in the 40's, summer temperatures get beastly hot and humid in the 90's. Inland temperatures are cooler in the winter. The state drinking law allows 18 year olds to purchase beer and wine, but one must be 21 to drink liquor.


Military There are several bases in the DC area, including: Ft. McNair, Ft. Myer, Bolling AFB, Washington Naval Yards, Ft. Belvoir, Andrews AFB, and of course, the Pentagon. Two installations in the Aberdeen area are the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Edgewood Arsenal. Ft. Detrick is located west of Frederick. Ft. Ritchie is in the north central region of the state. Naval Air Test Station is in Lexington Park.

Universities There are 17 colleges and universities in the Washington DC area. The largest is George Washington University with 23,000 students, followed by American University with 13,500. Located nearby are the University of Maryland University College with 11,00 pupils, the U of M College Park with 34,500 (the area's largest), Georgetown U with 10,600 kids, and Howard U with 9300. There are 15 schools in the Baltimore area; the largest is Towson State College with 13,000. John Hopkins in Baltimore has 9800, and the U of M Catonsville has 5500 kids. The U of Baltimore has 5700 enrollees, Hood College in Frederick, off of I-70, I-270, and US 15 has 1100 s tudents; and Frostburg College in Frostburg, off of US 48, has 3500 kids. On the tip of the Maryland


peninsula on hwy 235 is St. Mary City, with St. Mary's College and its 1500 students. Salisbury State College is located on the eastern peninsula off of US 13 and US 50 and has 3200 students. Western Maryland College off of hwy 31 and west of Westminister has 2300 pupils.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals State penitentiaries are off of I-81 in Hagerstown, Baltimore City, and Jessup. Mental hospitals are in Cambridge, near US 50; and in Jessup, Catonsville, and Crownsville.

Federal land Assateague Island NWR is off the coast. Catoctin Mountain Park is near the junction of state rte 77 and US 15. There a re lots of historical monuments and parks throughout the state, and short mountains in the western part of the state.

Rest areas Overnight camping is not permitted.

Hitching Law and Comment Pedestrians are excluded from controlled access facilities and must walk on the sidewalk if there is one. One spokesperson says that the anti-hitchhiking laws are not


rigorously enforced, but warnings are frequently given and we have reports of hitchpickers being ticketed for stopping on the ramps.

The roads I-95 is resorted good headed north out of DC; it seems to get tougher north of Baltimore when it becomes the JFK Tollway. I-83 and hwy 695 around Baltimore is reported good. I-70 west of Frederick is reported good. Two hitchers tell us that the backroads are good in this state, and one report rates backroads faster and more fun than thumbing the interstates. Sunshine tells us that the bus lines in DC cross the beltway at some good hitchhiking spots; interested persons should examine this possibility.

Additional comments on page 633

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Fifteen warnings were reported in Maryland; two were in Baltimore, three in the DC area, and two in Ocean City. One person reports being ticketed in the Baltimore area, and on hwy 695, a driver was ticketed for stopping to pick up a hiker in August of 1960. One person reports being jailed in Maryland, but we have no news of any police searches.

Trains and Truckstops Cumberland has B&O lines running west to Parkersburg,


W.Virginia, east to DC, and north to Pittsburg. Washington DC lines run to Richmond and Baltimore and the yards are apparently quite hot. Baltimore lines run north to Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA. Truckstops may be found in Frederick at the junction of I-70 and I-15, and off US 301 in Bel Alton.


Environment The earliest of these United States, Delaware gets 40 inches of rainfall annually and has summer temperatures cooled to the 80 degree range by the ocean. Winter temperatures may dip to freezing, but the growing season is long. The drinking age is 20.

Military The only federal land in the state is the Dover AFB in Dover.

Universities Delaware State College is in Dover and educates 1800 students. The University of Delaware in Newark,


off hwy 2 west of Wilmington, boasts 18,000 pupils.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state prison is in Smyrna. Mental hospitals are in Dehware City, off of hwy 9, and in Newcastle in the Wilmington area.

Hitching Law and Comment The state law prohibits hitchhiking in the roadway and authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access highways. The letter we got from the State of Delaware says that nobody goes to jail just for hitchhiking. The law is apparently unenforced, for the most part, but Delaware cops do have a poor reputation with hitchhikers.

The roads I-95 is good through Delaware, for what it's worth. Get on or stay on I-95 and save yourself some trouble thumbing in New Jersey. If you're heading north, it's better than the Jersey Pike.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots No tickets are reported from Delaware, one warning and one person reports being searched.

Truckstops A truckstop may be found on US 13 near Laurel.


Jobs Maryland and Delaware are good spots to find work on the truck farms in the spring. Asparagus picking starts in April, strawberries begin in May, and cabbage starts in early June. Route 13, rte 113, and rte 50 all Pass by farming areas.


Environment Virginia is a state of many climates, with Virginia Beach, the Shenandoah Valley, the Dismal Swamp, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Summer temperatures get hot and nasty in the low lands but remain comfortable in the mountains. Winter temperatures average about 40 and the annual rainfall varies from 40-45 inches. The drinking law in this state permits 18 year olds to buy beer, but you must be 21 to get other intoxicating drinks.

Military There are seven installations in the Norfolk area: Little Creek Naval Amphibian Base, Norfolk AFB, Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk Naval Shipyard,


Oceana NAS, and Ft. Eustis in Newport News. In the Hampton area, there's Ft. Monroe and and Langley AFB. In Arlington, we have Ft. Meyer (by WOC), md Quantico MCAS is just off I-95. Ft. Lee is in Petersburg, south of Richmond on I-95. Yorktown Naval Weapons Station is in Yorktown.

Universities There's five schools in Richmond. The largest is Virginia Commonwealth University with 17,500 students and the U of Richmond with 4100. In the Newport News- Norfolk area there are six, the largest being Old Dominion with 14,000 kids, followed by Norfolk State College with 6200. In nearby Williamsburg, the College of William and Mary educates 5800 pupils. Hampton Institute in Hampton has 2900 attending classes. Lexington has two schools; Washington and Lee University is the biggie with 1600 kids. The state's biggest campus is in Blacksburg, off US 460 west of Roanoke, where 19,000 folks attend VPT&SI. Twenty miles away in Radford, 4400 students attend Radford College. In Charlottesville, the U of V boasts 14,000 enrollees. In the Virginia part of the WDC area there's George Mason College in Fairfax with 6100 students. Three schools are located in Lynchburg, with a total student population under


10,000. In Harrisonburg, off I-81, is Madison College with 6800 kids. Virginia State College in Ettrick outside Petersburg has 4800 students, and Ferrum College in Ferrum, on hwy 40, has 1200. The Farmdale-Hampden area coasts two schools, the largest is Longwood College with 2300 folks at the junction of US 460 and US 360. Finally, Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg has 2100 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary is located in Richmond, which is bad hitching anyway, and a federal young adult prison is in Petersburg. Major mental hospitals are found in Falls Church by WDC, Danville on US 58, Marion on I-81 in the southwest tip of the state, Petersburg on I-95, and in Staunton of I-81.

Federal lands Cumberland Gap NP is in the corner of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, and you can thumb to it on US 58. Shenandoah NP is in the Blue Ridge Mountains just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area is south of I-81 off of US 58 and US 21, and hwys 16 and 94. Dismal Swamp NWR is south of Chesapeake on US 17, and Black Bay NWR is south of Virginia Beach. National Forests cover the Virginia- West Virginia border.


These are called Washington NF in the north and Jefferson NF in the south. I-81 is surrounded by these forests, and most of the roads intersecting the interstate pass through them. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes through the Blue Ridge Mountains from North Carolina up to northern Virginia. Many National Historical Sites, Parks, and Monuments are scattered throughout the state.

Rest areas Camping is not allowed.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". The law also authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from the interstates, and this law is enforced along I-95. Stay on the ramps here.

The roads I-95 through the state has mixed reviews; one good, one bad. A hitcher tells us the hitch from Richmond to DC is usually easy thumbing, while two others warn us of the road between Richmond and Petersburg (it's a turnpike with a $1 toll). Everyone says to stay on the ramps to avoid being hassled by the police. As for I-81, we have three reports that it is a good road to thumb on, both headed northeast and southwest. It is a good direct route


through the state, and passes through no giant cities, like I-95 does. I-64 connects I-81 and I-95; we have reports of good hitching from Richmond to Virginia Beach, and west of Richmond we have one report that it is cool to walk along the interstate. Three people report an easy and enjoyable hitch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have one report that US 221 from Independence to Lynchburg is bad news, and one fellow who tells us that backroad hitching is fine near WDC. US 301 is rumored to be a bad road to get stuck on. Paul Lieberman suggests hitching on hwy 29 through Virginia as a good way to hitch and avoid cop hassles.


I got caught for "conspiracy to solicit a ride" in Richmond, Virginia. I was on a road that led into I-95, and I admit that I was hoping to hitch a ride. At the same time he picked me up, the officer got a call about a twelve - year-old girl that was "wandering around" out on the highway. The cop put me in the back seat, and as we were headed up to find this girl, he stopped and arrested an 85 year-old woman who was walking and thumbing along the road. When we get out to the twelve- year- old girl, it turns out she's nineteen and trying to hitch out


of town, so he arrests all three of us. As he is putting the girl in the backseat, the cop notices two guys just getting dropped off on the other side of the interstate, so he drives to the next exit, makes a U turn, and goes back and arrests them, too. In less than five minutes, this one cop arrested five of us for hitchhiking or conspiracy to hitchhike. I had to pay a $25 fine. Jim Wallis

* * * *

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Five people reported being ticketed in Virginia. Two of these were in Richmond, one in Bristol on I-81, and one along I-64, Twelve hitchers reported being warned for thumbing in the state, and three of these were in Richmond (Jim's story counts as one). Two other warnings occurred on I-81. Three folks report being searched in Virginia; one of these happened on I-81. Three people mentioned that they were jailed in the state for hitchhiking related incidents, and one of these was on I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley.

Long waits Strangely enough, we have no reports of long waits in Virginia.


Trains and Truckstops Lynchburg has connections on the N&W line to Petersburg and west to Bristol; connections run south to Charlotte and north to WDC. Cordonsville has connections to Charleston, W.VA, east to Richmond, and north to DC all on the C&O line. Truckstops may be found on I-95 at the intersection with hwy 656 in Atlee, at US 56 and US 301 in Emporia. On I-85, look at the Brace exchange on the North Carolina border. On I-81, check out the intersection with hwy 651 near Toms Brook in the northern part of the state.

Jobs Apples and peaches are ready for plucking from mid July into November along I-81. Tobacco farms need help in the Danville area all summer long, and tobacco and truck farmers in the central and west areas can use help in the summer, too. Resort work may open up in August in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach.


North Carolina

Environment One of the original thirteen colonies, North Carolina is the home of Cape Hatteras, the Smoky Mountains, and a booming cigarette and cancer research industry. Summers are sultry, with temperatures over 90 degrees for months during the year, and winters are mild, with an average winter temperature in the 40's. Both the Klu Klux Klan and the Communist Workers' Party are active in the state, and the political climate has been ragged since the shootings. Don't wear sheets or red shirts. The state drinking law allows 18 year olds to buy beer, but you must be 21 to get liquor.

Military Fort Bragg Military reservation and Pope AFB are west of Fayetteville, between US 401 and US 1. Cherry Point MAS is off US 70 near Havelock, and Seymour Johnson AFB is east of Goldsboro on US 17. There is a


Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City.

Universities There are five schools in Greensboro. The largest is the U of NC with 8800 students, followed by the NC Ag and Tech U with 4900. There are six schools in the Winston- Salem area, but Wakeforest University is the largest with 4200 students. There are eight schools in the Charlotte area; of these, the University of NC is the largest with its 6700 students. There are two large schools in Durham, making it a college town; Duke University is the larger, with 8900, and North Carolina Central U has 4400. Fifteen miles southwest on US 15 is The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a beautiful campus for the largest student population in the state--20,000 students. Raleigh has four schools; the largest is North Carolina State with 16,000 kids. Mars Hill College in the Smokies has 1600 students in a town of 2300. There are two schools in Fayetteville; the larger is Fayetteville State University with 3100 kids. East Carolina University in Greenville, off US 264, is another biggie with 12,000 pupils. Appalachian State U on US 421 makes Boone a neat little college town. There are 9400 students here. There is a significant


student population in the so called "triangle" between Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal behavioral research facility in Butner, north of Durham on I-85, and also a state mental hospital there. Raleigh has the state prison, and another mental hospital. Other mental hospitals are in Goldsboro, on US 70, and in Morgantown on I-40 west of Winston- Salem.

Federal land Cape Hatteras National Seashore is on the coast and US 158 and hwy 12 run through it. Croatan NF is along t he coast on US 70. Uwharrie NF is south of Greensboro on US 220. Great Smok y Mountain NP is along the Tennessee border on US 441. Adjoining this is the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Nantahala NF is south of the Great Smokies NP, wedged between the Tennessee and Georgia borders. Every road running southwest of Asheville runs through it. Pisgah NF is east of Asheville and north of Morgantown, and US 221 runs through it.

Rest areas We have no information about the laws governing rest areas, but I have camped at them unhassled. Be discreet and don't start any fires.


Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Pedestrians are not excluded from the interstates. Enforcement of this law is casual, and the police tend to be mellow but conservative.

* * * *

Hitching on a back country road in North Carolina, coming out of the mountains, a state trooper stops and asks where we are going. We tell him, and he says we're gonna wait there forever since there is no traffic. So he gives us a ride over to the interstate, about twenty miles away. He drops us off at a good ramp, and tells us to hitch from bottom of the ramp. I like the cops in North Carolina. Jim Wallis

The roads I-95 is a busy hitching road, reported good by six hitchers, and the best route to Florida. Three people tell us that I-85 is a good road between Atlanta and Durham, but north of Durham the traffic thins out a bit. US 70 is the preferred route by local thumbers. I-40 is a popular route west and east; we have seven reports of consistently dependable rides from Durham to Greensboro, and east from


Asheville. Try to avoid getting dropped off in Winston- Salem. We have no information on I-26. To get to Raleigh heading east from Durham, get on I-85 and pick up the US 70 exit rather than trying to hitch I-40 out of Durham. US 70 is a popular route, called the airport road, while I-40 originates in Durham and has only a few locals driving on it. US 15/501 from Durham to Chapel Hill is a good road to hitch; get on the ramp by Duke University at the west end of town for best results (5 votes). Another good bet is to avoid the Hillandale exit of 15/501 south; use the I-85 exit of 15/501 instead. North of Durham, 15/501 is bad, according to two reports. Try hwy 301, we hear it's good. We have one report that I-77 is a good road to hitch.

Backroad thumbing is generally poor in North Carolina. People warn us to avoid rte 86, hwy 21, and any small road. On the other hand, we are told that US 421 from Wilmington to Goldsboro is a fine road, and the best way to get southeast in the state. Two thumbers suggest US 54 as a good route, and three others say the Blue Ridge Parkway is an easy, scenic route to hitch. We have one report that Charlotte to Raleigh via hwy 49 and US


64 is an easy hitch, an alternative to I-65. Hitchhiking is generally accepted in North Carolina, and I have had good luck and short waits, although there were times when I tucked my hair up. Night hitching is tough in North Carolina, as there are no lights at exits.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots We have six warnings reported from North Carolina: one from Boone, on US 421, one in Winston- Salem, one in Durham, one in Fayetteville, and one for walking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have only one ticket reported, but two incidents of search by police; one of these occurred in Greenville, on US 264. One hitcher tells us he was jailed.

Long waits 3 hours on I-85 3 hours on US 15/501 2 hours on I-85 north of Durham 5 hours in Greensboro in 4/'75 2 hours in Winston-Salem 3 hours on US 1 in 1973 2 hours in Chapel Hill 3 hours in Chapel Hill 20 hours in Charlotte, in 7/'76

Trains and Truckstops The railyards are reported to be cool in Charlotte, and the Southern line runs from there to


Lynchburg, Va., Spartanburg, SC., Columbia, SC., and Raleigh. In Raleigh, the NS lines run to Norfolk, Va., and the SC line runs to Petersburg, Va. In Hamlet, SCL lines run to Wilmington, Atlanta, and Columbia. In Durham, tracks run east and west and there are rumors of jungles in east Durham. Yards in this state seem cool, but I have never hopped freights here. Truckstops can be found on I-95 at the Benson interchange, and at the Halifax interchange near Roanoke Rapids. On I-85, check out the Salisbury interchange halfway between Charlotte and Greensboro, or west of Charlotte at the Kings Mountain exchange. On I-40, look near Morgantown at the Marion exchange, and on US 52 south, north of the Winston Salem at Mt Airy. On I-26, look southeast of Asheville in Saluda.

Jobs Tobacco and truck farming provide many jobs in this state. Towns to check include: Elizabeth City, Washington, New Bern, Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, and Goldsboro. In Durham, the cancer research people at Duke may be buying blood.


South Carolina

Environment This state has been called a steamy swamp by some, but South Carolina also has fine beaches and even some mountains in the northwest corner. Summers are hot, with temperatures averaging in the 90's, and winters are mild, with the daytime temperatures often reaching into the high 50's. The average rainfall is about 52 inches, and it does rain frequently during the summer. The drinking age is 21.

Military Four installations are in the Charleston area: an Air Force Base, a Coast Guard Base, a Naval Shipyards, and Naval Weapons Station. There is an MCAS near Beaufort off of US 21 and an AFB near Mvrtle Beach off US 17. Fort Jackson is in the eastern part of Columbia. Shaw AFB is on US 76 west of Sumter.

Universities There are six colleges and universities in Columbia, and the largest is the U of SC with 24,000 students. There are three schools in Charleston, the largest of which is the College of Charleston with 4500 kids. Clemson, located off I-85 on US 76, is home of Clemson University and its 10,000 pupils. Thirty miles from Clemson is Creenville, with Bob Jones


University and its 4100 students and Furman U with 2600 more. Three colleges and universities in the Spartanburg area give it a total student population of 3500. There are two colleges in Orangeburg, the larger is South Carolina State with 3000 pupils. Francis Marion College is located off I-20 near I-95 in Florence and has 2300 students. Winthrop College is located off of I-77 near the North Carolina border, and has 3800 kids enrolled.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are prisons in Spartanburg, Columbia, and Summerville. Three mental hospitals are located in Columbia, the main one, South Carolina State Hospital, is on Bull Street.

Federal land The Francis Marion NF is located north of Charleston along the coast, and both US 17 and US 701 pass through it. Sumter NF west of Columbia is off of I-26, with another location south of Greenwood on US 221. The far western tip of the state is National Forest along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride".


Hitchhiking on controlled access facilities is permitted. Enforcement seems rather lax, but poor attitudes towards hitchhikers may be present among policemen.

The roads We have three reports that I-95 through South Carolina is a good hitch, again this is a popular route to Florida. One thumber reports that I-85 from Atlanta to Spartanburg is good, and this area of the state has a high student population, which may improve your luck in getting a ride. US 17 is reported tough thumbing, and most people agree that hitchhiking the backroads is a bad idea in this state. Highway 301 is also reported grim. I-26 into Charleston is said to be "OK". Overall, we have little information on this state, and the reports we have say that local attitudes are not favorable towards hitchhiking.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Four warnings repOrted in South Carolina; one of these from Greenville. One reported ticket, and one hitcher was jailed.

Trains and Truckstops From Columbia, the Southern Line runs to Atlanta, Spartanburg, Charlotte, Savannah, and Charleston. Out of Charleston, the SC line runs to Savannah and Petersburg,


Va. Spartanburg has connections to Charlotte, Atlanta, and Knoxville, Tennessee, There are three all night truckstops on I-95. Nearest to the Georgia border is one at Yemassee, at the junction of US 17A; 50 miles north is another at Santee, by the junction with US 301/15; 35 miles further north is Manning at the junction with hwy 261. There is one on I-85 at the junction of hwy 99 at Blacksburg.

Jobs Peaches and vegetables are the main agricultural products in South Carolina. Peaches ripen from late May through August, and vegetable picking happens in May and September.


Environment Georgia is best known for its red clay, Coca Cola, the Allman Brothers, and Gone With the Wind. Georgia is hot in the summer, but the temperatures stay in the 80's. In the winter, it gets cold for a southern state, with temperatures dipping into


the high 30's. Georgia's annual precipitaiton is about 48 inches. The drinking age is 19.

Military Fort McPherson is in Atlanta, and two installations are north of Atlanta on I-75 near Marietta: Atlanta NAS, and Dobbing AFB. Fort Gordon is near Augusta on I-20 near the South Carolina border. Fort Benning is a huge army base on the Alabama border; US 280 goes right through it, so hitchhiking may be restricted. Fort Stewart is another big base. It is near Hinesville in the Savannah area, and hwy 144 and hwy 119 run through it. Moody AFB is near Valdosta off I-75. Robbins AFB is north of Warner Robbins off hwy 247.

Universities There are 17 colleges and univeristies in the Atlanta area. The largest is Georgia State U with 18,000 kids, followed by GIT with 8200 and Emory U with 7000. Augusta is the home of three schools: Augusta College with 4000 pupils is the largest, and the Medical College of Georgia is next with 2000. There are two colleges in Savannah, Armstrong State with 4000, and Savannah State with 2400. Albany State in Albany has 1700 students. Two colleges are located in the Rome area on US 411. Columbus College in


Columbus has 5200 students, and the U of G in Athens has 23,000. Georgia College in Milledgeville off of US 411 has 3500 pupils. Georgia Southern College makes Statesboro a college town of 6100. Macon has two colleges; the larger one is Mercer U with 2200. West Georgia College in Carrolltown, off of US 27, has 5500 kids, and Valdosta State, on I-75, has 5000.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary is in Reidsville, west of Savannah on US 280. There is a federal long term adult prison in Atlanta, as well as two training institutions. Major state mental hospitals are located in: Augusta, off I-20; in Milledgeville, off US 411; west of Valdosta in Thomasville, on US 84; and three in the Atlanta area, one in Rome by US 441.

Federal land Oconee NF, near Milledgeville, is bisected by US 129, and another branch of this forest is by Greensboro, north of I-20. Chattahoochee NF is located in the northern tip of the state and I-75 and US 76 run through it. Harris Neck NWR and Wassaw NWR are both on the coast.

Rest areas "The ones on the borders are very nice," says Mrs. C.R. Meissner of Atlanta. This is our only report of


rest area conditions in Georgia, as we got no reply from the state.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Pedestrians are not excluded from the interstate; you may walk along them as long as you stay off the road. Enforcement apparently consists of warnings and ID checks, with a search thrown in if you look too hippy.

The roads I-75 is the main north- south route, running from Valdosta to Chattanooga. Two hitchers report that this road is good throughout the state, especially north of Atlanta. I-85 northeast of Atlanta is reported good on into South Carolina. I-95 from Savannah to Jackson is rated good by one thumber. I-20 is reported good heading to or coming from Atlanta westbound, but we have no reports on it going east. I-95 is OK thumbing where it cuts through the southeast corner of the state, but we have no reports on I-16 from Macon to Savannah. Likewise, there is no information about hitching backroads, which might be rough. Four people report having trouble getting rides in Georgia, but this seems to stem from local attitudes more than anything.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One hitcher reports being ticketed in Georgia, and


seven others report being warned. One of these warnings took place in Calhoun, on I-75, and another in Atlanta. Two thumbers tell of being jailed on hitchhiking charges, and two others were searched, one in Atlanta.

Long waits 2 hours on I-75 in 12/'78 2 hours in Atlanta on I-85 2 hours on I-75 by Valdosta

Trains and Truckstops First of all, railyards are said to be hot in Georgia, so be careful. From Atlanta, trains run to Chattanooga (the Chatanooga chew-chew, of course), Knoxville, Spartanburg, SC, Hamlet, NC, Augusta, Macon, and Birmingham. From Macon, trains run to Savannah, Jesup, and Valdosta. Jesup, a small place, has trains that run to Savannah, Valdosta, and Jacksonville.

Jobs Georgia is famous for its peaches, and the peach harvest and related packing jobs start in June and run through August. There are pecan plantations south of Atlanta, and peanuts are grown throughout the state. The area near I-95 is busy during the late summer and fall with vegetables and peanuts.



Environment Weather in Florida is the nearest thing to tropical in the contiguous US. Winter temps rarely dip to the 40's; summer is consistently hot and humid. Beaches around the coastline, marshes in the interior. Drinking age is 18.

Military MacDill AFB is in Tampa, and McCoy AFB is south of Orlando off the Beeline Expressway. Homestead AFB is in Miami, along with two CG bases to catch smugglers. Elgin AFB is south of I-10 and east of Pensacola; hwy 87, hwy 85, and hwy 285 run right through the base, so there are probably restrictions about thumbing there. Also in Pensacola is Pensacola NAS. Whiting Field NAS is off of hwy 87 north of Milton, and Tyndall AFB is outside of Panama City on US 98. There are three bases in the Jacksonville area: Cecil Field NAS, Jacksonville NAS, and Mayport NAS. Patrick AFB is south of Cocoa on A1A. Cape Canaveral, a restricted area, is near Merrit Island. There's a Coast Guard base in St. Petersburg, and finally, Key West NAS is at the end of the Keys.

Universities In the Miami- Palm Beach megalopolis there are eight schools.


The largest is the U of Miami at Coral Gables with 14,000 students, followed by Florida Atlantic U in Boca Raton with 6900. There's five schools in the Jacksonville area, the largest is the U of North Florida with 4000 kids. The U of F at Cainesville has 28,000 pupils, making it the largest in the state. Two universities are in Tallahassee, the larger is Florida State with 21,000 students, dwarfing Florida A&M with on1y 5000. Six colleges or universities in the T ampa-St. Petersburg area, the biggie is the U of South Florida with 20,000 followed by the U of Tampa with 2000. Orlando boasts two universities: Florida Tech with 8500 kids is the larger. The U of West Florida in Pensacola has 5000 students. Two schools in Daytona Beach give it a student population of 3200.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The State Prison is in Starke, and there's a federal penitentiary on the Elgin AFB and another in Tallahassee for short- term young adults. Florida state mental hospitals are located in Chattahoochee off of US 90 near the Georgia border, and in Hollywood near Miami.

Federal lands There are two Seminole Indian reservations in Florida. One is


off of Alligator Alley in the southern part of the state, the other is on Lake Okeechobee off of hwy 721. The Everglades NP is in the southern tip off of hwy 27. Ocala NF is between Orlando and Jacksonville off of hwy 40. Southwest of Tallahassee, crossed by hwys 267, 375, and 65, is Apalachicola NF. West of Jacksonville is the Osceola NF off of I-10. By Pensacola, there's the Gulf Islands National Seashore. There are many state parks, especially along the coasts. There are very many beaches in Florida, and it is illegal but easy to camp on them.

Rest areas No camping is allowed in Florida rest areas.

Hitching Law and Comment Hitchhiking is prohibited in the roadway, however, one may solicit a ride from the curb or ramps. Hitchhiking on the interstate is a traffic infraction; the first violation is a warning; the second violation is a $15 fine. Enforcement gets very tight at peak tourist times in the winter and early spring; one man hypothesizes, "tourists don't like to see hitchhikers." However, the presence of young people is tolerated and even encouraged around the college "spring break" period, when students from all over flock to Florida for fun.


Hitching is strictly illegal in Monroe County (southern part of the state) and enforcement seems rampant.

The roads I-75 is the main road north and west; we have three reports of good hitching coming into the state, but no reports on heading back out. We have several reports about I-95 being good into and through Florida, until the stretch from Ft. Pierce to Miami where it turns into the Florida Turnpike where we have 3 bad reports (see quotes below). From Tampa to Daytona on I-4, hitching is reported slow. US 41, which roughly parallels I-75 is reported to be a poor route to hitch. US 301 from Jacksonville to Ocala is reported to be good thumbing. State highway 84, also known as the Everglades Parkway or Alligator Alley is reputed by four folks to be hideous to hitch. Hwy 27 is also reported bad. Hwy A1A is reported to be bad thumbing in the off season. Hitching the Keys on US 1 is reported fun, easy, and illegal. Rumors of hitchhiker- related violence may have soured some drivers. One experienced thumber tells us that generally inland hitching is not as good as thumbing the coastal routes.


Question: Is the Florida Turnpike hot?

Answer: On I-10, the police won't hassle you. On the Turnpike, even the rest areas are hot. Jim Wallis

Answer: I think they use flamethrowers, John Presant

Answer: Only the cops will pick you up on Florida's Turnpike. Anonymous male

* * * *

Me and a lady friend were stranded hitching Alligator Alley...hours without a ride. Finally a cop pulled over. He was a really nice man, he took us to his house, fed us dinner and bought us both bus tickets to Tampa. Anonymous woman

* * * *

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One person reported being ticketed while hitchhiking in Florida. Six others reported being warned: one in the Keys, one in Miami, and another in Ft. Meyers. Three thumbers reported that they were searched while hitchhiking. Two folks report being jailed for hitchhiking in Key West.


Long waits 3 days to leave Florida 4 hours on I-4 in '74 3 hours in Jacksonville 4 hours on Alligator Alley 2 hours in Orlando

Trains and Truckstops Jacksonville has the main railyards with connections to Daytona, Wildwood, Talahassee, Savannah (Georgia), Jesup, Albany and Valdosta. Daytona connects with Wildwood on the Florida East Coast lines, and Chatahoochie on L & N lines. Florida railyards are said to be hot, so exercise caution. Truckstops along I-75 are located near Jasper (jct with hwy 6); Ellisville (at jct with US 41); and Wildwood (jct with hwy 44). There is also a truckstop at the intersection of I-4 and US 27, and another near Southbay at the junction of US 27 and us 441.

Jobs One of the biggest employers in Florida is the tourist industry. Look for work in the summer or fall at places such as: Disney World, Marine World, Barnum-Bailey Circus, resorts, bars, or restaurants. There is also much fruit grown in the mild climate of Florida. Orange harvest begins in November, and lasts through the spring. There is a lot of truck farming inland


along I-75 and hwy 27, harvest usually runs from November through May. Fishing is another option for work in the Sunshine state; jobs open up in the spring, fill up by June 1. Work options include shrimpping, sports fishing, and cannery work.


Environment The annual rainfall is 32" of rain and snow. The winter temperatures average in the freezing range, while the summer temperatures average from 75-90's with high humidity. The drinking age is 18 for 3.2 beer and 21 for everything else. Many folks on the roads go through, not to, Ohio.

Military bases Rickenbacker AFB is in Columbus, and Wright-Patterson AFB is in Dayton.


Universities Ohio has a very significant student population. Cleveland has six colleges, the largest is Cleveland State with 16,300 students. Well-known Kent State is 35 miles southeast of Cleveland, it has 18,000 folks. Nearby is the University of Akron which educates 20,500. Oberlin College in Oberlin has around 2000 students, while Youngstown State in Youngstown boasts 14,000. Miami University, with 14,300 and Western College make Oxford a college town. On the other side of Dayton, Antioch College at Yellow Springs has about 5000 mellow students. In Dayton itself there are three colleges, the largest being University of Dayton with 7800 kids. Northeast of Dayton, in Fairborn is Wright State home of 12,400 students. Columbus is definitely a college town, as it is the home of the largest school in the state--Ohio State University with 49,000 students--as well as four other institutes of higher learning. Southeast of Columbus on US 33 is Athens, home of Ohio University with its student population of 13,600. Seven universities are located in the Cincinnati area, the largest of which is the University of Cincinnati with 37,000 students, followed by Xavier University with 6,000. In Toledo, the University of Toledo has 15,700 kids enrolled.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals State prisons and penal institutions are located in: Columbus, in Chillicothe off of US 23 and US 50; another is off of US 42 between Cincinnati and Dayton; one is in London on US 42 west of Columbus; another is in Marion on US 23; yet another in Marysville near the junction of US 33 and US 36; one is north of I-71 in Mansfield; another in Lucasville on US 23; and one more in Lancaster near the junction of US 22 and US 33. State mental hospitals are located in the following cities; try not to get let off near one of them: Athen, Cambridge, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Cuyahoga Falls, Massillon, Portsmouth, Tiffin, Toledo, and Youngstown.

Federal lands To get to Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, hitch the ferry (summer only) out of Port Clinton. Wayne NF is located throughout southeastern Ohio, one section lies west of Portsmouth on the Ohio River. Another section lies north and west of Athens off US 33, and a third section is located northeast of Marietta along the river. Several state parks are located throughout the state.


Rest areas No camping is permitted. Visitors may stay and sleep for 3 hours if they sign up on a register sheet. Phone numbers and service hours of nearby gas stations are posted.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person, while on a roadway outside a safety zone, shall solicit a ride from the driver of any vehicle." We have several reports of hitching along the interstates without being bothered by police. You may be stopped for an ID check and issued a "friendly warning". Enforcement may be slightly heavier along tollways.





The roads On I-70 through southern Ohio, we have 4 reports of good thumbing heading both east and west. Also there are two additional reports of good rides between Dayton and Columbus. In general, this seems to be the easiest way through Ohio, as I-80 is reported to have longer waits and more tickets. Also, I-80 is a tollway throughout much of the state (costs $3.50 to drive all the way through). I-80 and I-90 run together west of Cleveland, hitchhiking here reported grim. One bummed thumber reports: "All the assholes in the world live in northern Ohio." We have three other reports of I-80/I-90 being poor hitching west of Toledo, one hitchhiker mentioned that the last exit west out of Toledo was particularly bad. I-80 east of Cleveland is reported good by three folks. I-90 is also reported good, a one day hitch from Cleveland to Boston. I-75 was rated good by 2 hitchers headed south, but try to avoid the rush hour traffic around Dayton. I-74 from Cincinnati to Indianapolis is reported good. Mixed reports about I-71 from Cincinnati to Columbus. One report that I-71 heading southwest out of Cleveland is good, an easy place to get long rides. No reports on I-77. US 42 parallels I-71 from Cleveland to Cincinnati, but we're told its the pits


to hitch. Cincinatti to St. Louis on US 50 also reported slow. One hitcher who tried US 30 in the winter tells us, "it felt like I walked through Ohio." US 52 and hwy 125 along the Ohio River is reported a slow and scenic one day hitch from Cincinnati to Huntington, West Virginia.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One hitchhiker reported being ticketed in Ohia. Ten others were issued warnings: one of these was in Akron, one in Columbus, another near Cincinnati. Two people reported being arrested and jailed for hitchhiking in Ohio in the early 70's as part of a crackdown on thumbers. One man was searched in northern Ohio in 1978.

Long waits 2 hours in Akron on I-80 4 hours in Akron in 1976 4 hours in Akron in 1981 12 hours in Dover on I-77 4 hours Cleveland 4 1/2 hours in Cleveland 3 hours on I-71 28 hours in Toledo 6 hours in Toledo in 1980 3 hours on I-80/I-90 13 1/2 hours in Cincinnati in May 1981 8 hours in Zanesville in 1975 3 hours in Columbus on I-70


City tips To get through Columbus, buy a 50 cent metro ride on the Broad Street bus; it will take you right to I-70 west. In Cleveland, a bus to the beltway costs less than a buck and saves a lot of walking.

Trains and Truckstops In Cleveland, Penn Central lines run east to Buffalo, west to Toledo, and south to Columbus; the B & 0 line runs east to Pittsburg. In Columbus, the B & 0 lines run east to Pittsburg, west to Indianapolis, and south to Kenova, Kentucky; Penn Central lines run southwest to Cincinnati. Cincinnati has the biggest railyards. B & 0 lines run east to Parkersburg, West Virginia, north to Toledo, and west to St. Louis. Penn Central lines run north to Grand Rapids, Michigan and Gary, Indiana; west to Indianapolis. L & N lines run south through Kentucky. We have rumors that Ohio yards may be hot. Truckstops are located throughout the state. On I-71, there are truckstops in Ashland and Seville. On I-80/I-90 there is a truckstop in North Lima. Along I-75 there are truckstops in Wapakoneta, Beaverdam, Franklin, and Lima. Along I-80 there are truckstops in all major cities as well as in Youngstown. Along I-90 there is one in Kingsville. And along US 40 there is a truckstop in Eaton.


Jobs Western Ohio has a lot of truck farming in the summer (work available starting mid-July). Along the southern shore of Lake Erie there are orchards where you might find a job picking fruit in the fall.

My buddy Butch hitched across Ohio one very strange night. He had just been dropped off by a mellow gay guy, when a commercial bus stopped for him. The bus drove right by him as he was walking and pulled to a stop about 200 yards ahead. Butch says, "I figured he just stopped to rest, that he wasn't going to pick me up, but by golly when I walked up there the door came open. When I climbed in there was only the driver and me. He'd just got done driving a tour of girl scouts all around, and he wasn't too thrilled about it. I guess you have to develop a taste for girl scouts. When the bus driver let me out, a cop spotted me. I had heard that the cops are real bad in Ohio, but after he checked my ID, he said I could go ahead and hitch."

"Can I hitch over by the ramp there?" I ask.

"Go on down by the on ramp," the cop said.

"So you want me on the on ramp?" I asked.

"No, just stay on the highway," the cop replied, "you'll get a ride faster."



Environment Kentucky is the Blue Grass state, for its rolling pastureland...home of quarterhorses. It is also known for its mountains and wooded foothills...home of hillbillies. The average rainfall is 35" annually in the northern part of the state, howver, the southern part gets up to 50". Winter temperatures are usually in the 30's, while summer temperatures average around 80 or above with high humidity. Kentucky is the northern tip of the old South, and so you can expect to see plantation-type farms and honorary Kentucky colonels. The drinking age in Kentucky is 21.

Military Fort Campbell is located off of I-24 south of Hopkinsville. Fort Knox (where they used to keep all that gold) military reservation is southwest of Louisville on US 31.


Universities There are five colleges and universities in the Louisville area, the largest of which is U of L (Louisville) with 14,300 students. Lexington has three colleges, including U of Kentucky with 20,000. Eastern Kentucky University is located in Richmond off of I-75, it has a student population of 12,600. In Bowling Green, near the junction of the Green River Highway and I-65 is Western Kentucky U and its 12,700 students. Morehead State University, with an enrollment of 6800, is located off I-64 near the Daniel Boone National Forest. Murray State University off of US 641 has 7300 students. Northern Kentucky State College located in the Covington area has a student body of 5000. And in Frankfort, north of I-64, is Kentucky State University with 2200 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal youth and juvenile center in Ashland. The state maximum security penitentiary is located in Eddyville near the junction of I-24 and the Western Kentucky Parkway. Medium security facilities are in La Grange off of I-71, so try not to get dropped off at the La Grange exit. There are several minimum security work camps located throughout the state. State


Mental Hospitals are located in Hopkinsville, Danville, Lexington, and Louisville.

Federal lands Northeast of Bowling Green off of I-65 is Mammoth Cave NP. Cumberland Gap NP is located in the triangular corner of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Land Between the Lakes is located in the southwestern portion of the state; hwy 49 runs right through it. Daniel Boone NF is located in the eastern third of the state, running almost the length of the state. I-64, I-75, and the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway all run through this scenic area. Jefferson NF is located along US 119 at the Virginia- Kentucky border. Many state parks are scattered throughout the state. Kentucky has many fine camping areas, and unusually interesting rock formations.

Rest areas No camping is allowed in Kentucky rest areas. Drivers may rest (sleep) in their cars for up to 4 hours maximum. Tent-pitching is prohibited.

Hitching Law and Comment Hitchhiking is illegal along toll roads and interstates, but enforcement seems low. You can walk and hitch along the interstate, although you may be warned. Thumbing a ride is legal on backroads.


The roads Both I-65 and I-75, the main north-south roads through the state are reported good hitching by half a dozen folks, although some mentioned a hard time getting out of Louisville. The Mountain Parkway is rated easy in the off-season, one thumber mentioned getting repeated rides with coal truckers (he adds, be sure you have a good spot for them to pull over). The Kentucky Turnpike is rated as bad from Lexington to Memphis. Generally we recommend the interstates over the tollroads for getting through the state. I-64 is the main east-west route, and is reported good, especially from Louisville to Lexington. I-71 from Louisville to Cincinnati is reported OK, but the junction of I-71 and I-75 is slow and its easy to get stranded there (no civilization nearby). US 31E from Cave City to Bardstown is reported as a slow hitch. US 3l/ US 60 from Louisville to Elizabethtown is reported tough to hitch. Generally northern Kentucky was rated slow. Eastern Kentucky is reported scenic, but slow hitching due to poor local attitudes towards thumbers.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Only two people reported that they were warned about hitchhiking in Kentucky, one of


these was in Louisville. No tickets, arrests, or searches were reported.

Long waits

4 hours in Lexington in May '80

5 hours on the Blue Grass Parkway

5 hours on US 31/ US 60

2 hours at the junction of I-71 and I-75 in '77

City tips The loop around Louisville--I-264--is a nasty place to hitch due to poor shoulders and high volume of intown traffic. When heading west out of Louisville catch a bus to New Albany, Indiana. The bridge and the elevated highways on the Kentucky side of the river makes hitching very tough.

Trains and Truckstops Louisville is a major rail town. B & O lines run west to St.Louis, and northeast to Cincinnati. ICG runs south to Memphis. Penn Central lines run north to Indianapolis. South Line heads southeast to Chattanooga. We have no reports of bad railyards in Kentucky, in fact one fellow mentioned that a yardmaster in a small town had a train stop just so he could hop it. Truckstops along I-75 include: Corbin, Corinth, and Florence. Along I-65, the out of the way truckstops are in:


Franklin, Elizabethtown, and Glendale. There is also a truckstop on US 41 at Crofton.

Jobs Tobacco farming around the Lexington area offers some jobs in the late summer. In the spring, there is strawberry picking in the area around Bowling Green. Also anyone experienced with horses may find work at stables or large horse ranches.

West Virginia

Environment Almost heaven... West Virginia has lush, green Appalachian forests, cool mountain air, and down to earth people. The average annual rainfall is 30-40 inches. Winter temperatures average around freezing. Summer temperatures average about 75°. As of 1980, the drinking age for West Virginia was 18.

Military There are no military bases listed in the state of West Virginia.


Universities The largest university in the state is West Virginia University in Morgantown (good morning, Morgantown) with 20,100 students. In nearby Fairmont is Farimont State College with a student body of 3700. In Huntington is Marshall University with 9700 enrolled. There are three colleges in the Charleston area, the largest is West Virginia State College with a student population of 3500. Off of hwy 61E east of I-64 is the West Virginia Institute of Technology with its 2700 students. There are three colleges within twenty miles of Wheeling, the largest is West Liberty College off of state hwy 231 with 2700 students. East of I-81 on hwy 45 is Shepardstown, home of Shepard College with its 2000 students. Along rte 33 through the middle of the state, there are three colleges, the largest of which is West Virginia Wesleyan in Buckhannon with a student population of 1700. In the southern part of the state, there are two colleges, the bigger one being Concord College in Athens with 1700 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal prison for young adults in Morgantown, as well as a state penitentiary. Other state penal institutions are located in Alderson


off of hwy 63, in Huttonsville off of US 250, and in Moundsville south of Wheeling on rte 2. State mental hospitals are located in Barboursville, off of US 60, in Charleston, in Huntington, and in Triadelphia.

Federal land Monongahela NF extends throughout much of the eastern portion of the state. Off of US 33 is the Spruce Knob/ Senecal Lakes National Recreational Area. There are many state parks all over. Beautiful mountains, nice places to camp and commune with nature.

Rest areas No camping is allowed in West Virginia rest areas.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride." The law also excludes pedestrians from controlled access freeways (interstates). Enforcement eems limited to warnings and ID checks. Walking along the interstates is tolerated.

The roads The main east-west route through the state is I-64. At Charleston, I-64 junctions with I-77 heading south and I-79 heading north. I-64 is reported good for hitching


heading east into Charleston. The West Virginia Turnpike, also known as I-77 south of Charleston, is reported to be tough to hitch. I-70 is reported good heading east out of Wheeling. I-79 is reported good, Charleston to Morgantown described as an "easy hitch". One hitchhiker reported that US 60 through the state was tough to hitch. Another person described hitching in West Virginia to be poor overall.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Three people reported being warned by police not to hitchhike. One person reported being ticketed in '75. No arrests or searches reported.

Long waits 4 hours in Huntington on I-64 2 hours in West Virginia in '72 3 hours in Wheeling


In 1974, we got dropped off in Wheeling at about 2 AM. We started walking, looking for a place to crash, and we ended up in this big industrial park. Up comes a city policeman, asks us what's up. We tell him that we're looking for a place to crash. He tells us that we're about six miles from the edge of town, then he split. A minute later, two policemen drive up, lights


flashing, and tell us to get in. We were bummed, we thought that we were arrested. Instead they tell us we should be across the river in Ohio. So they radio the dispatch desk for permission to drive over the bridge into Ohio. The desk says "OK", so they take us about five exits into Ohio. I like the West Virginia troopers. Jim Wallis

* * * *

Trains and Truckstops Kenova in the western tip of the state is a main railyard. N & W lines run east to Charleston, south to Roanoke, Virginia, north to Columbus, and west to Cincinnati. Parkersburg connects with B & 0 lines south to Huntington, west to Cincinnati, and northeast to Pittsburg. There is a 24 hour truckstop on I-64 in Hurricane.

Jobs There is some fruit and vegetable farming in the eastern panhandle section of the state. Help may be needed in the summer and early fall. We've heard rumors about work for coal companies, hard nasty work with high job turnover.



Environment Tennessee is famous for its country music in Nashville, Elvis's grave in Memphis, and the rolling hills and hillfolk. Most people live in the four main cities: Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The drinking age is 19, and the average annual rainfall is 46 inches. The summers in this state are cool for a southern state, with the July temparatures in the 70's and 80's. The winters get cold and it even snows now and then, with the average winter temperatures in the 30's.

Military Memphis NAS is north of Memphis off of US 51. Fort Campbell Military Reservation is near Clarksville by alternate US 41 and US 79 on the Kentucky border.

Universities Ten universities can be found in Memphis. The largest is Memphis State U with 21,000 students, followed by the U of T with 2000. Nashville has 11 colleges and universities, most notably Vanderbilt U with 6900, the U of T with 5000, Tenn State with 4900, and David Lipscomb College with 2200. Knoxville boasts three colleges; the largest is the U of T with 28,000 kids, the state's largest


campus. Chattanooga is the home of another branch of the U of T with 5000 pupils and Tennessee Temple College with 1700. Johnson City has three schools, the largest is Eastern Tennessee with 9100 kids, and Steed College with 1500, located on US 411 and US 23. Murfreesboro on I-24 houses the Middle Tennessee State U with 10,000 students. In Clarksville there's Austin Peay State U with 3900 folks of hwy 79 and US 41. In Martin, there's the U of T with 5000 students, off US 45E. Tennessee Tech in Cokeville has 6900 students, some of whom filled out our surveys.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals A prison in Memphis, one in Nashville, and one on hwy 116 and hwy 62 in the town of Petros. Psychiatric hospitals are found in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville.

Federal land Great Smoky Mountain NP is southeast of Knoxville on the North Carolina border, and US 441 and hwy 73 pass through it. The border with North Carolina is mostly Cherokee NF; US 441 parallels it much of the way. In the western part of the state you have the Tennessee NWR and Cross Creek NWR along Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, stretching north of I-40 at the


junction with hwy 13 and US 79. West of Clarksville, hwy 69 runs north and south through the refuge on the way to Paris. Reelfoot NWR and Isom NWR are off hwy 22 in the northwest portion of the state near the Mississippi River. In addition, there are many nice state parks throughout the state, and several caverns in the eastern section of the state.

Rest areas There is a maximum stopping time of 45 minutes at rest areas in Tennessee.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Pedestrians may solicit from the shoulder, but state law authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from the interstates. We have many reports of walking along the interstate without trouble in the western part of the state, and one report of police hassles in the east. Drop your thumb when you see a squad car, and you should be OK.

The roads I-55 passes through Memphis and is reported very good. It is a busy road with lots of hitching being done successfully. I-65 runs north and south through Nashville and has four votes as the best route in the state,


but we do have some reports that Nashville is tough to get out of. Try to get an early start and catch the commuter traffic before 8 am. On I-75, we have one report that around Chattanooga is poor thumbing, and two other thumbers say eastern Tennessee is generally rough going. I-24 runs from Chattanooga to Nashville and is reported good thumbing. I-40 is said to be slow by Nashville and Knoxville, and slow but pretty in the eastern part of the state. Many thumbers out there in the summer! You can probably hitch through Tennessee in a day if you avoid these spots. I-81 is tough around Bristol and Knoxville, the only two major cities this particular route passes through. Highway 51 in the western part of the state is a popular trucker's route for the drivers who don't want to hassle with a permit for Arkansas. This highway is a four lane into Dyersburg, but it drops to a two lane in Dyersburg, making it a tough hitch or a walk to get through town. It expands to a four lane again by Ripley. One hitcher reports that the backroads in Tennessee are hard going, but another relates that the Tennessee people are very friendly. Interchanges in Tennessee are lighted, a rarity in southern states. This facilitates hitching at night, at least near cities.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots We have four reported warnings in Tennessee: 2 from Nashville, one in Bristol, and one on I-40 by Cookeville. There are no tickets reported, but one hitcher was searched on I-65, and another was jailed in Bristol.

Long waits 21 hours in Alcoa 2 hours in in Huntsville 1 hour in Knoxville 1 hour in Rickman 4 hours in Nashville 5 hours in Nashville going east 3 hours in Memphis headed south 2 hours in Memphis going east

City tip To get out of Memphia heading south on I-55, take the Elvis Presley bus south to Holmes and Milbranch, and you can walk to the interstate from there.

Trains and Truckstops In Memphis, the yards are cool, if you avoid the bull, and trains run on the ICG to Cairo, Il., Louisville, Nashville, and Baton Rouge. The SLSF line runs from Springfield, Mo., and Birmingham, Ab. The RI goes to Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Ark., and the SOU goes to Chattanooga. To find the yards in Memphis, take Lamar Street down to


Shelby and take a left on Shelby. You can't miss 'em. In Chattanooga, the SOU lines run to Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Corinth, Miss; the L&N runs to Nashville. In Nashville, the yards are HOT! The L&N runs to Louisville, Evansville, In., and Birmingham. The yards in Knoxville are hot, but people still catch trains to Cincinnati and Atlanta on the L&N and to Roanoke, Va. and Spartanburg, SC.

Jobs Check out the possibility of getting work with garbage collectors in Memphis. Rice grows in the west end of the state.


Environment Mississippi is a classic southern state, with a rich history and steamy summer temperatures in the 90's. Winters are cool and damp, with temperatures in the 40's and annual precipitation at 49 inches. The okra


and the pine tree grow gladly here, less than 806 feet above sea level. The police are down on longhairs, and the drinkina age is 18 for 3.2% beer and 21 for liquor.

Military Columbus AFB is north of Columbus on US 45, Meridian NAS is near Meridian on US 45, and Keesler AFB is near Biloxi off of I-10.

Universities Mississippi State U in State College on US 82 has 11,000 students. Twenty miles east, Columbus is the home of 3000 women at Miss State College for Women. The Jackson area has six colleges and universities; the largest is Jackson State with 6000 kids. In Oxford, off hwy 6, is the U of M with 8800 students-- quite the college town. Hattiesburg on I-59 has two colleges, notably the U of Southern Mississippi with 9100 pupils. Delta State University in Cleveland houses 3300 students off US 61 and hwy 8. Mississippi Valley State U in Itta Bena, on US 82, has 2800 students, and Alcorn College by Lorman, on the river, has 2400.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a psychiatric hospital southeast of Jackson on US 49. The state prison is in Parchman.


Federal lands The Yazoo NWR is off hwy 1 along the Mississippi River. In the northern end of the state is Holly Springs NF, part of which adjoins I-55 by Hardy. Tom Bigbee NF is by Houston on hwy 41, and north of Louisville off hwy 15. Then there's Delta NF east of Yazoo City off US 61 which has hwy 16 running through it, and Bienville NF surrounding I-20 east of Jackson-- a good place to camp for a night. The DeSoto NF is east and south of Hattiesburg, on hwy 15. Homochitto NF is off Us 84 and hwy 33 east of Natchez.

Rest areas Rest areas in Mississippi have fine brick buildings that look like old plantation homes, fireplaces, and picnic areas. If it is illegal to camp here, it isn't posted. Take note that rest areas in Mississippi, as in other southern states, are notorious hangouts for homosexuals.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". The law authorizes the exclusion of hitchhikers from interstates, but enforcement is quite casual. The police don't like hippy types, and you may be harassed for your hair and searched for dope. Try to be polite to the sheriffs, even


if they are jerks, and act like you live in the area. Use y'all as a word and maybe drawl a bit.

The roads I-55 is the main north and south route from New Orleans to Chicago. We have four reports of good thumbing south from Memphis and Jackson, but the interstate splits at Jackson and may be tough at rush hour. South of Jackson headed north may be kind of slow, especially around dark, as there are no lights by the on/off ramps. We have two reports that I-10 is good across the southern part of the state, and I-20 through the state from Jackson to Meridian isn't bad if you carry a sign and look like a college kid. Plenty of woods along I-20 to camp out in. I-59 is good thumbing from Meridian south towards New Orleans, but watch out near Laurel, where the interstate is a long, drawn- out series of about five interchanges, with lots of curves and poor shoulders for stopping. Your best bet is to hike to the edge of town where the road straightens out and find a spot. I-59 may also be a better bet north than trying to get a short lift on the slow stretch of US 190 in Louisiana from the New Orleans cutoff to I-55. We have mixed reports on backroad hitching in Mississippi. Two people report that


Mississippi backroads are good, and one says thumbing in the state is OK, but another hitcher says he nearly died before getting a ride on a backroad by Tupelo, and I noticed that the secondary roads looked pretty lonely, although I never had to hitch on them.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One person was warned for hitchhiking in Mississippi, but we have no reports of tickets or arrests, except...

* * * *

Don't get noticed passing a joint around with 2 or 3 others in the grassy center of a cloverleaf on I-10 outside Biloxi, Mississippi. Or, if a plainclothes detective stops to chat about it, make sure you're clean and have ID and say yessir a lot as you lie through your teeth. Carry extra underwear for such occasions as this; maintain your y'alls. John Presant

* * * *

Long waits 2 hours in Laurel, on I-59 3 hours at Bogue Chitto on I-55 4 hours by Tupelo

Trains and Truckstops Meridian is a good train town; the cops maintain a


tolerant attitude, there are hobo jungles, and a fine Salvation Army mission. The ICG runs north to Cairo, Il., and east to Birmingham. The Southern line runs down to New Orleans. Up north in Amory,there are connections with Pensacola, Birmingham, and Memphis. We have a report that larger yards are hot, so be careful if you hop a train in Jackson headed for Memphis, Meridian, Vicksburg, or New Orleans. Similar warnings apply in Vicksburg, where the ICG lines run to Memphis, Baton Rouge, and west to Shreveport.

Jobs You may be able to get a job chopping cotton along the river in the summer or fall, and if you're around in February through April, there's a very good chance of getting a job treeplanting for the big tree companies. Check out your Forest Service offices and see where planting is happening. If you're nautically inclined, fishing and boat related jobs may be opening up in Biloxi in the spring.



Environment Alabama is in the Heart of the Southland. Lots of cotton and tobacco farming. Summers are hot and dry with temperatures averaging in the 80's. Cold winters are rare, the average winter temperature is around 50. The average annual rainfall is 66 inches. The legal drinking age for Alabama is 19.

Military Craig AFB is located off of US 80 near Selma. Ft. Mc Clellan is at the junction of hwy 21 and US 431 near Anniston. Ft. Rucker is near Ozark off of US 231. Maxwell AFB is on the northwestern side of Montgomery, and the Redstone Arsenal is off of US 72 near Huntsville.

Universities There are four colleges and universities in the Montgomery area, the largest being Alabama State with 3200 students. Birmingham has five school of higher education, the largest of which is the U of A with a student population of 9900. Mobile has three colleges, with U of Southern Alabama (6200 students) being the largest. The U of A at Tuscaloosa has 15,600 students. In the Huntsville area, there are two colleges, the most significant being Alabama A&M. There


are also two schools in the Tuskegee area, the largest is Auburn University with 16,000 students making it the largest school in the state. Jacksonville State U has 5600 kids and is located north of I-20. Troy State University off of US 231 has 5100 students. Montevallo, off of I-65 on hwy 199, is the home of th e U of Montevallo with its 3800 students. The UNA in Florence has a student population of 4100. Selma University is just off US 80 in Selma, made famous by the late Dr. Martin Luther King.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal short term adult prison in Montgomery. The state prisons are located in Holman and Ellmore, and a woman's prison is located in Wetumpka. Searcy Hospital, a large state mental hospital, is located in Mt. Vernon north of Mobile on US 43.

Federal lands Along the Florida border, and just off of US 29 is Conecuh NF. Talladega NF is located south of US 82 near Brent and south of Anniston off of I-20. William Bankhead NF is located in the northwestern section of the state, US 278 runs right through it. Wheeler NWR is located around Lake Decatur, off of I-65. Tuskegee NF is


located between Tuskegee and Auburn just off of I-85. In addition to these national lands, there are several nice state parks and lakes scattered throughout the state. Swimming is a favorite summer pastime.

Rest areas We hear rest areas are notorious hangouts for homosexuais. The State of Alabama did not respond to our letter.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride." The law excludes pedestrians from controlled access facilities. Enforcement varies, apparently it is stricter around Mobile.

The roads I-20 is the main east-west road, good traffic flow. Two hitchers report good thumbing along this road. I-65 is the main north-south road between Mobile and Nashville. One hitcher reports this road is good from Birmingham on north. I-10 west of Mobile is reported good hitching.

We have one report that notes southern interstates are better than northern interstates for getting rides. We also have scattered reports of good backroad hitching in the South. One racially mixed couple reported trouble hitching through Alabama.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots Two people reported being jailed for hitching in Alabama, one of these was in Mobile. A racially mixed couple reported excessive harassment by Alabama police officers. We have no reports of tickets, warnings, or searches. We have received very little information about hitching in Alabama.

Long waits We have no reports of long waits in Alabama.

Trains and Truckstops Birmingham is the main train town. SOU lines run to northeast to Chattanooga, northwest to Corinth, Mississippi. SLSF lines run north to Memphis. SCL tracks head east to Atlanta, southeast to Columbus, Ga., south to Montgomery. ICG lines head southwest to Meridian, Ms. L & N lines run north to Nashville. There is another switching yard in Montgomery, with connections on SCL to Valdosta. L & N lines run to Flomaton and Atlanta. Most trains heading west along the Gulf are put together in Mobile, eastbound Gulf trains are put together in Pensacola, Fla. We do have reports that Alabama yards are hot, so be careful. All night truckstops are located in Demopolis at the junction of US 80 and US 43, and in Cullman off of I-65.


Jobs Potato harvest in early summer (May to July). Tomatoes are harvested in June. Some tree planting work available in Febuary.


Environment Indiana is a farming state with fertile flatlands, and nice wooded rolling hills in the south along the Ohio and Wabash rivers. All the main roads in Indiana lead to Indianapolis. Indiana gets an average of 35 inches of rain yearly. Average winter temperatures in the 20's for the northern part of the state, 30's for the south. Average summer temperature is around 76 and humid. The drinking age in Indiana is 21, and you must have an ID just to go enter a bar, even if


you don't drink. Indianapolis is famous for the Indy 500.

Military Jefferson Proving Ground is located north of Madison off of US 421 and US 50. Crane National Ammunition Depot is southwest of Bloomington off of US 231. Grissom AFB is located near Peru on US 24. Ft. Benjamin Harrison is in Indianapolis, and Camp Atterbury is located northwest of Columbus on I-65.

Universities Ball State University in Muncie is off hwy 32 and has 18,000 students. There are two colleges in Terre Haute, the biggie being Indiana State with 10,000 kids. Evansville has two colleges: ISU and the University of Evansville, for a total student population of under 10,000. ISU in Bloomington, off hwy 46, has 30,000 pupils. Fort Wayne has six colleges, and the largest is Indiana University- Purdue University with 18,000 students. IU at South Bend has 9000 students, and Valparaiso U southeast of Gary on US 30 has 5600.

Prisons There is a federal long term adult prison near Terre Haute. State prisons are found at Rockville, off US 41; Greencastle, on US 231; and Plainfield on US 40. Pendleton,


northeast of Indianapolis, has a prison, and so does Michigan City, east of Gary. State mental hospitals are in Bloomington, Evansville, Indianapolis, Logansport, Madison, and Richmond.

Rest areas Generally, camping is allowed at Indiana rest areas. However, there are local ordinances in some areas, so it's best to see if any regulations are posted.

Federal land Hoosier NF is south and east of Bloomington, and much of hWY 37 runs through the forest. Muscatatuck NWR is east of I-65 near Seymour. There are also many state parks scattered throughout the state; my favorite is in Brown County.

Hitching Law and Comment "No Person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Hitching is illegal on the interstates, but enforcement seems spotty, as we have both walked along the freeway without being hassled, although police did see us.

The roads I-64 is the main route from Louisville to St. Louis and it is a pretty drive through the Hoosier NF. Most traffic out of New Albany is going at least to Evansville. I-64 is good


thumbing through the state according to three reports. I-65 is the main north and south route through Indiana from Chicago to Louisville, via Indianapolis. Northbound from Indy to Gary is reported good, but southbound from Gary is grim, according to two reports. One thumber tells us to expect a day to cover the length of the State. I-74 west of Indy has mixed reports, but considerable experience seems to indicate it is a pretty good hitch at least from Crawfordsville to Danville, Il. I-74 from Indy to Cincinnati is reported "fair". I-80 and I-90 are the Indiana Toll Road through the state; toll costs about $3.50 for the entire length. One hitcher reports poor hitching on this road, and two others tell of police warnings here. As for I-70, there are few reports of thumbing here. The single report we do have warns of waits by Terre Haute, and west of there Illinois hitchers describe long waits on I-70. The I-465 loop around Indy is a nightmare. To get from one edge to the other by hitching can be rough, and on more than one occasion I have been stranded on the wrong side of Indy for hours. As for the backroads, we have a report that they are tough thumbing, too. On hwy 231 from Greencastle to Crawfordsville, expect a two hour wait


either way. On US 50 from Cincinnati to St. Louis, bring your toys to play with. US 36 from Indy isn't bad, but west of Greencastle, things get worse. Coming in from Illinois is not much better. The shoulders are in bad shape, the places to hitch from safely are few and far between.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Three people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in Indiana, and seven people reported being warned. Two of these warnings occurred on the Indiana Toll Road. No reported searches, arrests, or jailings.

Long waits 12 hours around Peru 2 hours in New Albany 5 hours in Brick Chapel on 231 4 hours in Fincastle 24 hours in La Porte 4 hours on the Indy Beltway 2 hours on I-64 3 hours on US 36

Trains and Truckstops Indianapolis has connections to St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. From Evansville, SOU runs to Louisville, L&N to St. Louis, and Chicago. From Peru, the N&W goes to Decatur, Il. Truckstops can be found


at Angola and Gaston on I-69, and at Sellersburg and Taylorsville on I-65. On I-70, check out the exits at Brazil, Cambridge City, and Spiceland. On I-74, look at Newpoint. As for the backroads, find stops at Chesterton on US 20, at Haubstadt on US 41, at Kendallville on US 6, and at Pierceton on US 30.

Jobs Corn detassling jobs open up in mid June and July, and there may be jobs picking tomatoes and sweet corn in the Ft. Wayne area in August.


Environment Illinois is the heart of America's farmland, producing tons of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops. The thick black soil is all that now remains of a once-spectacular tall grass prairie that fed and sheltered one of the world's most complex ecosystems. Although most folks drive right through Illinois, there is a lot to see and do if you know where to go.


Illinois gets 35 inches of rainfal l a year. The summers are hot and humid (it's not the heat, it's the humidity) with an average temperature of 75 degrees. Winters are cold and windy, with the average January thermometer reading just below 30. The state drinking age is 21, but in Champaign-Urbana local ordinances allow underage students into beer gardens.

Military Chanute AFB is in Rantoul on I-57. Fort Sheridan is in Highwood, Glenview NAS is in Clenview, and Great Lakes Naval Training Center are all in the greater Chicago area. Joliet Army Ammunition Plant is in Joliet, Rock Island Arsenal is in Rock Island on I-74, and Scott AFB is off I-64 east of Belleville.

Universities The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana is the home of 36,000 real students and two rascals; Bradley U in Peoria has 5000 kids; and Eastern Illinois U in Charleston, off I-57, has 8700. There are 40 colleges and universities in the Chicago area. The largest of these are: U of I Circle Campus with 20,000 pupils; Loyola U with 12,900; Northwestern U with 6000 kids; DePaul U with 10,000; NWU in Evanston has 10,000 students; Northeast Illinois U has 9,000; and Chicago State


University educates 6500 folks. In Bloomington-Normal, on I-74, we find ISU with 19,000 pupils and Illinois Wesleyan with 2300. Northern Illinois U in Dekalb has 25,000 people, and Western IU in Macomb, off US 136, houses 15,000. Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is off US 51 and is the home of 19,000 rowdies. SIU in Edwardsville, near St. Louis, has 12,000 students. In Calesburg, on I-74, there's Knox College with 1200 students, and on down the road in Rock Island there's Augustana College with 2500 folks.

Prisons There are two maximum security "charm schools" in Joliet, and a federal treatment center in Chicago. In Menard, southwest of Marion on hwy 148, is a federal maximum security political prison. In Vandalia, on US 51 just north of I-70, a state prison is right by the road. In Hillsboro, a prison is off hwy 16 and 127, and another one is in Dwight, off I-55, There's a prison in Vienna, off I-24, and one in Sheridan, on hwy 52, and both a prison and mental hospital in Lincoln, on hwy 121. If you ever find yourself stuck thumbing by a prison in Ponhae, drop us a line and tell us where it is. Any prison near the highway is sure to have "Do Not Pick Up


Hitchhikers" signs. Mental hospitals are located in Alton, Anna, Decatur, Elgin, Galesburg, Manteno, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and especially in Jacksonville, and Vandalia.

Rest stops Camping rules vary at individual rest stops, and the ones on the interstates are more modern and maintained than the ones on the secondary roads. Regulations about camping will be posted; many do allow camping, and the roadside tables and similar pull-offs are everywhere.

Federal land Pretty much everything south of rte 13 is Shawnee NF, a really beautiful place and best in the off-season, when the poison ivy, mosquitoes, and tourists are a bit less obnoxious. Crab Orchard NWR by Marion is a main stop on the Canada honker flyway. There are many state parks and lakes.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Generally, expect to have your ID checked, and maybe get a toothless warning. ("You can throw it away, but don't litter the highway," says one cop). No problems hitching on the backroads.


The roads I-70 is a lonely road east and west through the state. Three people report I-70 as good through Illinois, but three others say it is the pits. It is easy to get stuck at the border; US 40 may be a good alternative route, especially on holidays. Most through traffic takes the I-270 bypass around St. Louis. I-74 connects I-70 from Indianapolis with I-60 at the Quad Cities. It is slow thumbing west out of Indy, but things get better from Danville west to Champaign. From Champaign to Bloomington is a heavily hitched road; thumbers may be found out there any time of the week, and the best hitchpicker traffic is usually found on Friday and Sunday afternoons, when the student traffic is leaving or coming to School. West of Bloomington to Peoria, traffic is again heaviest around the weekends, but perhaps not quite as good as east of Bloomington. The intersection of I-74 and I-80 is gften a bottleneck for thumbers; there is a good truckstop west of the Quad Cities. I-80 is reported good through the state once you get out of Chicago. East of Chicago, I-80 joins I-90 and becomes a toll road (2 cents a mile). I-90 is the Northwest Toll Road from Chicago to the Wisconsin border. Hitching on this road is reported poor. I-94 is known


as the Tri-state Tollway in Illinois, and hitching is tough between Chicago and Milwaulkee according to two reports. US 41 is recommended as an alternative way to get out of Chicago northbound. I-64 is a good east and west route from St. Louis to Louisville, Ky., though the intersection of I-64 and I-57 is without facilities, so it is easy to get stranded there. From St. Louis to Louisville on this road is a fair day's hitch. I-55 is a main route north and south from St. Louis to Chicago. This route is an easy day's hitch, usually 2 or 3 rides, with stops in Bloomington or Springfield. Be careful of the loop around Bloomington on the west side; many people queue up there, both north and southbound. Take the bus or check out the eastern half of the loop, which goes closer to the schools. I-57 is an important route south of Chicago to Cairo, in the southern tip of the state, and thumbers report easy hitching as far south as Carbondale. One report that compared I-55 and I-57 said I-55 had fewer cops and less traffic, and I-57 had more traffic and cops. Several reports agree that hitching north on I-57 from Champaign-Urbana is easy and fast, and that heading south on the same route is also nice. I-72 west of


Champaign-Urbana to Springfield is a bad road. We have four reports of long waits and few drivers. Highway 10 is a possible alternative, but you may get stuck on it between the short hops. As for secondary roads, US 51 is a really good route between Decatur and Bloomington. North of Bloomington is OK, as far as Peru-LaSalle, and gets better north of I-80 up to Rockford. South of Decatur, US 51 is more local traffic and turns to short hops; be careful to get a ride straight through to the interstate, as the prison in Vandalia makes for rough thumbing. US 36 east of Decatur is a hard day's hitch to Indianapolis; lots of local traffic. Highway 121 is fair hitching from Mattoon to Decatur. US 24 is a slow road; tuck up the hair, look like a farmer, and pray.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Seven people reported being ticketed in Illinois for hitchhiking: one in Champaign in '79, two in Belleville in '70 and '73, and two in Peoria in '81. Five people reported being searched in the state: one in Joliet, one in Chicago in '71, and three in Bloomington. One person reported being arrested for hitchhiking, and another said he was jailed in Danville. Twenty-one people were warned about hitchhiking in


Illinois: six of these were in the Chicago area, one in Peoria in '74, and two on I-70.

Long waits

3 hours on I-74

4 hours in Peoria in '81

2 hours at the I-74/I-80 junction in '81

1 hour in Bloomington

1 hour in Bloomington in '81

1 hour in Springfield on I-55

1 hour in Springfield on I-72

2 hours in North Chicago

5 hours in Chicago in '80

4 hours on the tollway by Chicago

1 hour on hwy 121

3 hours on I-70

1 day at the junction of I-55 and I-70

4 hours on I-70

City tips To get out of Chicago headed west and northbound, take the HOWARD el-train to Loyola/ Touhy until it crosses the highway. To get out of Chicago headed east, on I-80, I-90, or I-94, or south on I-57, take the subway/ el-train called the Dan Ryan to 69th street, and you can walk to the highway entrance ramp from there. It is in what you might call a bad neighborhood. Thanks to Jan Ralske, P.L. To get out of Champaign- Urbana, take the gray line


to the interstate east, and the brown line to the interstate west.

Trains and Truckstops Ten people tell us the railyards in Chicago are the hottest anywhere and to watch out; three more dislike the east Chicago yards especially. Chicago and Northwestern Lines run to Ft. Dodge, St. Paul, Milwaulkee, and Oshkosh. Milwaukee lines run to Omaha, Mason City, Ia., and Kansas City. ICG lines run to St. Louis, Springfield, and Cairo. Chicago and Eastern Illinois lines run to Evansville, Indiana. From the east Chicago/Gary, Indiana yards, the Penn Central lines run to Detroit, Toledo, Pittsburg, and Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. Grand Trunk Western runs to Toronto, and Chesapeake & Ohio runs to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Truckstops may be found at Bloomington, on I-55; at Cairo, on I-57; in Effingham, on I-57 and I-70; in Cilman, on I-57; in Morris, on I-80; in Princeton, on I-80; at LaSalle-Peru on I-80; at Russell, on I-94; at Troy and Springfield, on I-55; at Woodhull, on I-74; and at Tuscola, on I-57.

Jobs Asparagus picking starts in the middle of April on farms near US 51 and I-80. Corn detassling begins in


mid-June around Decatur, and vegetable farm along the river in the western part of the state will have picking jobs in August.


Environment Iowa is part of America's farmlands. Lots of corn, soybeans, and wheat are grown here, especially in the eastern half, where the rainfall is greater (about 35 inches annually). Iowans take pride in the appearance of their land; rare is the farmhouse, no matter how lonely, that does not have a fresh coat of paint and a well- tended flower garden. Winter temperatures dip to the teens, and the wind gets to blowing something fierce, but summer temperatures average in the 70's. The state drinking age is 19, and there are no military bases here.

Universities Iowa State is in Ames, off I-35, and boasts an enrollment of 20,000 people. The U of I in Iowa


City, just off I-80, has 22,000 students. The University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, on US 20, has 9400 pupils. In Des Moines, there are three schools, of which Drake University is the largest with 6900 folks enrolled. Dubuque is a neat town with old buildings and five small colleges and universities. Grinnell College in Grinnell is worth mentioning.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary is in Fort Madison in the southeast corner of the state on US 61. The women's reformatory is in Rockwell City on US 20 east of Sioux City, and the men's reformatory is in Anamosa, off US 151 east of Cedar Rapids. The Iowa State Training School for Boys is in Eldora on hwy 175, and the school for girls is near Mitchellville on I-80 east of Des Moines. Psychiatric hospitals are in Cherokee, Clarinda, Independence, and Iowa City.

Rest areas "It has been decided that no person, persons, or travelling unit shall use the highway rest area as a place to park, camp, or stay overnight". (A quote from the Iowa Department of Transportation's Rest Area Manual).


Federal land There are no National Forests or other federally controlled areas in Iowa. There are some state forests: Stephens Forest in southern Iowa off US 34, Shimek Forest on hwy 2, and the Yellow River Forest along the Mississippi River in the northeast section of the state.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prevent any pedestrian from standing on that portion of the highway or roadway, not ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any vehicle". Hitchhiking is allowed so long as the thumber is not in the road itself. Walking along the shoulder is permitted, and we have done it frequently.

The roads I-80 is the main east- west road in Iowa, and five people have rated I-80 as a good hitch through the state. Two thumbers report that I-380 from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids is an easy one-ride hitch. If you're in a hurry, you should be able to make it through the state from Davenport to Council Bluffs in well under a day.


Carry a sign if you plan on going through Nebraska, where thumbing is illegal. The intersection of I-80 and I-35 at Des Moines is well outside of town and it is a long walk to get anywhere. I-35 from Des Moines north is reported good to Ames, and good north to Albert Lea, Minnesota. I-35 south from Albert Lea is good hitching only after you cross the Iowa state line. We have no reports on conditions south of Des Moines. I-29 follows the river from Kansas City to Sioux City and is used heavily by people heading to and coming from the northwest US. For straight north- south travel, I-35 seems faster; read about road conditions in Minnesota. Few folks reported hitchhiking backroads in Iowa, but the two reports we have agree that Iowa backroads are easy to hitch. This does not include US 30, which parallels I-80, and has mostly local traffic.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Two people were ticketed and one person was warned for hitchhiking in Iowa. Another person reports being searched while thumbing.

Long waits 1 1/2 hours on I-80 by Des Moines 2 hours somewhere in Iowa 2 hours in Iowa in 7/'79 3 hours by Des Moines in 1/'81


2 hours on I-29 north of Sioux City

City tips The junction of I-35 and I-80 is desolate; avoid getting dropped off here at night. Apparently there is a bus that runs to a point near the jct.

Trains and Truckstops In Des Moines, the railyards are by Scott Avenue and US 69. The Rock Island lines connect to Omaha and Chicago, north to Mason City and south to Kansas City. N&W lines run to St. Joseph and Moberly, Mo. In Sioux City, Northwestern lines run north to Minneapolis and south to Omaha; Illinois Central runs to Ft. Dodge. In Mason City, the Southern Pacific runs west to Rapid City and east to Chicago; the Rock Island line runs north to St. Paul and south to Des Moines.

Truckstops are found on I-80 at Altoona, Atlantic, Coralville, and at the I-29 junction in Council Bluffs. Others are at Victor, Wallcott (a big one), and in Iowa City, where thumbers are almost welcome. On I-35, look for stops in Ames, Williams, and Sioux City. Others are at Ft. Dodge on US 20 and at Storm Lake on hwy 71.


Jobs Asparagus pickers may be needed near Waterloo in May and early June. Corn detassling begins later in June, and bean-walking jobs may be available in the summer.


Environment Missouri is a beautiful state from the farms in the northern and central areas to the Ozarks in the south. Most of the population of the state is located in the large cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. The Ozarks in the southern part of the state have interesting caves, rock formations, and neat people. The rainfall averages about 35 inches for the whole state. Average winter temperatures are around 25 in the north, slightly higher in the south. Summer is hot and humid average


temperature is 80 or higher. (real sizzlers in St. Louis) Stop by and visit Don in St.Louis; call first. The drinking age in Missouri is 21 for everything, and liquor is not available on Sundays or other holy days.

Military Fort Leonard Wood is located south of I-44 near Hooker. (is this name significant?)

Universities There are eighteen colleges and universities in the greater St. Louis area, including: St. Louis University with 9600 students, UMSL with 12,000 enrollees, Washington University with 10,900 students (the old alma what's it matter), Webster College has 2800 students. There are eight colleges and universities in the Kansas City area, the largest being UMKC with 11,300 students. Off of I-70 in the middle of the state is the University of Missouri at Columbia, the largest in the state with its 24,000 students. Southwest Missouri State University is located in Springfield and has 10,600 students, there are also three other colleges in the Springfield area. In Warrensburg off of US 50 is Central Missouri State University with 8800. Off of I-55 in Cape Gireadu is SE Missouri State U with 7200 students. In Kirksville, off of US 63, is NE


Missouri State U with 5800. And in Rolla off of I-44 is the U of M Rolla with 5000 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The Missouri State Penitentiary and three related facilities are located in Jefferson City. Fordland "honor" camp is located in Fordland. In Springfield is a federal hospital for convicts, and in Moberly is a training center for men. There is a correctional pre-release center in Tipton west of Jefferson City on US 50. In St.Louis is St. Mary's honor center and of course the city and county jails (we've all been there at one point or another). State Mental Hospitals are located in St.Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Fulton, Farmington, St.Joseph, and Nevada.

Federal lands In the south and southeastern portions of the state are large sections of national forest. Mark Twain NF is located off of US 60 and US 67, and has lots of scenic woodlands and rivers. Clark NF is located in roughly the same area. Mingo NWR is a swamp area in the southeastern corner of the state. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is located near Eminence off of hwy 19 and 105. Lake of the Ozarks off of US 54


and Silver Dollar City are main tourist attractions, Missouri has some of the largest caves in the world. Many are commercialized, but many are not. Many people have homesteaded in the Ozarks, they may be willing to put up weary travellers to hear stories of life on the road. Missouri has lots of natural beauty. Step lightly on the land, and enjoy.

Rest areas Overnight camping is prohibited in Missouri rest areas.

Hitching Law and Comment There are no state laws regarding hitchhiking in the state of Missouri. Various towns and cities have established local ordinances against hitchhiking. For instance, St. Louis enforces anti-pedestrian ordinances from time to time along highways in the city. Generally, however, hitchhiking is legal and accepted.

The roads I-70 is the main route east-west through the state. Hitching along I-70 is reported good by half a dozen hitchers. As soon as you go on into Kansas, I-70 becomes a toll turnpike and hitchhiking is difficult. It may be wise to wait on the Missouri side for a long ride on through Kansas. I-55 follows the river through the


state; hitching is reported good heading both ways. I-55 junctions with I-57 at Sikeston, where there is a truckstop and good traffic flow, easy to get a ride. I-44 is reported OK thumbing from St.Louis on into Oklahoma, although some long waits have been reported. When I-44 goes on into Oklahoma it becomes a toll turnpike, so again it may be better to wait on the Missouri side. We have no reports about I-29 or I-35 through Missouri.

As for Missouri backroads, many are slow and scenic, some just slow. US 67 heading north into St. Louis is reported OK, but rated slow heading the other way. It's easy to get to from Jefferson City to the interstate on US 54 (if you're heading east) or US 63 (if you're heading west). US 54 is slow around Lake of the Ozarks during tourist season. US 160 in southern Missouri is scenic but slow, "lots of walking between rides, hard to tell which is faster sometimes." US 65 scenic and good thumbing, main north-south route in the western part of the state. US 67 south of Fredericktown is pretty grim hitching except at rush hour. The stretch from Poplar Bluff down to Corning, Arkansas is quite lonely and if you are going anywhere south, it is better to take US 60 east to Sikeston and hitch on I-55.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots TWO people report being ticketed for hitchhiking in St. Louis. Two others report that they were searched in St. Louis, one of these was along I-70. Two others report being warned about thumbing in Missouri in general.

Long waits 2 hours in Columbia on I-70 1 hour in St. Louis 2 days in Elkland in '73 4 hours in Missouri 5 hours on I-44 near Lebanon in '80 1 hour on US 67 near Fredricktown

City tips To get out of St. Louis, go downtown around 7th and Olive where you can board a bus headed in the same direction you are. Bus fare is 50¢ (60¢ during rush hour). If you're heading west get on a Welston- St.Charles bus and take it to Bridgeton, I-70 waits nearby. If you're heading south take a Carondolet-South County bus and get off at the South County Shopping Center. I-55 is right there. If you're headed north or east, take a Collinsville-Edwardsville bus, get off at hwy 159 and I-70. The busses are usually on schedule, but if not you get a case of the Bi-State blues.


Trains and Truckstops St.Louis is the main rail town. Connections on B&O to Ohio, Penn Central to Indianapolis, ICC and N&W on into cental Illinois, Mo-Pac lines run into Little Rock, Arkansas; and west into Kansas City. SLSF lines run to Springfield and Tulsa, Oklahoma. In St. Joeseph, the trains run west on BN lines to Omaha, north on C&NW lines to Des Moines. Moberly connects to Kansas City and Decatur, Illinois on N&W lines. Springfield tracks run to Memphis, Ft. Smith, Arkansas and Ft. Scott, Kansas on SLSF lines.

Truckstops along I-70 are located in: Bluesprings, Foristell, Sweet Springs, Oak Grove, and Kingdom City. Along I-44 there are truckstops in Sullivan, Villa Ridge, and Joplin. On I-55 there is a good truckstop at Sikeston. On I-35 there is a truckstop in Cameron. US 70 has a truckstop in Jasper, and US 63 has a truckstop in Lancaster.

Jobs If you're into travelling on the Mississippi, check with the barge companies in St. Louis; work a month, off a month. There are orchards along I-70 east of Kansas City. Peaches are ripe in the summertime, apples in the fall. Some truck farming and grapes in the southern half of the state, but


jobs are generally hard to come by; lots of competition.


Environment Michigan is really two separate states: the mitten-shaped lower portion and the upper peninsula. Most of the people live in the central and eastern parts of the state. Michigan has some very beautiful shorelines all along the Great Lakes, inland there is lots of farming: dairy, wheat, and hay. The upper peninsula and the coastal areas get about 35" of rain annually, while the inland regions get from 20-25". Winter temperatures are cold, around the teens in the peninsula, the 20's for the rest of the state. Lots of snow. Summer temperatures average 70's south, and 60's north. The drinking age in Michigan is now 21.


Military KI Sawyer AFB is located south of Marquette on US 51. Wurtsmith AFB is on the east shore off of US 23. Traverse City CGB is off of US 31. There is an artillery range and the Michigan National Guard Military Reservation near Grayling on I-75.

Universities Southern Michigan has a significant student population. Michigan State U in East Lansing is the largest in the state with 46,800 students. The U of M in Ann Arbor has 35,300. In the Detroit area there are eleven colleges and universities, the largest being Wayne State University with a student population of 34,700. Kalamazoo has two schools, the larger by far being the U of Kalamazoo with 22,800 students. Ypsilanti has two schools, EMU with 20,000 and Cleary College. Central Michigan University is located on US 27 near Mt. Pleasant, and has 16,700 kids enrolled. Oakland University in Rochester has 10,200 students. Ferris State College has 9300 students and is located north of Grand Rapids on US 131. There are seven colleges in the Grand Rapids area, the largest being Grand Valley State College in Allendale with its 6700 students. In the far northern peninsula is NMU in Marquette with 8200 students. The U of M in Dearborn has 4300 students enrolled.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal young adult prison near Milan off of US 23. In Detroit is a federal community treatment center. State prisons are located in the following areas: near Ypsilanti off of I-94, by Jackson also off I-94, in Ionia near state hwys 21 and 66, in Muskegon along the western coastline off of US 31, in the northern peninsula near Kinross off of I-75, in Saugatuck on US 96 near Holland, in Chelsa, and in Grass Lake, both off of I-94. There seems to be a cluster of penal institutions between Detroit and Jackson; this may affect hitchhiking in the area. State mental hospitals are located in: Ypsilanti, Traverse City, Pontiac, Newberry, Northville, Kalamazoo, and Dimondale.

Federal lands Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located east of Marquette on hwy 28. Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore is west of Traverse City off of hwy 22. Hiawatha NF is located in the upper peninsula between US 41 and hwy 94, and another section is west of I-75. East of I-75 between Grayling and the shore is Huron NF. Manistee NF is located along the western coast from Muskegon north to Manistee; US 10 runs right through it. Ottowa NF is in the northwestern part of the peninsula off of US 2. There are numerous state and


local parks throughout the state. Enjoy the scenic lakeshores and inland forests this state has to offer.

Rest areas Rest areas in Michigan are numerous and modern. Rest areas allow overnight parking, but camping is discouraged and regulations are posted.

Hitching Law and Comment There are no specific laws concerning hitchhiking in the state of Michigan. There are some general laws concerning pedestrians along roadways, but nothing about ride solicitation. A pedestrian who impedes traffic or is along a limited access highway is guilty of a civil infraction. There may be local ordinances about hitchhiking around larger cities, Grand Rapids for instance. Hitching and walking along the interstate seem to be tolerated.

The roads I-94 is the main east-west route. We have several reports that it is easy to catch a ride in and about the Ann Arbor area. Two hitchers rated I-94 as good, another reports that it is tough coming east out of the Indiana-Chicago megalopolis. I-65 is reported good heading north up to Lansing. I-75 is the main north south route, and it joins US 27 south of Grayling; this junction is reported


slow. The peninsula in northern Michigan is reported slow hitching, but beautiful scenery. I-75 on into Canada through Sault Ste. Marie is reported good. State hwy 61 heading out of Standish is reported slow. US 127 heading south out of Lansing is also reported poor thumbing. Three reports of problems getting out of Detroit.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Four warnings about hitching were reported in Michigan. Three tickets for hitchhiking were also reported: one in '73, one in '74, and one in Detroit in '77. One search was reported in Columbus, northeast of Detroit on I-94.

Long waits 2 hours in the upper peninsula 18 hours in upper Michigan 2 hours in northern Michigan 2 hours in central Michigan 18 hours getting out of Michigan in '71

Trains and Truckstops Detroit is the main rail town, but three folks mentioned that the Detroit yards were hot, so be careful. Detroit has connections on C&O lines to Grand Rapids, on N&W lines west to Chicago and southwest to St. Louis, and on Penn Central lines north to Mackinaw city, with connections on CNCP lines on


into Canada. Grand Rapids has connections south on the C&O to Gary, Indiana and on Penn Central lines south to Cincinnati. Raco, on the peninsula, connects to Superior and St. Paul through the Soo line, and on into Canada through Sault Ste. Marie.

There are truckstops along I-94 at New Buffalo and Sawyer. Along I-75 there is an all night truckstop at Trenton. Other truckstops include: one in Tedonsha off of US 27, another off US 2 in St.Ignace, and one at the junction of US 23 and hwy 59 near Hartland.

Jobs In the summer there is some work on vegetable truck farms. Strawberries are ripe along the west shore in June. Cherries ripen in July along the western coast and northern part of the state; check at orchards for picking jobs. Apple picking starts in September and runs through November throughout the state. Haying help may be needed in the summer months.



Environment Wisconsin has a lot Of variety, from the southwestern foothills along the Mississippi, to the central farming plains, to the lakes and northern woodlands. Most of the states population lives in the southeastern section of the state. Average rainfall is 35" in the southern and northern sections, with slightly less in the central plains. Winter temperatures are 10-20 degrees, it's cold and windy near the Great Lakes. Summer temperatures average in the 60's north, and in the 70's south. The drinking age in Wisconsin is 18.

Military Camp Mc COY Military Reservation is located near the junction of I-90 and I-94 at Tomah. There is a Coast Guard Base in Milwaukee.

Universities Milwaukee has nine colleges and universities, the largest of which is the U of W Milwaukee with 25,400 followed by Marquette University with 10,000 students. Beloit College in Beloit, a border town, has 1700 students and is a popular drinking spot for 18 year olds from Illinois. There are two schools in the Madison area; the larger one is the U of W Madison


with 37,000 students, who make it the largest in the state. U of W in Eau Claire on I-94 has 10,000 students, while U of W Lacrosse has 7600 and is located near the Minnesota border off of I-90. U of W at Green Bay has a student population of 3900, and U of W Oshkosh on US 103 near Lake Winnebago has 11,000 kids enrolled. There are two schools in Kenosha on I-94 south of Milwaukee: the U of W there has 5300 students. U of W Platteville on US 151 has 4000 kids, and U of W River Falls off of hwy 65 has 4200. On US 51 is the U of W at Stephens Point with its 8000 students, while the U of W at Menomonie off of I-94 has 5500. Between Milwaukee and Madison on I-94 is the U of W at Whitewater, and off of I-35 in Superior is the U of W at Superior with 2600 students. There are many smaller colleges scattered throughout the state, giving Wisconsin a significant student population.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a maximum security prison at Green Bay. In Waupun, on US 151, is another maximum security institution. On highway 68 is Fox Lake correctional institution. State mental hospitals are located in Waupun (double whammy, try not to hitch here!), Sparta, and Madison.


Federal lands Along Lake Superior is Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Chequamegon NF is between Ashland and Hayward off of US 6 3 and hwy 13. Nicolet NF is east of US 45. There are three Indian reservations in the northern part of the state, as well as lots of state forests. There is more state forest land east of Black River Falls off of I-94. Necadah NWR is east of Tomah on hwys 80 and 173. Horicon NWR is east of Beaver Dam off hwy 26. Hwy 67 goes through the Kettle Morraine State Forest. There is much beautiful shoreline along Lake Michigan, and many tourists flock to Door County (peninsula near Green Bay) in the summer.

Rest areas No camping is allowed in Wisconsin rest areas. Violations may lead to a $10 fine or 30 days in jail (ouch!)

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall be on the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from an operator of any vehicle other than a public passenger vehicle." Legally pedestrians may solicit from off of the roadway (eg. on the berm). Violations of this law result in fines from $2 to $40 for the first offense. "Hitchhiking is prohibited on the


Interstate system, including access ramps (past the sign), hikers must stand off of the roadway on other routes. Stopping on the interstate to pick up a hitchhiker is illegal." Expect to have your ID checked while hitching. Stay on the ramps along the interstates; pedestrians on the interstate (beyond the ramps) are subject to $40 fine or jail if they can't pay the fine. Backroads are OK for hitching, so find a good spot where hitchpickers can pull over easily. Some areas are easier to hitch; for instance, thumbing around Madison is good.

The roads I-90/I-94 is the main route northwest through the state. I-90 and I-94 run together from Tomah to Madison. I-90 from Beloit north to Madison is reported good. From Madison to the Tomah junction I-90/I-94 is reported OK, traffic flow is good. Watch out for the Tomah junction; it's an easy place to get stranded and/or ticketed. We have some bad reports heading east out of La Crosse on I-90. Two hitchers rated I-94 good from Madison to Milwaukee, no reports heading west out of Milwaukee. We have one good report for I-94 on through the state. I-43/ US 141 is reported good from Green Bay on into Chicago. US 41


from Appleton to Chicago is reported good, and hitching is legal along it. US 10 from Stephens Point to Manitowoc is reported good. US 41 is reported good, and is probably the best bet for north-south hitching. US 51 is reported good, but its reported to slow down north of Wausau. I-90 and I-94 both turn into tollroads when they enter Illinois. US 14 is reported good hitching and scenic, an alternative to the interstates from La Crosse to Madison. North of Eau Claire, US 53 is a decent road with good traffic flow all the way up to Superior, although it is a bit slow north of Spooner. In Door County, state hwys S and A are better than hwy 42. Thumbing is reported worse in this area in the summer because, "Locals will pick you up, but tourists won't." Judging from the number of responses, backroads seem to be the best way to hitchhike across Wisconsin.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Seven people reported getting ticketed for hitchhiking in Wisconsin; one of these was in Tomah in '79 with a $40 fine, and another was in La Crosse in May '81 with another $40 fine. One person reports being searched and another reports being jailed, both in Tomah. Eight warnings by police not to hitch


were reported at unspecified locations in Wisconsin.

Long waits 4 hours in Appleton 1 day in '70 3 hours in Oconomowoc 4 hours in Northern Wisconsin 2 hours Wisconsin 3 hours La Crosse in May '81 6 hours in Tomah at junction I-90/ I-94

City tips We have four reports of good hitching in and around Madison; lots of students there are eager for rides and riders. In Milwaukee use the bus system to avoid the interstate pretzels getting out of town.

Trains and Truckstops Milwaukee is a main train town; it has connections south to Chicago, and C&NW lines head north to Green Bay and west to Oshkosh. Green Bay has connections on C&NW lines south to Chicago, and north to Calumet, Michigan. Superior is the yard where trains headed south and east out of Duluth are put together.

Truckstops are located along I-94 in Black River Falls and Hudson, New Lisbon and Mauston. On US 41 there are truckstops at Fond Du Lac and Oshkosh (by-gosh!).


Jobs Truck farming along Lake Michigan, with vegetable harvest in the summer (lettuce, sweet corn, onions). The inland plains may offer some work with harvesting potatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Dairy work available to experienced cow handlers (moo!).


Environment Minnesota is the land of the lakes. Most of the people live in the southern portion of the state, while the northern section has more lakes and woodlands. The central region has lots of farming and peat bogs. The annual precipitation averages about 25-30". Winters in Minnesota are extremely cold, average temperature is about 14, with lots of snow (blizzard conditions not unusual in the winter). Summer temperatures average in the 60's north, in the 70's south. Be prepared for large temperature swings in the spring and fall. The drinking age in Minnesota is 19. There are no significant military installations.


Universities There are 17 colleges and universities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and many of them are seminaries. The largest school is the U of M with 60,000 students; others are the College of St. Thomas, with 2700 pupils, and Hamline U with 1500. Mankato State is in Mankato, off US 69, and has 12,000 students. Bemidji State College in Bemidji, on rte 2, has 5000 kids. Moorehead State U is by Fargo, ND, and has 6000 students. St. Cloud, right off I-94, is the home of SCSU and its 9500 students. The U of M at Duluth has 7000 pupils. Winoma State has 4600 students a couple miles from US 61.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal penitentiary at Sandstone, right off I-35 halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth. Other prisons are in St. Cloud, off I-94; St. Peter, on US 169 near Mankato; in Stillwater, on hwy 95 due east of St. Paul, and in Lino Lakes. State mental hospitals are in Anoka, Brainerd, Fergus Falls, Hastings, Moose Lake, St. Peter, and Wilmar.

Federal lands Near Bemidji, there is the Chippewa NF and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. East of US 53 is Superior NF, with hwy 1 and hwy 2


running through it. Voyageurs NP and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area draw hundreds of tourists annually to the northern part of the state, mostly On US 61. There are also numerous state parks and lakes.

Rest stops Rest stop use is limited to six hours, except for the following: Manitou Rapids, on trunk hwy 11; west of Danvers on US 12; south of Garrison, on US 169; and 8 miles south of Mankato on trunk hwy 22. Overnight camping is permitted at these places.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for (repeat after me), the purpose of soliciting a ride." The letter from the State of Minnesota tells us, "hitchhiking isn't allowed beyond the upper portion of the entrance ramp to 'limited access freeways'. On all other roads in Minnesota it is allowed". The penguins applaud. We have walked on the freeway on I-90 without hassle, but the cops at Albert Lea will give you a warning and make you get down the ramp. Enforcement seems spotty.

The roads I-90 is probably the quickest way across the state going east or west. There are many small towns along the way, but much of the traffic seems


to be heading on through. We have three favorable reports hitching I-90 west, and one thumber says, "Minnesota freeways are good". One report that I-90 eastbound is tough. As for I-94, the westbound is uncertain west of the twin cities. We have one note that it gets worse west of St. Cloud, and two reports that, headed eastbound, I-94 is a fine hitch. I-35 is rated "exellent" from the Twin cities to Duluth by three hitchers, and is called "a half day hitch" to Des Moines. US 61 heads north out of Duluth to Canada, and it is an easy and enjoyable hitch according to our reports. Thumbers suggest looking neat and clean, as the locals are a bit conservative. South out of the Twin Cities, US 61 is rated as "OK" into La Crosse; there seems to be a lot of truck traffic. As for other secondary roads, hwy 2 through Bemidji is a good road with nice, wide shoulders and plenty of campsites, although traffic is light. Try to do it in the fall as the leaves are turning. US 52 south of St. Paul is a good four lane with enough traffic to make the hitch to Rochester an easy one. Route 2 through the Superior NF is hitchable at the hours of 8 and 9 am and 4 to 6 pm.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Six warnings were reported in Minnesota; four of


these were in Minneapolis, and one in Albert Lea. We have reports of one ticket for hitchhiking, and one arrest stemming from a hitching violation.

Long waits 8 hours in Dakotah 6 hours in Albert Lea winter '81 2 hours in Rochester 2 hours in Albert Lea

City tip To get out of Duluth headed north, take the Itasca bus to Superior and 60th Street East; you will be a couple blocks from US 61 headed north. To get out of Duluth headed east, take the Superior bus into Superior, Wisconsin. Both are fifty cents, but the Superior bus has an irregular schedule.

Trains and Truckstops Minneapolis is the origin for westbound trains and the terminus for eastbounds. Five freighthoppers think this yard is hot; be careful. St. Paul is the origin for eastbounds, and the westbound terminus, and is also hot. The Burlington Northern has freights going to Winnipeg, Duluth, and North Dakota. From St. Paul, the BN runs to Superior. The SOO line is headed to Sault Ste. Marie with empty ore cars, and into Oshkosh, Wi. The Rock Island


line heads south to St. Louis, and the N&W goes to Chicago and Sioux City, Iowa. Trains in Duluth are headed north and west to ore mines, and the trains are busy. Other lines go to Winnipeg, and the BN runs to Grand Forks, ND. Yards are generally hot, but freights do pass through some beautiful areas and go to remote locations. Talk to the brakemen.

Truckstops may be found on I-90 at Austin, Albert Lea, and on I-35 at Fairbault. On I-94, check out the exits at Moorhead and Sauk Centre. At the junction of US 2 and 65 in Swan River, and on hwy 52 at Cannon Falls are other stops.

Jobs In the northern part of the state there is work available for tree planters and thinners during the spring and summer; check with the Forest Service. Around the Boundary waters area you may find jobs in the late spring in resort towns. In the fall, work is available helping with the sugar beet and potato harvest.



Environment Arkansas is nice, with the Ozarks and Ouachita mountains, and lots of woodland areas. The rural economy is based mainly on hog farming and some orchards. Most of the state gets almost 50" of rain annually. Summer temperatures stay above 80, but it's slightly cooler in the mountains. Winters are mild. Temperatures average in the 40'S, and it gets colder in the mountains, with little snowfall. The drinking age is 21.

Military In Little Rock is Little Rock AFB. In Blytheville is Blytheville AFB. There are Minutemen missles stored near Damascus.

Universities The largest school in the state is located in Fayetteville-- University of Arkansas with 12,000 students. Many folks stay around after they get out of school, making this a hip town. In the Little Rock area there are three schools, the largest being U of A at Little Rock with 6200. Conway also has three schools, the largest of which is the U of Central Arkansas with 4800 students. Off of I-40 in Russellville is Arkansas Polytech with a student body of 2100. Harding College in Searchy has 2500


students. The two universities in the Arkadelphia area have a total student population of 5000. In Magnolis, off of US 82, is Southern State College. Southeast of Little Rock is the U of A Pine Bluff with its 2200 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal penitentiary in Texarkana, Texas. State prisons are located: in Varher off of US 65, in Wrightsville on hwy 365, in Tucker on hwy 15, and one in Pine Bluff. All of these are near Pine Bluff, so hitching may be slow here. There is also a prison in Booneville on hwy 10 near Ft. Smith. Mental Hospitals are located in Benton and in Little Rock.

Federal lands North of I-40 and west of US 65 is the Ozark NF. Lots of homesteaders in these mountains, people in touch with the land. Nice wooded mountains, neat rock formations. South of I-40 is the Ouachita NF; there are not as many folks as the Ozarks, and it's more primitive. In Hot Springs is Hot Springs NP, which gets touristy in the summer. Near Yellville off of hwy 14 is Buffalo River NP. Close to Helena, off of hwy 44 is St. Francis NF. On hwy 169 east of Pine Bluff is the White River NWR and the Arkansas Post National Monument. Felsenthal NWR


is east of Eldorado off of US 82. Wapanocca NWR is north of Memphis along the Mississippi River. There are lots of neat places to see, and neat folks to meet.

Rest areas "Camping is allowed in rest areas for one night only, and nothing can be done which would damage the property."

Hitching Law and Comment "No pedestrian shall stand in the roadway for the purpose, of soliciting a ride." Enforcement is unheard of on the backroads, and irregular on the interstates. Walking and hitchhiking along the interstates is tolerated.

The roads I-40 is the main east-west route throughout the state. We have a half dozen reports that thumbing is good across the state, however, you may have trouble getting out of Little Rock. To avoid Little Rock heading east, one hitcher advises taking US 64 at the Conway exit. I-55 cuts across the northeastern corner of the state, hitching into and out of Memphis is reported good. I-30 is reported good heading southwest out of Little Rock through Texarkana and on into Texas, but heading north of Little Rock I-30 is reported slow, with low traffic flow


as it turns into US 67. We received quite a bit of information about backroad hitching in Arkansas. US 62 in the northern part of the state is reported to have: "short rides, but lots of 'em." Another thumber warns that US 62 is poor from Corning to Walnut Ridge. US 71 from Fayetteville south to I-40 is reported quick and easy hitching. Highway 5 near Mountain Home is rated slow by one hitcher who says,"I walked 15 miles between rides." Highways 7 and 3 have favorable reports through the mountains from Harrison to Hot Springs. Hitching the Arkansas mountains is pleasant; the traffic flow is low, and the waits are long, but the roads are beautiful and the people are friendly. One person who has hitched extensively through this area notes, "often rides lead to extended stays and friendships."

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One person reported being warned not to hitchhike in Arkansas. Another reported that he was ticketed for hitchhiking. We have no reports of searches or arrests by Arkansas travellers.

Long waits 18 hours Little Rock 10 hours in '75 2 hours in Newton County in '78 2 hours in Blytheville on I-55


2 hours in Forest City 6 hours on hwy 5 near Mt.Home 6 hours in Corning on US 62 summer '81

City tips In Little Rock, both railyards are just off of I-30 at the Arkansas River. If you have no luck on one, try the other. Eureka Springs off of US 62 is a mellow hippy town, sort of an oasis.

Trains and Truckstops From Little Rock, Mo Pac lines run north to St.Louis, southwest to Texarkana, west to Pt. Smith, and south to Pine Bluff. The RI lines run east to Memphis and west to Oklahoma City. In Texarkana (where folks argue about which state they are in) SLSW lines run to Pine Bluff and Dallas/ Ft.Worth Texas, north to Kansas City and south to Shreveport, Louisiana. In Ft. Smith, rail connections run southwest to Dallas, northeast to St.Louis, east to Memphis, and south to Alexandria, Louisiana. We have no reports about hot yards in Arkansas.

Truckstops are located along I-40 in Alma, Shell Lake, and Van Buren. On I-55 there are truckstops in Marion and West Memphis. Off of I-30 there is a 24 hour truckstop in Malvern. In Hardy on US 63 there is another truckstop,


and there is also one in Newport on US 67.

Jobs In the Ozarks there is a tiny town called Witt Springs. There are two tree planting organizations based here, usually looking for help in the winter and early spring. Along the Mississippi River there are fruit orchards, peaches in the summer, and apples in the fall. In the northwestern part of the state are some vineyards that may need help in the fall. Rural Arkansas has a fairly depressed economy; work is generally tough to come by.


Environment Louisiana contains many different realities. From the outrageousness of New Orleans at Mardi Gras, to the conservatism of sharecropping Cajuns... from alligator- filled swamps to steamy woodlands. French is still spoken in some places. The average annual rainfall is around


50". Winter temperatures rarely fall below 45, and snow is virtually unheard of. Summer temperatures average in the 90's and very humid. The Louisiana drinking age is 18.

Military In New Orleans is a Naval Air base, and a Coast Guard station. Near Leesville on US i7l is Ft. Polk. In Alexandria is England AFB. Near I-20 outside of Bossier City is Barksdale AFB.

Universities The largest school in the state is LSU in Baton Rouge with 24,000 students. Nearby in Scotlandville is A&M College with 8700 kids. Off of I-10 in Lafayette is the U of SW Louisiana with its 11,600 students. There are twelve colleges and universities in the New Orleans area, the largest of which is the University of New Orleans with 12,000, followed by Tulane U with 9000 studious students. Off of I-20 in Monroe is NELU with its 9200 students. Along the western border in Lake Charles is McNeese State Colllege with a student population of 6000. Between Shreveport and Monroe on I-20 is Louisiana Tech in Ruston with 7900 students. West of New Orleans off of hwy 1 in Thibodaux is Nicholls State University with 5700 students.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a state prison in Angola, and a women's prison in St. Gabriel. There is a state mental hospital in Pineville.

Federal lands Northwest of Alexandria off of hwy 167 is Kisatchie NF. Northeast of Alexandria off of hwy 28 is Catahoula Lake and NWR. There are some state parks, and some nice spots along the Gulf. If you are wandering around in the Bayou areas in your hipboots, keep an eye out for water moccasins and alligators, sunning themselves.

Rest areas Rest areas in Louisiana are modern along the interstates, and overnight parking is permitted unless otherwise posted.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride (sound familiar?)." Pedestrians may solicit from the curb or shoulder. Hitching the ramps is reported successful, although police tolerate hitchers walking along the interstates.

The roads Although we haven't received too many reports, I-10 seems to be the best route for hitching east or west through the state. Four thumbers


report I-10 good from New Orleans west to Houston. One report that it's good from Mobile to New Orleans. I-12 is the usual route for those wishing to bypass New Orleans, but thumbing is tough there and even US 190, a trucker route, is a better bet. The junction of I-12 and US 51 is reported bleak; it's easy to get stranded. We have one report that I-20 is good from Shreveport to Jackson. I-59 is a good route northeast to Hattiesburg from Slidell. There are hitchhiker jungles under the bridges in Slidell, next to the big 76 truckstop where hitchhiking is strictly prohibited. Generally, there are no lights at the exit ramps in Louisiaria, and night hitching is quite difficult. One hitcher reports that I-55 from Baton Rouge north to Jackson is slow. Highway 1 in the Delta area is also reported tough to hitch.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots TWO folks reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in New Orleans. (see tips on how to get out of the city) We have received no reported warnings, searches or arrests from hitchers.

Long waits 6 hours at I-12 US 51 junction 3 hours on I-12 in Slidell 4 hours New Orleans


City tips New Orleans is described as a city, "where it's easy to be a street person with just a few bucks."

To get west on I-10, take the Canal Street bus to the end of the line.

Trains and Truckstops New Orleans is a main train town. The famous City of New Orleans freight runs up to Jackson on its way to Memphis. Mo-Pac lines run into Baton Rouge. Louisville lines head east to Mobile, So Pac lines run north to Meridian, and west to Beaumont, Texas. Baton Rouge has connections to Alexandria and Beaumont. From Shreveport, T&P lines head east to Vicksburg, KCS lines head north to Texarkana south to Beaumont, and west to Dallas. The LA lines run to Alexandria.

Truckstops are located along I-10 in Egan, Lake Charles, and Slidell. On I-20 there are truckstops in Calhoun and Minden. On US 165 there are truckstops in Monroe and Oila. On US 90 there is a truckstop in Morgan City, and on US 84 there is a truckstop in Archie.

Jobs Off shore oil rigging offers some jobs; check in New Orleans. Also there


seems to be a lot of construction work in New Orleans. Jobs may be available helping pick strawberries in the spring, or helping with the sugarcane harvest from September to December.


Environment Texas is a huge state, thus it consists of many environments, both geologically and psychologically. West Texas is a desert, with little or no rainfall and lots of sagebrush. Central Texas gets 15" of rain annually, and is the home of the Texas Longhorn cattle. Eastern Texas is lush and wooded with 32" of rain annually. The northern panhandle portion of the state gets chilly in the winter temperatures in the 30'S, while the rest of the state enjoys temperatures of 50-60. In the summer expect temperatures in the 80's and above. Hot and dry; got your canteen, campers?

Military There are five military installations in the San Antonio area.


In the Dallas Ft. Worth area is Carswell AFB and Dallas NAS. Near El Paso is Ft. Bliss (weird name for a fort). In Houston is Ellington AFB and the LBJ Space Center (mission control). Air Force Bases are : Bergstrom in Austin; Laughlin in Del Rio; Sheppard in Witchita Falls, Webb in Big Spring; Reese in Lubbock; and Goodfellow in San Angelo. There is a naval air station in Beeville, and in Corpus Christi. Ft. Hood is located in Killeen.

Universities Texas has a significant student population. The largest university in the state is the U of Texas in Austin with 45,000 students. There are ten colleges in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the largest being Southern Methodist University with 10,000. Houston has seven schools, the largest by far being the U of Houston with 33,500, followed by Texas Southern U with 7100, and Rice U with 3500 students. Texas Tech in Lubbock has 22,000 students. In College Station is Texas A&M with its 21,200 students. Sam Houston State in Huntsville has a student body of 10,000. The U of T at Arlington has 15,400 students, and the U of T at El Paso has another 11,400. SWTSU in San Marcos has 12,900 students, and Steven Austin U in Nacogdoches has 10,900


enrolled. In Denton is the Texas Women's U with its 7200 coeds, as well as NT State with 16,000 students. Lamar U in Beaumont has 11,500, and Pan Am U in Edinburg has 7000. There are numerous other smaller schools throughout the state.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There are federal penitentiaries in: Ft. Worth, Dallas, Texarkana, La Tuna, Houston, and Seagoville. State Prisons are located in: Sugarland, Brazoria, Lovelady, Midway, Huntsville, and Rosharon. There are women's prisons in Gatesville, Huntsville, and Witchita Falls. State Mental Hospitals are located in the following cities: Austin, Big Spring, Harlingen, Kerrville, Rusk, San Antonio, and Terrell. Travellers beware.

Federal lands off of us 62/180 south of Carlsbad, New Mexico is Guadalupe Mountains NP. Big Bend NP on the Rio Grande has been hitched, but two thumbers rate it bad. Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Sabine, and Angelina National Forests are all located between Huntsville and Angelina along the Louisiana border. Southeast of Amarillo is Palo Puro NF, northeast of Amarillo is Lake Meredith NF, and south of Amarillo off of hwy 60 is Buffalo


Lake NWR. Along the Gulf coast are: Aransas NWR, Laguna Atascona NWR, and Padre Island National Seashore. There is lots of birdlife (even Whooping Cranes) in this area.

Rest areas "They are provided for the highway traveller who stops for a short period; however, no objection will be offered to those staying overnight if they remain in their vehicle... Fireplaces shall have a supply of firewood... (toilets) will require attention daily, including weekends". From the Texas Highway Department

Hitching Laws "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, contributions, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle". Pedestrians may solicit rides from the curb shoulder, off the roadway. Despite the menacing reputation of Texas law enforcers, more hitchers report trouble with long waits than with the law.

The roads I-40 passes through the northern panhandle of Texas and seems to be the thumber's best bet to get to the southwest. Despite long waits, we have more favorable reports from this road than any other. Although two hitchers report successful ride


catching on I-10, I-10 and I-20 turn into a hitchhiker's nightmare as they funnel into the west Texas desert. We have reports that I-10 is fine in eastern Texas, and one report that despite bad hitching in town, east of Houston is easy and enjoyable. I-45 north of Houston to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a good one day hitch, but Galveston to Houston is rated "bad". We have one report that I-30 from Arkansas to Dallas is a good route. One thumber tells us I-35 by Austin is good in the winter, and two reports that I-35 from Dallas to Oklahoma City is a decent road. South of San Antonio, I-35 is tough thumbing to Laredo. As for the backroads, four folks tell us that Texas secondary roads are bad. Highway 165/290 is reported "fair", and US 259 is good from Mt. Pleasant to Kilgore, but we have no other reports. For mOre ideas, check the section on Universities for information on where there might be significant numbers of ride-sharing students.


Watch out for the road from Laredo to San Antonio Texas. The local hispanic population is not big on picking up WASP hitchhikers. Accept it; have another Lone Star so you can throw something back. John Presant


* * * *

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Four warnings are reported from Texas, and one of these is from Pecos. Three tickets were reported, one from Houston and another from Austin. One fellow was searched in Allons, and one guy describes a few unpleasant moments looking down the barrel of the sheriff's shotgun in Lubbock.

Long waits One fellow "gave up" in Marfa on US 90. Guess he's still there.

13 hours in Amarillo

10 hours in Amarillo

12 hours in Childress in 3/'80

48 hours in El Paso

5 hours in west Texas

6 hours in west Texas

4 hours in west Texas

2 hours in west Texas in 7/'80

1 5 hours in west Texas

2 days in Big Springs

1 day in Big Bend

3 hours in Lubbock

24 hours in Stanton

4 hours in Houston


I don't like to hitch in Texas or in the southwest at all, because of the heat and there are some roads with maybe ten cars per hour in both


directions together. You best start looking for a place to sleep already at 2 pm. Phillip Riedel, W. Germany

* * * *

Trains and Truckstops Trains are a smart alternative to spending a portion of your life by a west Texas highway. Dallas, Houston, and El Paso are hot yards; avoid them. Generally, a good idea is to get to a small town like Odem, Roseburg, Sierra Blanca, Waco, Denison, Sanger, Sweetwater, Lubbock, or Farwell and sniff out a train across the desert. From Amarillo, the Santa Fe Line runs to Wichita, Kansas, Farwell, and Albuquerque, NM. The Ft. Worth- Denver runs southeast to Ft. Worth. The Santa Fe runs southeast from Farwell through Lubbock and Sweetwater to Houston. The SP runs between Dallas and Houston, and from Houston to San Antonio and Sierra Blanca.

As for truckstops, check out I-20 in Abilene, Colorado City, and Midland; I-10 in Beaumont and Converse; and I-35 in Jarrell, Laredo, Temple, ROSS, and Gainesville. On I-45, look in Crossroads and at the US 179 junction. Keep your eyes peeled for other truckstops in: Winfield and DeKalb, on


I-30; Denison and Huntsville on US 75; Del Rio and Sanderson on US 90; Harlingen and Refugio on US 77; Hereford on US 60; Paris on US 271; Santa Anna on US 67; and in San Angelo on US 87.

Jobs They are still hunting for oil in Texas, and you might be able to find work around Alice or one of the other places Tommy Kimmell suggests. In central Texas, look for agricultural work in the cotton fields in the summer and in the truck farms in the spring. Areas to check out include: I-35 near Waco, north of Corpus Christi, and around Brownsville. Shrimping is big news in the spring on the coast, too.

* * * *

I was hitchhiking on I-44 heading to San Antonio. A school teacher in a red sports car picked me up. We joked and talked over to Paris, about 100 miles north of Dallas. We drank some whiskey sours he had in a jug and ate some Kentucky Fried Chicken he bought. It was around 11 pm when we arrived in Paris. He turned to me and said, "You won't get a ride at this time of the day". As he exited, my mind raced--thinking about what this guy wanted. He pulled into a Trailways Bus Station and paid the driver to get me


to Dallas, then handed me $20 to purchase a ticket to San Antonio. By 7 am I was eating breakfast in San Antonio. Larry Black

City tips In Austin, Braker Lane is the best ramp north. A good alternative is to take the Airport bus to Airport Blvd, south on I-35, or take a bus to Ben White Blvd.

Between Martin Luther King Ave. and Airport Blvd., I-35 is unhitchable. Don't accept a ride that will take you into San Antonio unless you want to be in town.


Environment Oklahoma has a variable climate: cold in the winter, with temperatures in the 30's, and hot, like over 80 degrees, in the summer. The state gets twice the rainfall east of Oklahoma City as it does in the panhandle region, where rainfall is 15 inches annually. Oklahoma has been immortalized in several country western tunes for the down-home ethics, so it is no surprise that the drinking age is 18 for 3.2% beer and 21 for other liquor.

Military Altus AFB is in Altus, Tinker AFB is in Oklahoma City, and Fort Sill Military Reservation is in Lawton.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal penitentiary in El Reno, and state prisons in McAlester, Hominy, Granite, and Lexington. State mental hospitals are in Fort Supply, Norman, and Vinta.

Universities Oklahoma City has four small colleges and universities with a total student population of 6000, in addition to the 22,000 students in nearby Norman at the University of Oklahoma. Tulsa boasts Oral Roberts U with 2500 and the U of Tulsa with 6100 kids. Oklahoma State at Stillwater has 19,000 students, and there are 12,000 folks at Central State U in Edmond. Cameron University at Lawton has a student body of 4800, and East Central Oklahoma State U at Ada has 3000 enrolled. Talequah is the home of NE Oklahoma State U and 5400 pupils, and Durant boasts SE Oklahoma State U with 3700 kids. At Weatherford, 4800 students attend SW Oklahoma State U.

Rest areas "No camping is allowed at highway rest stops. Plan a route with one of our state parks nearby". (Gary Lantz, Okla. Dept. Tourism)

Federal land Ouachita NF is at the tex-ark-okie border east of hwy 259 and also 60 miles north on hwy 259 by Big Cedar /Heavener.


Hitching Law and Comment "Hitchhikers may not use the state turnpike system. On other routes, they will probably be checked by local or state law enforcement officials". Pedestrians may solicit from the shoulder off the roadway. "Hitchhiking in Oklahoma is generally not advisable-- not so much due to statute, but because of a paranoia resulting from several notorious murders connected with hitchhiking during recent months". (Gary Lantz again, 2/'80) Enforcement seems tough on the turnpikes, but we have not been hassled for thumbing on the interstates.

The roads I-40 is the main route east and west, and we have mixed reports on thumbing here: one says it is bad, two say it is "OK". We do have several reports that Oklahoma City is tough to hitch out of, and one hitcher reports having trouble thumbing by El Reno, the prison town west of Oklahoma City. A thumber tells us that western Oklahomans are "down on longhairs", so it might be advisable to look neat and clean. We have one report that I-40 is better east- west than I-70 through Kansas. I-35 is the main north- south route through Oklahoma, and we have two reports of easy and enjoyable hitching on this interstate, especially at the


Stillwater exit by Oklahoma City-- lots of students going back and forth. Butch Deirlein writes us, "State highway 51 is a good east-west travel route; although it goes through small towns, they are few and far between and don't slow the driver's progress much. It is still well-travelled between Stillwater and Tulsa.

I-35 is good from border to border, especially between Stillwater and the Oklahoma U exit at Norman, south of the city. The student population makes for easy hitching, but the general attitude toward hitchhiking is excellent. I've been picked up by young and old alike, male and female. It's the more trusting, friendly stereotype of country folk that might account for that. I've also never been hassled by cops but if you are on the interstates, the state highways are fine alternatives."

People do thumb on the turnpikes. I-44 is a popular route into St. Louis headed east; the toll is about $4 into Oklahoma City from the east. Avoid the police.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Two tickets were issued for hitchhiking in the state that we know of; one of these was


on the turnpike. Three warnings were reported, one from 1974. We have no reports of searches or arrests for hitchhking.

Long waits 2 hours in Oklahoma City 2 1/2 days in Oklahoma City 1 6 hours in Muskogee 4 hours in Tulsa

Trains and Truckstops In Oklahoma City, the rail yards are on NORTH 32nd Street. The Rock Island Line runs to Little Rock and Amarillo, the Santa Fe lines run north to Wichita and south to Fort Worth, and the St. Louis-San Francisco line runs northeast to Springfield, Mo. The yards in Oklahoma City are pretty cool; I was never hassled. In Tulsa, the St.L-SF rails run east to Springfield, west to Oklahoma City, and south to Dennison, Texas.

Truckstops are located at Wynnewood on I-35, at Sayre on I-40, at Woodward on US 270, at Alva on US 281, and at Chouteau on US 69.

Jobs Tree planting jobs open up in the southeast corner in the winter. In the summer, Oklahoma has many agricultural opportunities. Truck farming goes from


March to August, detassling happens in late July, and other ideas include broomcorn, peanuts, and cotton. Areas to check include: Lawton, Hobart, Clinton, Chickasha, Hugo, Sallisaw, and Guyman. Good luck!



North Dakota

Environment North Dakota is a large hayfield, with amber waves of grain cresting the rolling hills. The summers are comfortably cool and dry, with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. The winters are cold, windy, and snowy, with temperatures dropping below zero and snowplows busy clearing the roads. The drinking age in North Dakota is 21.

Military Minot AFB is by Minot and Grandforks AFB is by Grand Forks.

Universities Minot State College in Minot, on US 38 and US 2, has 2200 students. North Dakota University in Fargo has 7500 students, and there are two colleges in sister city Moorehead, Minnesota. The University of North Dakota is by Grand Forks, off I-29 and US 2.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The North Dakota State Penal Institute is in Bismarck, and the state mental hospital is in Jamestown.

Rest areas "Overnight camping is prohibited and discouraged in rest areas along state highways". Near Bismarck, large signs remind the sleepy driver that rest areas are not for sleeping in.


Federal land Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park is near Medora on I-90 and another unit is north along US 85. Here you will find spectacular badlands scenery. Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is off hwy 37, Fort Totten Indian Reservation is near Devils Lake off US 281 and hwy 57, Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation is off US 281, and Sisseton Indian Reservation is off I-29 in the southeast corner of the state.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride"can walk and hitch along the road; there are few policemen patrolling the roads, and enforcement is spotty.

The roads I-94 is the main east and west road in the state. Between Beach and Dickinson, the people who pick you up are likely to be working in the oilpatch. West of Beach, the thumbing into Billings, Mt., is said to be slow, according to three reports. We have two reports that it is tough getting a ride out of Bismarck, but there is a fair amount of student traffic between Fargo and Jamestown. I-29 fades in from a two-lane at the South Dakota border, and we have a report that hitching is tough here, worse northbound than southbound. Good


traffic flow between Fargo and Grand Forks; north of Grand Forks hang out a maple-leaf sign and head for Winnipeg. us 83 south of Sterling is reported fair thumbing.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One person reported being warned by police for thumbing in Minot on US 2 and US 83. Two fellows I spoke with said they were ticketed somewhere west of Bismarck, but there was no fine.

Long waits 5 hours in Medina 8 hours in Bismarck 1 day in Bismarck 5 hours by Fargo 3 hours by Dickinson 3 hours in Bismarck 1 day somewhere in North Dakota

Trains and Truckstops Minot is a main switching yards for the Burlington Northern with connections running to Grand Forks, Fargo, and west to Havre, Mt. The Soo Line runs east to Minneapolis and north to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. From Fargo, the BN runs trains to Grand Forks, Bismarck, and southeast to Minneapolis. From Bismarck, the BN heads east to Fargo and west to Billings, Mt. The trains are a feasable alternative to thumbing


in this state, and the only report we have says the yards are cool.

Truckstops may be found at Beach and Tower City on I-94, at Devils Lake on hwy 2, and at Bowman on US 12.

Jobs Oilfield work is happening in the illiiston Basin around Williston, Dickinson, and Watford City. Sugar beets are ready in June and July in the Red River Valley, and potatoes are ready in the fall.


I caught a ride near Dickinson, North Dakota, with an oil field worker whose wife was going to have a baby soon. He had a shiny new truck, and he expressed concern about her giving birth in his truck, saying, "It'd mess up my seat."


South Dakota

Environment Aside from some mountains in the southwestern corner of the state, South Dakota is mostly rolling


prairie grasslands and hayfields. West of the Missouri to the Black Hills, the annual precipitaiton is less than 15 inches annually. In the eastern part of the state, the rainfall and population is slightly greater. Winter temperatures are in the teens, and blizzards are common, bring warm clothes October through April. Summers are dry, the average temperature is in the 70's. The drinking age in South Dakota is 21.

Military Off of I-90 near Rapid City is Ellsworth AFB. There are Minutemen missle silos scattered throughout central and northwestern South Dakota.

Universities On I-29 in Brookings is South Dakota State with 6600 students. Black Hills State College is in Spearfish off of I-90 and it has 2300 students. On the other side of the state in Sioux Falls is Augustana College with a student body of 2300. The U of SD in Vermillion off of I-20 is the largest school in the state with 6700 students. Northern College is located in Aberdeen at the junction of US 12 and US 281. There just aren't too many schools in South Dakota.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The South Dakota State peninitentiary is located


in Sioux Falls. The state mental hospital is located in Yankton.

Federal land Mt. Rushmore National Monument is located south of Rapid City in the Black Hills. South of Wall (home of Wall Drug) off of alt 16 is the Badlands National Monument. The entire southwestern corner of the state is primarily made up of National Forests and National Grasslands. There are also some patches of national forest off of I-90 west of Kadoka. In the northwestern corner of the state is Custer NF. US 18 runs through Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. US 12 and 212 go through the Cheyenne and Standing Rock Indian Reservations. There are many beautiful areas of South Dakota still left; nice woodlands and unusual rock formations draw many tourists.

Rest areas Overnight parking is allowed. South Dakota rest areas have covered picnic tables, and heated restrooms (one of which saved my life during a blizzard).

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway (this means you) for the purpose of soliciting a ride." Enforcement is nonexistent. You can walk and hitch along the interstates, police drive on by.


The roads I-90 is the main east-west route. One report that heading east is tough. Two hitchers report good thumbing heading west. Long waits are reported around Sioux Falls, but chances are good that any ride will be a long one. Traffic gets heavier west of Rapid City on into Wyoming, rides come easier. I-29 is reported OK south from Sioux City. North of Sioux City there is reduced traffic flow, and the interstate becomes two lane around Watertown on up to the N.Dakota border. One person reports that hitching here is poor. US 83/14 from I-90 on up into Bismarck, N. Dakota is reported to be a fair route to hitch. US 281 may be another possibility for travelling north-south across the state, one thumber rates it as good from Aberdeen to Jamestown, N. Dakota. US 85 or state hwy 34 to US 212 is a well travelled short cut from Spearfish on west to Billings, Montana. Try to make it in one long ride.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots No tickets, warnings, searches, or arrests were reported by people hitchhiking in South Dakota.

Long waits 5 hours in Sioux Falls 2/81 12 hours in South Dakota in general 4 hours in Chamberlain on I-90


10 hours in Rapid City in a blizzard 5 hours in Rapid City 2 hours in Spearfish

Trains and Truckstops Rapid City has trains running on C&NW lines east to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Aberdeen has trains running west to Butte, Montana and east to Minneapolis.

There are truckstops along I-90 in Kimball, Murdo, and Sturgis. In Aberdeen near the junction of hwy 12 and US 281 is another truckstop.

Jobs You inay be able to get work helping with the hay and potato harvest in the eastern half of the state in late summer. Some work is available in the Black Hills tourist areas; apply early.


Environment Nebraska is one of those states that most people drive through


on their way to someplace else. However it is a neat state with plains rolling into foothills along the western border. Hitchhiking here may be grim (look for signs with an extended thumb that has a slash across it). Nebraska gets 20-30" of rain anually, a significant amount of which is snow. Winter temperatures are in the teens and 20's, blizzards blow up across the prairie. Summer temperatures average around 75. The Nebraska drinking age is 20.

Military Offut AFB in Omaha.

Universities There are three schools in Lincoln, the largest--also the largest in the state--is the University of Nebraska with 20,900 students. Omaha has five schools, the largest being the U of N at Omaha with 14,100. Kearney State College is in Kearney just off of I-80, and has 5100 students. Wayne State College with 2000 students makes Wayne a college town. Chadron College on hwy 20 and US 385 has 2000 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The Nebraska State Penitentiary is in Lincoln. State mental hospitals are located in Norfolk, Lincoln, and Omaha.


Federal lands Near Chadron on hwy 2 is Oglala National Grasslands. Nebraska NF is off of US 385, and also off of hwy 2 between Thedford and Dunning. Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest is south of US 20 near Valentine. There are two Indian reservations in northeastern Nebraska. There are also several state parks, especially along the rivers.

Rest areas "There is no overnight camping allowed in the rest areas at all."

Hitching Law and Comment Hitchhiking is prohibited along the interstates. An official from the Nebraska state highway department cautions: "you may stand on the ramps, but never on the freeway. It (hitchhiking) is permitted on state highways as long as it doesn't interfere with the normal flow of traffic." These laws are enforced sporadically. Hide if you see a cop while hitching along the interstate.

The roads I-80 is the main east-west route and the only interstate in Nebraska. There are signs on all the exits with a thumbing hand that has a red slashmark through it. I-80 is reported hitchable, getting slightly better west of Grand Island. US 26 is


a commonly used shortcut from Ogallala to I-25 north in Wyoming. US 83 from North Platte to Bismarck, North Dakota is reported OK to hitch, few towns make for long hops. Highway 2 from Lincoln to Nebraska City is a short cut from I-80 to I-29 heading south, by passing Omaha.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Two hitchers reported that they were warned for thumbing along I-80. Another person reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in Nebraska. We have no reports of searches or arrests.

Long waits 12 hours in Lincoln 10 hours in Grand Island 6/80 4 hours in '80 3 hours in North Platte in '81

Trains and Truckstops Lincoln is a good Place to catch a westbound, BN lines run west to Billings, Montana and Denver, Colorado. Rock Island lines run into Limon, Colorado. Omaha is the main switching yards for eaStbOUnd freights. The BN lines run to Kansas City and Chicago. N&W heads southeast to Moberly, Missouri and north into Iowa. Three folks report that the yards in North Platte are red hot:


The Union Pacific yards in North Platte are quite hot. Less than 20 minutes after arriving at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning, the bulls were on us, pistols drawn, and directing us out of the yards. There was no way they could miss us. The whole yards were lit up by mercury vapor lamps, and all the yard workers had walkie-talkies so that any one of them could summon up the bulls on a moment's notice. As they drove us to a truckstop 10 miles out of town, the bulls told us that they ran 64 trains through the yards in a 48 hour period. They also told us that if we were caught back in the yards, they would take us down town. They mentioned that we three hobos were the 15th they had escorted out of the yards that shift. Larry

* * * *

The Big Springs Truckstop is located at the Colorado- Nebraska border at the junction of I-76 and I-80. There is also a truckstop on I-80 in Millard. At the junction of US 275 and US 20 in O'Neil is another truckstop, and there is also one in Chadron at the junction of US 20 and hwy 385.


Jobs Help may be needed with the sugar beet harvest in May through July along the western border. Carnival work is available in the summer.


Environment Welcome to Kansas, the land of gentle breezes through the wheat fields, Dorothy and Toto, and the Wichita lineman. The western part of the state gets 20" of rainfall yearly, while the eastern section gets around 35". Winter temperatures are usually in the 20's and 30's, some bodacious blizzards blow in from the Rockies. Summer temperatures are in the 80's and dry. The drinking age in Kansas is 18 for 3.2 beer, and 21 for everything else. There are no bars in Kansas, rather there are private drinking clubs, which you may join if you are over 21.

Military Ft. Leavenworth is in Leavenworth. Ft. Riley is at Junction


City on I-70 west of Topeka. McConnel AFB is in Wichita.

Universities The largest school in the state is the University of Kansas in Lawrence with its 20,400 students. Lawrence is at the junction of I-35 and I-70, so go by the university if you're stranded here. Kansas University of Agriculture and Applied Science is located in Manhattan and has 16,400 pupils. Just off the Kansas Turnpike in Emporia is Emporia Kansas State with 6200 students. Right on I-70 is Ft.Hays Kansas State College with a student body of 5100. In Wichita there are three schools, the largest of which is Wichita State with 15,000 students. In Topeka is Washburn U with its 5000 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal maximum security penitentiary in Leavenworth, northwest of Kansas City on hwys 74 and 92. The Kansas state penitentiary is in Hutchinson off of US 50 and hwy 96. There are two reformatories in Topeka, another in Atchison off of US 73, and one in Beloit off of US 24. State mental hospitals are located in Hiawatha, Larned, and Osawatomie.


Federal lands South of Great Bend, off of US 281 is Quivira NWR. North of Topeka, off of US 75 is Pottawatomie Indian Reservation. There are several reservoirs with state parks around them in the eastern part of the state. Sadly, the absence of spectacular scenery in Kansas urges people to get out of Kansas as quickly as possible, ignoring some wonderful spots...find 'em!

Rest areas Kansas has some of the nation's finest rest areas, they are clean, well maintained, and tastefully landscaped. Overnight camping is permitted, "at your own risk" in those rest areas which have rest rooms (almost all do).

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride." (sound familiar?) This law is enforced along Kansas interstates and the Kansas Turnpike. Walking along the interstate may result in a ticket, if you're caught. Stick to the on ramps, and you'll be OK.

The roads I-70 is the main east-west road in the state. Chances are good for getting long rides along I-70, as most people on the road are going on


through the state. It may take a while to get that ride, however, as we have numerous reports of long waits in Kansas (see Long Waits section). At Lawrence I-70 merges with the Kansas Turnpike, and they run together on into Kansas City. Many folks take US 40 through Topeka as an alternative to paying the toll. The Kansas Turnpike runs from Kansas City west and south into Oklahoma. At Emporia, it merges with I-35. The Turnpike tolls run about $6.50 for a car from Kansas City on into Oklahoma, more for vehicles with trailers. Hitching is reported grim along the turnpike. A Kansas Turnpike flyer boasts, "Turnpike troopers operate round the clock to enforce the laws", hitchhiking laws for instance. I-35 splits at Wichita, the turnpike runs south and northeast, and I-135 runs north to Salina where it joins I-70. The Salina junction is notorious for cops hassling hitchers. It seems that five or six years ago, some hitchhiker gunned down a trooper here. The police still remember...we all pay. All roads out of Salina are reported slow. US 36 has a slow but steady traffic flow across the state, one hitcher reports that it's a good route to thumb.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots Fourteen people reported that police warned them not to hitchhike in Kansas; two of these were in Kansas City, one was in Lawrence. Four people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in Kansas, two of these were in Salina (one in '78). Another hitcher reported being searched by police in Kansas City.

Long waits 5 hours on the Turnpike in '80 24 hours in Wichita 3 hours`in Kansas City 36 hours in Salina 3 hours in Salina 10 hours in Goodland on I-70, 10/80 24 hours in 100° summer heat 3 hours in general 2 1/2 hours 7/79 20 hours in general 3 hours 5 hours 2 hours on I-70

City tips Take the bus to the Raytown Shopping Center to get west of Kansas City. You will be on US 40, and you can hitch US 40 to I-70. Avoid thumbing in north Kansas City. Have a sign and stay in front of the tollbooths.


Trains and Truckstops Kansas City is a main train switching area. Four people report that the yards in KC are the worst. Yet trains go out of Kansas City in all four directions, and folks do hop them. The yards are located along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. Mo Pac lines run north to Omaha, east to St.Louis, and west to Herrington. N&W lines run to Moberly, Mo. UP lines run west to Topeka, then on into Limon, Colo. SLSF lines run south to Tulsa and Texas. Milwaukee lines run into Chicago, and Rock Island lines head north to Des Moines. Santa Fe lines run south west to Oklahoma City and La Junta, Colo. Kansas City is one of the main switching yards in the country. In Wichita, the yards are located around US 81 and Central Avenue. Wichita has connections south and west on Santa Fe lines to Amarillo and Oklahoma City, and north to Newton. Mo Pac lines run east to Ft. Scott. Rock Island lines run south to Ft. Worth, Texas, and SLSF lines run to Springfield, Mo. Wichita is home of the Wichita lineman.

Truckstops are located along I-70 in Hays and Oakley. On I-35 there is a truckstop in Olathe. And off of US 54 on the Oklahoma border, there is truckstop in Liberal.


Jobs Kansas is mainly a farming state. During the summer, haying takes place. Wheat is harvested in June, while corn and beans are harvested in October and November. Along the Missouri River there are some orchards, apple picking begins in September.


Environment Colorado is two-thirds mountains, with some of the tallest peaks in the Rockies. The mountains stay cool year round-- summer temperatures around 50-65--with large temperature drops at night. Springtime mountain temperatures are in the 40-50 range, and winter temperatures rarely get above 25. Fastern Colorado is the start of the Great Plains. Here it is hotter and drier year round. Summer temperatures are in the 80's with only 16" of rain anually. In the mountains carry a sub-zero rated sleeping bag from September through May. Lots of neat people live in the mountains, but


most of the state's population live in the corridor from Denver on up along I-25 into Wyoming. The drinking age in Colorado is 18 for 3.2 beer, and 21 for all other forms of alcohol.

Military There are several military installations in the Colorado Springs area: Ft. Carson is located off of I-25 and state hwy 115; the US Air Force Academy is north of Colorado Springs on I-25; and further north is Peterson Field. In Denver, there is Lowry AFB, and nearby is Rocky Flats where triggers for nuclear weapons are installed.

Universities University of Colorado at Boulder is the largest in the state with 22,000 high-altitude students. There are several colleges and universities in the north central part of the state. In Greely is the UNC with its 14,500 students, and in Ft.Collins is CSU with a student population of 16,800. Denver has several institutes of higher learning, the largest being Metropolitan State College with a student body of 10,300. UC Denver has 7600 students, Regis College and the Colorado Women's College are also worth mentioning. Mesa College with its 3500 students gives Grand Junction a significant


student population. Fort Lewis helps make Durango a neat place to visit. The USC in Pueblo has 6000 pupils.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals State penal institutions are located in the following cities: near Canon City off of US 50; near Delta southeast of Grand Junction, also on US 50; near Buena Vista in the mountains off of US 24; in Rifle; and three in the Denver area. There is also a federal youth and juvenile center south of Denver in Englewood off of I-25. The state mental hospitals are located in Denver and Pueblo.

Federal lands In Estes, off of Us 34 is Rocky Mountain NP with some spectacular peaks. Near Alamosa off of state hwys 17 and 150 is Great Sand Dunes National Monument. West of Colorado Springs is the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Gunnison National Monument is located off of both US 50 and hwy 92. In the northwestern corner of the state is the interesting Dinosaur National Monument. Near Grand Junction is Colorado National Monument off of I-70. West of Durango off hwy 789/160 is Mesa Verde NP. National Forests cover much of western Colorado. Surrounding Rocky Mountain NP is the Roosevelt NF. San Isabel NF stretches


from Leadville along US 24 down to Salida, and east toward Canon City. West of Colorado Springs, and also bissected by US 24, is Pike NF. I-70 cuts through Arapaho NF and White River NF on its way west to Glenwood Springs. Surrounding Aspen and extending southward is Gunnison NF. South of Gunnison, hwys 114 and 149 both pass through Uncompahgre NF and Rio Grande NF. North of Cortez and west of Baxterville is the San Juan NF; US 550, US 160, and hwy 145 all pass through it. Colorado has some of the most beautifUl mountains in the country, and some of the natural forest is still in tack. Leave only footprints...

Rest areas Overnight camping is prohibited in Colorado rest areas. A state official mentioned that state parks have free camping, so use them instead.

Hitching Law and Comment A state offial writes: "Hitchhiking is completely legal, except on the interstate highways. Hitchhikers seeking rides along the interstate routes are advised to stand completely off the entrance ramps and roadways, but may stand in areas away from the beginning of the entrance ramp." When hitching interstates, venturing beyond


the "No Pedestrians,etc" sign may lead to ticketing. Backroad hitching is legal and accepted.

The roads I-70 is the main east-west route across the state. Generally we have bad reports about I-70 west of Denver, and mixed reports east of Denver. One thumber tells us that I-70 is better in the off season. Grand Junction is the scene of fruit-picking jobs, and stranded hitchers. If you are in a hurry to get east or west, don't go through Colorado. I-80 through Wyoming is faster, and just as illegal. We have good reports about I-25 in the northern part of the state, where there are lots of students looking for rides or riders. South of Denver we received many reports of police hassles on the way to Colorado Springs. It may be worth it to sacrifice a short ride if you're on a ramp with good traffic flow. Two thumbers report that I-76 is a good route heading into Denver from I-80. Generally fewer folks seem to use the interstates in Colorado, backroads being, for the most part, decent hitching.

Hitching backroads is legal and accepted in Colorado. US 50 heading east out of Grand Junction is scenic,


and good thumbing. You should be able to make Salida in a day if you have to. There aren't any shoulders for most of this road so if you find a decent spot, it may be wise to stay there till you get a ride. Traffic lightens up east of Pueblo. US 550 is a scenic route through the San Juans. Again there are few pulloffs, but still three hitchers reported that 550 is easy to hitch. US 285 cuts through the San Isabel NF, and is reported easy to hitch from New Mexico on up to Evergreen. Hwy 13/789 is reported slow, "a scenic one day hitch from Rifle to Baggs, Wyo." Long waits are reported in Craig. US 40 from Denver west to Salt Lake City is reported to be a good alternative to I-70 by three hitchers. US 24 is reported good heading north out of Buena Vista, scenic and long rides. US 24 is also reported to be a good way to leave the state heading east, from Colorado Springs to I-70 is often one ride. Lots of folks seem to hitch the backroads to see this beautiful state.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Eleven people were warned not to hitchhike in Colorada: two of these were in Denver, one in Limon, and one in Evergreen. Twelve people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking: four of these were in Denver (one in '79), and one was in


Colorado Springs. Three folks reported that they were searched while hitchhiking, one of these was in Denver in '79. One person was arrested for hitchhiking in Canon City in '73. These figures make Colorado one of the harshest states towards hitchhikers.

Long waits 2 days in general 6 hours in Craig, in 8/80 16 hours in Grand Junction, in '76 8 hours in Denver in '79 4 hours in Denver 4 hours on US 550 in the San Juans 3 hours in Grand Junction, in '79 2 hours Craig heading north 3 hours in Loveland with skis in '74 2 hours in Salida 7/79 6 hours on I-70 3 hours on I-25

City tip Boulder is a hip town, eVen for Colorado. There is a big student population, and many folks stay around when they get out of school. One thumber reports,"Boulder is a Mecca for hitchhikers." Check the rideboard in the Student Union if you're having trouble getting a ride. Street people hang out on the mall during the summer.

Trains and Truckstops Denver is a main train town, but we do have two reports


that the Denver yards are hot, so watch out. The BN and the UP yards are near Brighton Street and I-70 in beautiful downtown Denver. UP lines run north to Cheyenne, northeast to Julesburg, and southeast to Limon. The Santa Fe, Rio Grande, C&S, and Western railraods are located near 5th and Broadway in Denver. Connections run south to Pueblo, north to Cheyenne, and west to Dotsero. In Pueblo the main railyards are along the north shore of the Arkansas river near Thatcher Avenue. Connections head northwest to Dotsero, eastbound Mo Pac lines go to Kansas City, C&S lines run on into New Mexico. Other Colorado switching yards are in Limon, Julesburg, La Junta, and Trinidad. Small yards are generally cooler than large ones.

Truckstops along I-70 are located in: Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Watkins, and Palisade. On I-76 there are truckstops in Brush and Sterling. Along I-25 there are truckstops in Longmont and Monument. There are also truckstops in Durango off of US 550, and in Lamar off of hwy 287.

Jobs Fruit picking happens in the western part of the state, around Grand Junction. In the summer, there is apricot and cherry picking to be


done.In the fall apple and pear picking happens. Haying work is available on the plateaus in the summer and fall. During the tourist season, resorts hire some young folks; apply early.


Environment There are 43 species of sagebrush, and 40 of them grow in Wyoming. Much of the state is desert, except for the mountains in the north and western parts of the state. The areas around Yellowstone and Sheridan get 15" of precipitation yearly (much of it snow), but the rest of the state gets less than 10" a year. Temperatures in the summer get around 75 with the nights much cooler (40 not uncommon). Winter temperatures are frequently sub-zero, and blizzards can make travel, especially hitchhiking, dangerous. Recent energy developments (exploitations) dominate the state's economy. The drinking age in Wyoming is 19.


Military Warren AFB is in Cheyenne. There are Minuteman missile silos scattered in the northern part of the state.

Universities The only university in the state is the University of Wyoming at Laramie with 11,300 students. Still this gives Laramie a more liberal status than the rest of the state (this ain't saying a whole lot).

Federal lands In the northwestern corner are Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park, both very spectacular and very popular. US 89, US 189/187 and US 287 all run through Bridger NF in the western part of the state. West of I-25 around Sheridan and Buffalo are the Big Horn mountains and Big Horn NF. East of Gilette on I-90 is Black Hills NF. Medicine Bow NF is located off of hwys 130 and 230 west of Laramie, and also west of I-25 around Dwyer. Thermopolis, at the junction of hwy 120 and US 20, is the site of the world's largest hot springs. In the northwest corner of the state is Shoshone NF, both US 16 and US 287 pass through it.

Rest areas Camping is not permitted in Wyoming rest areas. Many of the Wyoming "rest areas" consist of


primitive outhouses, a table, and a garbage can. (no heated shelter)

Hitching Law and Comment We asked the Wyoming State Highway Department about hitchhiking in Wyoming, their reply was: "It's illegal." The law prohibits standing on the highway to solicit: "rides, employment, business, or contributions." Also the law authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access facilities. Statistics report that hitching in Wyoming can be grim, however it is the fastest way to get east or west.(see The Roads section)

The roads I-80 is the main east-west route through the state, and although it is reported slow, it is still faster than any other route heading east or west (faster than I-70 through Colorado, for instance). Between Cheyenne and Laramie is a 8600 foot pass; check the weather conditions in the winter. Rawlins and Rock Springs are reported to be rough towns, if you happen to stop there, be careful. From Cheyenne to Salt Lake City is reported to be a day's hitch. Heading west out of Little America, much of the through traffic takes US 30 to avoid Salt Lake City. This cutoff joins I-84 at Pocatello, so it may help to have a


sign that says, "Pocatello" or "Idaho". Southwestern Wyoming is reported tough to thumb; the anti-hitchhiking laws are enforced along I-80. In the northern part of the state, along I-90, we have no reports of harrassment. This apparently indicates that enforcement of the anti-hitchhiking law is lax along this route, although this route is shorter than I-80. Hitching along I-90 you should have no trouble cutting across Wyoming in half a day. I-25 is the main north-south road through the state. It is reported good hitching from Cheyenne to Casper, where it turns to two lane. There is a 25 mile stretch of two lane there around the Teapot Dome area. At Buffalo, I-25 junctions with I-90, and the traffic flow increases, despite the stretch of two lane road at the Wyoming Montana border.

Wyoming backroads are sparsely travelled, so hitching is tough. However, three folks rated thumbing "good" through the Jackson Hole- Yellowstone area (Some of these roads are closed in the winter). US 287 from Lander to Rawling is reported decent hitching. Lander is the last place to get gas after dark until you get into Montana, heading north. The Dubois area of US 287 is very scenic, but also


very slow. Lander to Thermopolis is somewhat busier, and it too is scenic. Highway 789 north from Craig, Colo. through Baggs to Creston Junction is a full day's hitch if you're lucky. US 187 from Rock Springs to Jackson Hole is reported very poor hitching. One dismayed hitcher comments that, "Rock Springs takes years off your life." US 20/120 from Casper to Cody is reported OK for thumbing.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Sixteen people reported that they were warned not to hitchhike in Wyoming, one of these was in Casper, one was in Rock Spring, and two Were in Cheyenne. Seven peopie reported that they were ticketed for hitchhiking in Wyoming; two of these were in Cheyenne, one was in Rock Spring, another was on US 89 near Afton. Five people reported being searched by Wyoming law enforcement officials, giving this state one of the highest incidences of searches. One search took place in Cheyenne, another in Casper, and one in Babbs. One hitchhiker reported that he was arrested for hitchhiking in Cody, and another was jailed in Laramie. We suggest hiding if you see a cop before he sees you.


Long waits 3 hours Cheyenne 28 hours Cheyenne 34 hours Cheyenne 5 hours in Sinclair 4 hours in Hillsdale in 8/80 3 hours in Casper 2 hours in Casper 6 hours in Buffalo 2 hours in Jackson Hole 5 hours in Jackson Hole 12 hours in Afton 2 days in Lander on US 26/789 4 hours in Yelowstone 9/80 1 hour Yellowstone 4 hours I-80 2 hours I-25 2 days Wyoming in general

Trains and Truckstops In Cheyenne the railyards are on 16th Street near I-25. One fellow cautions that Wyoming has mean yard bulls, so watch yourself. UP lines run from Cheyenne to Granger, but hopping is reported difficult. BN runs north out of Cheyenne to Billings, Mt. In Casper, the yards are down by the river. The BN yards are on the north side, and the C&NW yards are on the south side. Connections head north into Montana, and south to Cheyenne.

Truckstops are located along I-80 in Rawlins and Rock Springs. At the


junction of US 26 and hwy 789 in Riverton is another truckstop. In Midwest on US 87 is another truckstop.

Jobs In October and November around Cody there are sugar beets to be harvested. In the summer there is some haying in the wetter regions of the state. There is work available in the oil fields around Gillette, Kemmerer, Rock Springs, Uranium, Riverton and Buffalo. Some summer work is available in Yellowstone National Park in the concession stands.


Environment Montana is the fourth largest state in the union. The environment in Montana embraces both the grassy range and the timbered mountains. Summer temperatures get up to the 70's during the day, but may fall to the 40's at night. Winter


temperatures often get subzero. Anyone hitchhiking in this state should bring warm clothing, even in the summer. Precipitation is in the 20 inch range, much Of it falling before June 15 and after September 15. Montana has historically been exploited for its rich resources of timber, coal, oil, and precious metals by outside interests, and the people are now struggling with a variety of development decisions. The state drinking age is 18.

Military Malstrom AFB in Great Falls is the most significant military installation. Missile silos are located around the state.

Universities The University of Montana has the state's largest student population with 8900 enrolled. Back east in Bozeman, Montana State U has 8500 kids. Billings has two schools; EMC is the biggie with 3000 pupiis. Carroll College in Helena has 1300 students, and the College of Great Falls in Great Falls has 1000. In southwestern Montana, the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in Butte has 850 students, and WMC in Dillon has 750. On the highline in Havre, NMC has an enrollment of 1200.


Prisons and Mental Hospitals It is illegal to hitchhike by state prisons and mental hospitals, and signs are posted by the road to this effect. The state prison is in Deerlodge and the state mental hospital is in Warm Springs, and both are on I-90 between Missoula and Butte. Try to avoid hitching by these towns at night.

Rest areas Montana rest stops are 1ittle more than that. Some have modern plumbing, but most are just pulloffs or pit toilets. Some have park benches by the road; there are no rules posted prohibiting overnight parking or camping, and if you are sensibly discreet you should have no hassles.

Federal land The Lolo NF, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness, Coram Experimental Forest, Glacier NP, the Hungry Horse NF, the Spotted Bear... the land of western Montana is dominated by federally owned land. Anyone hitchhiking in Montana west of Butte should have no trouble laying his or her head on land owned by some branch of the federal government. Make use of this fine land! Enjoy! It is fast being exploited for the timber, and the present administration is


working hard to allow heavy industries the rights to drill for oil and gas in virgin wilderness areas. Do it! Exercise your right as a citizen to camp On federal land for at least two weeks-- see what they have done, then write your well- insulated congressman and tell him what you think of the way Washington DC "manages" public land. If you don't, you are the problem. More federal land is in the eastern part of Montana: Custer NF, which is south of I-90 and around White Sulfur Springs, and the Crow Indian Reservation southeast of Billings, are places which are of interest to hitchhikers.

Hitching Law and Comment (One more time...) "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle". A quote from the Chief of the Highway Patrol says, "The law has never been strictly enforced as long as the person does not interfere with traffic". Violators may be fined $100 or jailed for 10 days for thumbing by the state prison or hospital.

The roads I-90 comes up from Wyoming disguised as a two lane highway; it is a good idea to wait in Sheridan for a


ride through to Billings. In Billings, heading east, stay west of the I-90 / I-94 split and wait for that looong ride across the Dakotas. I-94 is a desolate road from Billings east to Bismarck; we have three reports that things are grim from Billings to Glendive, but one fellow says, "Hitching from Missoula to Fargo is improving". Take heart. We do get rides from oilfield workers from Glendive to Dickinson, making that stretch a bit better. I-90 is the favored route east, if you must take a short ride. More traffic, and more cities are why. On I-90 west of Billings, you can't find any gas after dark until Bozeman. Thumbing at the Bozeman exits is "very popular"-- you won't be the only person stuck there; likewise in Livingston. From Bozeman, it is another 200 miles to Butte. The road around Big Timber is still a two lane, which makes stopping for hitchers tough on the drivers. In the winter, check about the conditions on Bozeman Pass outside Bozeman and Homestake Pass outside Butte to see if the roads are cleared. The junction of I-90 and I-15 by Butte is a void; the nearest civilization is a mile towards Butte. West of Butte, I-90 reverts to a two


West of Butte, at Garrison Junction, the road is now a four lane, and this has made it easier to get the driver's attention. From Missoula, we have mixed reports of thumbing; there are a lot of locals out there hitching rides, and competition is as tough here as near Bozeman. The interstate goes back to a two lane west of Superior; if you are thumbing and get dropped off, the Husky Truckstop in St. Regis is always open and has the hottest chilli in the state. Hitchers tend to collect here, since there is nothing between there and Wallace, Idaho. I-15 south from Alberta to Great Falls is pretty desolate; from Great Falls south to Butte, allow a half day. The interstate is still interspersed with patches of two lane. South of the I-90 junction, I-15 is a major north and south route, better than US 93 but not as pretty. It is an easy day from Pocatello to Butte or vice-versa.

As for the secondary roads, US 93 south of Missoula to the Idaho border is a good route(6 votes), with lots of commuter traffic as far as Hamilton or Darby. South of Darby, things get worse-- see Idaho. North of Missoula on US 93, it is usually a one-ride hitch to Polson. At Polson take the west shore of Flathead Lake unless you


like getting stranded on US 35. We can't explain why this road is so bad, but there are probably too many thumbers competing for the few local rides on this road. Don't accept a ride short of Bigfork unless you like to hike. North of Bigfork, three people agree that the thumbing improves; perhaps because more roads go into Bigfork than leave it. On US 93 from Kalispell to Whitefish, the traffic is steady and the locals don't mind picking up hitchhikers. North of Whitefish to the border, traffic thins out and waits lengthen. Highway 40 to Columbia Falls is a good route to thumb, better than US 2 out of Kalispell via the airport. There are lots of short hops up the trapline to the mouth of Glacier NP, and thumbing Going- to- the- Sun is worth the waits. US 2 west of Kalispell is slow yet possible, but it gets downright lonely west of Libby to Bonners Ferry. Figure a day for the trip. Around Glacier as far as Browning the thumbing is pretty dependable, but east of Shelby on US 2 the traffic thins to between-town hops. Highway 200 coming from Sandpoint, Idaho to Missoula via Thompson Falls is a one day hitch; you'll do as well to get a freight. West of Missoula, hwy 200 to Great Falls is an easy hitch almost any day; watch out near


Greenough Hill. Highway 200/87 east of Great Falls to Lewistown is hitchable, according to two reports, but things get grim east of Lewistown. Highway 12 from Missoula to Lolo Hot Springs is an easy two-ride hitch, and if you can get a ride west from there you are as good as in Orofino. Wait at the hot springs, not Powell Ranger Station, for the ride through the wilderness. Highways 43 and 278 through the Big Hole area in southwestern Montana are slow, scenic, and dotted with hot springs. One hitcher says, "It's tough to get out of the Big Hole". Highway 89 from Clearwater Junction to Ferndale is a pretty and "OK" hitch, a bit better in the off-season. US 12 is slow but predictable from Helena to White Sulfur Springs; we have no reports east of there. Highway 89 from Gardiner to Livingston is a popular and enjoyable hitch, according to three reports. Highway 287 is booed by three thumbers from West Yellowstone, and if that wasn't bad enough, there's no gas after dark until Butte. We have no reports on US 191 out of Yellowstone. US 212 is hitchable to Red Lodge out of Billings, if you bring your skis. West of Crow Agency, US 212 is a good shortcut, but if you don't get a ride straight through, plan on having your mail forwarded to Broadus.


Hitch-ticketing hotspots Only one ticket reported from Montana, and ten warnings: one from Missoula, one from Deerlodge, one from Hardin, and two from Livingston.

Long waits

5 hours in Missoula

7 hours by Missoula in 8/'80

5 hours in Missoula

four waits of 2 hours or less by Missoula

16 hours by Bozeman

5 hours by Bozeman

2 hours by Bozeman

3 hours by Bozeman

2 hours at St. Regis

8 hours by Kalispell in 10/77

2 hours by Kalispell 7/80

5 hours by Kalispell

3 hours by Kalispell

2 days in Harlem, Mt.

13 hours in Forsyth, on I-94

2 hours at Big Sky by Redlodge

2 hours at Redlodge

7 hours at Great Falls in 11/80

1 day in Great Falls in '74

1 hour in Helena in '79

1 hour in Helena

19 hours in eastern Montana

2 days in Stevensville

7 mile walk by Box Elder

10 mile walk by Seeley Lake

2 hours by Seeley Lake in '72

10 hours at Lolo HS in 6/80


16 hours by Blue Bay on US 35 2 hours in Butte in 8/80 2 days in Butte in '76 4 hours in Butte 2 hours in Butte in '71 4 hours in Ennis in '72 3 hours in Hardin 4 hours on the Crow Reservation 2 hours in Roundup 5 hours in Darby in '74

Trains and Truckstops The Missoula yards are cool. Trains run west to Spokane and east to Helena. The Helena yards are cool. Trains run west to Missoula and south to Logan and Butte. Livingston is a major yards; the UP runs south to Pocatello, the BN runs east to Billings. The "highline" goes through Whitefish, Shelby, and Havre; a 500 mile freight ride to North Dakota and points east. The BN yards in Laurel and Billings aim out to Lincoln, Nebraska, Bismarck, ND., Casper, Wyo., Great Falls, and Livingston.

Truckstops may be found at Dillon and Shelby on I-15; at Billings, Bozeman, Hardin, Missoula, St. Regis, and Garrison Junction on I-90; at Glendive on I-94; and at Havre and Kalispell on US 2.


Jobs Sugar beets are ready to be harvested along I-94 and I-90 in September. Haying work will open up in central and eastern Montana in the summer, and southwest Montana iS a potato growing region. Cherry picking begins in mid-July in the orchards around Flathead Lake, and tree planting contracts are opening up in April and May. There are jobs in the oilpatch in the Glendive area for those who want it.


Environment If Idaho were flattened out, it would be as big as Texas. This is a high altitude state. The plains area, called the banana belt, is arid; it receives less than 15 inches of rain annually. The summertime temperatures here remain in the 70's and 80's, and the winters are cold and dry, usually below freezing. North of Boise the altitude climbs on up into the panhandle, where the precipitaiton averages 35 inches annually and


temperatures are cooler year 'round. The summer temperatures may rise to the 70's during the day and drop to the 40's at night. The state drinking age is 19.

Military Mountain Home AFB is in Mountain Home, right, on I-80 between Boise and Twin Falls. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission manages land west of Idaho Falls on hwy 22 and hwy 88. There is a big testing grounds here.

Universities Boise State University in Boise is the state's largest school With 10,000 students. In nearby Caldwell and Nampa there are two other schools with a combined student population of under 2000. Idaho State U is in Pocatello with 6900 kids, Lewis and Clark is in Lewiston with 1300 pupils, and the U of I is in Moscow with 7700 folks enrolled.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state prisons are in Boise and Cottonwood, and the state mental hospitals are in Blackfoot and Orofino.

Rest areas There are several modern rest areas along the interstate, and lots of "sportsmen's access" areas along rivers and valleys in the panhandle that permit overnight camping.


Federal land Over three-fourths of the State of Idaho is federal land. Every road north of US 68 adjoins federal land, most of it National Forest. There is also lots of National Forest east of I-15 in the eastern part of the state. Craters of the Moon National Monument is off US alternate 93. Sawtooth National Recreation Area is by Us 93 and hwy 21.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride... or employment, (or) contributions from the occupant of any vehicle". Pedestrians may solicit from the shoulder off the roadway. Pedestrians are excluded from interstates by law. Idaho police do routine ID checks on hitchhikers, and the present Bonners County sheriff was elected on a no-hitchhiking platform, so there is some paranoia up north there. Walking and hitching along the interstate is OK as long as traffic flow is not impaired.

The roads I-84 (which is sometimes called I-80N) comes up from Salt Lake City and is the main east and west route in the state. Remember your canteen in the summer. We have three good reports from Boise to Portland, Oregon, and two folks tell us that


hitching I-84 east of Boise is easy. I-15 is the principal route north and south and is reported good north of Pocatello to Boise. We also hear that the trip to Salt Lake is a decent hitch, but so many folks warn us about Salt Lake we wonder. I-90 passes through the panhandle region and is a tricky stretch to negotiate. Bring a sign. The locals are amenable to hitchhiking, but if you get stuck in Smelterville, you may have a bad night. Women should be careful hitching through Wallace, where the road is a two lane and prostitution is common. There are ten small towns in one 40 mile stretch of I-90 east of Coeur D'Alene. Heading west, wait in Coeur D'Alene for a ride at least through Spokane, where hitching is illegal and the police are watching.

As for the secondary roads, US 12 from Lewiston to Missoula has mixed reports. It is the only way to get across this part of the state, so the traffic is going the right way, but the number of cars is low and east of Kooskia is 90 miles of wilderness until the Montana border. Kooskia has been christened, "the last chance for hitchhikers until Missoula" and "the hitchhiker's hell- hole", both appropriate titles. Again, carry a sign. US 95 from Bonners Ferry


to Sandpoint is tough to hitch; the sheriff is down on thumbers, and few people stop. Sandpolnt to Coeur D'Alene is better, but south of Coeur D'Alene one hitchhiker says, "Man, it's a dead road". From Moscow to Lewiston is an easy hitch, but then US 95 doesn't go to Lewiston-- it's eight miles from the cutoff. State hwy 13 runs from Kooskia to Grangeville; it is a good cutoff if you are headed south and have a sign. There are neat mountains and hotsprings south of Grangeville. McCall is a cool and touristy town in the winter. US 93 comes down from Darby, Montana, to Salmon, where the thumbing is grim, bad, and poor. Especially don't look like a hippy or a treeplanter! The road is bad news from Salmon to Challis. At Challis most traffic cuts off towards Arco, Blackfoot, and Pocatello, and thumbing to Stanley is a challenge. Stanley is a fun place to be in the summer. 'Nuff said. State road 21 out of Stanley to Lowman is a shortcut, so be prepared to wait. US 30 in the southeastern corner of the state is a well-used shortcut from I-80 to I-15; it can keep you out of Salt Lake City.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots One person reported being ticketed in Idaho.


Seven folks reported being warned, and three of these occurred on I-90; one in Coeur D'Alene, one in Kellogg, and one in Post Falls. Other warnings were reported on US 93 in Sun Valley, and on US 30 in Lava. One thumber was jailed in Coeur D' Alene.

Long waits 2 hours on I-84 at Twin Falls 2 days on US 12 1 day in Lowell 4 hours in Kooskia 5 hours in Kooskia 2 hours in Kooskia in 7/'80 12 hours on I-90 at Kellogg 2 hours in Coeur D'Alene 3 hours in Coeur D'Alene 5 hours at Coeur D'Alene 3 hours at Coeur D'Alene in 7/80 1 day in Mullan 27 hours in Roberts 9 hours in Salmon 2 days in Salmon 8 hours in Salmon 4 hours in Challis 4 hours on US 93 18 hours in Stanley 4 hours in Stanley

Trains and Truckstops Pocatello is a main train town. The yards are hot, but much used. The Union Pacific runs north to Butte, west to Boise, south to


Salt Lake, southeast to Granger, and northeast to West Yellowstone.

Truckstops may be found at American Falls and Downey on I-15; at Lewiston on US 12 and US 95; and at Bliss on Hwy 30.

Jobs Sugar beet harvest happens along the Snake River Valley in the fall. Haying jobs are open in the summer in the southern part of the state. Onions are picked in the month of August, and cherries and apples are picked in July and September, respectively. Idaho's famous potatoes provide jobs in September.




Environment Utah is a state of many different realities. In the northwest section are barren salt flats and deserts. The central corridor of the state is mountains running north and south and meeting with the Unita Mountains --one of the few ranges on the continent that run east and west. Most of the state is arid, receiving less than 16 inches of precipitation annually, but the mountains get 25 inches a year and are cooler throughout the year. Temperatures for the mountains range from zero to twenty degrees in the winter and in the 70's during the summer, while the desert plateau stays in the 20's during the winter and gets in the 80's and over in the summer. Salt Lake City is the cultural center for the Mormon religion and was rated as the worst place to hitchhike out of by the folks in our survey. The drinking age in Utah is 21.

Military Hill AFB is near Ogden. Dugway Proving Grounds, Lake Wendover Testing Range, and Desert Test Center are all near the Skull Valley Indian Reservation (appropriate name), south of the salt flats west of Tooele.


Universities Brigham Young U in Provo educates 26,000 students. The U of U in Salt Lake City has 23,000 kids enrolled, and Utah State in Logan has 9900 pupils. Weber State College in Ogden has 8600 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The Utah State Penitentiary is south of Salt Lake City on I-15, and the mental hospital is in Provo.

Rest areas Camping in rest areas is not illegal; however, it is not encouraged.

Federal land There is a central corridor east of I-15 which is NatiOnal Forest, and east and north of Salt Lake City along the mountains is pretty much all National Forest. The south and southeastern parts of the state contain spectacular canyons: Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP off of hwy 12; Capitol Reef NP off hwy 24; Arches NP off US 163 south of I-70 near Moab; and Glen Canyon / Lake Powell National Recreation Area off hwy 95 and US 89. Dinosaur National Monument is off US 40 northeast of Jensen.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride or employment". Pedestrians may solicit


from off the roadway on the shoulder. The law authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access facilities. Some towns have local ordinances against hitchhiking, including Salt Lake City and Provo, and these are enforced, so beware!

The roads I-80 through Salt Lake City is the main road through the state east and west, but thumbing through Salt Lake City is to be avoided, according to about eighteen reports. It seems especially tough to get out of town on a Sunday. West of SLC, one looks out across the salt flats to Nevada. Take heart; we have few reports of stranded thumberS until the middle of Nevada. I-15 has little to recommend it heading north of SLC; we suggest a large dose of patience. Remember that the Idaho border is only 80 miles north. Despite a few bad reports, I-15 is the fastest way out of Utah north or south, and hitching into Salt Lake is reported good from both I-15 in Idaho and I-80 in Wyoming. We have mixed reports about I-70, which dead-ends short of I-15 at an unnamed junction. This is the way to get to Los Angeles, but most traffic heads up to I-80 through SLC on US 50 west of Green River. US 50 from Green River to Spanish Fork and the return hitch are reported by two


thumbers to be fairly good. Most through traffic between I-80 and I-70 connects here. West of Spanish Forks traffic thins out and long waits are reported in Delta and 150 miles west in Ely, Nevada. US 40 east from Salt Lake to Boulder, Colorado is suggested as a decent alternative hitch to I-70, but we have no data on the road between Provo and Heber. Thumbing around Moab seems to be better than in other areas of Utah, and the Devil's Garden is termed "spectacular". US 163 and US 666 are a "fair" hitch to Cortez, Colorado. US 89 is slow and pretty, passing by Zion and Bryce Canyons; long waits reported here.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots We have seven reported tickets in Utah; five of these were from Salt Lake, and two occurred during 1976 and 1 977. Six warnings were reported in Utah; two from SLC and two from Ogden, on I-80N. Two searches were reported, one from Salt Lake, and one person was arrested and one man was jailed.

Long waits 6 hours in SLC in '75 14 hours in SLC in '79 12 hours in SLC 12 hours in SLC in '80 1 day in SLC 2 hours in SLC


3 hours in SLC 4 hours in SLC 6 hours in SLC 24 hours at Mt. Carmel on US 89 3 hours at Delta on US 50 6 hours at Green River 3 hours in Utah somewhere 8 hours in Utah somewhere 1 day in Utah somewhere 6 hours in Moab 2 hours in Utah somewhere

City tips Salt Lake has a decent bus system and you can get anywhere you want during the day until 9 pm. The Burningham's Truckstop is reported to be a good place to get on a semitruck leaving town; talk to the service attendants. There is a rideboard at the Student Center at the University of Utah; take I-80 to hwy 186 to get there. We understand there is an airport bus that will take you west of town, but that's all we know. Pioneer Park is the place to be with your Indian friends and drink wine, while "CC" park is the place for hippies and rope smokers. There is a lot happening on State Street, too. The Union Pacific yards are easily located from the neon sign in front of the passenger terminal, and the UP has trains going to Las Vegas, north to Pocatello, Idaho, and west to Portola, California,


just west of Reno. The Western Pacific heads west to Wells, Nevada, and the Rio Grande Line runs to Grand Junction, Colorado.

Truckstops Truckstops may be found at hwy 15 in Kanab, US 91 at Nephi, and at hwy 30 and hwy 91 in Tremonton.

Jobs There is some agricultural work in the central corridor. Between SLC and Spanish Fork there are cherries in the summer, apricots in the late summer, and apples, potatoes, and sugar beets in the fall.


Environment The weather here is dry in the summer and dry in the winter. Winter temperatures get down to the 20's and 30's in the north and down to the 30's and 40's in the south. Spring temperatures may rise to the 70's in the north and drop to the 40's at night. Summer temperatures are in the 70's and 80's in the north and in the


90's in the south. Lots of desert environment in Nevada-- be sure to bring your canteen and keep it full. Nevada is famous for its casinos and legal prostitution; a decadent oasis in a barren land. The drinking age is 21.

Military Fallon NAS is off of US 95 and is termed a "Danger Area" --don't take a hike here. Nellis AFB is southeast of Las Vegas. There is a nuclear testing site bordered by US 95 on the southwest, US 93 on the east, and hwy 25 and US 6 on the north. This is the infamous Nevada Proving Grounds of the old Atomic Energy Commission, where nuclear weapons were tested in the '50's; it is secret and closed to the public.

Universities The University of Nevada at Las Vegas is in Paradise with 6700 students enrolled. The University of Nevada is at Reno with 7400 students.

Rest areas You may stay at Nevada rest areas for 18 hours maximum.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state prison is in Carson City and the principal mental hospital is in Sparks.

Federal land Humboldt NF is along the northern border; US 95 and hwy 51 run


through it. Toiyabe NF is in the central part of the state and there are some hot springs along hwy 8A and US 6 east of Tonopah. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located east of Vegas. Both state highways 40 and 12 run through this area, located just off I-15.

Hitching Law and Comment "A person shall not stand in a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride or business from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle". Several towns have local ordinances against hitchhiking which are strictly enforced; one example is Lovelock right on I-80. Towns with such ordinances usually have signs posted at the edge of town. Local attitudes towards hitchhiking in Nevada are generally quite poor.

The roads I-80 is your best bet going east or west. Beware of the "No Hitchhiking" signs along the way. Thumbing is reported slow at Wells, Winnemucca, and Elko. I-80 throughout Nevada is rated poor by four accounts. Thumbing improves in the Reno- Carson City- Lake Tahoe area. Both I-80 to Truckee and US 395 to Susanville have hitchable traffic and waits aren't too bad. Highway 38 between Reno and


Carson is the easiest hitch in the state, and thumbing in the Lake Tahoe region is pretty and fairly easy, even though there are many other hitchhikers. I-15 passes through the southernmost point of Nevada and Las Vegas, where thumbing is slow but popular. Few people hitch Nevada backroads; our only report on Ely says US 93 is tough, and long waits are reported on US 93 north and south of Wells and north of Las Vegas.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots We have no reports of tickets in Nevada, but we have few reports to go on. Four people were warned by police for hitchhiking in Nevada, and two of these were in the Reno/ Sparks area. One person reported being searched, and another was arrested in 1970.

Long waits

36 hours somewhere in Nevada

3 days in Nevada in '68

13 hours at the US 90/US 50 junction in Fallon

4 hours at Wells

3 hours at Wells in '79

4 hours in Elko

3 hours at Winnemucca

17 hours at Winnemucca

4 hours at Winnemucca

24 hours at Winnemucca

36 hours in Reno in '76


12 hours in Reno in 6/79 12 hours at the NV-CA border 2 hours by Reno 7 hours on US 93 at Ely in '77 12 hours in Nevada in 9/'77

City tips Reno has a good Salvation Army, and there are dollar buffetS at Circus-Circus. The U of N has a rideboard. The Southern Pacific runs east to Winnemucca and west to Sacremento, and there's a big yards 50 miles west of Reno in Portola, California that is cool. Las Vegas has discount breakfasts at the casinos, and the keno crayons make good hitchhiking signs. The UP runs up to Salt Lake and west to Barstow, California. The yards are said to be "warm" so be discreet. Don't forget the rideboard at the U of N in Las Vegas. Winnemucca is the hitchhiker's hell-hole. We recommend the freights. Western Pacific and Southern Pacific lines meet, running east to Wells with connections to Ogden/SLC, and west to Keddie, California, and Reno. Freights from SLC change crews in Elko, so if you are stranded and on your toes, you can get to Portola, California, in a matter of hours.

Truckstops Truckstops are to be found at Jackpot on US 93, on I-15 at Jean


and Mesquite; on I-80 at Verdi, Wells, and Winnemucca; and in Wendover on US 40.

Jobs Cotton provides jobs in the south from May to Sept.ember. Hay and potatoes are raised by the Idaho border and provide work in the summer and fall. Spot jobs are common in Reno during the summer.

New Mexico

Environment New Mexico is an arid state, but significant areas get enough rain to promote the growth of crops and forests. Summer temperatures are over 80 degrees most days, but low (40 degree) temperatures can be expected at night in the high altitudes. Winter temperatures are in the 30's everywhere but the southernmost areas. East of I-25 the land is part of the west Texas desert, and west of I-25 the mountains make up the contintental divide. New Mexico is a beautiful state, one full of contrasts and fascinating folks. The drinking age is 21.


Military Take note of Sandia Base and Kirkland AFB, both near Albuquerque. Cannon AFB is off US 60 near Clovis, and Holloman AFB is near Alamogordo. White Sands Missle Base is bordered by US 54 and US 380, and US 70/82 goes right through it. Highway 54 cuts right through Fort Bliss Military Reservation, and I-10 north of El Paso goes right by it.

Universities The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque boasts 20,000 students, and the U of Albuquerque has 3000 more. Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has 5000 kids, and New Mexico State in Las Cruces has 10,000 enrolled. There are two schools by Santa Fe; West New Mexico U is the largest with 1600 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a state prison on US 285 between Rosewell and Artesia, and two more in Albuquerque. Yet a nother is in Los Lunas off I-25 south of Albuquerque. The state penitentiary is on hwy 14 south of Santa Fe. The state mental hospital is in Las Vegas.

Rest areas Overnight sleeping is allowed, but you may not stay longer than 24 hours during any 3 day period. Violators are subject to a fine of under $100.


Federal land West of I-25, south of US 60, and north of Silver Dollar City there are National Forests all along the continental divide. Another pocket of National Forest is in the Santa Fe- Taos-Las Vegas area. In the southeast corner, there are some forests east of US 54 and of course Carlsbad Caves NP off US 62/180. White Sands National Monument is southwest of Alamogordo on US 70/82, and Chaco Canyon NM is north of Grants. Cibola NF is off I-40 by Gallup.

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand on or in the proximity of the street or highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". Pedestrians may solicit from the shoulder, off the roadway. Pedestrians are excluded from the interstate highways, but police generally ignore hitchhikers unless they are in a dangerous spot. You may get a warning for hitchhiking near larger cities.

The roads I-40 is the main route east and west. Flagstaff to Albuquerque is a day's hitch, and the same going the other way. The Gallup to Grants section of I-40 may be slow, since attitudes are reported to be "hostile" towards non-Indians. I-40 east of Albuquerque the traffic thins out, but


it is still said to be a better bet than I-10 (see Texas). I-25 in northern New Mexico receives five good reports, as does all northern New Mexico. South of Albuquerque, we have no reports except that one fellow had problems by Truth or Consequences. I-10 heading west to Tucson is a tough hitch according to three reports. US 285 was a pleasant hitch, and six folks agree that northern New Mexico and southern Colorado is a good area to thumb through. Our lack of data about backroad hitching in the state seems to imply that conditions elsewhere are poor, since US 66 and US 82 east of Alamogordo are both reportedly nasty.

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Five warnings were reported in New Mexico, two from Albuquerque. We have no reported tickets, searches, or arrests.

Long waits 6 hours in New Mexico in 12/73 3 days somewhere in NM 5 hours in New Mexico 1 day in New Mexico 3 days in NM somewhere 3 hours in northern NM 1 hour in Albuquerque

Trains and Truckstops Trainyards by Albuquerque are south of town in Belen


for south and eastbound freights, and in Dalies for westbounds to Flagstaff, AZ. If you hop a freight in Albuquerque heading north, it will be going to Lamy before heading up into Colorado. The yards are fairly cool, and all on the Santa Fe system. In Santa Fe, you can get trains headed to Lamy or south to Albuquerque. The train out of Gallup is a good possibility, since the yards are near the roads and the trains stop for a crew change there.

Truckstops are located on I-10 in Las Cruces, Deming, and Anthony; on I-40 at Gallup and Santa Rosa, at Vaughn on US 59, Clovis on US 60, and at Alamogordo on US 70.

Jobs Cotton field work is available in the southeast region of the state during summer and fall. Alfalfa and potatoes are raised in the eastern section and need working in the summer. Chilli peppers, lettuce, and onions are raised in the south and provide jobs in the summer and fall.



Environment Here is truly an arid zone. Only in the higher elevations does this state get over ten inches of rain, and the Southern deserts get much less. More need for a gallon canteen than a raincoat in most of Arizona, as the summer temperatures rarely drop below body temperature in Phoenix and TucsOn, and Flagstaff seems cool at 78 degrees. Winter temperatures in the south are a tolerable 50 degrees, but the higher altitudes get below freezing regularly and it snows. Be aware of the drastic changes in temperature between daytime and night at the higher elevations. Dust storms can be a problem for the thumber in the spring and fall, but generally the climate and people are mellow. The state drinking age is 19.

Military Yuma Marine Base and Proving Ground is around US 95. Don't leave the highway. Luke Air Force Range south of Gila Bend has similar rules if you thumb on hwy 85. Davis AFB is in Tucson, Fort Huachuca is in Douglas, right on the Mexican Border, and Luke AFB and Williams AFB are in Phoenix.

Universities In Phoenix, there are three schools: ASU at Tempe with 31,000


students and Grand Canyon College with 1000 are the largest. In Flagstaff, there are 10,000 kids attending classes at NAU, and many of them filled out our questionnaire. In Tucson, 29,000 folks attend the U of A.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals In Florence, off US 89 and hwy 287 sets a federal short-term adult penitentiary. In Safford, off of US 666 and US 70 there is another federal short-term prison. There's one mental hospital in Phoenix.

Rest areas Overnight sleeping is permitted, and emergency phones and first aid are available. State police report vandalism and do not recommend the overnight camping practice.

Federal land A corridor of National Forest runs southeast from Grand Canyon betWeen Flagstaff and Phoenix, through to I-25 in New Mexico. There are 19 Indian reservations in the state, and 18 National Parks and Monuments. The names of the parks and monuments are: Petrified Forest, Pipespring, Canyon De Chelly, Navajo, Wapatki, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings, Tuzigoot, Montezuma, Tonto, Casa Grande, Saguaro (54,000 acres), Organ Pipe Cactus, Tumacacori, Chircahua, and


Lake Mead and Glen Canyon Reservoirs. And, of course, there is the Grand Canyon...

Hitching Law and Comment "No person shall stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride". This law is unenforced, except for a routine ID check, because, as one trooper told me, "we have better things to do". Walking along the freeway is ignored or allowed; we have no reports of people being forced back up the ramps.

The roads I-40 is the main east- west route, with decent hitching into Flagstaff from the east, and OK but more competitive thumbing headed east to Winslow. Four thumbers tell us that thumbing west out of Flagstaff on I-40 is not for the impatient. As you get to the Arizona- California border, conditions deteriorate and long waits are the rule. I-17 connects Phoenix and Flagstaff and is the best hitchhiking in the state, according to several reports. Try to find a good spot to thumb from, and remind the drivers about the speed traps. We have mixed reports of favorable thumbing from Biythe to Phoenix on I-10. I-10 joins the infamous I-8 at Casa Grande, and things seem to get better into Tuscon from there. East of Tucson to


Las Cruces, four people warn us of tough hitching on this route. Those escaping Yuma on I-8 will want to head into Phoenix on US 80 at Gila Bend; good luck, even Richard Brautigan admits spending an afternoon thumbing there.

North of Phoenix, alternate US 89 is a much slower and more scenic road that branches off of I-17 between Phoenix and Flagpole. The Oak Creek Canyon was well worth it, I thought. US 89 north of Flagstaff is reported fair, getting worse north of the US 160 cut off by Tuba City. US 160 is no winner, but Four Corners can be made in a day from Flagstaff.

As for western Arizona, watch out! We have six votes for Yuma as the pits for hitchhikers, one fellow tells us to avoid hwy 89 in southwestern Arizona, and two folks tell us that Hoover Dam is mighty tough to hitch. Kingman has been called "hell without wheels" by at least three thumbers. Highway 64 to and from the Grand Canyon has proven to be a tough hitch for several folks.


I'm hitching by Yuma and it is really slow. Out of the distance walks this Mexican dude. It is burning hot out, and I'm fast running out of water.


This guy comes up and asks, in broken English, for a cigarette. I don't have anything but my precious can of Copenhagen, and I try to tell him it is chewing tobacco. He nods, takes the can, and opens it upside down. Snuff all over. Damn. He scoops up what he can from the dirt and starts to sift it into a cigarette paper. I shudder at seeing this, and try again to tell him to chew the nasty stuff. This time he understands, and packs his mouth with a scoop of snuff and dust. I'm gagging in sympathy, and I offer him a swallow from my canteen. He refuses, and walks on down the road in the 110 degree heat.

* * * *

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Only three tickets for hitching were reported from Arizona, two of which are from Tucson. Warnings issued totalled thirteen, with three reported in Phoenix, three in Flagstaff, and one in Page. One report of a police search in 1979, and someone was jailed in 1968.

Long waits 7 hours on US 70 at Ft.Thomas 2 hours in Phoenix 1 hour in Phoenix 3 hours in Phoenix 1 hour in Flagstaff 2 hours in Flagstaff


6 hours in Flagstaff 3 hours in Grand Canyon 4 hours in the Grand Canyon 1 day in the Grand Canyon in '77 3 hours in Kinsnan 2 days in Kingman 3 days in Kingman 3 hours at the Chirachara NM 3 hours at Yuma 36 hours at Yuma 2 days at Yuma 2 days at Yuma in '79 3 days in Yuma 3 days at Morenci on US 666 3 hours at Gila Bend 6 hours at Gila Bend 12 hours in Arizona 4 hours in Arizona 2 hours in Arizona

Trains and Truckstops The Santa Fe runs through Flagstaff west and east. The yards are reported "warm". In Phoenix, the busses run to the edge of town and it is worth the dollar. The Southern Pacific runs east to Tucson and west to Yuma, and the Santa Fe runs to Ashfork. The Phoenix yards are rumored to be hot. Yuma has connections to Phoenix, Tucson, and LA. The yards are hot. In Tucson, the SP runs to Yuma and El Paso.


Truckstops may be found at Yuma on US 80, on I-10 at Willcox and Toltec; at US 66 and hwy 93 in Kingman; and on I-8 at Gila Bend.

Jobs In southern Arizona, irrigated truck farms produce carrots, lettuce, and jobs in the spring. Citrus groves need pickers in December and January, cotton farmers need help in the summer, and resorts by the Grand Canyon and other national parks may be hiring in fall and spring.


Environment Washington's west coast is a rain forest, receiving between 35 and 140 inches of rain annually. East of the Cascades, the state is semi-arid, with only 6 to 12 inches falling annually. Eastern Washington is nearly always sunny, but the winters do get chilly, like about 25 degrees. The coastal area is warmed by the Japanese current, however, and the winter


temperatures here rarely dip below 40 degrees. Folks in the west are pretty much open and liberal, but hitchhikers in the eastern part of the state seem to be invisible to all but the police. Washington's unique ferry system makes it easy for the low-budget traveller to navigate the western part of the state. The drinking age in Washington is 21.

Military Fort Lewis and Fort McCord are in the Olympia- Tacoma area. Also on Puget Sound is a NAS on Whidbey Island, a Coast Guard Base in Port Angeles, and an Army Base in Bremerton. There's a firing range north of Yakima adjoining hwy 82, and hwy 24 and hwy 240 pass through an Energy Research Development Area; both are off limits to hikers. Fairchild AFB in Spokane is a big air base.

Universities Western Washington University in Bellingham has an enrollment of 8600 farout students. Gonzaga U in Spokane educates 3200 kids, and if you're stuck in Ellensburg, look up one of your 7000 friends at Central Washington University. Eastern washington University is home of 6400 students at Cheney. There are seven colleges in the Seattle area: the University of Washington is the biggest with 36,000


folks enrolled. The two colleges ln Walla Walla make it a college town, and the junior college scene in the nearby Tri-cities give this area a fairly significant student population of about 3000. Some of these folks may be out there hitching, too; a lot of them filled out the questionnaire. Washington State University has 15,000 students and runs a bus service at irregular intervals to the University of Idaho in Moscow, 15 miles east, for a buck. The fact that 2400 students attend Evergreen College in Olympia doesn't keep hundreds of hitchers from getting stranded there every year.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary is in Walla Walla, and the state reformatory is in Monroe, off hwy 2. Purdy Women's Center is on hwy 16 north of Tacoma. Indian Ridge Treatment Center is off hwy 9 by Arlington. state Work Farms or Correctional Centers are found off 101 south of Forks and near Shelton; by Yacolt, off hwy 503, and near Medical Lake on hwy 902. Mental hospitals are located in Fort Steilacoom and Medical Lake.

Rest areas "People are permitted to stay in Dept. of Transportation rest areas for no more than eight hours,"


reads our letter from the Washington DOT. They go on to warn, "We offer a $100 reward to anyone reporting vandalism of any highway department property" (like writing on lamp posts?).

Federal land There is much Forest Service land on the peninsula, in the Cascade Mountains, and in the northeast and southeast corners of the state. Three National Parks worth visiting are North Cascade NP, east of Bellingham; Olympic NP on the peninsula; and Mount Rainer NP on hwy 706.

Hitching Law and Comment "...prohibits hitchhiking on the highway... pedestrians may solicit from the curb or shoulder off the roadway...authorizes exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access facilities". Be well warned: Cops may stop and hassle you if you are downroad of any "No hitchhiking beyond this point" or "Pedestrians Prohibited" signs. The law is strictly enforced with a possible $250 fine or jailing. One hitcher comments, "Washington state has unreasonable hitchhiking restrictions".

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Thirteen people reported being ticketed in


Washington, second in number only to California. Twenty-six warnings were reported in all, again second only to California. Two warnings and one ticket were reported in Spokane, three warnings in Seattle, three tickets from Ellensburg, and one warning each from Olympia, Bellingham, and Yakima. We have one report of a police search in Washington, two jailings, and an arrest in Bellvue in '58.

The roads I-5 from Seattle south through Olympia and Tacoma is really bad news. Eight people singled out this area as a hitchhiker's nightmare, and one man wrote us, "It is only by the grace of the One True God that one gets the ride on I-5 through Olympia before getting pinched". The shoulders are steep to non-existent, the traffic is speeding around impossible turns, and the lamp posts are blackened with scribbled descriptions of hideous waits. Coming north on the same road seems easier, judging from the six or so reports, and from Seattle to Bellingham is reported to be good hitching by four folks. From Bellingham to Blaine is usually a one-ride hitch, but tough border checks are reported entering Canada at Blaine, especially on holidays. I-90 through the state is reported tough thumbing by


9 folks. Spokane ramps have "No Hitchhiking" signs posted, and the cops are on the prowl. The Yakima cutoff outside Ellensburg is illegal to hitch on; the cops will pop you and make you walk back to Ellensburg at least, and if you are caught there twice, it's good for a free room in the crowbar hotel. If you are headed east when you approach this place, it might be a good idea to get dropped off before the road splits or accept a ride to hwy 2 and thumb on it.

Backroad thumbing in Washington is legal, and conditions are not too shabby. Bellingham to Mt. Baker on hwy 542 is reported good hitching and scenic. Hwy 101 between Aberdeen and Astoria is said to be pretty grim thumbing, but the road is easier north of Aberdeen, and the stretch from Queets to Forks is dotted with public beaches and hiking trails, and good clam digging in season. Ten cent showers for the dirty at Bogacheil Campground south of Forks; it's open from 9 to 5 in the off-season and 9 to 8 in the summer. If you can get north of Forks to Port Angeles, you can catch the 101 commuter bus that goes from Laurel Street (west of PA) to Sequim for 50 cents every hour. There's not much traffic on hwy 104 until they get


the Hood Canal Bridge fixed; the little ferry is lonely, but you can approach the drivers during the ten-minute boat ride for what it's worth. Highway 525 on Whidbey Island is a good hitch; I've never waited over half an hour. Highway 305 to the Winslow ferry is OK during the day. Port Townsend is a beautiful little town with some of the oldest buildings in the state. The ferry from Port Townsend is more trouble than the one that goes into Seattle, unless you're headed north of the metropolis to Everett. Along the southern border, hwy 14 is a favorite with truckers; it parallels I-84 in Oregon. Highway 821 from Ellensburg to Yakima is a beautiful road, but rte 82 is a four lane. US 97 and US 12 from Yakima to Prosser are both kind of grim; I've had better luck on US 97/22. US 12 east goes through Walla Walla and has good traffic flow, and hwy 124 is a commonly used shortcut that I've had good luck hitching at day. Stay just west of the fork at Burbank and you'll get traffic from both roads. Highway 395 is pretty barren, but you can usually get a ride from the Tri-cities to Ritzville. North of Spokane, US 395 is recommended to Trail, B.C. US 2 is easy to get a ride north of Spokane, but by the time you get out of Preist River you may have a beard. Heading


west on US 2 to Wenatchee is a pretty good hitch, lots of short rides and good folks, and, unlike I-90, no police hassles. The 904 loop through Cheney is said to be tough.

Long waits

5 hours in Spokane

2 hours in Spokane

6 hours in Spokane

13 hours in Spokane

12 hours in Spokane

6 hours in Ellensburg

2 hours in Ellensburg

21 hours in Dodge

8 hours in Ritzville

7 hours in Seattle

8 hours in Seattle

12 hours in Walla Walla

6 hours in Walla Walla

4 hours in the Tri-cities

3 hours in the Tri-cities

On a lamp post at the US 12/124 junction at Burbank: "I've been here so long I grew a beard-- and I'm a chick!"

6 hours by Olympia-Tacoma

12 hours by Olympia- Tacoma

8 hours by Olympia-Tacoma

6 hours by Olympia-Tacoma

4 hours by Olympia-Tacoma

2 hours by Olympia-Tacoma (Lucky!)

3 hours by Orondo

4 hours in southeast Washington


City tips In Seattle, visit, or panhandle at Pike's overpriced Farmer's Market. The Seattle metro goes to north 45th Street and I-5, and this is the best way to get south. If you don't get a ride, hop a metro to downtown and transfer to Tacoma for 75 cents; use airport bus 74. To get east on I-90, take the 210 bus to North Bend or Issaquah, and you'll be within a short hike of a great freeway ramp. The Seattle railyards go under Denny Way; go north on Alaskan Way to the BN yards. Three people tell us the Seattle yards are cool, but you must still watch out for the bull.

In Spokane, the Union Pacific yards are off hwy 2 and Olive Way, near I-90; the BN yards start around Havana Street and the tracks parallel I-90, with the yards near the international fairgrounds. Most eastbound trains go through Whitefish and Kalispell, but some make it to Missoula. Westbounds are going south to Pasco and Yakima or Portland, with crew changes in Wishram, or they are going north and west to Wenatchee and Seattle/Everett. Jungles are in the south part of the yards, and the workers are cool but watch the bull. Hitching around Spokane is grim. If you're heading east, take a fifty cent bus ride out to Apple Way.


Heading west, I don't know a good bus. The busses run until midnight.

Wenatchee is a good place to switch your mode of travel from train to thumb or vice-versa. The yards are cool and within walking distance of US 2.

Other things to take note of in Washington: the yards are cool in Bena, Pasco, and Wishram. There is an Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee on May 1, Speedboat races in the Tri-cities on July 15, and Outdoor Intercourse Day in Cheney on May 8. Truckstops may be found at Walla Walla on US 12, at Yakima on US 97, and on I-5 at Chehalis.

Jobs Lots of apples are raised in the Yakima Valley and in the Brewster-Wenatchee area. Thinning happens in July, and picking in September and October. Cherries are ripening in July, and pears are ready to be picked in August and September. Berry and vegetable picking offers some employment in the summer, and work on the hops farms in the summer is frequent around Yakima. Jobs planting trees open up on the coast in February, and thinning contracts start in the late spring.



Environment Bring your raingear, because the west coast of Oregon gets from 30 to 120 inches of rain annually, much of it in the spring and fall. East of the Cascade Mountains, the terrain dries out. Annual rainfall is only between 8 and 30 inches. Winter temperatures along the coast range from 35 to 40, and in the east frOm 18 t0 24 degrees. Summer temperatures stay in the 70's, and spring and fall temperatures hover between 40 and 55. Oregon has liberal hitching and marijuana laws, but enforcement of speeding and drunk driving laws are strict. Rural Oregon is rather conservative. The drinking age is 21.

Military There is a large Coast Guard Base in Astoria and Kingsley Air Field is in Klamath Falls.

Universities The University of Oregon is located in Eugene and has a student population of 16,000. Oregon State is in Corvallis with 16,000 students, and Salem has two schools, the larger being Willamette U with 1700 kids. There are a dozen schools in the Portland area. The largest is Portland State U with 14,000 enrolled, followed by Lewis & Clark with 3000 and the U of P with


2100 pupils. Other schools of note are: Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, with 4500 folks; Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, with 2200 students, Oregon College of Education in Monmouth, and Fastern Oregon State College in La Grande.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals The state penitentiary is in Salem, and there are mental hospitals in Pendleton, Portland, and Salem.

Rest areas Oregon has many modern rest areas which do not permit camping. There are many recreational sites, sports accesses, and parks where camping is permitted.

Federal land Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is on US 101 north of Coos Bay. Crater Lake NP is on hwy 62 northeast of Medford, and it is surrounded by Umpqua NF. US 199 southwest of Grant's Pass passes through Siskiyou NF for many miles. US 101 is loaded with beachy keen recreation sites and bordered by National Forest for much of its length. Highway 140 from Medford to Klamath Falls, hwy 138 from Roseburg to the US 97 junction, highway 58 from Eugene to Walker Mountain, US 20 from Bend to


Cascadia, and US 26 from Prineville to Unity all pass through many miles of National Forest land. US 26 east of Madras passes through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and some National Forest land. Umatilla Indian Reservation is located east of Pendleton, and east of that to La Grande is Umatilla NF.

Hitchhiking Law and Comment Hitchhiking is legal in Oregon, and thumbers are not excluded from the interstates, as long as you do not block traffic or stand in the road. The police smile and wave. Good shoulders on much of I-5, and you can walk right by the road. Nobody has ever reported being ticketed in Oregon, but six persons were warned, two in Medford, where we hear there's a local ordinance against thumbing, and one in Albany. One person was warned in Portland, where the interstate is dangerous to be walking aiong, and another in Grant's Pass. A comment, "Oregon is the nicest place I've ever hitched".

The roads I-5 has been called the classic hitchhiker's route. Many people feel they can count on hitching the 300 mile length of this road in a day. I-5 is heavily travelled by hitchhikers, so don't be surprised if


you see a dozen or more fellow thumbers on your journeys. Jim Wallis tells us of eight hitchers avoiding the rain under one bridge back in '78. It may be windy in the Roseburg- Grant's Pass area, and the shoulder there is rather poor. Be careful. A good strategy in thumbing out of Oregon is to wait at the border until you get a good long ride, because your wait will be free of police hassles and probably shorter. I-84 (I-80N) connects Portland with the east. We have one report of a long wait where US 97 cuts north by Biggs, but generally things look favorable; we have three reports of good hitching west of Pendleton. I-84 is the most scenic of all interstates, but tell your drivers to watch out for the traditional speed traps east of Pendleton.

Oregon backroads vary from the very popular US 101 along the coast, with over thirty votes as the best road to hitch, to rather lonely roads in the eastern part of the state. US 101 is a bit slower to hitch than I-5, and some thumbers have gotten stranded here, but the spectacular scenery and good folks you meet make it worth the trouble. It is a good idea to find a good spot to hitch from and stay there rather than walk, because the winding road makes it


tricky to pull off in many places. US 97 from Klamath Falls through Bend to the I-84 junction is a good hitch for a two lane road, but you may suffer a few waits at one of the many junctions. Two people report doing it in a day, and I saw three other thumbers as I travelled its length one day. Highway 140 between Klamath Falls and Lakeview is slow going east, but it is the best road to take out of Lakeview in any direction. US 395 is deserted heading north, and pretty slow headed south into California. Highway 126 is a slow but sure hitch out of Bend, and US 26 to Government Camp is travelled by many hip folks in the summer months. Hwy 126 is recommended for its hippy dips (hotsprings). Hwy 138 is said to be a beautiful and "possible" hitch in the summer. US 199 is a good hitch coming up from US 101 in California, but may be tough going south. Highways 82 and 3 from La Grande to Enterprise to Lewiston takes a day at least, because the traffic flow is light and rides may be rare. It is, however, a very beautiful road, and you will probably see some wildlife. US 26 and US 20 are both reported slow thumbing.

Long waits 6 hours at the Jantzen Beach exit in Portland 4 hours at Gresham on US 26 5 hours on US 101 in '71


2 days in Florence 6 hours in Brookings in '76 1 day on US 101 2 hours by Salem on I-5 1 hour on I-5 1 hour on I-5 2 hours south of Salem on I-5 27 hours in eastern Oregon in '80 3 hours in Lakeview 1 day in John Day 6 hours in Umatilla

City tips In Portland, if you're heading east, catch the airport bus out of town. Walking on I-84 is suicidal; there's no shoulder, and the traffic whizzes by. To get to I-5, take a metro to Tigard or Oregon city. Portland's railyards are the Union Pacific going east and the Southern Pacific going south. The Burlington Northern has yards across the river in Vancouver, and these are cool and a better bet if you're headed north and east. The zoo is easy to get to and fun and depressing.

In Eugene, if you're headed north on I-5, take the Harlow bus to beltline, and the interstate is just one block away. Going southbound? Take the LCC/Harris bus to just past Lane Community College. The Southern Pacific has lines running north to


Portland, south to California, and east to Chemult.

Coming into Klamath Falls from the east, catch a US 97 bus and it will take you to the best spot to hitch from. Ask the bus driver. To get west, take the 6th Street outbound to Miller and you'll be close to hwy 140. The railyards in Klamath Falls are hot, and they have a mean bull there. The Southern Pacific and Western Pacific join in this town.

Truckstops Truckstops which are open 24 hours may be found at US 30 in Baker, at US 95 in Jordan Valley, at hwy 730 and hwy 32 in Umatilla, and on hwy 97 at Bend, Madras, and Klamath Falls. On I-5, check out truckstops at Curtin and Wilsonville.

Jobs Tree planting starts in November on the coast and continues into the spring. Farm work in the valley between the coastal and Cascade ranges include berries and cherries in the summer, especially strawberries in June. Work picking nuts and apples may be around in the fall. In the eastern part of the state, look out for the wheat harvest in the summer and hops, Potatoes, and sugar beets in the fall.



Environment California is a beautiful state, from the Sierras in the east, to Death Valley, to the fertile farming valleys, to the coast. California is so big that it is actually many different bioregions. The northern coast of California gets up to 65" of rain annually, but this amount drops as one heads south: Frisco gets 35" of rain a year, LA gets 20", and San Diego gets less than 10". Most of this rain falls in the rainy season (November through March), California's option to winter. Temperatures also vary greatly. Along the coast, temperature swings are more moderate--San Diego is around 78 all year, San Francisco has "winter" temperatures of 40-60 and summer temperatures of around 70--inland, however temperature swings are more drastic. The San Juaquin and Sacremento Valleys get into the 90's in the summer, and cool off to the 40-50 range in the winter. In the mountains of northern California (Mt. Shasta, etc.) and the Sierras, snow is not uncommon through April. Check weather conditions on mountain roads. The deserts of southeastern California are hot and dry, summer temperatures over 105 are to be expected. Travelling through California, you should be


prepared for all kinds of weather conditions. The drinking age in California is 21.

Military There are a dozen military installations in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Lawrence Livermore Labs where research on atomic weapons is conducted. Two other military installations are located near Sacremento--Travis AFB and McClellan. In Merced, off of US 99, is Castle AFB. Near Oceanside is Camp Pendleton, and the highway goes right through it. In Marysville off of hwy 65 is Beale AFB. Near Death Valley is the huge China Lake Naval Weapons Center. Edwards AFB is off US 395 and hwy 58. South of I-40 is 29 Palms Marine Base. Off of I-15 near Victorville is George AFB. There are four naval bases in San Diego, making it a sailors' town. Off of hwy 1 north of Lompoc is Vandenburg AFB. There are three military installations in the LA area, and off of hwy I near Monterrey is Fort Ord.

Universities California has more colleges and universities than any other state. The state subsidizes many colleges so that local residents can attend for as little as $10 per semester. California also has the highest percentage of college graduates


among its overall population. We have just mentioned schools with over 10,000 students as we don't have the space or the inclination to list all of the schools in the state. In the San Francisco Bay area there is a significant student population. In Berkeley is UC Berkeley with 35,300 students; on down the east side in Hayward is CSU with 13,700 pupils. And further south in San Jose is San Jose State U with 31,800. On the other side of the bay in Stanford is Stanford U with 12,500. In San Francisco itself is San Francisco State U with 22,700 students. In the Los Angeles area, there are also many schools. UCLA has a student body of 58,700, making it the largest in the state. USC (rivals of UCLA) has 23,300 students. CSU in LA has 25,400 pupils, and CSU Northridge has 23,700 enrolled. There is another CSU in nearby Long Beach with 31,200 students. In the San Diego area is UC San Diego with its 18,500 kids, and San Diego State U with 30,600 sunny students. In Sacremento is Cal State U of Sacremento with a student body of 19,700. West 15 miles is UC Davis (hi Zeb & Bitsy!) with another 17,800 students. In Chico is Cal State U at Chico with its 12,700 students. In Pomona is Cal State Polytechnic with 11,700 engineers. Cal Polytechnic


State U in San Luis Obispo has another 14,400. In Fresno is CSU Fresno with 16,800, there is another CSU at Fullerton and it has 20,100 students. UC Irvine has 10,300 kids and UC Santa Barbara has 16,600 students.

Prisons and Mental Hospitals There is a federal penitentiary for young adults in Lompoc off of LA. There are federal community treatment centers in Oakland and LA. Frisco and San Diego both have federal youth centers. The State prisons are located in Repressa (what a name) and San Quentin. State mental hospitals are located in Atascadero off of US 101, in Camarillo, in Imola, in Norwalk, in Patton, in Stockton off of I-5, and in Vacaville.

Federal land There are many National Parks in California: Yosemite, Redwoods, and Sequoia are the most famous. There are two National Monuments: Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Much of the land north of Redding is National Forest, with a few wilderness areas thrown in. The Federal Lands extend down the Sierra Nevadas to the Mojave Desert. Los Padres surrounds hwy 1 and Big Sur is a metaphor for spectacular. A big chunk of wilderness stretches between San Luis Obispo and LA, and juts inland to


border the Joshua Tree Monument. Along the northern coast are the coastal Redwoods-- breathtaking. Lassen Volcanic NP is north of hwy 36, and Kings Canyon NP is east of Fresno.

Hitching Law and Comment "...prohibits hitchhiking in the roadway, and authorizes the exclusion of pedestrians from controlled access facilities". As in Washington, we advise you to stay uproad of the signs which read, "Hitchhiking Prohibited". The police usually turn on the public address system and yell, "Get back down the ramp, hitchhiker!" the first time they see you, and then stop and give you a warning or a ticket the second time they see you on the freeway. Enforcement seems more relaxed by San Francisco. Hitchhiking on secondary roads is permitted.

The roads On I-5 coming down from Oregon, Redding is the first bad news. Then comes Red Bluff. Nice scenery, but some long waits; five people said this was their worst area to hitch through. An alternative is US 101 on the coast, mentioned below. We have many complaints from the Sacremento area, on both I-5 and hwy 99 , as well as I-80. We understand that it is easy to take the bypass 505 to San


Francisco, or 113 south from Woodlawn to Davis, a university town. The stretch to Stockton seems OK, and at Stockton you have the choice of taking I-5 or US 99. We suggest I-5 if you want to make time; there are fewer towns, and less chance of winding up on a small-town exit. We rave reports of waits from almost every exit on US 99. I-5 from San Francisco can be hitched to LA in a day. One day to get to LA, another to get where you want to be. I-5 south from LA to San Diego is an easy half-day hitch once you divorce yourself from the metropolis.

On I-80 from Reno to 'Frisco, the hitchhiking is thick at the border, with fairly good rides until Sacremento. Avoid the Fairfield exit, try to carry a map of the area, and hope for a good ride. We have no information on mass transit from the Sacremento area. Hitching is tough on I-80 from the I-580 cutoff at Vallejo.

I-15 from LA to Las Vegas is reported tough to hitch by six people. Three folks warn us of long waits in Barstow, and east of there the road is surrounded by military testing ranges and miles of Mojave Desert. Summer hitching must be fairly awful. I-40 originates in Barstow, and this


funnelling effect improves hitching west of Barstow and hurts thumbing east. It is 148 miles of desert to Needles; chances are you'll get no rides to the middle of the desert, but still worry; we have some record waits reported at Needles. Three thumbers agree, "Hitching southern California deserts sucks". I-10 is the most civilized roadway east of LA. First urban sprawl to Riverton, then as the towns thin out to Indio, the waits get longer. Get a ride to Blythe, and you're almost safe. One ride, no matter how long you wait, will usually take you into Phoenix. Consider training an alternative route.

In San Diego, the city ramps are OK, and a good bus to get on I-8 east is the La Mesa bus.

I-8 east from San Diego to Casa Grande: Civilization starts to thin out about thirty to fifty miles out of San Diego, and by the time you get to the Manzanita Indian Reservation, the exits are hideously lonely.

The photo on page 616 was taken on one of the lonely ramps in this area. I was lucky; I only waited four or five hours.


Long waits are to be expected along this route; after the junction with hwy 98, the border is so close that Mexicans walk up to the road and hang around, waiting for a potential employer or Immigration police to pick them up. The nightmare isn't over when you get to Yuma...

As for the California secondary roads, US 101 officially starts in Ventura. From Ventura to Santa Barbara, we have mixed reports of decent thumbing. At Santa Barbara hwy 1 splits to Lompoc, and we have two grim reports of thumbing by Lompoc, a prison town. Santa Maria to San Jose is said to be slow, while hwy 1 from Morro Bay to Monterrey is good. Santa Cruz, on hwy 1, is reported to be good thumbing by three folks. US 101 is definitely the preferred route north of the Bay Area, even better than I-5. Half Moon Bay on hwy 1 south of 'Frisco offers a good place to crash overnight, right by the road. Cops come around at 8 am to collect the $3 fee, so get up early. US 101 is good to Santa Rosa, and from there north to Ukiah is slower, as the road passes through the rolling hills. We get comments like, "go slow, but who cares?" from this route. Hwy 1 from the Bay area is a slow and pretty alternative, and rejoins 101 in


Leggett. From Leggett north, you enter Humbolt County and many small towns make short, mellow rides easy to catch. Things get tough again around Eureka. There are beautiful Redwoods north of Eureka, but long waits. At Crescent City, most traffic cuts northeast on 199 to Grant's Pass, Oregon. The coast road is slow until well into Oregon.

* * * *

I was tired, and the traffic was slow, so I walked back into the woods off the highway about a half mile, and found a nice spot to crash by a creek. I'd just laid out my bedroll and kicked back when I heard something rustling in the bushes. I figured it was some kind of animal, but instead out stepped these two hippies with M-16's pointed at me and said, "We sure would appreciate it if you found another spot to camp". I asked, "Why?" and they said, "Just get outa here". So I did. I figure I must have been near their pot patch or something. Dan in Orick

* * * *

Highway 99 runs from the Orland area to the Sacremento area and then split from


I-5 at Stockton and runs to Bakersfield. We have lots of waits reported along this route, but it is easy to hit some of the major switching yards along the road. Police harassment seems to be less on this road than on I-5.

Highway 395 is slow in northeast California from Lakeview, Oregon to Reno, and there is a prison by the road near Alturas with the "No Hitchhiking" signs. Figure a day through the state on this road, if you're lucky. Things get better in the southern half of US 395 in California, where the road is more scenic and touristy. We have two reports of slow, scenic thumbing. G-16 from Greenville to Carmel Valley is good, and hwy 12 to San Francisco from Yosemite is reported good, but the return trip is a toughie. Hwy 140/ 152 is reported slow thumbing, and we have reports of hard hitchhiking at the junction of 152 and I-5. One anonymous male hitchhiker tells us, "Best hitching corner in the whole world, 24 hours a day, is at the corner of Rio Road and California 1 in Carmel going south. Been there at night plenty of times and got rides".

Long waits 5 hours in Redwoods in '73 4 hours in Eureka


8 hours on hwy 1 1 day in Orick in '80 56 hours in Orick in 9/'80 2 days in Monterrey 1 day hwy 1 south of 'Frisco 2 hours in Laguna Beach 4 hours in Oceanside 5 hours in Oceanside 5 hours on I-5 in southern California

6 hours in Dixon, by Sacremento

12 hours on the California-Nevada border

24 hours in Sacremento 12 hours in Sacremento 6 hours in Sacremento 4 hours in 'Frisco in '75 8 hours in Berkeley 2 days in Redding on I-5 6 hours in Redding 4 hours in Red Bluff 2 hours in northern Cal. on I-5 3 hours in northern California 6 hours in northern Cal. on I-5 5 hours on I-5 in southern California 1 day on I-5 in southern California 1 day on I-8 east of San Diego 7 hours in LA 18 hours by LA 4 hours in LA 36 hours leaving LA 6 hours in Oakland 13 hours in Oakland 18 hours in Embarcadero Center 6 hours in Indio


2 hours in Eneinilas 14 hours in Barstow in '65 10 hours in Death Valley 13 hours in Barstow 2 days at Salton Sea 7 hours in Bakersfield 36 hours in Bakersfield 22 hours in Needles 36 hours in Needles 8 hours in Needles 14 hours in Chico on US 99 2 hours in Merced 12 hours in Hopland 2 hours in Gilroy 4 hours in Costa Mesa 1 day in Petersburg 8 hours in Lodi 6 hours in Lodi 1 day in Lodi

Hitch-ticketing hotspots Twenty-five people reported being ticketed for hitchhiking in California, our highest total for any state. Two of these happened in Redding, four in the Bay area, and one each at Chico, San Luis Obispo, San Clemente, LA, and Bakersfield. Thirty-one people reported being warned by police for hitchhiking in California. Three of these are from San Diego, where 16 hitchhikers have been killed in the last two years; four are from Sacremento, two from San Francisco, and


one each in Santa Barbara, Needles, Fairfield, and Laguna Beach. We have only one search by police reported, but two hitchhikers were jailed, one in Dunsmere and one in San Leandro. Two people were arrested for thumbing, one of these occurred in Sacremento.

City tips

Bay Area: Hitching is reported good in Berkeley and San Francisco, slow in Hayward and poor in San Jose. There is a good transit system, starring the BART, busses, and metro. BART runs to Concord, where you can get to I-680 and then I-80 eastbound. For southbound, try taking the BART to Walnut Creek. Other good bets southbound include thumbing on I-580 out of San Leandro (easy hitching), and catching a bus to San Jose and riding to us 101 south. Take the northbound bus to San Rafael to get on US 101 north. The best spot out of East Bay is University Avenue in Berkeley, where it is easy to get a ride to Sacremento, I-5, or I-80. Free health clinic in Berkeley. Major train yards are in Oakland; the Southern Pacific runs east and north to Oregon, Winnemucca, Nevada, and south to LA. Santa Fe runs south to Bakersfield and


Barstow. Commuter "hitchhiking" is a new form of carpooling in this area.

As for other cities in the state, we hear that the metro service is poor in LA. Surprised? The only two good ramps to thumb on in the city that we know of are at 405 and Signal Hill, although the San Diego freeway is a good way south. In San Diego, Rosekrantz is a possible road to hitch, and the junction of I-8 and I-5 is reported good. In Santa Rosa, the best ramp north is Steele Lane 101. Some towns with bad hitchhiking reputations are: Redding (6 votes), Red Bluff (3 votes), Woodlawn, Lodi, Bakersfield (2 votes), San Luis Obispo, Orick, Fresno, Sacremento, Barstow, Needles, and Modesto.

Trains and Truckstops The condition of yards in California varies from town to town. We hear that Sacremento has a cool yards (3 votes), and Fontana, Keddie, and Portola are cool. Shasta Mountain is bad news; one fellow was physically thrown from the freight at a siding. LA is said to have hot yards and mean bulls; Oakland has two votes for being hot. The yard people at Barstow and Bakersfield are cool, but the bulls are mean. The stretch from Sacremento to Bakersfield is said to be


generally full of cool railyards; we have no info on where the trains stop for crew changes and etc. We recommend finding a freight through the desert, if you have a big canteen.

* * * *

The Joshua and the Mud

Riding the Union Pacific from Las Vegas to Yermo one passes through two areas of natural beauty that would not ordinarily be seen. This is what I saw riding this train one April day.

A broad valley gently sloping on each side with naught but the railroad running through. And surrounding us in this valley were miles of Joshua cactus, a forest of them, just growing in the sun. Just us, the train, and the Joshuas.

Further on we caught up to the Mojave riverbed and followed its draw. No roads, just us and a stretch of incredible formations of mud. Large billowing towers, or inlaid ribs, as if a giant bear had carved the wall. Mud frozen in the drying sun.

Myron Asa Bradman

* * * *

Obscure truckstops in California may be found at Baker on I-15, at Mesa and


Ontario on I-10, at Redding on I-5, and at Suisun City on I-80. Also, check out US 395 at Big Pine and the I-10 jct., US 101 at Eureka, Ukiah, Salinas, and Ventura; and hwy 99 at Indio and Ripon.

Jobs Face it, friends, anything will grow in California. In January, asparagus, onions, lemons, oranges, avocados, and other truck vegetables are needing picking in the southernmost parts of the state. In March, the melons ripen, lettuce is ready, and strawberries need picking, all in the south of the state. Further north, asparagus is popping up, and tree fruit needs picking. The grape harvest in the Napa Valley begins in September, and the apples need picking too. Walnuts and almonds ripen in the months of August and September in the central valley, and olives are ready too. North of San Francisco, apricots are ready in May, pears and peaches in July, prunes and almonds in August, and rice and walnuts in September. Much more agricultural work is available throughout the state.




Resources and References

American Youth Hostels Handbook This handbook is anually updated, offering information about where the hostels are and how to get to them. It also includes information about what equipment to bring, a good resource list, and sample itineraries. Generally the AYH is geared for folks seeing America on their bicycles. This handbook sells for $1.75 and staying at hostels can easily save the traveller this much in just one night. Charges for members staying in hostels, as of 1981, range from $2.50 to $5.50 a night depending on the services included. Winter costs are higher. Non-members must pay slightly higher nightly fees. Annual membership is $7 for people under 18 years old and $14 for folks over 18. For inforation concerning the AYH handbook, or AYH membership, write:

American Youth Hostels Delaplane, Virginia 22025

Or call: 800-336-6019

Anderson, Douglas Meditations on a Hitchhiking Ticket National Review, September 24, 1971.

This is an excellent article about


some of the metaphysics of hitching. Here's a quote:

The primary thing by which hitchhiker, and those who stop for them, survive is trust. And hitchhiking is perhaps the single most successful example of mutual trust in the world.

Berg, Rick The Art and Adventure of Traveling Cheaply And/Or Press , Berkeley 1979

This book is based on Berg's travels of over 50,000 miles all around the world, almost all by hitchhiking. He offers good tips about jobs, finances, what to bring, border hassles and eating cheaply. The average temperatures for various cities around the world are listed.

Campbell, Michael D. Camarillo-U.C.L.A. Neuropsychiatric Institute Research Program, Camarillo State Hospital. A Controlled Investigation of Altruistic Behavior: Helping the Hitchhiker Proceedings of the Div. of Personal and Social Psychology, 1974.

Mr.Campbell used the drivers of 4,836 vehicles which could admit a second passenger as his study base. Two white male hitchhikers were the controls; one had short hair, and the other had long


hair; their dress was as nondescript as possible. The test was conducted in areas of both low and high traffic flow. The long-haired hitchhiker had better luck in the case of low traffic flow, and both fared better in an environment of high need and driver responsibility (low traffic flow).

Cohen, Howard and Greene, Chuck Young Persons Guide to Canada 1973

offers some good information about cheap places to stay and eat... hunting and fishing regulations...things to see and do...where the hippies hang out. They offer some general tips about hitchhiking, traffic flow for instance.

Coopersmith, Paul Rules of Thumb: A Hitchhiker's Handbook to Europe, North Africa, and the East Simon & Schuster 1972.

This book is based on four years of travelling and working on the road. Coopersmith wittily presents information about cheap places to stay, public transportation, border hassles, language, and currency. This is a good, hip handbook for potential overseas travellers.

Crassweller, P. Gordon, M.A. and Tedford, W.H. An Experimental Investigation of Hitchhiking Journal of Psychology 1972 volume 82 pp. 43-47


This study compared rides offered to a "hip" hitchhiker-- long hair, beads, headband, bell bottom jeans, barefoot--to rides offered a well dressed hitchhiker--pressed slacks, shirt and tie, short hair, jacket. They found that the well dressed hitcher received rides significantly quicker than the hip hitcher.

Dahlberg, Edwin T. I Pick Up Hitchhikers Judson Press 1978 Hard to find (we couldn't).

Davis, John P. Stranger in the Car Reader's Digest, August 1959 p. 55.

A tragic story about a young couple who pick up a hitchhiker. The hitcher turns out to be an escaped con who beats them up, ties them up and throws them in the trunk. A policeman heard their muffled cries for help, and rescued them. Moral of the story: Don't pick up hitchhikers.

DiMaggio, Paul The Hitchhiker's Manual 1974

Di Maggio offers much of the same information we have compiled. He has a state by state breakdown listing colleges, hotline numbers, and road descriptions. He also has tips about what to bring, women hitchers, hitchhiking laws, and stories. Much of


the information he has collected is now dated and not as relevant.

Stewart J. Forsyth, Predicting Motorists' Altruism Psychological Reports, 1978 43, 567-572.

Mr.Forsyth examines the relationship between the hitchpicker and the hitchhiker. He found that most hitchpickers had hitchhiked before or had relatives who hitched. He mailed surveys to drivers who passed him up as he waited for a ride one day. He also had observations about the sex of the motorist who picked up hitchers, and the emotional outlook of survey respondees towards hitchhiking.

Franz, Carl The People's Guide to Mexico John Muir Publications , Sante Fe, New Mexico 1979.

This is a complete, practical guide to travelling through Mexico. Franz offers information about what to bring, bus travel, survival Spanish, and how to avoid drug hassles. He has hitchhiked extensively through Mexico, and he cautions:

"Hitching involves almost total immersion in Mexico. For the person with a poor knowledge of Spanish, or not experienced in hitching or traveling, this can be traumatic. It is important,


therefore, to break into things gradually, and to know when to stop."

Garvey, Edward B. Hiking Trails in the Mid Atlantic States

This is part of a series done on hiking trails through the east and midwest. It offers good information about planning hikes, and nice places to see.

Graham, Janet Rule of Thumb for the Open Road Sports Illustrated June 6, 1966. p 76

Ms. Graham offers a refreshing view on the sport of hitchhiking, the adventure and the agony. She has interesting stories about her hitching journeys through Europe. She aptly describes the thrill of hitching: "The upraised thumb is a valid ticket for adventure."

Grimm, Tom Hitchhiker's Handbook Vagabond Press 1970

Grimm offers some tips about what to bring, how to pack, and how to interact with the driver. Basically he views hitching as a vacation. There is an overview of the state hitching laws, though it is somewhat dated.


Jewett, Dick I'm Going to Hitchhike if it's the Last Thing I Do Southern Publishers, 1977.

This is another one that we couldn't find, but it sounds interesting.

Johnson, R.W. and Johnson J.H. A Cross-Validation on the Sn Scale on the Psychological Screening Inventory with Female Hitchhikers Journal of Clinical Psychology volume 34, number 2, 1978.

They found that frequent women hitchhikers scored higher on the Social Nonconformity Scale than did non-hitchers. In other words, hitchhikers don't conform with the general values of society.

Kaufman, William I. The Traveller's Guide to the Vineyards of North America Penguin Books, New York, 1980.

This is a great guide for lovers of the grape. It tells where to find vineyards, besides just in California and New York State. It even lists some vineyards in the midwest, and the south. It mentions whether or not the vineyards offer tours and free samples.

Kemsley, William Jr. (editor) The Whole Hiker's Handbook William, Morrow & Co., New York 1979.

This has everything from


orienteering to backpacking as a mystical trip. It offers good information about where to get equipment, what to see, and safety tips. Quite complete.

Kerouac, Jack On The Road New American Library 1957

This is a classic which has probably influenced hitchhiking more than any other book. The adventures of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty jump right out at you, and you're hooked. Rumor has it that Kerouac wrote this book on paper towels during a four day marathon amphetamine adventure. Highly recommended reading, it'll get you psyched to travel.

Lashley, Glenn T. Thumbs Down on Hitchhiking The Police Chief September, 1978.

Lashley has a long history of anti-hitchhiking activities. In this article, he denounces hitchhiking warning drivers:

An individual who looks like a harmless stranger can turn out to be a dangerous criminal, a mentally unbalanced person, or someone "high" on drugs. Unfortunately, nobody can


separate the potentially dangerous hitchhiker from an innocent one until it is too late.

Leen, Dan Freight-hopping in North America: Hoboing in the 80's Capra Press 1980

Dan Leen has compiled an excellent book covering all aspects Of hopping freights. He has information about yard bulls, how to hop trains, picking a hotshot, and where the best lines run. He has travelled extensively by rails, and this book is partially a collection of his journeys. There are several photographs which add to the impact of the book. We have contacted Dan, and some of his tips are included in this book.

Lobo, Ben and Links, Sara Side of the Road: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the US Fireside 1978

Geared primarily for the young hitchhiker, this book has information about the legal status of runaways, and how to deal with law enforcement officials. Most of their information is based in California. This is a small book, but it does offer some useful information.


Mathers, Michael Riding the Rails Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1974.

This book is an interesting documentary of hopping freight trains. Much of the text is based on taped converstions with hoboes and tramps in "jungles" alongside the tracks. The best part of the book is the photographs which document all aspects of freight-hopping. Mathers has ridden the rails extensively, and he offers tips based on his experiences.

Miller, Abraham On the Road: Hitchhiking on the Highway Part of a Special Report on Transportation and People in the summer 1973 issue of Society

Miller interviewed 40 hitchhikers rather intensively. Based on these interviews, he devised three categories of hitchhikers: students on vacation, street people, and youngsters as runaways. He offers a good analysis of road people and runaways, describing both the societal structure that ignores these folks, and the personal expression of freedom these folks embody. He feels that hitchhikers have

"...a compelling need to live life intensely, to seek heights of physical and mental experience, and to do


it as it life itself were a fleeting opportunity."

Miller also describes why folks hitch, and he succinctly describes the adventuresome aspect of hitching: "The road is a living fantasy."

Morgan, C.J., Lockard J.S., Fahrenbruch, C.E. and Smith, J.L. Hitchhiking: Social Signals at a Distance The Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, volume 5, number 6, 1975, PP. 459-61

This study examined the influence of the appearance of the hitchhiker on the number of rides offered him/her. They found that making eye contact with the drivers as they go by, actually doubles the number of rides offered. They also found that women got three times more ride offers than did men, mentioning that, "females who accentuate their bust size improve their rate of ride offers." Generally they found that 5% of the cars stopped to offer rides.

Newsweek magazine, February 19, 1973. "Crime: Rules of Thumb" , page 38.

Describes the case of Karen Levy, who disappeared on November 10, 1972, after she accepted a ride from a man she met through a university ride-board service. The authors discuss the


disappearance of seven victims of hitchhiking related vanishings, and offer some warnings and comments from female hitchers.

Pozmal, R.J., and Core, G.L., University of Illinois. "Helping on the Highway: The Effects of Dependency and Sex" Journal of Applied Social Psychology , 1973. 3,2, PP. 150-164

These gentlemen discuss the relationship of the need of the hitchhiking "victim", the gender of the hitchhiker, and the gender of the driver. They mention the flirtatious nature of men who stopped for a female "victim", and noted the effects of an apparent disability of the hitchhiker and traffic flow. They found that persons with an apparent disability such as a leg brace or arm in a sling were not given rides quicker, but other dependency cues were variously important.

Remington, Frank L. Thumbs Down On Hitchhikers appeared in March, 1961 Reader's Digest (condensed from the Christian Science Monitor) This article, and several like it all appeared in the late 50's and early 60's as part of an anti-hitchhiking media blitz. Remington mentions the


oft-repeated statistic that in Sedgwick County Kansas, 2 out of 5 hitchhikers had a criminal record. Also he tells horror stories of mutilations and murders. He conclusion is: "In a word, the best advise to any car owner who considers picking up a hitchhiker is: Don't !!"

Snyder, Mark, Grether, J and Keller, K Staring and Compliance: A Field Experiment on Hitchhiking Journal of Applied Social Psychology volume 4, number 2 pp. 165-170

They studied the affect of the hitchhiker staring at the drivers in terms of the number of ride offers. They found that staring at an oncoming driver almost doubled the likelihood of getting a ride. Also they found that a couple (one male, one female) had no better luck getting a ride than a single male hitchhiker.

Psychology Today Tie Line by Kenneth Goodall, "No Thanks, Just Trying My Luck" vol. 5 number 5, 1971. page 31

This report discusses a study done by Margaret M. Clifford and Paul Cleary, who found that neatly-dressed hitchhikers are more likely to get rides more quickly than grubby thumbers. We quote,

"At one point, a male


experimenter turned down seven rides in 30 minutes while a nearby genuine hitchhiker with beard, long hair, dirty jacket and backpack had no luck at all. Obviously perplexed by the odd behavior of the bogus hitchhiker, Clifford and Cleary report, the real one walked over and asked disgustedly: 'Hey man, what's your problem? You waiting for a ride to your living room?'"

The Saturday Evening Post Editorial, December 14, 1957. "The Hitchhiker You Pick Up May Be a Dangerous Criminal!" Shows support for the AAA's "Thumbs down on Hitchhiking" Campaign. "In one recent twelve- month period, the New Jersey troopers picked up 162 runaways, 98 AWOL servicemen, 7 escaped inmates of mental institutions, 5 prison escapees, and 50 others who could not properly account for themselves".

Science Digest, January, 1974. Rules of Thumbing This short essay discusses the work Of David Alcorn, a master's candidate at Brigham Young University. Alcorn tried hitchhiking while dressed as a "straight" and as a "hippy". He


was offered drugs and sex while dressed as a hippy, and waited a shorter length of time dressed as a straight. He concluded people are more willing to help out people that are like themselves.

Stern, Jane and Michael readfood Random House 1978

This book offers a listing of good, cheap places to eat along the road (most are under $5). All of the restaurants they mention are within 10 miles of the main highways. They also include listings of harvest festivals.

Thistle, Frank HITCHHIKING: There's no Better Way to Meet a Crazy PTA magazine, September 1974. page 30

Mister Thistle shares with us a letter out of Ann Landers by "Exhibit A", a young woman who was raped while hitchhiking. He then goes on to give us an emotional anti-hitchhiking pitch, stressing how helpless a woman is against a male agressor, and sharing with us more tales of hitchhiking related violence. His warnings are aimed at the parents and teachers of young women as much as at the women themselves, and he has no interest in postive aspects of thumbing.


Thomas, Bill Tripping in America off the Beaten Path Chilton Books 1974.

This is book offers a unique listing of things to see and do other than what everybody else is seeing and doing. It includes listings of festivals, annual events (frog-jumping contest, for instance) and interesting places to go. He mentions the annual hobo convention in Britt, Iowa in late August or early September.

Weiss, Walter America's Wandering Youth Exposition Press New York, 1974.

Weiss picked up 525 hitchhikers in 40 states (all were male), interviewed them and used this information to compile a sociological study of American hitchhikers. Basically Weiss views all hitchhikers as runaways, offering belabored descriptions of the social conditions that would make someone want to hit the road.

Wharton, Don Thumbs Down On Hitchhikers Reader's Digest April 1950 (condensed from Liberty)

Wharton instills the reader with fear of the hitchhiker, through gruesome accounts of hitcher-related murders, and mutilations. He cautions all drivers to NEVER pick up hitchhikers (obviously the man has never hitched himself).


Paul L tells us that he counts on a ride from the I-695 beltway to Maryland house regularly. Paul tells us that the bus goes to I-66 and is a good hitching spot.

Maryland House Service Plaza is a good place to hitch from , but Vince Lombardi, a big service Plaza in North Jersey, is poor unless you stay back of the north/south ramp divides.

On the New Jersey Turnpike I-95 and the Baltimore Expwy are both busy roads, and good hitching after you get outside the beltways. In WDC,.take the metro to New Carrollton and get on I-495; from there I-95 is a short hitch. The exit of I-495 and I-95 is a good hitching ramp. Don't accept a ride into Baltimore unless you want to stay there; get off on the beltway, since the tunnel and bridge make thumbing tough.

To get out of Boston, avoid the in-Boston exit of I-95 and go to the


exit by Cambridge instead. Take the "T" down to central square on the red line and go down River Street (only one way you can go). Cross the river, and hitch from the grassy spot before the tollbooths, near the big Coke sign on I-90.

To get north from Boston, take the "T" to Lynn and hitch on Walnut Street west to rte 1. Rte 1 hooks up to I-93 and I-95. To get to I-93 towards New Hampshire, take the T to south station on the red line, walk 3 blocks south of the station, and find the ramp. Carry a sign.

To get out of Montreal, take the #17 bus to Decarie Circle, then get the #150 bus to Dorchester and get out at Guy Street. Walk one block to the ramp that says Ville Marie and Dorval. This will get you to rte 20 towards Quebec, rte 10 east, I-87, and I-91.


Universities In Montreal there are three universities. McGill U has the largest student body with 18,000 enrolled, the U of M has 14,000 students, and Concordia U has 10,000. In other cities, Laval U is in Quebec with 17,000 students, the U of Q is in Ste-Foy with 14,000 folks, and the University of Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke has 6500 pupils. Ontario has a very significant student population, especially around the Toronto area, where we find the U of Toronto with 31,000 pupils and two smaller schools. In Hamilton, 10,000 people attend McMaster U., and in Kingston 10'000 more attend Queen's University. There are two schools in Waterloo; the U of W with 14,000 enrolled, and Wilfrid Laurier U with 3200 more. In London, 16,000 people attend Western Ontario University, and in Downsview, 11,000 folks attend York University. Ottawa boasts three schools; the two largest are the U of Ottawa with 10,000 kids and Carleton U with 8000 others. Other schools in Quebec are: the University of Guleph in Guleph with 8000 folks, Lakehead U in Thunder Bay, Laurentian U in Sudbury, Trent U in Peterborough, and the U of Windsor in Windsor.



FS Forest Service NF National Forest NP National Park BLM Bureau of Land Management NAS Naval Air Station CGB Coast Guard Base NWR National Wildlife Refuge RA Rest Area PP Provincial Park NM National Monument Rte or Hwy Roads maintained locally I or US Roads maintained federally QEW Queen Elizabeth Way MCAS Marine Corps Air Station WDC Washington, District of Columbia SLC Salt Lake City

We apologize for the lack of periods and the funny spaces in some areas. This was due to the computer program we used to typeset the manuscript.


Thank you, God, for the fine folks who have made all this possible. To our good friends and the good people who have tolerated us and sheltered us in our travels, this book is dedicated. Thanks go to our parents, Frank and Marge, for their support and encouragement, to Sharon Barr for her help, and to her brother Kevin for the fine cartoons. Thanks to all our contributors, recognized and anonymous, for the ideas and dialogue, especially: Parris Young, John Alexander, Sue Morgan, Pam Allyn, Liz Dwyer, Kim Williams , Jeffery Lane, Tomny Kimmell

A huge hip hip and hooray for the men who have guided us through the nightmare of computerland: Mark Vasconi, whose contributions exceeded the bounds of legitimacy; Jim Hyde, whose brain we picked and twisted; the brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa, Alpha Deuteron chapter; the consultants at the U of I; Jay Lickus for his extra help and input; and Cyber and Dec20, bless their wired minds. Thanks to all the folks who helped us with the questionnaires, especially Rose Lynch in Santa Monica, Jim Hillard and Claudia Staniszewski in Durham, North Carolina, Judy at the NAU Union, Deborah Stachowic in Seattle, Steve Ross in Virginia, Marty Sparks in Findlay, Don Karp and all the fine folkS in Cambridge, Mass., Myron Bradman and Jay Janin, Clark and Sue Isachsen in Vancouver, BC., Jim Kearns in San Diego, Marty and Janie Clausen in LA, and Jim Wallis.

Thanks to Sue David for her love and support. (xxoo)

Thanks to all of the artists whose work appear within the covers of this book. Special thanks to Mick Cottrell for the plant drawings. Thanks to Kim Robertson for drawing the neat car- toons. Drawings by Ryu Takegushi, Jay Lickus, and the authors also appear.

Thanks to Sunshine, Jan Ralske, and Paul Lieberman for their tips on how to get out of various cities.

Also, the crazy miners in Frisco, Colorado, the hippies in Missoula, the cowboys in Bozeman, the ski bums in Jackson Hole, and the Whole Wheaties in St.Louis and everywhere, especially Immanuel, Teresa, Nancy, Larry, and Shanti. Thanks to the E.T.'s, whom we didn't always give 24 hour's notice, and Gigi for not telling us we were nuts. Thanks to the numerous Europeans who filled out our questionnaire and gave us views about hitchhiking in America we could never see ourselves, and a special thanks to Ed Blumgren for his help with the statistical analysis, additional surveying, and thoughtful dialogue. (Did you get back your SPSS book, ED?)

Thanks to Tom Broten, Jim Stead, and Tom Freeman for shelter and support.

Thanks to the thousand or so folks who filled out a hitchhiking question- naire; many of your comments and tales are included.

Thanks to Greg Stevens and others at the Peace Institute Press for guiding us through the printing process.

And thank you for reading this book!

e-and-e-back.jpg Flags