QOTD: Hitchin' A Ride?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
qotd hitchin a ride

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to watching Into The Wild. I’d read Jon Krakauer’s book a while ago; although it was, and is, brilliant work, I have much less respect for the author after finding out that he agreed to whitewash the abuse that Chris McCandless suffered as a child. Everything that Chris did makes much more sense after you understand what happened to him, and his sister, in their youth.

It’s been nearly twenty-five years since the adventures were recounted in the book and movie. If you have even a bit of wanderlust in your heart, it’s likely hearing about Chris’s trip will make you at least consider a trip to “The Slabs,” Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, or the “Magic Bus” on the Stampede Trail.

But there’s one big difference between a would-be Supertramp’s life in 1992 and 2016: hitching.

Hitching ain’t what it used to be. Years ago, one of my uncles hitched to Woodstock, as did many others — and he almost made it there in time. You’d be harder-pressed now to hitch on a schedule. Some people say that hitching isn’t safe for anyone now, and certainly not for [women/PoC/gay people/trans people/endangered owls/your name here].

So I ask you, B&B? Ever hitched a ride? Ever given a ride to a hitchhiker? Would you do either today? Why or why not?

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6 of 99 comments
  • Pete Skimmel Pete Skimmel on Dec 11, 2016

    Four words: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Oh, I guess that is 3 words.

    • See 1 previous
    • -Nate -Nate on Dec 12, 2016

      @Stumpaster Hopefully you're referring to the original with Rutger Hauer . . The photography was stunning, with these new HUGE Hi Def. TV's I hope more young people will get to enjoy this classic flick . . -Nate

  • Fordson Fordson on Dec 12, 2016

    Yes - used to hitch quite a bit when I was a teenager in the 70s...that was how you got around. Yes - did pick up hitchhikers, but have not seen one in probably 10 years...the result of the stranger-danger hype and associated crap. I do, however, stop to help people having car trouble of one kind or another. Always. The exception to the no-more-hitchhiker syndrome, as others have noted, is wherever there is a heavily-used backpacking trail - you always see backpackers, they are easily identified, can always use the ride into or out of town, and they are always appreciative and have no motive over and above just getting the ride.

  • DirtRoads DirtRoads on Dec 12, 2016

    My first wife hitch hiked out from LA to the ranch I was working on in the middle of Montana. That was 1978. Not something I would've advised even then, for a girl by herself. *shrug* She was 18 at the time. Two friends and I hitched a ride out of the Anaconda Pintlar Wilderness in early September when we started on a four day hiking trip and on the first night we were surprised by four inches of snow, for which we were completely unprepared. I was 17 that year. And I think that was the last time I hitch hiked. When I was 18 I picked up a hitch hiker just outside of Warm Springs, MT. So what? Warm Springs is where the state mental hospital is, and the guy mentioned to me how difficult it had been to get a ride. He didn't try to hurt me, so I guess he was sane enough. No way today would I pick up any hitch hiker.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Dec 12, 2016

    Hitchhiking is a great way to wind up sex-butchered.