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Hitch hikers and hitch hiking.


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Hitch hiking has fallen out of vogue it seems. Too much fear mongering in media or maybe cars are easier to obtain for teenagers nowadays.

When I was a teen before and even after I got my license I hitch hiked all over the place. This was back in the early 70's. That was mostly locally to friends and girlfriends houses. My high school was a regional school consisting of 3 towns so I hitchhiked liberally to and from those towns.

I also stuck out my thumb and hitched rides all the way from southeast MA to Bar Harbor ME. Twice. I never had anyone kidnap or try to molest me, although a young distraught women who had left her boyfriend and had all her belongings in her car seemed to want me to travel with her...

Question 1. Did you hitch hike and what was your experience doing so?

This past Thursday morning I left the house to do errands in some spitting snow. Within a mile or so heading towards the coast it was almost a white out. As I was driving I came across a young man hitch hiking in the storm. I haven't picked up a hitchhiker for years, even in bad weather, but something prompted me to pull over. He got in, got greeted by Cash and proceeded to tell me his wife had gotten "t-boned" in her car that morning and was at Waldo Hospital in Belfast. His truck wouldnt start so he started hitch hiking. He thought she wasnt critically hurt but banged up and the airbag had deployed. He was making and taking cellphone calls as we drove but couldnt get any facts. Naturally I drove him to the hospital door. He thanked me profusely and disappeared into the snow and the front door of hospital. I hadn't planned on driving that far and on the way home was in 4wd at 30mph max in 6 inches of snow that hadn't yet been plowed.

Question 2. If you do come across a hitchhiker do you ever pull over? If yes, under what conditions (age, appearance, weather)? If not ever, why not?

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Being of about the same age . Yes when we were young growing up in NJ we would hitch hike mostly to the NJ shore. About a 2.5 hr drive if you had your own car. Never had a problem. I rarely see hitch hikers anymore if at all. I have never hitched alone. Always with one other person. I have picked up hitch hikers if they look  OK .
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"we get to soon old and too late smart".... my grandfather

I did when I was young, wouldn't now, and don't pick them up but sometimes I consider it.  

I do help people I see broke down, especially women.

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I hitchhiked quite a bit when young in the mid-1960's.  It was a common practice back then.  It made a lot of sense for all parties involved - gave some company to a lone driver and got the hitchhiker where he was going.  I never had a problem and met some interesting people.

It's too bad, but times have changed.  I would never hitchhike now if I had ANY other alternative.  Likewise, I haven't picked up a hitchhiker in many years - the very few I see these days all look like escaped convicts and addicts.  That's isn't to say I wouldn't do it in a situation like you described, Brad.  I'd at least give it thought.

Sometimes I wonder if there really are more bad guys out on the roads these days or if that's a misperception brought about the "the-sky-is-falling" media?  Or, maybe it's just because I am old now.  Certainly, there were plenty of bad guys back in the day.  On the other hand, with hitchhiking being so common back then, of course nearly all hitchhikers were just regular people.  The few you see now do not generally seem to fit in that category.

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I do help people I see broke down, especially women.

That reminds me of one winter when my oldest daughter who was 17 or so at the time, skidded off the road in a snowstorm. She called and I was on the way. She was literally 2 miles from the house but in the time it took me to get to her multiple people had stopped to see if she needed help. Nice to know that.

I backed in and tied her POS Neon to my truck and pulled her out.

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I am wondering if the lack of hitch hikers is more due to drivers being wary of the hitch hikers or hitch hikers being wary of drivers? ???
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The last time I picked up a hitch hiker was a few decades ago.  I was driving down a narrow windy mountain road when suddenly there is a guy on the side of the road with his thumb out.  It was a really dangerous place for a person to be, so I stopped and picked him up thinking he was having car trouble.  

Turns out the guy was having a major fight with his girlfriend and he had jumped out of her car when she slowed down on one of the tight turns.  She just kept driving and left him there.  He ranted and raved about what a b!tch his girlfriend was and kept asking me to drive him to all these different far off places so he could really "show his girlfriend who was the boss."  I realized I had picked up a major wackjob out in the middle of the mountains.

I convinced him the best way to make his girlfriend suffer was for me to let him out at the next wide spot on the road.  He hesitated, not seeing the connection between being stuck on the shoulder and his girlfriend suffering, but when I assured him she would be hating life if he got out, he did.

Haven't picked up a hitch hiker since.

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back in the seventies I picked up a guy in Kansas on my way from Texas to Wisconsin, I was with a friend and the guy was a scrawny hippie so I wasn't too worried.

Then he started talking about how he liked to listen to "hotel California" for hours on end and broke out about a pound of pot from his duffel.

I moved the bottom of my steering wheel back and forth like I had a low tire and then pulled over and asked him to check it and sped away when he got out.  Threw his pack out about 300 yards down the road.

The funny thing was he somehow passed us and we saw him standing on the side of the road in Iowa later that day.

We honked and he flipped us off LOL!

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I used to hitch rides on occasion as a kid ('70s) and I used to pick them up as well.

Now, I rarely pick up hitchers other than folks walking away from a broken down car, or if they appear to be lost hunters.

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Like Brad , I hitched everywhere as a young man . Got picked up by some crazies , dirty old men and once a dude with two girls headed to the RI folk fest for the weekend . They were headed in the wrong direction but the other girl sure was cute . I said what the hell , added that one to memories and that's all I got to say about that .

Today , I still pick up some but appearance and situation is everything . I'm more afraid of cute girls then men . One ''rape'' scream can ruin your life . JMHO .

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I was a hitchhiker for years,but haven't picked one up in a while.   As recently as two years ago I hitch hiked when our bike broke in borneo.  I was appreciative of the ride.

Iver

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I picked up my share earlier on in my life and when I was a kid much like Brad Hitched a lot. Funny while in H.S.

A friend and I even hitched gear and all to get out to a lake to go ice fishing.

   I had a somewhat spooky hitcher I picked up in the UP once. Guy was nervous as a cat. It was early in the morning and very wet out and pretty brisk. He had no baggage of any kind and after a time in the car he told me he had slept out in the woods. He wasn't damp or chilled and I knew he was lying. He tried to bum some money and wanted to stay away from any town when I told him I was turning off a few miles ahead and it was about as far south as I could take him. Couldn't wait for him to get out. Outside of stopping for a women who got stranded and another whose car had broken down at a gas station I was at (turned out his home was right on my way home) I haven't picked anybody up since. I think to a real degree we are not the secure society we were 40 or 50 years ago.

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1 - Yep. In the 70s my buddy and I hitchhiker home from college many times - 150 miles one way.

Hitchhiked on weekends to go hunting - yes, folks picked us up carrying shotguns back then.

2 - Nope. Unless a damsel in distress, or lost hunter.

Ken

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Used to hitch hike home from college in the early 70's.

Never had a problem.  Usually, I was dropped off at a gas station close to home and I would call for someone to pick me up.

Hwy 30 from Joliet, Ill to Fort Wayne, IN.

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It really depends on the circumstances and where I am if I were to pick up a hiker. Have not done so in years. I've never been in a position where I needed a ride thank goodness.
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