Saturday, May 28, 2011
Hitchhiking is neither an art nor a science, but something that requires stamina and maybe a good luck charm. I wouldn't recommend it to any but the stouthearted. To hitch, you need to throw comfort out the window, overcome your fear of strangers, and get used to standing in the rain and singing every song you ever heard. I've hitched all up and down the west coast, down California into Mexico, across Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. I've even hitched in upstate New York. Still, I'm far from an expert, and when I've thumbed I've relied on luck as much as anything. I don't hitch anymore, and not because it's more dangerous nowadays, but because I've gone soft. I'm spoiled by comfort and would rather get somewhere quickly and sleep in a bed, then get somewhere slowly, if at all, and sleep on the roadside or under a bridge en route. Ha ha. But the ghost of Jack Kerouac, er, Sal Paradise, is still out there hitching with Dean Moriarty and they're are still plenty of kicks to go around. Plenty of folks without the dough still have adventures on the road. Suit yourself. Gas is expensive. We may all be hitching soon!