Amtrak or Greyhound for cross country trip?

Old Jan 9th, 2006, 05:51 PM
  #21  
 
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Another misguided soul saved by Fodors. ;0
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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How about a new, and better, alternative?

Hitch-hike!
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 09:05 PM
  #23  
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I'm sure he'd take a pass on hitch hiking,rkkwan! Or, are you offering to join the fun and be a traveling companion? Atleast he'd have someone to talk to!!
Seriously, I see hitch hikers every week on I-5 from Portland to Battle Ground. All are younger, all have signs that say "Seattle" I didn't think people were dumb enough to do that anymore,what with the psychopaths that kidnap and murder out there....
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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While I mentioned hitch-hiking mostly for fun, it's actually still possible and not that dangerous. The way to do it is ride with truckers. Have signs out at truckstops, and there are solo drivers out there who may want some companionship on long drive. The drivers may even let you sleep in their bunk - which would be much more comfortable than sitting in the bus.

I was a trucker in the mid-90's. Truckers these days are professionals that have tight schedule to follow. Not the hippie type in the movies. And with everybody having cellphones, it's also not that dangerous to hitch-hike either.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Hitching still remains popular in Europe, so why is it so dangerous here? Or is it just that we've been told over and over that it's too dangerous.

One of my sister hitched (with a female friend) from Upstate NY to LA twice in the 70's, and only once had to demand to be let out. She speaks well of the many people, especially truckers, who helped out. I stopped frequently for hitchhikers when I was in the Navy driving long distance home. My intentions weren't entirely altruistic: there were there to converse & help keep my awake, so no sleeping allowed! Yet I've know others who not only picked up hitchhikers, but slept while the hh drove the car.

I'll keep "staying home" at the bottom of my list, but just above that would be "the dog". One other option, similar to "Fairhope"'s "old lady" are the driveaway services: someone needs their car moved from a to b. A company finds a driver to do it. The driver usually pays for most of the gas. The owner pays a fee. The company probably takes a big bag of money to the bank! One such company:
http://www.autodriveawaydc.com/carlist.html
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 08:17 PM
  #26  
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I think that you just never know anymore who it is that will pick you up. God knows I'll never win the lottery, but I would manage to be picked up by the one rapist of the 6 million cars on the road!

Very valid point,though rb trav... It's just one of those "rules you learn growing up". A few dozen scary slasher movies involving hitch hikers probably didn't help my desire to use this mode of transportation!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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I wouldn't worry about rapists or whoever. Most of the long-haul truckers drive for large national companies. You can easy find their name, address and phone number on the door of the cab, and tractor number elsewhere.

However, I do worry about insurance. For example, the company I used to drive for - USA Truck, a pretty large firm based in Arkansas - specifically prohibit passengers unless pre-authorized by the company and their name of the rider (usually spouses) added to the insurance. Now, the company certainly would't know if a driver picked up a hitch-hiker; but if there was an accident, the trucker's insurance may not cover the hitch-hiker.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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rb_traveler... it ain't the 70's anymore!

klr... i'm curious the example of so many young people with 'Seattle' signs. I travel I-5 between Portland and Seattle and hitchhiking is posted illegal.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Hitchhiking has usually been illegal especially on interstates where they've always been most abundant.

It may not be the 70s anymore, but I don't think the world has changed that much. Only that paranoia has kept most kids sheltered their entire life, never free to engage in the company of ONLY other kids - there must ALWAYS be a "resposible adult" present. Kids grow up taking the cues provided them are thus afraid of the big bad world around them.

People aren't THAT bad, really. Have some faith in humanity.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:13 AM
  #30  
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Hi Suze,
Swear to God! Mostly on weekends,usually 2 "kids" (younger than me,atleast),often boy/girl but I've seen 2 girls a few times. I assumed it's just hanging in a different city for a bit and then trying to get back home w/o having to pay a fare? I never see anybody dragging big bags,so I doubt they're homeless. I guess the signs (now I'll have to look for those)are only a deterrent if they get caught-kinda like the 50 mph sign over construction at Salmon Creek that everybody ignores!
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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hey don't get me wrong, i'm all for free living. i just didn't think a tale of how things were in the 70's hitchhiking cross country would necessariy apply to current times. i don't think i'm alone in this opinion. i have faith in humanity, i just think it's harder to get a ride these days!
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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interesting klr, i'll take your word for it. they sound like the kids i see hanging around my neighborhood panhandling once they get here -lol.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #33  
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Perhaps...that's a new sight for me too! I never saw panhandlers like out here..they seem to have their own little stations that they work every day. I guess they do OK for themselves or they would find a different place to go. Regarding the hitch hikers, I certainly would never pick anyone up. It swings both ways- I would be nervous to get into a stranger's car just as well as having a stranger get into my car. But, I guess if you're young and have less to worry about, saving a few bucks may be more important a concern than your safety.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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As I said, if you want to hitch-hike, don't stand on the side of the highway. Few people/truckers will stop.

Instead, go to a big truckstop. Both the trucker and the hitch-hiker can discuss about it before getting into a truck. Much safer for both.

And many RVers and people pulling trailers for long distance also frequent the big truckstops. They have restaurants, deli, shower. A much more civilied way to get a ride, for whatever reason.

Big truck stops are the Flying J, T/A, Petro, etc.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Hi rkkwan,
The area of highway suze and I were discussing doesn't have any truck stop type areas (atleast from the PDX- Battle Ground exit that I get off-don't know I-5 much after that)

When I drove out here,I did stop at a few of the Pilot stops you speak of. Didn't really notice hitch hikers that I remember, then again,it wasn't until I started the commute to work that I realized the frequency that I happened to notice kids w/ cardboard signs on the side of the highway- looking like drowned rats w/o umbrellas,by the way...
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 11:44 AM
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yes, i think by some strange coincidence we ended up talking only about kids coming up to hang around in Seattle, not the reality of hitch hiking cross country or anything.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 10:58 PM
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Getting this discussion back on-track ....

If your friend is a "type A" personality the s/he does NOT want to take Amtrak. Delays and other minor (sometimes major) problems will drive her/him crazy.

If your friend has an easy-going personality and is flexible about things not going as scheduled, then Amtrak may be suitable. I'd never take a bus that far, but that's me.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 11:20 PM
  #38  
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Hey rb,

He's booked on Continental now,so no worries. The whole possiblility of delays w/ either method was frustrating, as there were 4 or 5 transfers on bus, and 2 train changes. One late leg of the trip,and Bam! He would have to scramble to figure out lodging or new schedule.He'd be calling me in a panic,as he is not well traveled. Honestly, it didn't occur to me immediately that he would be on a bus for 3 days w/o ability to shower! My first thought was that I hate bathrooms on a bus-they often stink.Then, Oh yeah-where the heck is he gonna shower? Gross! Atleast Amtrak offered the "bathroom in the same car" if he had a roomette,but the roomette(and tasty meals) totaled $602. TWO R/T tickets on CO!

Maybe we'll take Amtrak up to Seattle to get the "train out of his system"!
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