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MarcellZ Mar 26th, 2017 05:30 AM

Looking for advice on my hitchhike trip plan
Hello everyone, for the first time in life I'm planning a hitchhiking trip. Also first time in the States.

I'm looking for the advice of experienced travelers about my journey plan:

These routes don't take hitchhiking questions in account, so if you think I should use a different road or take public transport in some areas please let me know.

1. The most important question: Is it possible to safely complete this route in about 26-28 days? (My visa allows for 30 days after I'm finished with my work in mid August, in Michigan.) Not accounting for the extra days that I want to spend in some of the national parks, how many days would this take realistically?

2. Which areas are the most difficult to travel in the plan?

3. Is there something I'm not taking into account? Would you recommend this route for a brave beginner?

I'm grateful for all of your insight you can share.

A bonus question. I'm free to choose any city for departure. I'm contemplating the idea of flying over to Lima, Peru. If you think Los Angeles in not the most practical for that, but some other city, let me know.


nanabee Mar 26th, 2017 06:27 AM

Take a friend with you for protection in case you disappear or end up on the side of the road in some god forsaken place. Leave clues along the way.

janisj Mar 26th, 2017 07:22 AM

In the 70's sure. But now PLEASE don't do this. In fact nowadays one seldom sees even local down and out-ers hitching.

Sure, there are specific places where it would be OK-ish. But almost no one will pick you up, and of the tiny % who would . . . you wouldn't want anything to do with half of them.

gail Mar 26th, 2017 07:26 AM

I drive a lot. I can't remember the last time I saw a hitchhiker.

tomfuller Mar 26th, 2017 07:53 AM

Buy a SPOT so someone will know where you went missing.
Get to Chicago and ride the Empire Builder all the way to West Glacier, MT. See what you can of Glacier NP and then hitchhike down to Yellowstone.
It will be easier to hitchhike out of Glenwood Springs than Chrystal Mill.
If you can't get out of Glenwood Springs, take the California Zephyr all the way to Sacramento CA or Reno.

Bobmrg Mar 26th, 2017 08:35 AM

I hitchhiked a lot when I was on active duty back in the 1940s, but in those days people had a different attitude toward those in uniform. These days I seldom see a hitchhiker and would not pick one up anyway.

MarcellZ Mar 26th, 2017 09:02 AM

Thanks for all the tips!

Any ideas on my time calculation?

AustinTraveler Mar 26th, 2017 09:10 AM

You're going to spend a lot of time standing on the side of the road. Few people pick up hitchhikers today.

Sassafrass Mar 26th, 2017 09:19 AM

Just don't! It is not brave. It is not smart!
I have not seen a hitchhiker in at least 15 or 20 years. Up to even the very early 80's I picked people up, but not now. I will offer a ride to someone in my neighborhood carrying groceries or something. That is it, sure not to someone out on a highway.

Rent a car to do such a trip, or simplify the trip.

lindagj Mar 26th, 2017 09:24 AM

You asked for advice. You would be wise to take it. Do not hitch hike.

janisj Mar 26th, 2017 09:35 AM

With 28 days it is possible to get to most of those places, but public transportation in vast areas of the west is poor to non-existent.

I think you need to re calibrate your whole idea

Inakauaidavidababy Mar 26th, 2017 09:40 AM

The days of yore when hobos road the rails and hitchhikers crossed America are extinct.

But this blog is entertaining.

Last time I picked up a hitch hiker I soon realized he may be a methhead. Never again. Although he made it to his destination in Hilo HI

Tabernash2 Mar 26th, 2017 09:45 AM

Agree that nobody hitchhikes anymore. No one would pick you up.
Don't do it.

janisj Mar 26th, 2017 10:21 AM

But he also mentioned public transport . . . I hope we've convinced him that hitch hiking is a non-starter. So maybe comments about how to get to the places on his map?

I cant help re public transport in the northern bits but I suspect the specific destinations would be difficult. The Vegas / LA part is easy.

RoamsAround Mar 26th, 2017 11:37 AM

While it is legal to hitchhike in about 44 of the 50 states in the US it is not legal to solicit rides while standing on the side of a major highway or thoroughfare.

As others have said, hitchhiking is quite rare nowadays in the US and very few people will stop to pick up strangers.

jamie99 Mar 26th, 2017 12:21 PM

Forget that idea especially if you have a schedule to keep.
Very few people if any will stop and pick you up and that includes truck drivers due to either company policies or their insurance policy.
Build in time for the inevitable stop and search by local police and be prepared to show proof of funds so you do not get rousted for vagrancy.

MarcellZ Mar 26th, 2017 03:15 PM

Thank you for all of your replies, I'm definitely taking them to consideration. I've already decided to shorten my trip to finish in Denver. (Worst case, I'll have more time to spend in those beautiful national parks.)

However, pardon my straightforwardness, most of your replies seem to be based on whether you have seen hitchhikers or assumptions about drivers attitude. Have you guys actually attempted hitchhiking in these areas?

Inakauaidavidababy Mar 26th, 2017 03:24 PM

A very legitimate question. I have hitchhiked back in the day and I have picked up hitchhikers. Times have changed for me.

You might enjoy picking up a copy of "A Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins to feed your wanderlust.

sallytakemyhand Mar 26th, 2017 03:29 PM

Do. Not. Hitchhike.

We are the ones driving the cars and not stopping to pick up a hitchhiker. We would like to live another day so we do not offer rides to hitchhikers.

If someone was hitchhiking now-a-days, I would worry they wouldn't live another day.

You might want to look into bus service between Michigan and Denver. During your work (summer camp?) make plans with fellow co-workers for a vacation after your work assignment is finished.

tomfuller Mar 26th, 2017 03:38 PM

I haven't hitchhiked since the early '70s. I once hitchhiked about 50 miles with a 7mm Mauser. I took out the bolt and stuck it out instead of my thumb.
On a blustery Sunday morning in December I picked up a hitchhiker north of LaPine and took him to Bend.
I actually got him to go to church with me.
After the service I took him to a cheap Chinese restaurant on the east side of Bend where he could get a ride on US 20 toward Boise. He was glad to have a warm meal before the long ride.
Since you chose Denver, I think it would be wise to take the Amtrak California Zephyr to either Denver or Salt Lake City from Chicago.

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