Looking for advice on my hitchhike trip plan

Mar 28th, 2017, 07:17 PM
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The first transcontinental US road (1913) was the Lincoln Highway, maybe you could follow parts of that, it would be a nice theme

tom_mn is offline  
Mar 28th, 2017, 08:22 PM
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Go ahead and hitchhike if you want to get murdered. I would be freaking out about this if I were your mother.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 12:34 AM
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As I said, every single section of my route will have a backup plan, so if it indeed doesn't work well I just hop on a bus or a train - or hike.

Without getting a single ride anywhere, I can still make it in 27 days. Accounting for missed connections and all that.

Thanks all!
MarcellZ is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 12:46 AM
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where it would matter the most: getting a single ride in the buffalo-yellowstone section /where I'd be walking/ can already give me a boost of up to 7 days time.

Hitchhiking is legal in Wyoming and most parts of Yellowstone park since 2013.
MarcellZ is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 03:10 AM
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Within Yellowstone there are no public buses. You can not just hop on a bus if you get a ride to some point in the park and then want to leave. Walking is not reasonable - there are wild animals and huge distances.

Whether it is real or just a perception, most hitchhikers in the US are viewed as prison escapees, potential murderers or rapists. Really. This is why you will not get a ride.

I wish this were not true. I wish we lived in a time and a place where your planned meandering trip were practical, safe and fun.

And I hope I am wrong. I am getting the idea you will pursue this plan regardless of what any of us say. If you do, I wish you a wonderful and safe trip. And I hope that you report back after your trip, hopefully to tell us all we were silly worriers.
gail is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 09:35 AM
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What MichelleY said. (and being legal doesn't make it safe)
sf7307 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 12:20 PM
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>>>The days of yore when hobos road the rails and hitchhikers crossed America are extinct.<<<

Oddly enough, this is not true. There is a distinct subculture doing it right under our noses!


(The author published a book of essays which was reviewed in the NYT today.)

I did my share of hitchhiking back in the Seventies, but I agree that it is not safe and that you see very few (or no) people hitching these days (those in the above sources excepted).
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 02:32 PM
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Not sure what a 5 year old article in the NYT posted by someone who sounds like a total loser has to do with the OPs plans.
Since he has his head up and locked and is going to go ahead anyway, I will just recommend you update your will.
My neighbor's mother just died without a current will and it is a total mess.
jamie99 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 02:42 PM
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>>>Not sure what a 5 year old article in the NYT posted by someone who sounds like a total loser has to do with the OPs plans.<<<

The "loser," total variety, has now published two books, the latest reviewed today in the NYT. During her "loser" days she hitchhiked and hopped trains. That is what it has to do with the OP's plans, although, if you read more closely, you will understand that I was responding to another poster's statements.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 02:51 PM
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I'm forcing myself to believe, for the moment, that Marcel's OP is legitimate, and not that of a troll; that Marcel does not live in the US.

Thus he might just be unaware that seemingly half the newspaper articles about hitchhikers involve crazy folks killing the hitchhiker they pick up; the other half involve hitchhikers killing the driver who picks them up. None are ever about the jolly, carefree life of successful hitchhikers.

In the rare instance I have seen a hitchhiker in the US, visions of wanton slayings go thru my head...I'm sure I'm not alone.

In our state (Michigan) the state troopers will not permit anyone to hitchhike on an interstate, or entrance ramp thereto. Perhaps for no other reason than to not have to investigate (or clean up the residue from) an avoidable crime.
tomboy is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 03:13 PM
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Then you should follow their advice instead of ours, if you insist on doing this.
suze is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 03:15 PM
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You want to go to Peru in addition to hitch-hiking across the mid-west USA? I'm not following your plan.
suze is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 04:57 AM
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"Is there something I'm not taking into account? Would you recommend this route for a brave beginner?"

1. Everything.
2. No. But if you insist, like if you had no other choice, wear clean clothes, be clean with no beard, carry a book. Have a sign with your destination. You mentioned asking for a ride at certain locations. Offer to pay for gas. If they accept it they may not be safe. Use whatever survival strategy you can muster.

Re-think your picture as a brand new poster. Based on the picture alone, you look dangerous, 'nuff said.
bear900 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 09:43 AM
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speaking that even though you're in paradise, it's not a great idea to pick up hitch hikers. I was foolish and realized it about half way to Hilo. Luckily all was fine as he sat looking miserable in the back of our convertible with the top down. Many others, not so lucky.

Inakauaidavidababy is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Another time quite a few years ago, I passed a guy walking his bicycle with a flat tire. I swung around and told him to toss it into the back of my truck and I'd get him to where he was going. It quickly became clear he was down on his luck and had lost his license. And then he asked me out on a date, because he thought since I picked him up I was cruising for love. No good deed goes unpunished!
Inakauaidavidababy is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 01:22 PM
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The last time I (female) picked up a hitchhiker, in England in the early 70s, he told me he had just been paroled from prison where he was serving a sentence for murder. True? False? Who knows, but I figured I didn't need the aggravation.

The last time I hitched was 2004 on the Isle of Skye. First time in decades, but seemed a safe place with very limited public transport. One farmer, one family. But NOT something I would try anywhere in the US. Even Greyhound would be preferable.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 07:11 PM
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I did a bit of hitchhiking back in the day. Of course, in those days, kids still played outside all day and could walk to school relatively safely. I wouldn't now and I'd be sick with worry if a loved one was hitchhiking in the US. So I'd count on your time being based on walking. Success rates at getting a ride that you're reading about may be very much based on the writer's age, gender, if they're travelling as a couple or any number of things that make them seem safer.

First, it's your life and your risks. I think people are just trying to be helpful by sharing some cultural perspective you may not have yet. People assume things work relatively the same way the world over... but they often don't.

My family and I are truly not the nervous traveller types. We've done the whole "motorbikes in southeast Asia" thing, including last year. And we've hitched rides (out of necessity) in Morocco. And the fact that "people are doing it" in the US is perhaps worth noting. But for a bit of hyperbolic perspective, the majority of people involved in or living within wars survive too. It doesn't mean they're safe but yes, statistically speaking you and they have better than 50/50 odds. Probably. Also remember that while hitchhiking is legal in a place like Wyoming, it's also legal to carry concealed handguns there without so much as a permit. It isn't Europe. Even in Romania, hitching seemed comparatively safe and the grannies would do it. In the US, they don't. The responses you're seeing above are indicative of what any of our parents would have said to us or what we parents tell our kids about hitchhiking. So anyone driving past you has been taught that a guy wanting in your car is bad news. And for good reason. There are 90,000 missing people in the US at any given time. During the last week we lived in Memphis, two women were abducted off different parking lots by different people on the same day. So even if you're ok with the risk, culturally speaking, most drivers will not be ok with you getting in their car because they live with the knowledge of the very real risks. And of those who *are* ok with you getting in their car, you never know why...

Have you considered bicycling (perhaps buy one that can be unassembled and reassembled easily for packing) in combination with public transport and then donate it at the end of the trip?
CounterClifton is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 09:12 PM
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Greyhound, Megabus, Amtrak (they have combination of trains and buses).
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2017, 07:28 PM
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What do you bet that MarcellZ has no concept of the size of the USA?

Perhaps he thinks it's just a few hours from Michigan to California.

And that the towns out west are maybe a mile or two between each other.

And that he hasn't considered the possibility of sleeping on the ground in Colorado, for instance, and waking up with a breeding rattlesnake as a bed partner.

Or that of sharing a beer with a guy that picks him up, only to find out later the beer tasted funny because of the date rape drug in it, and that MarcellZ no longer can claim virginity
tomboy is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2017, 08:29 PM
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If your post is legit,Marcell, hope you will write a trip report for this forum upon your return.
jayne1973 is offline  

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