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Monday, October 21, 2019

Hitching a Ride

Hitching a Ride

Hitching a ride; I picked up this little ear-worm listening to Sirius Radio the other day.  It made me think,

“When is the last time I’ve seen a hitchhiker?”

This song was in the early 70’s so I guess it was common back then, but I have not seen a hitchhiker in years. 

I used to hitchhike all the time.  It was an easy mode of transportation.  Back when I was as young as 13 and all through college, hitchhiking was popular.  Stick out your thumb and wait.  Eventually someone would stop and ask,

“Where ya going?”

“Easton, Pa. (my college town).

“Hop in, I can get you half way there.”

When I was in the eight grade, I played sports.  The buses home were all gone well before practice was over.  Home was three miles away.  I would sometimes grab a ride from a friend’s parent.  Often I would just hitch home.

No one ever thought twice about hitchhiking.  we never worried about it.  I think people started to think twice after hearing stories and seeing movies where being picked up by a psycho ended up badly.  Other stories about picking up a psycho ended up badly.   

Pretty soon, the only people hitchhiking and the only people who picked up hitchhikers were psychos.

I’ve often wondered what happens when a psycho hitchhiker is picked up by a psycho driver.

Anyway, I suppose soon even psychos stopped hitchhiking and picking up riders.  Hitchhiking now just does not exist.

My days of hitchhiking were not as dangerous as people today might imagine.  When I was thumbing a ride home from school after practice, I would almost always get picked up by someone I knew. It would be an older high school kid who had a license, or a neighbor I knew who was coming home from the train station after his daily commute. 

It was a small town, people knew each other, there weren’t many psychos passing through.

When I was in college I would hitch to and from school when on break.  It was about an hour and a half trip.  I would hold up a sign saying “Lafayette” and invariably would get a ride from another student, or an alumnus. 

I also generally hitched with a friend.  Apparently, psychos only pick up solo passengers.  Psychos only hitched alone, so picking up a twosome or being picked up as a twosome was perfectly safe…or so people thought years ago.

Anyway, it is a lost mode of transportation.  Way back when, it was convenient, it was an adventure, it was fun…it was probably also stupid.

If you’re interested in an ear-worm,


  1. I dated a guy for a bit who would pick up hitchhikers. Late 1970s. I was "okay" with it until he and me were having a "friendly" discussion about something and the hitchhiker took his side and agreed with im about the issue (long forgotten). I think I broke up with him shortly after that. I was never adventurous and always scared the worst would happen to me so I never was tempted to hitchhike. I'm sure my brother probably did though or picked them up. Rarely these days I'll see someone sticking their thumb out. Wonder when (if) they get offered a ride.


  2. Hick picks up the bus shack kids every now and then, if he sees them walking the mile and a half home up our gravel road. They don't hitch, he just offers. They're early teens. He said the first time, the girl opened up the passenger door, and he said, "You can jump in the back of the truck with your brothers." Can't be too careful these days.

  3. I remember the hitchhiking years. Being a girl, I never did it myself, but my younger brother travelled a lot between home with Dad and siblings and home with mum and step siblings. Dad would drive him as far as the next town where the big truckies often went through and R would get rides in the semi trailers as far as Adelaide or even all the way to Murray Bridge, about a six hour drive. My brother was a husky lad, well muscled and tall, and whenever the driver stopped to eat, R would get a meal too, paid for by the truckie. He would come home to Port Pirie the same way. Step dad would drive him through the town to the highway and wait until a truck picked him up.

  4. My parents would have gone berserk if I'd hitched a ride anytime, so I never told them. Fortunately I came to no harm but stories went around about the terrible things that happened to kids my age. I never found out if the stories were true or false.

  5. Wow! Haven't heard that song in decades! Catchy tune.

    Horror stories seem to ruin everything. It's funny, but you were just being 'green' before it became a thing to conserve.

  6. Ride, ride, ride hitchin' a ride. I didn't need to turn on the video to now have that in my head. I just saw a hitchhiker about 3 weeks ago with a small dog. I almost stopped and I could hear others in my head screaming DON'T. Hard habit to break. Used to pick up HH all the time, but yes, it was the 70's. Life was better, easier and only pervs gave you candy. :-)

  7. I remember the English group Vanity Fair with this song. I often tried hitching a ride by standing on the side of the road holding a rose between my teeth. For some reason no one would stop for a man in a beard.

    God bless.

  8. That song brings back a lot of memories; thanks! ☺ I never needed to hitchhike, but knew plenty of people who did it, back in the day, without incident. Every now and then, we see somebody standing at a highway on ramp, looking for a ride, but I'm not willing to take that risk. Why is it that life was safer in the 70s? What changed?

  9. I've never hitched a ride. I don't pick up hitchhikers either. I live in California. Need I say more? I didn't think so.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. 😎

  10. I used to hitch back and forth to college in the late '50's. It was about 225 miles and I had pretty good luck getting rides. But I remember once a guy picked me up and said he was going to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and wanted to know if I wanted to go with him. Psycho? Pervert? Surely must have been one of those but I turned down the offer and he let me out.

  11. Never hitched but my brothers did all the time. I am trying to hard to avoid that earworm. I am still amused at the image of two psychos ending up in the same car. That would make a good movie.

  12. this is really nice sharing dear Joe
    i many times think to blog about it but each time when i sat with computer something else cam up

    even here taking lift was so normal and in
    and i know this because we lived in town near capital city and visited often there

    i took lift only four or five times and my mom was with me , first time when i went for interview for my very first attempt for job it was surprise to hear from mom that we can take lift ahead as it is short way to your office

    then i knew such thing only through stories
    now after so many years (almost 30 ) no such privilege for people
    i said privilege because it is not about borrowing ride it is showing trust for other humans like you

  13. Occasionally I still will see a hitchhiker on I-5 with a sign wanting to go to Portland or Seattle.


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