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#3202761 - 12/01/13 10:40 AM Do you ever see hitchhikers these days?
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 14680
Loc: OH
In the 'seventies, hitchikers were a pretty common sight.
A buddy and I actually hitched home from college one weekend, a distance of about 250 miles.
I recall hitching to get to work a couple of days when I was young, poor and single due to car trouble that I had yet to resolve, although I did after a couple of days.
My sweet lady boss actually lent me her car to take to an out of town job interview, a position I ended up getting and taking.
Anyway, I almost never see a hitchiker anymore and those I do see are usually very scruffy looking people who are likely homeless.
What happened to this once common mode of free trasnportation?
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#3202770 - 12/01/13 10:48 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
NMBurb02 Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 1981
Loc: Greatest Earth on Show, UT
People have become more paranoid and watch too many TV shows/movies in which hitchhikers are serial killers/rapists/all around baddies or the drivers picking up the hitchhikers have those traits. So nobody risks picking them up or trying to hitch.

That being said, I would never pick up a hitchhiker or hitch myself. smile
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#3202772 - 12/01/13 10:48 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 31692
Loc: ME
IMO once it reached a critical mass of scruffy types the legit ones stopped doing it and then it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

OT was hitching popular before the late 1960s and hippies?

Remember the urban crime of the late 70s, "summer of Sam" and all that? This might have made the knowledge and suspicion of anti-social behavior a nationwide "thing".

When I ran out of gas on the Maine Turnpike and was hoofing it a mile to the Kennebunk service plaza, I was picked up in 30 seconds, and didn't even have my thumb out. In fact the guy who picked me up probably saw me exit my car in the breakdown lane.

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#3202774 - 12/01/13 10:51 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
Tomcat_80 Offline


Registered: 11/21/13
Posts: 88
Loc: North Carolina, U.S.A.
FDCG27: Correct me if I am wrong, but nowadays isnt hitchhiking illegal in most of the U.S.A.? I have saw some down here, myself but never picked any of them up as they do look pretty rough. I remember my grandpa telling me about "hobos" on trains, though never about hitchhikers.

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#3202780 - 12/01/13 10:55 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: eljefino]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 14680
Loc: OH
I picked up a father and young son on I-71 south of Columbus one day.
They had run out of gas, so I took them to a station, the guy filled the gas can he'd brought with him, I took them back to their car and saw that they were able to get on their way before leaving.
One day, I was driving up I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati when I discovered what the worsening vibration was in my MGB. The front u-joint broke. This made a horrible noise as the driveshaft battered its way around under the car. I pulled off the road and started walking. A nice young Mexican guy who spoke very little English picked me up and drove me home.
I had the car towed home and had it fixed the next day.
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#3202783 - 12/01/13 10:58 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40520
Loc: New Jersey
I can't imagine that most people would feel safe.

Flipping the question - did there used to be as many sign-holding beggars as I see these days? Not many around here, but in the cities and in the midwest I see a LOT.

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#3202787 - 12/01/13 11:05 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 31692
Loc: ME
It's often "the poors" who pick up hitchhikers, or for that matter, offer jump starts.

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#3202796 - 12/01/13 11:13 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
whip Offline


Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 2299
Loc: ohio
I still see them. Not as many as I used to, but they're still there.
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#3202802 - 12/01/13 11:25 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
Thax Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 764
Loc: VA
I surely dont . A friend of mines Father was stabbed by a hitchhiker on 395 going into DC one night. My fathers friend is a gnarly Marine Vietnam Vet and he defended himself by throwing the guy out of the car at 60mph and continued to drive home with a knife in his shoulder. He wasnt even going to go to the Hospital till his wife made him lol . Every time I see a hitchhiker I think of my friends dad.d
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#3202811 - 12/01/13 11:33 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
I've never seen anyone outside of Lakewood trying to hitchhike. Inside Lakewood it's different. There's a large Orthodox community there and for a lot of people, hitchhiking is just how they normally get to work and back. Even children hitchhike there and nobody is worried about the safety of it. The Orthodox generally don't go around mugging, kidnapping, or murdering their own.


Edited by yonyon (12/01/13 11:38 AM)

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#3202817 - 12/01/13 11:40 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 7180
Loc: CT
Years ago my buddy who was married at the time saw a very attractive middle aged women thumbing it along Rt 8. So he stopped and it turns out she just broke up with her husband and ran out the door. So he took her to her sisters house and she bought him coffee as thanks.

He said he stopped because she looked out of place, ie nicely dressed, but no coat, it was winter.


Edited by hattaresguy (12/01/13 11:41 AM)

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#3202820 - 12/01/13 11:42 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: Thax]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 7808
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: Thax
I surely dont . A friend of mines Father was stabbed by a hitchhiker on 395 going into DC one night. My fathers friend is a gnarly Marine Vietnam Vet and he defended himself by throwing the guy out of the car at 60mph and continued to drive home with a knife in his shoulder. He wasnt even going to go to the Hospital till his wife made him lol . Every time I see a hitchhiker I think of my friends dad.d


It's a real shame, you never if the person you're picking up is just down on their luck or is looking to stab you in your shoulder.
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#3202833 - 12/01/13 11:54 AM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
CharlieJ Offline


Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 1418
Loc: FL
I still see them often here.
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#3202858 - 12/01/13 12:26 PM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5941
Loc: Arlington
My dad hitchhiked his way back to Ft Bragg when his '56 Chevy's transmission went belly up in the Tennessee mountains.

I remember him saying that if you were in uniform, one of two things would happen when you stuck your thumb up on the side of the road in the '60s. You had a beer bottle launched at you by "peace loving" hippies or you got a ride.

In Tennessee in those days, you got a ride. Probably from someone who recognized the "All American" bookends on your shoulders, CIB, and Infantry cord because he had earned his in Europe. Or maybe a Marine who had stormed beaches in the South Pacific. Can't say the same thing for California.
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#3202875 - 12/01/13 12:45 PM Re: Do you ever see hitchhikers these days? [Re: fdcg27]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 15809
Loc: apple valley, ca
All the time. Not legal on the hwy but On the back roads daily.
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