Going my way?
Hitchhiking is one of those storied pastimes you always hear about from older adults or see in movies from the ’80s and earlier. Today, however, it’s been drilled into just about everyone’s head that if you ever try to hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker, you will end up dead.
While this was once an easy and even amicable way to get one town or several states over, hitchhiking sadly turned into a dangerous and risky means of travel during a spree of killings in the ’70s and onwards. Today, that marred reputation has remained, and most everyone is familiar with the image of a terrifying stranger sticking out his thumb on the side of the road, waiting for his next victim.
So while most people today won’t even engage in the practice — and while it’s illegal in many places — plenty of people still have their hitchhiking stories either from the past or from a time more recently when they decided to take a risk. Here’s what they had to say after they lived to tell the tale…
I believe I have the best hitch-hiker story of all time… Maybe.
I was 19 years old and I was driving an old Ford Ranger down the highway to work. The electronics had gone out on it so I had no idea how much gas I had in it. I just tried to fill it up every week… Money got tight, I pushed it too far and ran out.
I was walking down the highway with a gas can when some crazy looking dude in a white VW Bug picks me up. He tells me he’s on his way to court for a DUII. He drops me off, I thank him for the help.
Fast forward 2 years. I’m driving a different car now to work. On a different highway in a different part of the state (Oregon) I see a white VW Bug broken down on the side of the road… A hundred yards or so from it I see the same guy caring a gas can. I pull over, we catch up on the past 2 years. Turns out he quit drinking. Drop him off at the gas station and we say our goodbyes.
In this case, him being nice to a stranger directly came back to him when he needed help. (Leg0z)
The “Grayhun” Station (Part I)
My friend and I were pulling onto the highway yesterday when suddenly a Mexican looking kid waived us down and ran up to our window. He was carrying a suit case, the big ones like we take on international vacations and it seemed as if he had been walking for a some time. Judging from his appearance I figured he was prob 20-21 years old. He asked us if he could get a ride to “Grayhun”. We both looked at each other and understood that he was saying Greyhound, and the only Greyhound bus stop in town was at this gas station a few miles down the road. It was cold and windy out and we had some spare time so we told him to jump in.
Initially thoughts run through your head and you wonder… I wonder whats in that suitcase…is he going to put a knife to my neck from behind the seat… kilos of coke from Mexico because this is South Texas?… a chopped up body?…but as we began to drive I saw the sigh of relief through the rear view mirror and realized this kid is just happy for a ride. When we got to the gas station, my friend walked in and double checked everything to make sure it was the right spot but to our surprise the final bus for Houston left for the day. The next bus at 6:00 p.m. was in a town 25 miles over. We tried explaining this to him, I should have payed more attention in the Spanish I and II they forced us to take in High School. The only words I can really say are si and comprende. My friend and I said f*ck it lets drop him off, and turned to him and said ” listen we are going to eat first making hand gestures showing spoons entering mouth and we will drop you off after” but homeboy was still clueless and kept nodding…
The “Grayhun” Station (Part II)
We already ordered Chinese food and began driving in that direction and when we got there, he got out of the car and went to the trunk as if the Chinese Restaurant was the bus stop. We tell him to come in and eat something first, leave the suitcase in the car. He is still clueless. When we go in, our food was already ready. We decided to eat there so he could eat as well. When the hostess came over, she looked spanish so I asked her I was like hey listen we picked this guy up from the street, he missed his bus and the next one is 25 miles over can you tell him that after we are done eating we will drop him off its ok no problems… and she was kinda taken by it and laughed, translated it to the guy, and for the next 10 mins all he kept saying was thank you. After we jumped into the car, I turned to him in the back and was like listen its 25 miles, I’m rolling a spliff, do you smoke? He still had no clue, but when we sparked it up, and passed it his way he smoked it like a champ. He had very broken English, but said he was from Ecuador and he was in America looking for a job to make money for his family back home. Like I said he was prob 20-21 years old. Shorly after, we arrived at our destination, and said farewell. Dropped him off at some store where he would have to sit on a bench outside for the next hour.. but I did my best. I hope he made it to wherever he had to go.
My man got picked up, fed sweet and sour chicken, smoked a spliff and got a ride to a location 30 mins away. I hope he will do the same for someone else one day. (MD786)