My dad left one week ago, and I realized that I have not put together my post about his hitchhiking antics. I told you that he hitchhiked from British Columbia to the Calgary airport but I didn’t show you how big the box was that he brought with him. The box was filled with toys for the girl’s, two Graco doll strollers I bought from a neighbor back at home and Little People that Grandma picked up for the girls, the box weighed over 20 pounds, he walked with it for about 7 km all together and was picked up by three drivers to get to the city. He said casually, “The string dug into my hands a bit”. “You think!” check this out!! I would have dumped the box off in the ditch if it had been me, but who am I kidding I’m no hitchhiker.
I asked him a few questions about Hitchhiking during a three hour road trip we took. He was squished in the back seat with the two kids. (Hey, I offered to give him the front seat he
wanted chose to sit back there).
“So dad, why do you hitchhike?”
I like to meet different people, car pooling and I help pay for gas, I have found some great things from the ditches too. I found a life jacket that replaced the one I lent out and was not returned and a big bolt. (Men ah? They’ll go to such lengths not avoid shopping or to save a buck!) The life jacket also came in handy because I used it as a mattress at night. I also pray for people, especially the people that pass me by.
“What are your tips for catching a ride?”
Well, I always have a sign with the destination on it and $$$ and if I am catching the plane or going to a conference like the Compassion Conference last summer I will also include the time I need to be there. I don’t stand still, I keep walking with my thumb out and look at them in the eye. If they pass me by I smile and wave, maybe they will feel bad and change their mind vs. relief that they made a good decision if I was to kicked the dirt, swearing and shaking my fists in the air. Don’t hitchhike at night, and choose the smaller side roads not the double lane highways. I like to bring some snacks to share with drivers too, one guy really liked my trail mix though and I was wondering if I would have enough for my trip.
“What’s the longest tripe that you ever did?”
1300 km, when I visited my mom last summer. It took 17-18 hours to get there and 24 hours on the return trip. The people who pick me up are usually low income (they want the gas money), or retired and bored, or they are religious.
I have slept in a park and in a phone booth; it was too noisy in the phone booth s o I left and kept going. I was so desperate for a ride that I crossed the road because I just wanted to get a ride somewhere!
I have gotten rides from some interesting people. Once by drunks who asked me to pass them more beer, an old man in a beat up old pick-up. It was a standard transmission; he had to bend down to pick his leg up and put in on the brake. How’s that for reaction time?
I was picked up last summer after walking 20 km with a 30-40 lb pack by few young guy’s in a van, despite the summer heat and no air conditioning they had the window’s rolled up to get more effect from the dope they were smoking. I was so tired though I couldn’t say, “no”. That same trip, but a different guy, I was invited to stay over night at his house in Saskatoon. In the morning he dropped me off out side the city where I continued on my trip.
“Oh remember when you invited a hitchhiker to stay over night at our house, when we were kids?”
Oh ya, (he laughs) that guy was not right in the head. I loaded my gun and had it beside the bed all night. In the morning I gave him a big bowl of oatmeal, a pair of shoes, some water and lunch.
(I think if I remember right he also gave him a ride far enough away from our home that it wouldn’t be convenient for him to come back to the house. Dad worked long hours and my five sisters and I were at home with my mom in a small
town, village o.k. a cluster of houses.)
Dad : I was 15 when I first hitchhiked and then stopped while you kids were young, I picked it back up again at 55. I remember once as a teenager I got picked up by a few guys, they noticed two girls also thumbing it so stopped to pick them up too. I would have been squished in the back seat with the girls so I got out to give them more room. I got picked up a few minuets latter. Then when I was dropped off about an hours ride I noticed that the girls where getting dropped off at the same intersection but the guy’s were continuing on so I ran over and got another ride from them!
I’d actually like to ride my bike instead. I think it would be great to ride my bike to Texas or to come visit you in Ontario but that won’t likely happen.
Well, we’ll see about that won’t we.
For some practical useful tips that you will be able to use go to Works for Me at Rocks in my Dryer