Thumbing, Tramping, Hitching

I saw a hitchhiker on my way to work today. A lot of people look at hitchhikers and immediately (and often times mistakenly) think bum, hippie, addict, serial killer. But today I saw in this man freedom, courage, and adventure. I thought back to stories of my relatives who during the Great Depression took to the rails as professional hobos, looking for work in a new town and "seeing America right" on their way. I thought back to articles I've read about how hitchhiking culture is promoted in Hawaii, The Netherlands, and New Zealand. Then came thoughts of Jack Kerouac, Chris McCandless, even Kilgore Trout. There is a romance to hitchhiking. An unpredictable, caution-to-the-wind way of traveling that can't be rivaled by any cruise line, tour package, or resort stay. Could the falling dollar and poor economic situation force a shift back to the days when hitching a ride or hopping a train was more of a necessity? I have yet to venture in to the world of hitchhiking but it's on my list. In the meantime, I'm going to read lifelong hitcher Irv Thomas' account of a life on the road, Derelict Days. You can preview the book here on Amazon.


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