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Hitchhiking the West Part 1

USA | Wednesday, 16 September 2009 | Views [558]

Quite frankly, I was scared.  Hitchhiking was a new prospect to me.  Did it even work?  Did it EXIST?  Was it just something people joke about in movies?  Was I going to fall victim to a Fear and Loathing type proposal where my ride would be two drug-induced loonies (no disrespect to Hunter, of course)?  

It took some courage, and having my back up against the wall financially and otherwise to begin that trip from the Devil's playground of Phoenix, AZ to my Utopian destination of Denver, CO.  I had heard the trip was 12 hours by car.  It would take me a week to arrive.

It took an understanding bus driver to start me on my way.  If I was going to get a ride north, I was told I should be on the northern outskirts of Phoenix.  So with no money at all, I told a bus driver my wallet had been stolen (a small lie, but I really had been devoid of cash through extenuating circumstances) and she let me board.  I took this as far north as I could go, to what turned out to be a not so easy place to find a ride.  I was sitting along the 17 with my small, lame sign that simply read, "Denver" and watched as car after car, after truck went by.  My head wasn't in it, I was nervous, embarrassed, and it didn't seem to be going well.  One truck stopped quite soon after I placed myself there, surprisingly to me, but only could take me a mile up the road, not even to the point from which I was told I really ought to launch.  So I thanked him and passed.  Aside from a couple who stopped to give me $2 and a bottle of water, I spent two days in 115 degree temps for nothing.  I had to put some work into this myself.  Even in hitching, you can't always just lay back.  So I walked the 5.5 miles to where I meant to start from the morning of the third day. 

Tags: arizona, broke, cheap, colorado, denver, free, hitchhiking, phoenix, random, southwest

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