Here in Anchorage we are lucky enough to be in Vanessa and Cody’s cozy home and have had the time to reflect on our journey thus far. All those hours we spent standing on the side of the road we would always wonder who the next person would be to come along to give us a ride, and every time the one who stopped was a wonderful human being. It seems to be that the type of people picking up hitchhikers are people who are spreading love and happiness in this world that is often consumed by fear and evil. They’re not afraid of strangers. After all, strangers are only people we haven’t met yet. The most obvious commonality among the drivers who have given us rides is there trust that we are simply traveling the same direction and don’t expect anything more than a ride.
After hearing people’s stories it became clear that almost everyone who picked us up had done their fair share of hitchhiking. I guess a little bit if empathy and the unspoken kinship among Hitchers helped us a long the way. It took us 24 rides to reach Anchorage. All of which were unique and interesting. All of which were trusting, like us.
So why has hitchhiking become a lost art? There is a dominant belief that hitchhiking is dangerous, though every effort made to find actual evidence of this danger objectively, has been unable to do so. Also, America has become generally more prosperous since the 1970’s, more people own cars and rural areas now have more extensive bus systems.
We think that now is as good a time as any to revive this lost art. A time when trust and meaningful human connection are at an all time low. A time when green house gases and over crowded freeways should inspire us to share the road, share our cars and share our stories with strangers who will become our friends.
“The best way to know if you can trust somebody is to trust them”
~ Ernest Hemingway