Reader Letter: Picking up hitchhikers

8

Dear Chuck, 

I was unsure how to vote on the hitchhiking poll. Normally we never pick up a hitchhiker. Having said that, we actually did pick one up last year. I wanted to share this story with you.

We were driving through Rocky Mountain National Park, on our way to the other end, where we would turn around and come back to our campground. We drive an F250 long box, crew cab. As we were driving, we saw a woman with a bicycle and she had her thumb out. We picked her up, because we figured she was having problems with her bike. We also knew her potential rides were limited to people who could also take her bike.

It turned out that although she is a fit and experienced cyclist, she was overcome by the altitude and hills. Her destination was the place we were headed, where we would turn around. We told her we would be stopping along the route for pictures, and to enjoy the sights. She was all over that. She spent a good part of the day with us, we took pictures of each other, and she shared lots of iPhone tips and tricks with us.

She is a very intelligent and interesting person. She told us she lives in Columbia, SC. We drive through there on our way to and from Florida. This spring, on our way home from Florida, we met her for breakfast at a truck stop. She is a friend on Facebook, so we now follow each other’s adventures.

We made a new friend that day. That’s one of the great things about travelling with our RV.

Astrid B.
Full name withheld by request

How many RV Travel readers would pick up a hitchhiker? See how more than 3,500 readers responded in issue 1239 of RV Daily Tips.

##RVT929

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Dennis R Wenger
7 months ago

These days, as a male picking up a hitcher of either sex, I believe it is too risky for a private citizen to be subjected to false accusations… which does happen.

As a retired Cop, I believe LE is the best resource for people who are having mechanical difficulties. While some Agencies will not permit Officers to “give a ride” to people, they can certainly put them in contact with assistance or be able to remove them from harms way if they are in an unsafe area, not to mention being the best arbiter of those hikers of who may have nefarious intentions.

Don Honaker
9 months ago

In 1988 My Ford Diesel pickup broke down (injection pump) while towing our 27 foot travel trailer at Jonas Creek Camp Ground on our way to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. Even if they had cell phones back then, they would not have worked because of the remoteness of the areas. I needed to get Jasper, 48 miles to the north, to obtain assistance. The truck and trailer were parked in a site in the campground not visible from the road. I knew that the likelihood of my hitching a ride was minimal, so I took my 7 year old son with me and soon a kindly retired farmer and his wife from Alabama picked us up to take to Jasper where I was able to rent a car and to get towing services, etc.

Was it deceitful? Possibly, but I had my wife and two children to be concerned about and who knows how long I would have been out there by myself. Would I pick up a hitchhiker today. Not very likely, but I would consider all of the circumstances such as where they were, their appearance, availability of other resources, who was with me in the vehicle, etc.

Billy Bob Thorton
9 months ago

In a few words, it makes you appreciate people, great story.

Bill
9 months ago

What a wonderful story! I always try to help those in need along the way mixed with common sense.

Best wishes to everyone with an exciting new year of adventures!

friz
9 months ago

Hitchhiking as a viable means of transportation died decades ago when innocence died. It was a time when people felt no need to be “armed” when traveling. Que lastima!

Rich
9 months ago

while i voted ‘no’ we would certainly stop or at least call 9-1-1 to report someone needing assistance.

Kurt
9 months ago
Reply to  Rich

I’m with Rich, No Hitchhikers. I will also stop and offer assistance if I see someone needs help, but usually it’s just a thumb out and I keep going.

Linds
9 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

Remember when in national parks that most of the time the hitchhikers are employees. Usually students working the summer season before returning to college. Give them a lift.