Saturday, May 5, 2012

The trip so far

A few stats on the trip so far:
  • I've made it about 1800 miles along a route that's really about the journey.
  • My best guess is that I walked around 60 of those miles, or about three percent.
  • I figure I spent about 60 hours between walking, standing and riding, about twice what Google estimated it should take to drive.
  • I really don't like standing. I get bored quickly and end up walking, even when my feet hurt.
  • I had between 6 and 10 rides each day with an average of about 45 miles per ride.
  • Longest ride. - About two hundred miles from Missoula MT to Spokane WA. 
  • Shortest ride. - About 1/4 mile to the edge of town. 
  • Rides from truckers - Zero. A lot of them waved apologetically, I think most trucking companies must have rules against picking up hitchhikers now. 
  • Rides from women. - More than 1/4 of them. This surprised me since I rarely got rides from women on previous trips. Almost every one of them said something to the effect of "I don't normally pick up hitch hikers but you looked alight". 
  • Rides from families with kids in the car. - Three.
  • Rides from people driving trucks and SUVs? - More than 1/2 of them.
  • Rides form people driving Hybrids or other 35+ mpg cars - Zero. (You effectively cut your carbon footprint in half if you double the occupancy, right?). I don't believe anyone owes a hitchhiker a ride, I just find this ironic.
  • Worst location to get a ride. - The bottom of a valley with long steep hills on both sides. (The Triassic Period)
  • Best State to get a ride. - Idaho, I never had to walk even 15 minutes. 
Thank You everyone who gave me a ride!


  1. Nick- I'm just catching up on your blog now... interesting! I really appreciate the stats. I usually make my driving trips interesting by logging data so... cool!

  2. And if I can make a request: stats on sleeping accommodations. Has it all been side of the road (shy of your families homes)?

  3. Haha, even I picked up a few hitch-hikers back in Idaho.

  4. Wow, awesome progress. I'm pretty impressed that people with kids in the car would pick up hitch hikers. The pics in the previous posts were great. There are some really great scenes. I agree with strawberryle monade, the route map is a nice addition to the info. Good luck with the remainder of the trip.

  5. Wow, you are collecting some interesting data. Things have changed. When my best friend and I hitchhiked through the US back in 1990, we got picked up mostly by truckers. Never by women or families. Our first ride we hitched was with undercover cops but only because we were in a not so good part of Queens, NY, and they just wanted us out of there. They took us to the outskirts of the city and waved us good-bye. Most interesting people who picked us up somewhere near Denver and took us all the way to the West Coast: dead heads (hippies, who follow the Greatful Dead).They were so messed up but very likeable. It was a whole group of them traveling. I got to ride in an old school bus for a while and my job was to reconnect the wiring every time the bus had to stop and start again. I know nothing of mechanics, but this couldn't have been safe. After this bus completely broke down we rode with an old Native American Indian dead head. He would stop smack in the middle of a highway and back up every time he saw dead birds on the side of the road. He made jewelry with bird feathers, was his explanation for nearly killing us a couple of times. He was also helplessly addicted to gambling. Every time we passed a casino he would gamble away the little amount of money he owned. We had dragged him out of those casinos to move on. Why am I telling you this? I thought you might need a little entertainment while you wait for your next ride. And also to see if you can top my crazy experiences....:)

  6. @Matt: The first night I just slept on the side of the road. The second night I really needed a shower so I could put Aloe on sunburn so I got a hotel in Rock Springs. The third night my options were a 40 dollar hotel in Jackson WY (good to know the locals as most hotels are way more than that in Jackson). It didn't seem like the kind of town to try to camp in. The forth night was also in a hotel because it got dark before I got to anyplace were I could really camp legally. All the staying in hotels bothered me a bit at first, but then I decided it doesn't really take much from the experience of meeting people. I tried to stay in a hostel the 4th night since I never have in the US before, but they were closed.

  7. @ Sofija: Nothing that crazy yet.

  8. Thanks! And, keep it up, we're all interested!