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January 17, 2014 7:34 AM   Subscribe

How Much Does It Cost To Hitchhike Across America? Ever been there? Cooking in the high-plains sun? Freezing under the stars? This plain-spoken accounting will take you back. "On the Road" in the 21st century.
posted by Twang (25 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's not writing, it's typing.
posted by box at 7:47 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


Interesting list.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:48 AM on January 17


"Service Unavailable"

But to answer the questions in the post -
It cost me nothing
Yes
Yes
Yes
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:02 AM on January 17


This reads like an after-action report for a Curious George story.

Location: Roadside Attraction and Gasoline Restaurant
Date: July 20 1965
Time: ~11:20 a.m.
Item: Banana Ice Cream, small Arizona Collector Spoon
Price: $9.00
Total Damages Caused by Visit: $14,603.77
Notes: The Man in the Yellow Hat stopped for gas. George sees a giant fiberglass model of a dinosaur and an advertisement for Banana Ice Cream. Hijinks, minor injuries, and considerable property damage ensue. Somehow no one is arrested, but money did exchange hands.
posted by chambers at 8:09 AM on January 17 [12 favorites]


I guess I would have included the stolen money, drug money, lost sunglasses, and lost camera all as expenses, but perhaps the author was only tallying their own individual money spent.
posted by eviemath at 8:09 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Hitchwiki has a map of where hitchhiking is actually illegal in the USA.
posted by squinty at 8:11 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


OK, now I'm able to see it. He's doin it wrong. He shoulda kept his money in his right sock, not his left shoe. Also, he bought two meals before he even made it out of NH? Why didn't he just buy a freakin bus ticket?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:13 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I guess I would have included the stolen money, drug money, lost sunglasses, and lost camera all as expenses, but perhaps the author was only tallying their own individual money spent.

Not to mention that poor man's dump truck!
posted by juliplease at 8:18 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I have to stop reading this thing. This guy is a tourist. If you're in NH, and you want to hitchhike to CA, at no point should you wind up in NYC.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:19 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I love this writing style. Everything is just so matter-of-fact.
posted by beau jackson at 8:45 AM on January 17


So he spent $100 more than an Amtrak ticket? Doesn't really sound like hitchhiking to me.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:47 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Notes: The Man in the Yellow Hat stopped for gas. George sees a giant fiberglass model of a dinosaur and an advertisement for Banana Ice Cream. Hijinks, minor injuries, and considerable property damage ensue. Somehow no one is arrested, but money did exchange hands.

Your comment reminded me of the existence of "Furious George and the Cross-Country Crime Spree", which was an old-school HTML game much along these lines. Alas, it appears to have gone dark, and now I am sad.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:56 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Shit like this makes me want to punch this guy:
Ten minutes after we fueled up the dump truck in Martinsville Illinois it caught on fire and we had to abandon the highway. The man that owned the dump truck paid for our motel room, but he was very sad. He would no longer be able to make any money in St. Louis without a dump truck.
Who burned up the fucking truck (no doubt by spilling gas that later dripped onto some hot part of the exhaust) you affectless little prick? What did you have to do for the sad dude to get him to pay for the hotel room despite his burned up truck? (I would have kicked your pathetic ass to the curb.) What was the sad man's goddamn name, you little space-cadet asshole?

Okay. Better now.
posted by aught at 9:00 AM on January 17 [7 favorites]


Location: Work restaurant in Illinois.
Date: January 17 2014
Time: ~11 a.m.
Item: Multiple items formatted like this.
Time Wasted: 7 minutes.
Total Time wasted at work restaurant today: 20 minutes
Notes: A blue website suggested I read multiple items formatted like this. My work companion talked about the Oscars. I read multiple items formatted like this.

(In addition to adding the items you all mentioned, he should subtract the money the woman gave him, the money the dump truck guy gave him, and the money he earned paving driveways. Also, his traveling companion seems like a butt.)
posted by papayaninja at 9:02 AM on January 17


A guy named “Ron” picked us up just as it started to rain. He seemed intoxicated and only drove forty miles per hour on the highway. Ron said he used to do golf with Brett Favre, smoke cocaine with Axl Rose, eat weed with Ricky Williams, and play hockey on the US Olympic team that defeated the Soviets in 1980. When we got to Kansas City, Ron said he was frightened of a man who lived in Kansas City and asked us for gasoline money.

I somehow knew even before double-checking Wikipedia that there was no "Ron" on the Miracle on Ice team.

So, I had an uncle who if he were still alive, based on the drug array and the charming audacity of the lie-bragging, I might suspect was this particular guy going around using my dad's name.
posted by aught at 9:13 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


This "article" got my hackles up the same way that Frugal Traveler over at NYT does.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:39 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


TD;DR (too dull; din't read)?


*spoiler ahead*

about 300 bucks
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:54 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


It took me four days, five sandwiches, a hamburger, two slices of pie, three apples, eight cups of coffee, 2/3 of a pack of cigarettes (total expenditures $14.85) to hitchhike from Saginaw...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:06 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


It's really more of a list of how much it costs to buy fast food for every meal for three weeks than it is about the cost of hitchhiking.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:20 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Ever been there?

The best I ever did was New Orleans to St. Louis (about 700 miles), over three days, for 18 cents. Including being taken to two Thanksgiving dinners on the same day, lunch in Arkansas and dinner in Missouri. Spent the 18 cents on two postcard stamps, so you can tell this happened some years ago.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:50 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I too, have hitched across a country. Do I get points if the country was the size of a Dakota?
posted by chaiminda at 12:11 PM on January 17


Also, to any young woman of bohemian inclination who might be reading this-

Do not, under any circumstances, marry your fortunes to those of this fellow, regardless of how much real estate he claims to have in his bag, or how many cigarettes he gives you. He seems pretty unreliable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:31 PM on January 17


See, if they hitch-hiked across the states AND worked for their money while hitchhiking then that would've been a story.
posted by I-baLL at 3:10 PM on January 17


My traveling companion knew some people who were having a barbeque, but when we got there the only thing left was an empty jar of salsa and some crumbs.

I'VE BEEN TO THAT BARBECUE! About 100 times.

This story is so New Hampshire that it makes me a bit sad.
posted by Miko at 7:58 PM on January 17


My most surprising experience happened when the waiting line at the freeway entrance outside Reno elected me to go to the grocery store for snacks. The music playing over the store's muzak system was Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries". Pinky swear.

Apart from hearing classical music in a store (an experience never since repeated), later on I realized that might have been an ominous sign. At the time it just seemed a stone groove.
posted by Twang at 2:08 PM on January 21


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