Tag Archives: hitch-hiking

Good Things, Bad Habits

25 May

Late last Friday, not too long after midnight, I realized I had a problem.

I was travelling northwest from town, after having had a delicious dinner with a few friends, and on my way home for the night. I had to stop at a stoplight. I was officially out of the city limits, and the lack of streetlights and the consistently overcast weather made it dark.

Something caught my eye. Illuminated only by the stoplight I was at was a man standing in the street. He peaked my curiosity first, as it was such an odd sight and not even close to what I was expecting to see, but when I started motioning me I thought maybe the situation was more dire than I thought.

Nope. He was just drunk and lost, trying to find his friends who were in the part of town I just came from.

Cue my bad habit: I let him into my car and gave him a drive to his destination. Poor fool had been running in the wrong direction for who knows how long. Even he told me I shouldn’t be picking up people (being a woman of my age – funny, pretty sure he was younger than I am).

It really is probably true, but it makes me feel good about myself and the status of society. I’ve picked up around 10 people looking for rides, and for the most part, everyone has been really friendly and appreciative. Everyone talks about serial killers luring in people by “needing a ride”, and all the horrible things that happen, but to someone like me, it just goes to show all the good that can happen. I form a connection with these people, however brief our encounter is, that I know makes them feel that their fellow humans are there for them when they need it. If I was ever stranded, I hope that someone would give me a ride (yes I have hitchhiked successfully).

On the inside, it makes me feel wanted and like I have a purpose. One of my biggest goals is to inspire people, as you all know, and if I inspire someone to maybe take a chance and help someone in need, then great! [And hopefully no one dies.] We’ve all seen those videos about people needing help in public, but due to the psychological phenomenon that causes us to assume we aren’t responsible and anyone else will help them, they never get help. I’ve taken those videos to heart, and when I see someone in trouble I’m responsible and need to help them.

So yes, it is a bad habit, but it is definitely something good.

What is the good thing that you do that is actually a bad habit in practice? Or the bad thing that you do that is actually a good habit? Let me know in the comments!

That Time I Went Hitch-hiking

19 Aug

Remember those times I picked up hitch-hiking kayakers in Poudre Canyon? Well, during this adventure, the tables were turned (and what an adventure, indeed!).

Saturday started out well enough. I met a friend and we ate at this little dive bar and restaurant in the canyon. As always, it was delicious. Then, we set off to go tubing, which was where the days real excitement lay.

We got our cars positioned. Mine was at the get-in point, and hers was at the get-out point. She bought a fancy little stretchy key ring so that we could keep our keys on us without losing them in the river. I was reluctant, mostly because I never lock my car anyway, but we went ahead and put both of our keys on the key ring and she put it on her wrist for safe-keeping.

Bad decision.

Not even 10 minutes into the hour-long float, we hit some rapids and as she was paddling and off slipped the keys.

Gone forever.

The rest of the float was, of course, super fun and I had a fabulous time. Once we got out, our only option was to start walking toward the nearest gas station, which was probably about a couple of miles away. We didn’t have our cell phone, as they were locked in our cars, and we didn’t have service until that gas station, anyway.

Mind you, we are in bikinis. I’ve never been that naked in public for that long.

We thought about hitch-hiking but were a little nervous about it and didn’t want to get into anyone’s car wet. With the long walk ahead, however, we decided that if a pickup came by we would put a thumb out and just climb in the back.

A little while later, we finally spot a truck driving solo, and I immediately put my thumb out. At first, I thought they passed us, but they did stop (I was kind of surprised it was that easy).

It was a couple of college fellows named Carter and Dawson who had a huge white truck covered with mud, even on the inside. In hindsight, it was probably a poor choice of people to ride with, as they invited us in the cab, the back doors only opened if the front doors were open, and they had just been shooting so my friend actually had to climb over the gun in the backseat.

And we were basically naked.

But we were thankful, regardless.

Once at the gas station, we made the calls, and the nice attendant gave us something to drink. I drove in the back of the AAA vehicle, which had no seats. My friend was nice enough to drive me to work the next day, and pay for the re-keying of my car (because the key that was lost was the only key to my car). She was so much more helpful than I ever could have expecting, and the entire adventure was one that I won’t forget any time soon.

Moral of the story: don’t expect those key ring things to stay on when you’re swimming in a river

Have you ever hitch-hiked? Was it easy? What happened (before and after)?