About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I just want to go home for thanksgiving.

(this happened on friday) I may have mentioned it once or twice, but i've been scheming something for a little while now, that i've been very anxious to try. and with the weekend upon me and all of my friends gone home for thanksgiving- the conditions could not have been more perfect. So I told myself, I am going to hitchhike home.
and this was my experience:

8:10 grabbed some cardboard and made a sgin. started walking toward the highway 85 on ramp.

8:23 set up base at an excellent location. stoplight near the highway. excellent for controlled traffic. people had ample time to see me, and were forced to slow because of the light.

8:29 5 minutes of standing, still feeling confident.

8:36: Classic awkward moment, the cars were backed up at the light all the way to my spot. i was looking forward, but could tell the couple in the car beside was starring at me. so i looked at them, they immediately looked away. awkward.

8:43 I've been at it for 20 minutes, confidence is still relatively high, but it's quite dark and my chances are looking less and less likely.

8: 46: Again a car is backed up at the light beside my location. This time, a Cab full of loud drunks. they roll down the window to make a comment (i expected this) the comment was in an Australian accent (i did NOT expect this.) I then had a 30 second conversation with two kiwi's from Zew Zealand that gave me some inspiration, that reminded me why i was doing this after all. the experience. They offered to take me as far as the nightclub they were going too, but decided on st. Catharines, i declined. they wished me luck.

8:50: i got a honk from some fellow laurier students that recognized me. they weren't going to st. kitts tho.

8:54 A green suv in the middle lane was slowing as it approached to the light. it flashed its high beams, and swerved (over two lanes) in to the right turning lane closest to me. as it got closer i saw into the car, as a wife (presumably) was hitting the man on the arm and pointing back into the middle lane. the SUV then drove past me and swerved back into the middle lane.
Convinced this man would have picked me up, it gave me a nice boost, but i was a little disappointed with the lady who i coundnt hear what she was saying (even tho, im a hitch hiker, and i could hardly blame her)

After 9: i got a call from Krista saying she was on her way home this weekend, and that she could drive me. as the night got darker, my chances became looking more bleak. i accepted, but asked for 10 more minutes of trying.

9:10 Krista drove by me, and pulled over to pick me up, with only one more honk in the last ten minutes i was disappointed not to be riding with a stranger, but more than happy that i had found a friend to drive me home. ASLO. i did develop a list of several Tips for Next time:
- large, clear, readable sign would probably be beneficial.
- smile, or make whatever face prevents you from looking psychotic, crazy or depressed.
- stand in a location where, if someone WOULD pick you up, the actually COULD (i spent some minutes on the on ramp, untill i realized there was no shoulder for a car to pull over.)
- utilize daylight. my circumstances forced me to start at night because of my exam. but i blame most of the unsuccess on the darkness. if it was noon, it may have been a different story.
- don't lose hope. Although i did kind of bail, by accepting a ride from a friend, i was prepared to wait another hour unitl i would have called it quits, if krista's offer had never came.
- have fun. there's greyhounds, and busses, but it's for the experience and story, keep that in mind, and make the best of it.

so I share this story with you so when future events occur that allow me to successfully Hitch hike, (and blog about it) you will understand the training and experience i had to prepare me. and as i share it with you, and endorse this mode of transportation. I wish you all the best and hope you were able to learn a thing or two, and appreciate this style of mobility.

Raf's got his scooter, Jer's got his Longboard, and Me? I'm going after other people's passenger seat.

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