Fifty-Five Rides and Morocco Too
David Shwaiko, author
The author loved to hitchhike. The seventies were hitchhiking?s golden age. From 1970 to 1976, by himself and with three different partners, he hitchhiked literally thousands of miles. He just totaled it up. Including all the short US hitches and the three long ones, the two long Canadian hitches, and the European hitches, it totals out to about twenty-seven thousand miles. That?s longer than the circumference of our beloved planet Earth. Mostly in the early years, he hitchhiked with his best friend Jack. On one trip, they used Interstates 84, 90, and 94 from Milwaukee to Washington state and back, making side trips whenever they felt like it. On their longest trip, the Grand Loop, they hitchhiked west over 1,500 miles on Canada?s Highway 1, then south the entire 1,300 miles of gorgeous coastal US Highway 101 and then to Texas and back home. That hitch was about seven thousand miles. Then in 1974, the author and Jack made it to Europe and Morocco too. Maybe you picked the author up. He usually set out from Milwaukee or Madison, Wisconsin. On day trips, he?d be alone. When he wasn?t with Jack, on longer trips, and some were weeks long; he?d hitch with a girlfriend, or his sister. You get more rides (many more, and much quicker) accompanied by a woman. There was some danger, but not much. There was a lot of pot smoking. Those rides were fun, but essentially uneventful. He doesn?t dwell on them much. So, he will do that here. ?The VW van that picked us up was full of kids about our age. They were drinking beer and smoking pot. They shared with us. It was free and we didn?t want to be rude. We drank and smoked, got drunk and high, and enjoyed the ride.? ?Believe me, there were plenty of those rides in the seventies. Maybe I?ll stick one in the book every once and awhile. But mostly, I prefer the other, more unique rides and road experiences. They are genuine, mostly not overly dramatic, and from another place and time.?