One of the great things about traveling – as I mentioned many times before – is the great people you meet while on the road, Chris Dyson is one of these people. I “met” (“met” since we have only exchanged a few mails) Chris on CouchSurfing. I was looking for a couch in Iceland and got distracted by somebody’s (Chris) glasses in the reference panel, I clicked the image to expand it, landed on Chris’ profile, read it, learned that he hitchhiked all over the US and that he wanted to go to Ecuador, and decided to write him a quick mail. Here it goes:

Hi, Chris,

Thinking of hitchhiking in the US around July, from NY to LA (with a required stop at Little Rock in Arkansas). Any advise? BTW… freaking great glasses.

Let me know if you do go to Ecuador. Don’t know when I’ll be back there (have been traveling over the last year), but worst case scenario I can hook you up with some friends

I barely expected a reply, if any at all, but the next day I received this mail form Chris (which I’ld explain, but I’ll better quote):

I suppose the advise relies on what sort of hitching you like to do. I’m guessing you’re living out of NYC in NY, I would hop on a commuter bus and take it to the end of the line upstate and go around Jersey through Pennsylvania. Penn is an easy state to hitch, especially if you stick to the smaller roads like US highways rather than interstates, and state roads. From Penn I’d aim to go through West Virginia, another amazingly easy state to hitch, and then down through Kentucky into the south to get to Arkansas. I don’t know how being hispanic over me being white will affect how quickly you get rides there, but I don’t think you’ll have too much of a problem.

Once you’re out of Arkansas Texas isn’t bad, I haven’t hitched New Mexico yet, but Arizona was a little tough, and California is hit or miss. Definitely head to Slab City, though. Google Niland, CA on Google maps and make you’re way there, then just go 3 miles east of that dinky little town and you’ll find a great place to hang out for a long while if you want. Definitely at least worth checking out if for nothing less than just the hot springs there. Its the last free place to live in America.

As for me and Ecuador, I’m still working on it. I’ll be in NYC in early June before heading to Ohio for a wedding. If you’re there then we should hang out. From that Ohio wedding, though, I’m planning on heading straight to Central and South America for a while. I might take you up on that offer then.

Other than that, for your US hitch, if you’re not adverse to rideshares try newyork.craigslist.org for a rideshare to LA. People are always heading there from NYC and you could probably get away with offering $50 in gas money to ride the whole way.

Good luck,
Chris

I started this blog not only with the idea to show my family, friends and whoever-that-reads-this photos and tales from my trips. But also to show the good side of humanity, how people you’ve never met (will meet or meet again, if you did) will take a moment, or moments, of their live just to help you, expecting nothing in return but your well being. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of these people already, from the many drivers that have given me a ride, the couchsurfers that have opened their houses to fellow travelers, to random people in the street willing to lend you their phones for a quick call or walk with you for a while for you get to the right place, and people like Chris, that share their time and knowledge just to help.

I’ve exchanged a few other mails with Chris since these first two, each one more giving than the other. This is  a thank you note for him, as well as it is to everybody who have helped me (surely a lot more to come) along the way, but it’s also a small and indirect manifest about the greatness of just being humane.

Chris allowed me to put his email (kidindeed@gmail.com) in this post, as well as some information of his blogs, “The Friary” and “The Walk”, under the kidswhoroam.com website. Be sure to check it out.

This is the “freaking great glasses” photo.

Chris Dyson CS profile picture A good traveler

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