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The day of hitching

I woke up in Mountain Home… I wanted to get to at least Harrison, 70 miles away, but it was going to be quite the commitment. After too much coffee I walked out of the hotel and stuck my thumb up. It was 2.5 miles to get out of town and I figured I would have to walk at least that far to have any prospects of a ride, but somehow I got picked up right away!

Not only was I trying to hitchhike across most of Arkansas, but it was supposed to start heavily snowing my mid day. It was almost like a race and all I had to combat the weather was my hiking layers. It would be an adventurous day of hitching.

Ride 1: Aaron

He was a former marine who had traveled all over the world, including teaching English in Taiwan. He had some incredible stories and opted to spend his day off taking me to Yelville. 30 miles and some good conversation down before I was back on the side of the road with my thumb up. It was getting cold, with the winter storm moving in.

Ride 2: John

An older gentleman picked me and decided to drive me a few miles. We ended up going about 15 miles because the conversation was so good. We connected over him owning a condo in Colorado, how underrated Arkansas is, and how I like to experience new places by backpacking through them and meeting the local people outside of the big cities. It was a shorter ride, but a much appreciated one. I had about 30 miles to Harrison, but with my good luck so far I was going to try to keep moving across the state!

Ride 3: Stephanie

I was standing outside of a Dollar General. It was not the classiest place, nor did I look too inviting with a three week beard and my unkempt hiking look after 250 miles, but a car pulled over pretty quickly and asked how far I was going. When I mentioned all the way across the state, she said “Me too!” So I hopped in and this began a strange hitching experience. My driver was borrowing a friends car to visit her sick mother across the state. The check engine light was on, the car was badly dented, and she wasn’t in the perfect frame of mind for the drive, but I went with it. We had good conversation because she had lived just about everywhere, but then the weather came in and it became especially scary. The windshield had a small crack but then all of a sudden cracked all the way across it. I shuddered. Then the seal on one of the back doors ripped off and the sounds of the highway grew loud. We still had an hour left! The snow fell fast, soon covering the road and we struggled for traction. I grew extremely anxious and would have paid any amount for another ride the last 20 miles, but together we stuck it out in the rickety car and she dropped me off in Fayetteville. I will give credit, because she said she was trying to stop smoking cigarettes, and even with how stressful the driving was, she didn’t smoke a single one on our 130 mile drive! She dropped me off, I sat down with a coffee to decompress and then got an Uber to a hotel!

What a wild day of crossing Arkansas by hitching! It was very stressful!

Hitchhiking across Arkansas
Hitchhiking across Arkansas
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