the wind in my leg hair

i spend most sundays out at twin oaks with my lover paxus and his son willow, coming back into town sometime on mondays.  for the last month of sundays i’ve missed these two boys and while i’ve continued to make the trip, i’ve been making it in the unusual rhythm of driving it all by myself.  this weekend the boys were back and i was able to ditch my car keys for the adventure of the hitch. and i didn’t realize how much i’d missed it.

for the last several months i’ve been dabbling in hitch hiking, mostly just between charlottesville and twin oaks, though i did it round trip in a day once.  and i’m smart about it, a friend of mine who’s hitched extensively by herself shared a few tips.  i always ask the person who stops where they’re going before they can ask me, that way they cant change plans to accommodate me, or get me into the car.  and it is my practice to ask the person who picks me up if i can send their license plate info to a couple of friends of mine who know where i’m hitching from and to.  so by the time i buckle up i generally feel safe and ready to experience the person or people who have been generous enough to offer me a ride.

and that is probably the best part about hitch hiking.  yes, its nice to know i’m not wasting gas and driving my one little self in a car both ways, but it’s really getting to meet the people who pick you up.  there are so many good ones.  the sweet hispanic men who, as soon as i got into the car switched out the cd of traditional music for a natasha beddingfield cd (imagine a middle aged hispanic man and myself signing along to natasha–awesome!).  the willy loman type who was out for a sunday drive, lonely and looking for someone to hear his stories–he took me all the way to the driveway at twin oaks.  the older man headed home from a weekend of fishing in his truck smelling of pipe tobacco and crab meat.  people i would never otherwise meet and here all of a sudden we’re in a car together, close enough for conversation.

the second best part of hitching is the image busting that happens.  i was a little miffed yesterday when i got a ride right away.  part of the pleasure, for me, is putting on a well planned outfit (something feminine and sweet, with twinges of innocence when possible) and then making lots of eye contact with the people who pass me by.  i dont mind when i have to wait a little while for a ride, because it means more exposure.  i want people to see, sweet, innocent me with my thumb out on the side of the road.  i want them to see me and stumble over the implications of seeing me there.  what is a girl like me doing on the side of the road anyways?

and i usually ride back into town with corb.  today he had his motorcycle, which i was wildly underdressed for.  but it felt wonderful to be blowing over the hot pavement in my summer shorts and thin tank top.  especially the wind in my leg hair.  and dont worry, i had a helmet on too.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paxus
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 21:42:29

    i appreciate you daring to do this and write about it. i have all types of thought on it and would love it if you would link my name in your blog to my blog – and i will link back to you.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: she hitches « your passport to complaining
  3. horacio
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 21:22:45

    woohoo for wind running through hair everywhere, les hitch soon, also im looking for a larger scooter or maybe even a motorcycle, helmets are good, but road rash hurts like hell, trust me, i know. love to you sara tansey, come see us soon.

    Reply

    • Sara Tansey
      Jul 06, 2011 @ 22:39:00

      sweet horacio, get a motorcycle. i want to ride on it with you. and the plan is to come see you soon. by monday or tuesday. whichever comes first. or something. i’ll send you mroe soon.

      Reply

  4. Caroline MorningStar
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 21:30:37

    I wanted to add that sometimes it’s impractical to ask where they’re going first. When i’m hitching on longer trips, i use the sign method – usually not my final destination, standing by the highway in Paris with a sign that says “Amsterdam” won’t get you any rides, but rather the next major hub, or where i change highways. Sometimes when i’ve been waiting a long time, i’ll change the sign to just say EAST. However, on shorter jumps i usually do ask them first.

    I don’t ever ask permission to text a license plate number. I usually just do it, along with the make and model of the car, the name of the driver, and the milemarker/exit that i was picked up at. I use the camera on my phone when i have the chance. Then i tell them that i’ve done it.

    I also often say that i’m meeting someone at my destination – that way the driver knows that i’m expected somewhere. If the driver is male, i usually say that it’s “my boyfriend,” even if it’s not true, that way it lowers the likelihood of getting propositioned.

    My most important hitchhiking tip? TRUST YOUR GUT. Learn to listen to it, then trust it. Waiting another hour for a ride is worth it if it keeps you safe.

    That said, most of my rides have been from people who are either former hitchhikers, or parental-types who are concerned for my safety. I’ve never actually been propositioned, and i’ve only ever turned down one ride because of creepy-driver-ness. I never waited longer than 3 hours for a ride. Mostly i’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people and the benevolence of the universe.

    There’s a lot of great information about how to hitch safely at http://hitchwiki.org/en/Hitchhiker's_safety

    Reply

    • Sara Tansey
      Jul 06, 2011 @ 22:26:56

      bold and beautiful caroline, thanks for expanding on my amateur recommendations and for including the hitchwiki link. i hope to keep learning from and with you. lets make this longer trip happen! i dig the beach in autumn, less people, more peace. 😉

      Reply

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