Mudcat Café message #1350410 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76279   Message #1350410
Posted By: PoppaGator
07-Dec-04 - 06:47 PM
Thread Name: Riding the freights
Subject: RE: Riding the freights
Hitchhiking always seemed a hell of a lot more practical and less dangerous to me than hopping freights. I spent several years in the early 70s persuing an essentially cashless and nomadic existence; I occasionally gave a few moments' thought to the romantic notion of hobo-style rail travel, but always decided to stick to the roads.

I always carried a guitar as well as a backpack, too, leaving me without a free hand to grab onto a moving railroad car or to cling to an undercarriage for hundreds of miles or whatever.

When hitching, every ride comes with a *person* who provides the lift. While that person might potentially be dangerous, my experiences were always positive or at least neutral; the folks who picked me up were often helpful in other ways, or at the very least, interesting and entertaining.

Thumbing is undoubedly dicier and more dangerous today than 30-40 years ago; riding the rods may not be any worse than it was then. Maybe there's less difference now between the relative scariness of the two alternatives than there used to be.