Hitchhiking – A Way Of Clearing My Head
There was a time when I hit the road on a whim. At times it was on my days off from work, other times I was on the road for weeks or months at a time. Usually I had a specific destination to head to; sometimes it was where the wind blew me. I hitchhiked from 1979 to 2015 before retiring from the road. It was a way of clearing my head of unwanted clutter and put things in perspective for me.
Advantages of hitchhiking are that it was cost fee in itself though I did buy many coffees and the odd meal for the driver. For the first few years I was getting rides primarily with males, towards the end of my ‘career’ I was getting more variety from women, even single moms and couples were stopping for me. I had some people picking me up for the second and third time.
Dangerous Moments Hitchhiking
I had some dangerous moments. One guy was in such a hurry to get to where he was going that he was passing trucks in the Fraser Canyon tunnels I got out of his car at the very first moment for obvious reasons. I refused rides if the driver was drunk or high. I got out of any cars if the driver was overbearing for any reason or if a male made sexual moves on me.
I had some long waits at the side of the road that lasted for hours. I slept a few times in a sleeping bag at the side of the highway. Once in Jasper I was looking at a number of female elk. A large bull elk came out of some trees and was heading my way. Thankfully I got a ride before the encounter got too intimate.
Hitchhiking In A Blizzard
I had a close call with death prior to Easter 1992. I was dropped off 20 miles east of Edmonton at 1 in the morning. Four hours later a spring blizzard roared through. The wind was strong and bone chilling. I got thinking I was within a half hour of freezing to death. About six a.m. someone driving a van pulled over. He couldn’t believe someone was out there, nor could I believe someone was on the highway in those conditions. I thanked him profusely and I will be forever grateful that he stopped. Could have he been an angel?
Another possible angelic encounter I had while hitchhiking was at Halloween 1990. I was moving from Vancouver to Cranbrook. At sunset I found myself at Osoyoos, I had just enough money for the first months rent in Cranbrook and a bag of groceries. Plus I was still hours away from Cranbrook. I prayed to the best of my ability for help. It wasn’t five minutes later when a pick up truck stopped with a dog in the back.
He wasn’t going to Cranbrook, but did offer to buy a Greyhound bus ticket for me. I gladly accepted. He gave me the change so I could get supper at a nearby Dairy Queen. I was surprised that his name was Ron, the same as mine. At the Dairy Queen we said a prayer together. I hopped out of his pick up truck. Moments later, I turned, his truck was gone. I would have seen him exit.
Ron Murdock has lived and worked in Western Canada all his life, and will continue to do so until his last day on Planet Earth. He has a good number of interests and hobbies which include dogs, freight trains, baseball and astronomy. Ron wants to know what the truth is, and nothing but the truth, and will do what research it takes to find it. The best compliment he can get is when a person says his writing, or what he says, gets them seeking.