Through the hospitality website Couchsurfing I contacted Aaron Bell for a place to stay when passing through Kansas on a business trip. This was his reply:
“So, Ill see you next tuesday.”
This is Aaron’s style. No worries, no unnecessary explanations. Everything works out. That first message snowballed into a night of semi-professional dodgeball, tandem bike rides through bar crowds, an (indirect) viewing of a live camel in the middle of Kansas, a weekend campout on an island accessible only by kayak, a close second place in his annual Great Hitchhiking Race from Texas to North Carolina with 30 other participants, and an ongoing friendship with the man himself.
Aaron has the equivalent of a PhD in the Art of Hitchhiking. If such a title existed, he would have earned it diligently ten times over with his tried-and-true approach to hitching a ride, anywhere, anytime, even on a dark hillbilly back-country road at 1:ooam. I know because I was there.
As my South American hitchhiking chapter comes to an end and I begin again with bike travel toward Brazil, I wanted to share Aaron’s comical and informative “The Evolution of Hitchhiking” slideshow to inspire you to trust strangers and let the all-knowing thumb guide you on the road.