Riding with Strangers: A Hitchhiker's Journey

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9781556526053: Riding with Strangers: A Hitchhiker's Journey

This fascinating tale of the author's cross-country hitchhiking journey is a captivating look into the pleasures and challenges of the open road. As the miles roll by he meets businessmen, missionaries, conspiracy theorists, and truck drivers from all ages and ethnicities who are eager to open their car doors to a wandering stranger. This memoir uncovers the hidden reality that the United States remains hospitable, quirky, and as ready as ever to offer help to a curious traveler. Demonstrating how hitchhiking can be the ultimate in adventure travel—a thrilling exploration of both people and scenery—this guide also serves as a hitchhiker's reference, sharing the history behind this communal form of travel while touching on roadside lore and philosophy.

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About the Author:

Elijah Wald has published six books, both alone and with various cowriters, including Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues; Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas; and River of Song: A Musical Journey Along the Mississippi.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School–Formative years that included reading Kerouac and listening to Woody Guthrie led to Wald's becoming a writer, musician, and sometime hitchhiker. Here, he describes a recent hitch from Boston to Seattle. His guitar often turned out to be key to somebody stopping–after all, as a musician he must be both entertaining and harmless. Wald briefly relates some experiences, gives a little hitchhiking history, tells the best places to stand for a likely ride, and explains that there is more hitching going on in this country than is readily apparent, as many rides are arranged at truck stops. These diversions are nicely woven into the tale of this particular cross-country trip, which took Wald less time than it would have on a bus. There were rainy waits, but also gloriously sunny ones. There were long hauls with truckers, many of them immigrants, and shorter rides in pickups. All of the drivers had something interesting to say, and no one tried anything. A just-right combination of travelogue, culture peek, and hitching tips, the author, a veteran of 40 years of hitchhiking, says that his experience refutes the scare messages served up to the public for the past 30 years. He reminds readers that Americans are getting stereotyped as violent and paranoid...and it is a relief to be reminded how many of us are helpful and friendly, ready to interrupt our daily rounds at the solicitation of a random wanderer.–Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
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Elijah Wald
Published by Chicago Review Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 1556526059 ISBN 13: 9781556526053
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Wald, Elijah
Published by Chicago Review Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 1556526059 ISBN 13: 9781556526053
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