[cdt-l] Hitchhike to columbus

Trekker4 at aol.com Trekker4 at aol.com
Tue Apr 17 09:45:20 CDT 2007

NM-11 is the only state highway going south from I-10 between TX & AZ, to my 
surprise; there traffic on it, because it goes to a Border town. I assume you 
have to go east or west (not familiar with the CDT yet) on NM-9; that road 
will probably have less traffic. I assume you're hitching with packs and with 
someone else, so:
1. USE A SIGN or SIGNS. One should say "Columbus" and, if with someone else, 
perhaps a second sign saying "CDT trailhead" or something like that. No, most 
of them don't know what the CDT is; some of them don't even know where 
Columbus is; but you're looking for the 1 person that knows exactly where you're 
going, or that changes their mind about helping because the sign made you look 
2. If you have patches on your pack(s), turn those towards traffic.
3. Leave your hat off, if possible, so drivers can see your face; look 
interested; don't be sitting down, looking disinterested, etc. 
4. You have to look legit and safe; I fully believe a sign is more than half 
of that; I use white 5.5x8.5 cards and a black marker (small, yes, but I can't 
carry letter size cards easily). Make your letter strokes wide and readable; 
use a chisel point marker, not a round point one. Make sure you hold your sign 
at an angle so the drivers can read it.
5. For your safety, pay attention, I've had one driver swerve at me very 
slightly (out of thousands of miles of hitching); keep a very small pepper spray 
in your pocket (Mine's a 2 oz, which is probably now half empty from once a 
year testing, and carried mainly for animals that walk on two legs.) 
6. Never accept a ride that your gut warns you about, and TURN THAT RIDE 
DOWN. If you get uncomfortable while riding, tell them to stop, and GET OUT. I 
personally would wreck someone's car if push came to shove. As you approach a 
potential ride, make note of the make, model, color, license plate, etc of the 
car; write it down if possible. Never just get in the back seat of a ride, 
without going to the front window to look the driver in the eyes and make your 
judgement; I just make sure they know where I'm going while I'm looking right at 
them. Always carry a highway map; mine stays right there in my hand or lap a 
lot of the time; if a driver deviates from the obvious route, alarm bells should 
be going off and your mouth should be asking questions immediately - see GET 
OUT, above. 
7. Be very careful about rides where you're outnumbered.
8. Be very careful about getting in and out and turning your back on your 
pack; I try to get in, then lift my pack in; I try to get out after my pack; I 
leave their doors hanging open until I'm safely in or out. If your pack is in 
someone's trunk, as them to help you get it into and out of the trunk. (My 
brother had a drive off in Europe once; he was out of the back seat; the door was 
still open; but the two guys drove off anyhow, with his stuff still locked in 
the trunk.)
A poor redo of Bob's 10 Rules for Hitchiking, 
Bob "Trekker"
Big Bend Desert Denizen
Naturalized Citizen - Republic of Texas

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