[cdt-l] Hitchhiking Etiquette

Francis Tapon ftapon at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 17 15:35:26 CDT 2007

Hikers often depend on the random kindness of folks who take us to or back from a town. Instead of just thanking them for the ride, consider offering them some cash. Of course, 9 times out of 10 they will turn you down, but those who have accepted my cash seem quite happy about it. 
  I'm often struck that many people who give me a ride make less than I do (and that's hard to do!). Gas is expensive and it's nice to give them some trail magic. 
  If you think you're not costing them a dime, consider the cost of stopping and starting (where a car uses the most fuel) and the cost of carrying your extra weight (perhaps 200 pounds with all the food/gear you're carrying). It all impacts their fuel efficiency. More importantly, they're taking a risk picking up a stranger. I'm happy to give them something back for their time, effort, and trust.
  We receive trail magic through our adventure, why not perform some trail magic?
  I usually give $5, but I give $10 if the driver goes out of his way to get me to my destination. One time I bought too much food and asked my driver if he would accept 6 bagels. He was thrilled to take it and said, "I often skip lunch, so this would be great!"
  Of course, most decline any offers, but they're still impressed/grateful that you want to give back. 
  We're all ambassadors for the hiking community, so let's show the world that we're not all leeches, who take and never give.
  On a side note, unless a bear stops me, I hope to touch the Canadian border in less than one week. 
  Happy trails,

Francis Tapon - 650.787.6000

  * Update your address book by making my primary email FT at FrancisTapon.com. I will rarely check this Yahoo one.
  Visit www.FrancisTapon.com 

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