My 1950 trip from New York to Yuma wasnt my first long-distance hitchhiking experience, but it was just about my last. Hitching was a common way to travel without money, and in spite of warnings about the hazards of that kind of travel, one could see hitchhikers everywherepeople out of work, soldiers and sailors, and lots of college boys, which is what I was just then.
My first long hitch was in 1948, when I hitched from my college in southern Ohio to Los Angeles for a months cheap vacation, and then back again to Connecticut for a college-related job. All in all, that year I hitched 10,000 miles. Sometimes the going was easy; I made the trip by thumb from New York to the Chicago area in the same time as a good passenger train. It was on a showery spring day and the rain would quit just often enough and long enough for me to snag my next ride without getting wet.