“Hey buddy, you lookin’ for a ride?”
With his thumb pointed skyward, saying ‘no’ would be an insult to the speaker’s intelligence. He was looking for a ride, just not from this bearded monstrosity of a man.
“I’m headed east on the 10 to Juntura,” the driver continued.
In his 22 years, Keenan Recker had heard enough gruesome campfire stories to know the fate of hapless hitchhikers. He imagined the horrors in store should he join this stranger. Torture. Decapitation. Ritual sacrifice.
“Be dark bout’n hour or two,” offered the grizzly. Keenan looked at the horizon, looked at his watch, and opened the car door.
The act of bumming a ride has existed ever since people discovered modes of transportation superior to ambulation. The history of the word ‘hitchhike’, however, is as bewildering as the identity of those who pioneered the tradition.