Hitching Through Vermont, New York to Michigan

Marilyn and I awoke on the Burlington beach and got ourselves together, ready to keep heading west. Before hitching our first ride we paused at the Magic Hat Brewery to sample a few beers and poke around, then we were walking down the road until we could get to a hitchable spot.

One guy yielded to our thumbs and drove us out into the countryside, then a suspender-wearing guy picked us up telling us about a veggie-powered bus he'd rode around on with his band, he got us into New York. After pausing for a snack we got our next ride from a gorgeous islander girl on her way to Lake Placid.

From where she dropped us off we were debating stopping in Troy, NY for the night where Marilyn had a friend. After a successful phone call we changed our trajectory at the junction, indeed Troy bound.

The rain was at our tails as we got one ride from a girl a few exits, then a ways more from a social worker girl, then a painter guy towards the next town and finally a guitarist who took us right into Troy. Once there we made our way to Lilia's big brownstone home, Marilyn's friend-of-a-friend who lived in town. It was a beautiful home, we sat there for some wine and food as they caught up a bit, then Marilyn and I took a walk to check out the local brewery nearby before calling it a night.

We decided to stay for a day before continuing on, checking out the big farmers market, eating well, drinking well and relaxing a bit before getting back on the road the next day. Lilia dropped us off towards the edge of town where we were now aiming for Jamestown, NY, home of Southern Tier brewery.

We got a whole slew of rides that day. First a guy about to graduate who got us past the toll booths, then a campus cop who was also a farmer that got us into the beautiful countryside. An older couple took us a bit further, then a ride from a nature preservist, we waited in light rain until a guy with 44 inch rims in a massively lifted truck pick up truck took us a little ways, he was coming from a country music festival. After him came a traveling nurse on her way to Elmira to see her grandmother.

A cop asked us to step off the freeway there, but we got a quick ride just another five miles us from a local woman. Another woman took us to the Corning exit, then a couple in a minivan took us a little ways to a rest area. We walked from there until getting picked up by a guy heading to Buffalo, after him came a cheery pharmacist woman who drove us further into the beautiful hills. A Rochester girl drove us further next, then a guy named Yumac who took us to Salamanca, a casino town.

A skinny woman angry with police went out of her way a bit to get us further down the road where we waited for one last ride, really close to Jamestown by this point. A car with a few people started pulling over and then peeled out, a trick. The same car came back fifteen minutes later and actually picked us up, we crammed in headed to Jamestown. They were a bunch of young jokers, making jokes about sexual favors and other such poor hitchhiking stereotyped material.

We at last stepped foot in Jamestown, still daylight, but the brewery we'd wanted to go to was now closed. We instead went straight to our hosts house, a pretty chill guy who'd gone out of his way to pick up some Southern Tier brews earlier that day. We had a good night with him and some friends drinking tasty beers and snacking, sipping absinth by the end of the night.

We kept moving the next day, back on the road aiming for Michigan. One ride from a guy to the interstate got us going, then packed in a car with a group going to Erie. A sweet Ohio girl picked us up next, inspired by our travels with ambitions to do the same. A businessman took us towards Cleveland after, a short ride form an older woman got us to eastern side of the city, then another woman took us downtown. We got a short ride from a woman paranoid about kidnappings, then a ride further through the city from a cheery woman with a passion for camping.

A woman with a tiny dog got us further down the road, over the Sandusky bridge. An old truck driver stopped next, getting us a ride back to the interstate where we managed to get a ride from a guy who worked out of helicopters on electrical towers. He lived just shy of the Michigan border, we went back to his house briefly for a smoke before walking our way back to the freeway. We managed only one more ride before the sun went down on us, leaving us walking alongside the freeway in the dark.

Luckily we were just barely close enough to Ann Arbor for Marilyn's friend to come and pick us up. She was in the middle of a project, but we were able to stay in her basement for the night.

We hiked from her house to downtown the next day, popping into a few of the breweries Ann Arbor has to offer. We managed to hitch a ride out of town from a taskmaster woman to Brighton, then scored a ride there from an aspiring young nurse to Howell. One of Marilyn's friends just happened to be there in town and was heading to Lansing, same as us, so we caught a ride with her to my friend Luke's house.

We had a good night catching up and going out to grab beers and so forth. The next day we got a big breakfast and went hiking in the park, checked out the Magic Johnson statue, hit some more bars and ended the night back on Luke's deck with several of his friends who came over.

The next day we headed to Grand Rapids, our final stop in Michigan. It only took one ride from a woman who wasn't originally going that far, but decided to drive the extra distance to do us a favor. Once there we met up with a friend I hadn't seen since high school, John, he was now working for Sam Adams. We spent the day and night catching up on old times, sharing stories of what we've been doing since and of course drinking plenty of good beers from local breweries.

The next day we'd continue our west bound mission, we still had about two weeks until my brother's southern California wedding. The best of our adventure was still ahead of us.

June 14, 2013 to June 21, 2013