Saw a hitchhiker yesterday while waiting for a takeout food order. It's been a long time since I saw one. I gave the last one spotted (in early spring 2006, I think it was) a ride up to a local ski area near the end of season, a college student carrying a snowboard who wanted to spend a day on the slopes. The one spotted yesterday was carrying a big backpack which was obviously heavy and a United States flag. Not sure that flag would be much help to him.
I used to hitchhike a lot. Always carrying a guitar or banjo, or both, seemed to make it easier to get rides and I was able to cover great distances fairly rapidly traveling this way, especially if I played a little original music for the kind people (usually also muciscians) giving me a ride. It was also a great way to meet people from all walks of life. Sometimes people I already knew would see me hitchhiking, pull over, pick me up again and we would talk at length with happy energy about things that had happened since last seeing each other. Sometimes we would exchange mailing addresses and write to each other for a while, and I usually sketched a drawing at the end of letters sent. But as I moved around so frequently, stayed nowhere for very long, and got involved in so many intensely engaging projects each time I moved to a new place, keeping in touch fell by the wayside, as the old saying goes.
No regrets, though. Fond memories of every ride and everyone I met are still in mind and easily recalled, and I am grateful for them all–wondering now and again what they're doing.