A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Casual Fridays: For the love of hitchin' a ride...

Hi guys, it's Britt. I don't know if I should be sharing this. But here it is: 

I love hitchhiking. Don't tell my mom.

Now, just to be clear, I'm not talking about car pooling or ride shares. I'm speaking of standing on the side of the road, shouldering your backpack, perhaps holding onto a cardboard sign with your destination written on it, while, with the other hand you stick out your thumb.

It's terrifying. It's exhilarating. It's pretty stupid. 

But the thing I love about hitchhiking, is that it allows you to get to know people in a way you never otherwise would. While you travel in their cars, sharing the same smells and sights and breathing space, you learn about each other. And then you say goodbye. Perhaps never to meet again. But in small ways, your stories have changed.

Every hitchhiker needs a buddy. And for years, mine was the righteous, Benjamin Thompson. Ben and I had many hitchhiking adventures. Can I tell you my favorite story?
Benjamin Robert Thompson Esq.
I was visiting Ben when he lived in Inveremere, BC and one afternoon, we went for a walk. We found ourselves down by the train yard, just as a freight train was slowly pulling out. 

This is roughly the conversation that followed: 

Ben: "I've always wanted to hitch a ride on a train." 
Britt: "Yeah. That would be totally amazing." 
Ben:(gesturing toward the moving train) "There's one now."

In the next few moments, Ben and I jogged alongside the train and climbed on. What followed was a three-hour journey through the mountains crouched on the platform between two rail cars, and hanging on for dear life. When the train finally stopped, Ben and I scrambled off and looked around. We had no idea where we were or how we were going to get back home. So naturally, we found the nearest road and stuck out our thumbs.

Living in a city, I don't get much chance to hitchhike anymore. And there are definitely fears that come up when you're in your thirties that you never felt when you were in your twenties. I'm not swearing I'll hitchhike again, but I'm not promising I won't, either.

So share your tale of the last time you thumbed a ride, or tell me why I'm crazy.

Have an inspired weekend dear adventurers, and I'll see you back here on Monday for a new story. 



  1. My memory of the train incident goes something like this...

    During our walk, I had probably told you of a recent episode at the hotel -- two young kids came into the lobby one morning around 5am looking for a room. They were COVERED head to toe in black soot; they'd been riding the rails down from Golden. Inspired by the tale, we got all caught up in the idea of doing it ourselves and as we descended the hill to the railyard, we made a pact: when we got down there, if we saw a moving train, we'd hop on; if not, we'd keep walking. :)

    Good times. But let's not forget our other epic trek down to Cranbrook -- thawing your feet with the blow dryer in a McDonalds bathroom, and getting a lift back north the next day with a lone 80-yr old woman going on a ski trip. What on Earth was her name??

    : bt

  2. No hitchin' stories, but your story reminded me of this song. A classic by Michel Pagliaro
    "Lovin' you Ain't Easy"
    Hitch any ride you want to
    Do anything you wanna do
    Just keep ridin' your way

    Take anyone you want to
    Long as I can hear from you
    Just be mine in your way

    Lovin' you ain t so easy
    Would never try to please me
    But I've got time any old way
    I've got time anyway

    But you know what you won't you do it
    And nobody, nobody knows, but it's you, oh, wo, wo, oh
    Oh baby why do I
    Keep a talkin to you
    Keep a talkin to-
    Check him out on youtube. Love the song!

  3. It's what I love about you the most, your fearlessness, it also makes me want to slap you and hold you close.