4,989 forum posts
Come June 15th I have been on the roads and trails of the USA for 35 years. I hitchhiked the first 5 years beginning with a 10,000 hitchhike from June 15th to October 28th 1977. I started in Hope, AR and hitched to Sodus NY where I had grew up from 1956 to 1972 when my parents retired to Arkansas. Then after a couple weeks looking up old friends I hitched to Washington DC where my brother at the time was a Xerox professor at a computer school in Arlington VA. I stayed at his place for a week while I explored Washington. Then I hitched to Denver CO where my mothers sister and husband lived andstayed a week seeing the sights of the city. Then up to Montana and Glacier Park where I worked for 3 weeks around the Fourth of July at the Lake Mary Lodge. I then nitched to Seattle WA and worked another few weeks as a construction labor living in Maple Valley and working in Renton Wa east of Seattle. From there I went down the coast of Washington state, Oregon and California going into and hiking Mt Rainer, Mt St Helenes (before the volcanos collapse), Pt Reyes, the Redwoods, into Yosemite and the high Sierra Nevada. The caught a ride with a trucker to L.A. and Mojave CA. I stood in Barstow for 3 days waiting for a ride, finally I walked for 2 1/2 days across the Mojave following the interstate fenceline 1/4 mile from the southern edge of I-40 before someone pulled over and offered me a ride. I made it back to Arkansas and home in midSeptember.
A month later after working a few weeks I hitched back to Seattle and flew to Anchorage AK and found work at a Wendy's Hamburgers shop. I worked there for a few months then took a better job cooking at Bob's Big Boy's and worked till June 1978. I hitched up to Denali Park with a friend and we spent the next 6 weeks hiking together till he had to go back and look for a new job. I stayed another 6 weeks till the end of August and continued hiking and taking pictures. I then returned too to Anchorage and took a job at the Capt Cook Hotel as a Chef and worked thru the winter till the following spring in May and returned to Denali for another 3 month summer hiking. I went back to Anchorage and to the Capt Cook Hotel. I was layed off in midDecember 1979 and went back to Arkansas and stayed with my folks thru the Christmas and new Years holidays then went out to Yosemite for the months of January to May winter camping.
Then came 1 1/2 years more of hitchhiking around the USA before I took up bicycle touring in September 1982 riding from Jackson Hole WY to Hope, AR. I began working just the summers after that and taking September to May off hiking, cycle touring, canyoneering, etc. ispent 278 winters from 1984 to 2003 backpacking the Grand Canyon from October to April. I did a 7000 mile bicycle tour from Wyoming to New York to Arkansas to Arizona and back to Wyoming in 1983-84. I have ridden back and forth from Wyoming to Arizona about 20 times since 1984.
In the spring of 2009 I moved to Flagstaff AZ and worked parttime for two and a half years before cycling down to Tucson last fall and back to Flagstaff after hiking downthere all winter. I am currently working and saving for my next trip to Utah to hike the canyons of the Colorado and the Green Rivers.
I guess I am forever a nomad and a vagabond. Living on the road bicycle touring with backpacking trips along the way is a great life I would recommend to any youg person before they get caught up in the bill/debt paying lifestyle most have gotten caught up in. At 56 I have no debts, just buying food for 12 months a year. I live on an average of $2500 a year. My hose is my tent, my bed my sleeping bag and/or summer blanket and tarp, I cook on my camp stove and ride my bike instead of flying or taking trains and Greyhound.
Guess I will stop moving when my body lays down for the last time, hopefully in the wildernessso like Edward Abbey used to say, "cause worms and vultures need to eat too!"