Hiking Highway 1 (1 Viewer)

cookingreno

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I am currently in El Cajon, California and am looking for the best way to hike Highway 1 and need suggestions. Thanks.
 
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Maxnomad

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Theres a pretty epic thread that details how to catch public transit pretty much all the way to the bay, maybe someone can link it. Otherwise 1 and 101 are pretty straightforward
 

Engineer J Lupo

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I've hitched a portion of it and it didn't seem much different than anywhere else really. Seems to me the suggestions would be about the same as hitching most any highway with hitchhiking laws paralleling those of California. Make a sign, put your thumb out, stay on the lawful side of the "pedestrians not allowed beyond this point" sign on the on-ramps, try to appear clean, do your best to actually be somewhat cleanish. Smelling bad would be more offensive than looking bad once you're in the car but looking bad will stifle your ride ops.

It's all just common sense stuff right? You don't want to be standing at an on-ramp in the middle of nowhere, you want to be at one where a lot of cars enter the highway. Ideally at a very popular gas/food/lodging exit. The ones that have truck stops are definitely poppin. It isn't the trucks that make those great, it's that a lot of people use those to fill up on gas/food/beverages etc while in route on a long distance trip.

Be smiling, not frowning. Don't wear shades. Smoking cigarettes tends to reduce your chances of someone pulling over to pick you up by some margin. You're more noticed when standing, sitting makes you a smaller target.. easier to not be seen. Try to avoid hitching in groups of 3 or more. A 3 person party means one person is sitting directly behind the driver in a standard 2 seats up front 3 in the back vehicle and that makes a lot of people feel unsafe.

I've personally found that pristine clean white cardboard with very well written bold black lettering stating where you're heading works tremendously better than a dingy brown piece of cardboard. If you're capable of keeping a piece of white cardboard pristine and perfect in appearance.. it might give the driver the notion you yourself are clean. This is just my opinion and I feel it's worked a lot better for me. It isn't hard finding white cardboard, it's usually where the brown stuff is.. just gotta look for it.

Also if you're wearing a visible fixed blade knife on your belt as I do(or any type of weapon that's noticeable really) try to wear it on your right side and slightly more towards your back than your side. If your waist were a clock and your dong sits at noon and your butthole is 6 O'clock the knife sheath should lay at about 4 O'clock if that makes sense.

When you stand facing the cars coming at you, try to slightly have your hips twisted to the right so that the view of the knife is completely blocked by your body. As the car gets near you, you slowly turn to the right continually because sometimes they slow down after passing you and you need to be watching for that but also keeping your weapon blocked from view if they're looking in their mirror. Once they pull over, grab your bag and just carry it with your right arm and let it hang in front of your knife until you're in their vehicle.

The idea is to hide the knife entirely from the moment they first see you until you're in the car. This is also to have it in it's ideal place while you're riding in their car. They can't see it, they can't reach for it. It's in the best place it can be, usually dangling from your belt down the side of the passenger seat between the door and seat, easy access. Also, don't stab them.. just in case you thought that's where this was going. Most drivers prefer to go about their day unstabbed, it's just considerate. But you know.. if they try to harm you the rules change right? That's why you have it.

Try to appear jovial. I see hitchhikers sometimes that look like they're contemplating ending their life right then and there on the spot. I believe some people think this makes people feel bad for you and they're more likely to pull over to pick you up but that's a really bad method. It isn't going to yield even half the rides you'll get if you appear jovial.

Another tip that isn't so much common but rather one of my own theories/practices is colors and the emotions they evoke in people. There's definitely something to this. It's the reason why McDonald's chose yellow and red and so many other megacorporations select the colors they do. I try to display blue to elicit calming and comfort and most importantly trust. I have a thin lightweight 3-panel unfolding sign that measures roughly 30" wide X 12" tall. I bring this with me along with a small stack of light blue paper and a couple new black markers and some double sided tape.

I write the name of the city or the direction I'm heading across the three blank light blue pieces of paper and tape them to the folding boards. It stands on it's own and I place it in front of my pack on the ground so I don't have to hold it. Blue for the psychological trust thing and light blue because the marker contrasts off it better than medium/dark shades of blue.
dunsmuir-jpg.53009_Hiking Highway 1_Hitchhiking_Squat the Planet_3:19 PM

I rock that and a big silly hand I draw onto a brown piece of cardboard as seen below, my nephew Cody and I heading south out of Redding Ca.
cody-jpg.53008_Hiking Highway 1_Hitchhiking_Squat the Planet_3:19 PM


The big silly hand is to draw more attention like a billboard would and it also makes a lot of people laugh for some reason. If you can make people laugh, they're a lot more likely to want you in their car. So use cardboard props, get creative. I've drawn little adorable puppies and stood them up like cardboard cutouts and put them near my pack. Everybody loves puppies, you'd be surprised at the things you can put on display that get people to pick you up.

I guess that's about all I have to add.. hopefully some of this helps. Good luck!
 

Older Than Dirt

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@Engineer J Lupo I have been hitching since i was 14 (1973), and thought no one could tell me nothing, but there is some good shit there about signs and colors that i never thought of, and the giant hand is genius.

All the advice is really really good, and i have never seen such a brief and correct hitching lesson.

This shit should go as a sticky in the hitching section, like "Hitchhiking 101"- too good to vanish into the mist.

Best of luck to OP, and listen to dude here.
 

Engineer J Lupo

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Yeah man, it's exactly the same as what they say about going on job interviews right? Wear blue because it elicits trust and confidence. So knowing that and standing on the side of an on-ramp enough times I realized it ain't no different than an interview. These people get a very quick glimpse of who you are and what you're capable of. If you can simply display a color that'll influence their decisions, man.. why would you ever not utilize that, right?
 
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Engineer J Lupo gave you great advice and tips. I will add one more to it. - Try to be in a spot where a vehicle can see you from a distance so they can make up their mind AND have enough room to pull over safely. ~ peace and enjoy the road
 

Brodiesel710

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Damn, the DUNSMUIR sign font, so nice. 90% of the time I do not use a sign, I walk with my thumb out, but thats just me. I usually make a sign just to mix things up and have fun. I'd love if there was some type of study done on effectiveness of hitchhiking techniques, it's really all psychological, drivers make their decision to stop in this weird 3-5 seconds window. I can definitely vouch for looking and staying clean though, that was my approach this last trip, I hitchhiked with 16 people, NO PROBLEM.
 

Stiv Rhodes

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One thing that's key is the difference between freeway and highway. When you hitch on the highways, you catch all the through traffic, which is ideal. On freeways, you're limited to hitching at on-ramps, where your success at catching a ride is heavily dependent on the culture of the neighborhood you're hitching out of and short rides that drop you off in quiet or conservative areas actually cost you time and can leave you stranded. From El Cajon, it looks like the best route would be to take Rt 67 North out of Lakeside, where it becomes highway. Get on Rt 78 West in Ramona. Once you get past Escondido, bus from wherever you get dropped off to Oceanside, and hitch I5 North at Mission Ave to San Clamente or Capistrano Beach. From there you can get on Hwy 1, idk how far you're going from there.
 

Engineer J Lupo

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90% of the time I do not use a sign, I walk with my thumb out
How do you manage that in states that don't allow you to walk along the side of the highways? You can't just stroll along the shoulder in California with your thumb out. In states where it's allowed to walk along the side of the highway I definitely do. I'd rather be making my way somewhere than standing hoping someone stops to pick me up.

I still use signs when I walk though. Joey and I had to hitch out of Clovis NM in 07. I found a nice white piece of cardboard, wrote "Amarillo" on it and punched two small holes in the top and attached it to my backpack and we started walking east on highway 60. It wasn't but 3 minutes before a car picked us up. It took me longer to make the sign than to get a ride. It was a cop who had quit the force because he realized he hated cops once he began working with them, it was a pretty cool ride.

That's my ideal way to hitchhike if laws permit. Make a sign, put it on my pack and just start walking. I don't gotta smile, I don't gotta interact with anyone I just walk and if someone stops they stop. I also think it's easier to get rides that way because people can see you from a really long ways away. They have more time to mull it over and also plenty of time to slow down to a stop. There's plenty of room to pull over and plenty of distance to get back up to speed, it's just all around far better than an on-ramp.

It's too bad you can't do that in all the states.
 

Brodiesel710

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How do you manage that in states that don't allow you to walk along the side of the highways? You can't just stroll along the shoulder in California with your thumb out. In states where it's allowed to walk along the side of the highway I definitely do. I'd rather be making my way somewhere than standing hoping someone stops to pick me up.

I still use signs when I walk though. Joey and I had to hitch out of Clovis NM in 07. I found a nice white piece of cardboard, wrote "Amarillo" on it and punched two small holes in the top and attached it to my backpack and we started walking east on highway 60. It wasn't but 3 minutes before a car picked us up. It took me longer to make the sign than to get a ride. It was a cop who had quit the force because he realized he hated cops once he began working with them, it was a pretty cool ride.

That's my ideal way to hitchhike if laws permit. Make a sign, put it on my pack and just start walking. I don't gotta smile, I don't gotta interact with anyone I just walk and if someone stops they stop. I also think it's easier to get rides that way because people can see you from a really long ways away. They have more time to mull it over and also plenty of time to slow down to a stop. There's plenty of room to pull over and plenty of distance to get back up to speed, it's just all around far better than an on-ramp.

It's too bad you can't do that in all the states.
I guess it was my understanding that you could legally (or at least get away with) walking /hitchhiking on all US highways, but I must be somewhat wrong about this, we should make a map of laws!!! But then alternatively, when I'm at an Interstate on ramp for too long (over 4 hours) I will just start walking down the interstate with my thumb out. I either get picked up, or Highway Patrol stops, runs my ID, then gives me a ride to the next on ramp. It's alway been like this (except one time when I had a warrant and I went to jail).
 

Stiv Rhodes

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How do you manage that in states that don't allow you to walk along the side of the highways? You can't just stroll along the shoulder in California with your thumb out. In states where it's allowed to walk along the side of the highway I definitely do. I'd rather be making my way somewhere than standing hoping someone stops to pick me up.
You are allowed to walk the shoulder of the highway. You're not allowed to walk the shoulder of freeways. Highways have intersections, traffic lights, and driveways that connect directly to them. Freeways have on-ramps with signs that read "pedestrians, bicycles and motor driven cycles prohibited." That's why I suggested the route I did instead of going west out of El Cajon toward I5.
 

Engineer J Lupo

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Interesting, I'm usually never hitching from anywhere but a city and cities often have freeways even if it's a highway it becomes a freeway through city limits, see 99 through Chico for an example.

I guess I just assumed those signs kind of covered the entire thing. That's a game changer really. I'll walk a few miles out of town if it means I can hitch on the side of a highway once the freeway ends.
 

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