MD to Florida Via I-95. Any Advice? (1 Viewer)

Gerg

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So I'll be starting out in Hagerstown MD and making my way to Winter Haven FL. By my reckoning, If I can get to the DC area, I can hopefully hitch on I-95.

Does anyone have any experience heading south on I-95? Any advice? First time hitching, I've always been the one picking them up.
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!
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Kim Chee

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I hitched from DC to Miami using I-95 and switching to Route 1 in Florida (I think it was a long time ago). I lucked out and got some nice long rides along with an offer to sell African lion skin bracelets on the beach in Miami (declined).

You'll probably have more/longer distance traffic on the 95.
 
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Gerg

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That's my hope... To score some long rides. I have 2.5 weeks to get down there, so i'm in no hurry. I just wanted to see what people's experiences are on 95
 

rusty

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That's my hope... To score some long rides. I have 2.5 weeks to get down there, so i'm in no hurry. I just wanted to see what people's experiences are on 95
go to philly and ride juice or ups?? ive only rode junk south but thatll take at least a week if all goes well. i think 2 days on ups? just another option, hitchin should be fine, a lot of long days in the sun. waterwaterwater!
 
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Gerg

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Sorry I'm not familiar with the terms 'ups' or 'juice'. Part of the reason I want to hitchhike is for the experience.
 

Jay Indy

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I did it last year, had to catch a plane back to ny. florida along the I-95 was pretty lame in my opinion. especially if you are looking to camp outside. but once you get closer to miami it'll be great. Also, if you go to gas stations/convenient stores places where people stop, giving them the opportunity to talk to you that generally gets you more rides. Congratulations and good luck.
 
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Gerg

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Yea I have a ride back to IL, so I just need to get down there. Did you generally get a decent amount of rides going down?
 

Jay Indy

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Yeah, well, 5rides over 200 miles, I made it to fort lauderdale with enough time to spend a day with the beach. but by that time I had blisters on my feet. Bring a map, be prepared to walk and you will get rides.
 
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Gerg

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Well I got 950miles to go, lets hope I meet some helpful souls :p
 

urbanflow

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way the fuck out there
juice and UPS are freight trains that run from philly to florida. I hope you weren't the one that marked it as stupid because that's a MUCH better way to travel. hitching fucking sucks and its mainly walking and waiting for that one good soul to stop and pick you up.

it CAN be an interesting experience but, if this is your one crack at traveling the way many of us do for "the experience", don't be surprised if the experience isn't quite what you had in mind. ive spent 4 days stranded at a truck stop after overshooting my goal via a train. ive also spent a week in what takes the average person 3 hours to drive.

the other person brought up trains that are regularly scheduled and are more or less a guarantee when it comes to covering distance. not to mention the experience of riding freight trains is a blast from the past when hoboes roamed and its also a wild experience when it comes to the ninja aspects of it. ive had countless rail workers (yard workers, engineers, conductors...) tell me they are impressed at just how much of ghosts we are. makes me feel good because I set out to travel in a ghost like manner.
 
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Gerg

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I'm actually very interested in train hopping. I've just never tried and I'm a little concerned with the legal ramifications. I've had run ins with the law while hitch hiking, but they're usually minor and they usually end up driving me a ways out of their jurisdiction. I've heard that they are far stricter when dealing with train hopping.
 

Matt Derrick

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go to philly and ride juice or ups?? ive only rode junk south but thatll take at least a week if all goes well. i think 2 days on ups? just another option, hitchin should be fine, a lot of long days in the sun. waterwaterwater!
just as a side note, if you ride a hotshot train, you can get from balitmore to jacksonville in as little as 17 hours (i've done it countless times). juice/ups trains would be about the same.
 
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Gerg

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I'm actually in Hagerstown, which I've heard has a train yard. I'm just a total noob when it comes to train hopping. I wouldn't even know what to look for or where to tuck away at.

Have any of you guys ever had a run in with the law while hopping?
 

Charlie

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Hey Gerg, gas stations, brushed teeth, and clean hands. That's where it's at if you're hitchhiking on interstate. I find standing on a freeway entrance with a cardboard sign and my thumb takes forever, people don't know what to think about the person as they're passing by and they don't have enough time to think about it. Here's how you solve this problem: Go to a gas station, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, take a little bird bath, wash your hands, make yourself decently presentable and smelly enough to not stink up a closed car. Then you get yourself a snack or whatever, and go hangout on a curb that has a good view of the pumps. Now in order for this to work well, you need to be at the gas station that is next to the entrance ramp you want. If the entrance ramp is a complicated 4-leaf clover curly q loopdy doo, then it's going to be more difficult, but still easier than putting out a thumb.

This is the trick, you catch the driver before they start driving, the gas station is perfect for that. Some drivers are heading in one direction and will pull off the freeway, fill up, and hop back on the freeway, approach them politely and ask them if they're heading south on I-5 (that's an example). If you're on the north side of a big city, chances are they will be going south, but not far, you want to be on the south side of that big city, you can accept that ride into downtown, but don't expect to hitch out, you'll have to walk or take transit or subway or whatever. If you're on the south side of said big city, your chances of getting a ride go way up. If you're somewhat clean, it's polite and that shows that you are considerate and smart. If you're pleasant in asking for a ride, you can get a ride super quick. I figured this method out on my own after standing near freeway entrances for hours and having plenty of time to think.

I've stood next to freeways for hours with a thumb, a cardboard sign and more patience than I knew I had, sometimes that didn't get me anywhere while the sun's starting to set. I eventually figured out to just walk up to the gas station and ask for a ride. The first time I did this, I got a ride from the first person I talked to and they actually offered me a ride all the way around the country (I declined the distance and went half way across the state with them). This has worked wonders for me on freeways where hitchhiking is actually illegal. This is my little loophole and I'm very proud of it. If you use this, please be nice to your ride.

One time, I got a ride out of a 4-leaf clover freeway entrance after getting kicked out of the closest gas station. I stood on the sidewalk next to a stop light intersection and held up a thumb and started calling out to the cars that had windows down "Yo! We need a ride south!". There was a lady with me and we were standing just before this guy who was flying a sign at that intersection (we were there first). Once I started calling out to traffic it took about 5 minutes to get a ride. It didn't take us far which is okay, but it got us out of that terrible intersection and back to the regular style freeway ramps with gas stations right next to them. From there, hitching got easier, but still required a bit of ingenuity. During that trip, we had been dropped off at a gas station next to a freeway entrance where a hitchhiker was standing with his thumb and a sign. The lady and I, drank a tall beer and got some free food and were hanging out while watching that hitchhiker, a camper pulled over for him and he turned that ride down. When we were ready to go, I approached a car, asked if he was heading south on I-5 and if we could get a ride. His answer was yes and yes. We passed that hitchhiker and I realized the benefit of being creative and clever, also listening to the drivers as you're hitchhiking is more important than some would think. If drivers are pointing at something as they pass you by, figure out what they're trying to tell you. Just as hitchhikers communicate with their hands, so will drivers. Be receptive and listen, doing this will allow the universe to direct you to the path of least resistance.
 
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When i first got out and traveled, i went up to Philly from Parkville and took the Juice down to Jacksonville. When i tried hitching i just wound up stranded, though im sure if you got down to DC (just hit up a megabus for a buck it spits you out at DCs union station, you can take the metro into NOVA from there)
you could hitch down 95. Maryland IMO just sucks for travelling.
 

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