BRUCE LERRO—One of the things I tried to do in hitchhiking was stay off the interstate highways because they bypass the towns where people live. Riding on them gives you no sense of local life. So, in heading up to Seattle I didn’t go on Interstate 5 or even US 101. I stayed on the slower roads. On these roads, if I got stuck I could either find a motel, a park or even the outskirts of a farm to spread out my sleeping bag and conk out.
In those days, there were a lot of freaks on the road, coming and going without any thought-out plans. People would hitchhike together for 50 to 100 miles and then part ways. I was with two other guys on U.S. 20 heading west for the coast. They were headed south for the SF Bay Area and I was headed north for Seattle. During these times, hitchhikers have a sense of which cars are likely to pick you up and which aren’t. VW bugs and VW vans were the most likely to stop. Pickup trucks were often driven by right-wingers, so we had to be prepared to have beer cans or other trash thrown at us as they passed. It was rare that women gave any of us a ride.