There’s a scene in No Country For Old Men where Llewelyn Moss, who's on the run with a satchel full of money, is riding in the passenger seat of a car. It’s night and the driver is staring out at the road in front of them. Out of the blue the driver says, “Shouldn’t be doin’ that. Even a young man like you.” Moss looks at him quizzically. “Doin’ what?” he says. Without breaking his gaze, the driver answers back with one word: “Hitchikin’.”
There’s always been a perception about hitchhiking that it’s dangerous. Yet the other side of the coin romanticizes it as a carefree way of traveling across the country.
Gathered below are photos of solo female hitchhikers who showed a little more than passing drivers probably expected.
18 Hot As Highway Blacktop
Certain hitchhikers have killer bodies and aren’t afraid to use them if it helps their chances of getting a ride. Covering up this hitchhiker’s face to add an air of mystery are huge-rimmed sunglasses. On the other hand, she’s less subtle about her figure as she strikes a pose on the road’s shoulder.
17 What Drives Hitchhikers
Hitchhiking seemed more prevalent during the 1970s, the era this photo is from. In an article called “Death or Assault: The Price of a Free Ride” in Parade Magazine dated February 26, 1969, a hitchhiker confessed: "I used to drive my Mercedes to campus all during freshman year […] What a drag! The sameness, the same, dull routine began to bug me, so I decided to thumb” (Flashbak).
There lies a heavy burden on truck drivers. As the site Truck Driving Jobs points out, whenever a trucker sees a hitchhiker in need, they feel a sense of obligation to help that person out. If they don’t pick up the hitchhiker, they could end up developing a guilty conscience for leaving that person behind.
15 Bikini Blonde
The site Flashbak speculates that articles and movies may have helped to discourage women from hitchhiking today. For example, the TV movie Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker addressed the topic. Many of those stories paint a negative light on the practice and serve as a cautionary tale to would-be hitchhikers in the hopes of dissuading others from doing it.
14 Thumbs Up
Hitchhikers who stand in the middle of the road are playing a dangerous game. Under no circumstances should they be that desperate to put not just their lives in danger, but any potential drivers as well. This girl looks confident about convincing a stranger to give her a ride that she has no qualms about where she's standing.
Some hitchhikers feel right at home stuck on the side of the road; others might worry about whether they’ll be able to hitch a ride to their destination; others go where the wind takes them and they aren't in a rush to get there. This woman looks like she falls in the first category of carefree individuals.
12 Dark And Rainy
This hitchhiker’s situation looks dire. Not only is it getting dark out, but it looks as if it recently rained. Her hair looks wet and she’s probably freezing from wearing shorts and a revealing tank top. When someone sticks their thumb out on the side of a road, they’re entrusting a stranger with their life.
11 Going For A Walk
While a hitchhiker wearing short shorts or a bikini top might pique the interest of a driver at first, it should also raise some alarm. A hitchhiker could potentially have an ulterior motive or even put the driver at harm in some way. Historically though, hitchhikers are more often the ones in danger.
10 A Long Ways To Go
Hitchhikers can turn up in all sorts of places. They wait around gas stations, pit stops and even along the road shoulders. Hitching a ride with a stranger is not an ideal situation, so most hitchhikers probably do it out of desperation. All they’re hoping for is a Good Samaritan who will get them safe and sound to wherever they’re headed.
9 The Universal Sign
The universal sign commonly adopted by hitchhikers is a simple thumbs up. It’s a way for travelers to say, “I need a lift.” It’s not the only indicator, however. Some choose to wave and others raise a sign up with the name of their desired destination written across in bold letters.
8 Broken Vehicle
Hitchhikers are often depicted traveling alone on foot. That’s not the case for all of them, however, as some may have had their own modes of transportation break down. Without the tools or knowledge to fix the car, they’re looking for someone to give them an emergency ride home or to the nearest tow truck shop.
7 A Hitchhiker’s Guide
When a hitchhiker hails a vehicle down—if they manage to—there are several approaches they can take with the driver. As Truck Driving Jobs points out, some prefer to beg for a ride and do their best to show the plight they’re in. Others take a more threatening approach, which has the potential to intimidate or even turn off drivers.
Sunglasses, midriff and fingernails painted blue—these details might stick out to drivers on the road. With a camera hanging around her neck, she even looks like a tourist who’s new to the area. She may look like a sightseer, but drivers will have their sights set on her as she sticks out a hand in need.
5 Trucking Girl
Picking up a hitchhiker is an act of solidarity. It’s a willingness on the driver’s behalf to pick up a complete stranger without knowing their background or where they are going. Yet when a driver sees an attractive woman with her thumb sticking up on the side of the road, they’re probably more willing to give her a lift.
4 Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
With a hand on her hip and the other raising a thumbs up, this lady looks fed up and anxious to get a ride. It looks hot outside and the setting is not a welcoming one. There’s not a car in sight either, so she probably has to take what she can get.
A hitchhiker is lucky if they succeed in hailing down a driver. They’re usually in a bind, perhaps even stranded, and depend on the kindness of a random stranger to get them out of their predicament. Someone who expects a driver to stop for them and drive them wherever they want doesn’t have a realistic outlook.
2 Lambo Lady
This woman appears to be well off financially considering her nice dress and supercar, though she isn’t too prideful to ask for a random stranger's help. Considering she’s holding up a thumb, it doesn’t look like she needs a jump, but is looking instead of a ride. However, It’s hard to believe she’d just leave her Lambo unattended.
Picking up a stranger on the road can not only benefit the hitchhiker, but the driver as well. Truck drivers, for example, spend long hours on the road all alone. A passenger can provide truck drivers with welcome company for a stretch of their journey. Regardless of the hitchhiker or the circumstances, chances are it’ll be a memorable experience.
Sources: Flashbak, Truck Driving Jobs