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Hostels, showers, fruits, vegetables. and beer made towns a welcome relief Vince and NiCk Tomeqek sit Oli I\/lc/ltee
from the rugged mountains. Getting to a town required frequent hitchhiking Knob lll ll0Vlll€lll Vllglllla i0l 3 bltlflk and
when the trail did not directly pass through the location.Though awkward at 3 IOOK at the V'€VV WOW mgm-
first, our confidence level grew after the third or fourth hitch. A fellow thru-
hiker with experience hitching across America taught us the techniques for
scoring a ride. His trail name was "Chafe." for one of his physical trail ail-
ments and abrasive personality. Of the lessons learned. he mentioned to
never hitch at night. make eye contact. smile. and allow enough runway for
the driver to size you up. His methods worked most of the time, though we
found that taking off our packs and limping made people feel sorry for us.
helping us find a ride much faster. Hitchhiking is commonplace in towns
around the AT. The residents of the towns were accustomed to seeing scruffy
hikers on the roadside yearning for a ride and would offer one most of the
time. Those that did not pull over probably wanted to keep the overpowering
odor of hikers out of their brand new SUVs. not because they thought wc
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