"You'll shoot your eye out!" The perennial warning against BB gun ownership is translated for potential hitchhikers as, roughly, "You'll get your head cut off!" Indeed, in a world in which all the news reports is people being dismembered on Greyhound, one has to question the wisdom of travel beyond the confines of an automobile cabin.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. While your hippy-ass father had to stick out his thumb and risk recreating the ending sequence to Easy Rider, today we have technology to hook us up with safe and cost-effective travel options. Craigslist Rideshare makes sure you won't end up as a billowing cloud of smoke drifting over the credits to your life.
Unlike hitchhiking, Rideshare allows you the option of talking to your potential travelmate and browsing their personal pages (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) to judge whether they belong to the (admittedly over hyped) realm of sanity and are not, in fact, an axe murderer. I will admit that I had a fair bit of trepidation on my first Rideshare, but quickly found out something that many other travelers who trust themselves to the wiles of our fellow man have already discovered. We Americans, by and large, aren't half as bad as we think we are. Particularly the kind of folks who willingly post their travel plans on the Internet in the hopes to find conversation and, perhaps most importantly, gas money. All the people that I have given/taken rides from have been twenty-somethings, conversational and extremely amiable. There is no better way to fill up an eight-hour car ride than by telling stories with another person, who, if just because they are unfamiliar, are probably more interesting than you are.