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  • Ken Ilgunas


Click here to read my “How to hitchhike FAQ”

I have been on two cross-country hitchhikes. The first was in the summer of ’07 when I hitchhiked 5,500 miles from Alaska to New York. The second took place in the spring of 2008 when I hitched with my then-girlfriend, Sammy. We went from Mississippi to New York in 25-days. Below, are the tales of each journey.

“Rules of Thumb” is the day-by-day story of my Alaska-to-NY journey from May-June 2007.

Rule of Thumb #1: Prepare for anything. Failure especially.

Coldfoot, AK to Coldfoot, AK (0 miles)

Rule of Thumb #2: Even drivers who say, “If you’re gettin’ in my truck, you’re gonna fuck” may not be so bad.

Coldfoot, AK to Delta Junction, AK (349 miles)

Rule of Thumb #3: Avoid drivers who “just got out” [of prison]

Delta Junction, AK to Tok, AK (111 miles)

Rule of Thumb #4: Avoid situations like being commissioned getaway driver in the mission to

traffic “Joey” out of town

Tok, Alaska to Teslin, Yukon Territories (498 miles)

Rule of Thumb #5: Bring lots of stuff Teslin, Yukon Territories to northern border of British Columbia (158 miles)

Rule of Thumb #6: Shatter your fears. Know the unknown

Northern British Columbia to Prince George, BC (776 miles) Rule of Thumb #7: To be poor in things is to be free of them Prince George, BC to Hope, BC (388 miles)

Rule of Thumb #8: Listening is an art form Hope, British Columbia to Rock Island, Washington (303 miles) Rule of Thumb #9: When there’s no other alternative, walk Rock Island, Washington to La Grande Oregon (296 miles)

Rule of Thumb #10: When there’s nowhere to sleep, start turning knobs La Grande, Oregon to Park City, Utah (538 miles)

Rule of Thumb #11: No storm, no sunshine

Park City, Utah to Aurora, Colorado (511 miles)

Rule of Thumb #12: Trust

Aurora, Colorado to Niagara Falls, New York (1,757 miles)


“Lovin’ and bummin’ on the open road: An exploration of America’s east coast” is my hitchhiking adventure, when I traveled with my girlfriend Sammy in the Spring of 2008 from Mississippi to New York.

Part 1– Mississippi to North Carolina

Part 2– North Carolina to Connecticut

Part 3– Connecticut to New York

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