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November 07, 1986 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-07
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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'Thumbing it'




By Rob Earle
HITCHHIKING is an adventure.
Standing an entrance ramp to
Route 1 somewhere in rural
Pennsylvania, a freezing wind at
your back, hundreds of miles from
the safety of your Ann Arbor
apartment, wondering how you ever
thought you could get -from
Washington to New York city in
one day-that's adventure.
Waling under a sign on the Mass
Pike that reads, "Hitchhiking
prohibited," hoping to get picked
up by someone with a sense of
humor-that's adventure.
Riding across Maryland with a
man who's been guzzling beer
continuously since he left Ft.
Meyers, Florida-that's adventure.
After a summer at The Daily, I
figured I was ready for a vacation. I
had a ride to D.C. and a ride home
from Burlington, Vermont. The
question was, how was I supposed
to get from one place to another?
Ignoring the warnings of my
friends and family, I set off to
thumb it. In the process, I learned
there are a lot of myths connected
with hitchhiking, and much that an
unwary hitcher should know.
Myth: If you hitchhike you will
be killed by some maniac. I wasn't
killed once the whole time. You do
risk your health to some degree,
however, if only from freezing rain
and exhaust fumes. The only people
likely to kill you are the ones that
swing too wide around the corners
on the exit ramps.
Myth: You can always depend
on a trucker to pick you up. Hah!
Truckers are in a hurry, and they
don't have time to stop for some
geeky hitchhiker. Besides, their
dispather would kill them if they
ever found out.
Myth: You are likely to get
stranded in the middle of nowhere
just before dark. The only place I
got stranded just before dark was
Philadelphia. People near cities
often are using the highway only
for commuting and it can be a long
wait between rides.
Myth: You are likely to get
picked up by the police. I never saw
the police once. To be fair,
however, one of the many lagends
about State Rep. Perry Bullard says
he had to hitchhike to the capital
when he was first elected because he
didn't have a car. The legend says
he was picked up by the state police
several tinies, but they could't
ticket him because he was protected
from the law while he was on state

Continued from Page 12
Shopping opportunities are
everywhere in central Toronto; the
giant Eaton Centre is a must.
The Royal Ontario Museum, the
Art Gallery of Ontario, Metro Zoo,-
the Ontario Science Centre and even
the Bluejays are other attractions
Toronto has to offer.
Toronto is most accessible to
Michiganders, but Montreal, about
twice the distance, is worth the trip.
It boasts many of the same tourist
and quality-of-life attributes as its
rival to the southwest, plus an
interesting European flavor. It is
the world's largest French-speaking
city after Paris.
"If you want to speak French,
that's the place to go," said,
Quebec and Ottawa, the capitol
of Canada, are older cities, featuring
many museums and historical
This year, Canada hosted the
World's Fair: Expo '86 which was
held in Vancouver, British
Columbia (on the Pacific) from
May to October. Although it's too
early to tell whether the Fair was a
financial success, it was a special


attraction for a country which until
recently had problems drawing
The Canadian tourist business
has grown at a rate slower than
most other industrialized nations.
From 1972 to 1983, the tourist
industry grew by only eight
percent, mostly because .of a 16
percent decline in U.S. tourism in
Canada. Experts attribute the
decline in part to high Canadian
prices, especially for gas.
But in the first quarter of 1986,
American tourism in Canada, an
$18 billion dollar industry, rose 16
percent over the same time period
last year: 1.3 million U.S. citizens
visited the Great White North. In
Ontario, which accounts for about
one-third of all Canadian tourism,
visits from January to February
rose 17.5 percent over the same
period last year, and this occured
before the Canadian government's
media campaign.
"In Ontario, tourism is the
second largest industry, next to the
auto industry, and is climbing up
quickly to become number one,"

said Pam Beaton, a travel counselor
at the Ontario Travel Information
Much of the increase in
Canadian tourism has been the
result of a favorable exchange rate,
according to local travel agents,
which can mean up to a 40 percent
discount for American tourists. But
it's something of a financial
paradox for Canadians. Although
the exchange rate helps attract U.S.
tourists, it still reflects the
dominance of the American
economy over the Canadian
"There are two sides of the coin
on this issue," said Stapleton. "A
lot depends on who you talk to."
According to Went, some
Canadians are afraid that the current
government is "too cozy (with the
U.S.) in the sense that we're
getting out-bargained by America."
He said the zurrent government
ran on two policies regarding U.S.
relations: Establishing a closer
relationship with the U.S. that had
been ignored and abused for too
long, and giving the U.S. the
benefit of the doubt, in that friends
don't hurt friends.

Kinko's is open 24 hours. Co
service, outstanding quality,
Open 24 h
540 E. L
Across From The Mi


W a w.t . n w n a P r a af 1 tl+

Bargain Bou
men s and women'
sportswear starting
men's designer coa
suits starting at $25
designer labels also
blankets, linens, flh
and other apartmei
715 N. UNIV
3 stores from Kresge's --downsta


Reporter Earle hitchhiked extensively last summer, although not always in the most favorable circumstances.

business. Bullard says some parts
of the legend are true, -but he
doesn't say which parts.
Fact: You will be picked up by
the slowest vehicle that's traveling
your direction that day. I know
beggars can't be choosers, but a
minister in a Model A full of Good
Sam Club flyers is ridiculous. This
car never went above 40 miles an
Fact: Middle and upper class
people don't pick up hitchhikers.
You are more likely to get a ride
from two guys in a '74 pickup with
200,000 miles on it than a guy in a
Grand Am. It's not that the pickup
owners have less to lose, but
something about them is inherently
more trusting.

Fact: People in Maryland don't
pick up hitchhikers. The only ride I
got in Maryland was from the beer-
drinker from Florida. He treated me
to a long diatribe about Maryland's
mandatory seatbelt law and how he
shouldn't be penalized for his car
not having seat belts when Florida
didn't require them. He'll never
drive through that state again!
I have instructed my friends to
never let me do that again.
Someone told me it was a learning
experience and I am a better person
for having done it. All I know is I
was more tired after my "vacation"
than before it. Hitchhiking is an
adventure. Next time, I'll take

Any man who can hitch the length and
breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it,
struggle against terrible odds, win
through and still know-where his towel is,
is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
-The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

Toronto's skyline is dominated by the CN Tower (left) and First Canadian Place (center).



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