Hey friends, this is Kevin. I’m somehow in Chicago, having arrived last night. This has been one of the craziest weeks of my life. I will give a more detailed trip report later since I took pretty good notes (but failed on the photographic front).
I’ve revised the purpose & rules of this trip so many times, and am continuing to do so. I realized early on that it is impossible to mostly walk and sometimes hitch to Seattle… so I stuck with mostly hitching and sometimes walking, sticking toÃ‚Â the country roads. I followed this plan from West Alexandria, OH (Tuesday) to Lebanon, IN (Saturday). It was a total of 112 miles, 41 of which I walked (13 on my best day). The rest was hitched on 8 different rides.Ã‚Â
Somewhere betweenÃ‚Â Eagletown and Jolietville on Saturday, I decided that – for a lot of reasons – IÃ‚Â should try interstate highway hitching andÃ‚Â see if I could get to Chicago by Saturday night.Ã‚Â In Lebanon, I spent 75-80 minutes on the on-ramp ofÃ‚Â I-65 NÃ‚Â with a sign that said “CHICAGO (Elgin)” until a Mexican coupleÃ‚Â (with their baby) picked me up and took meÃ‚Â straight into the city (152 miles). I walked a little moreÃ‚Â before getting 20 miles on the Chicago metro, and another 31 miles via Nate’s car before we arrived at his house in Elgin, IL. I amÃ‚Â ridiculously happy to be here –Ã‚Â thoughÃ‚Â with 3 blisters, 2 terrible sunburns, windburn, swollen knees and aching shoulders I am in less than optimal physical condition. Ã‚Â I don’t know what my plans are now… but there’s a good chance I will stick to interstate hitching from now on. I think I made incredible progress getting to Lebanon, but it was absolutely brutal and still behind schedule if I were to keep that up to Seattle. I won’t explain all the rationale right now, but there are definite pros & cons to doing highway vs. backcountry hitching. It was an incredible week though, and I look forward to writing up some stories. Thanks for your prayers and the encouraging & funny (though occasionally weird) voicemails.