Hitch-hiking gathering...looking for suggestions on location (1 Viewer)

stove

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So, for those of you unaware, last year in Paris there was a European hitch-hiking gathering: http://hitchwiki.org/en/Project_888

It was a blast. The idea is to promote hitching in a POSITIVE light, and hopefully engage the public a bit to de-mistify/enhance the image of HHing.

This year, the same folks are at it again: http://hitchwiki.org/en/789

UNFORTUNATELY, Not all of us can hitch to Europe. So I proposed a North American version, and I would love to see this happen. So, the biggest question:

Where?

I'm leaning towards the West Coast (Biased, I'll be out there this summer). Beyond that, somewhere with access to the public (not the middle of nowhere), somewhere reasonable to hitch to, and somewhere easy. I don't know the west coast at all. So I'm taking suggestions.

I, along with friends, will try to get it hyped in media/etc, trying to get everything legitimized by the Powers so we don't get harassed camping/hanging out. Anyone interested in helping out/ giving advice/experience would be appreciated.

So, ideas?
 
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veggieguy12

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This really is a great idea, could be part of the rebirth of HH'ing. I think the W coast is best to start, and maybe next year could be both E and W coast conventions.

I suggest a state where being on the highway is cool, like Montana (Missoula?) or Oregon. (Let's not do Portland, there's got to be something that it isn't picked as the place for.)

Perhaps Bend, or Ashland, or maybe Grant's Pass?
The less remote, the more media will be there (is that presuming too much?), but having it in a smaller city or a lil' town will allow more of a gathering and focus of media attention.

If it's a slightly off the main hwys, then it's more interesting to get out to, but if kept close to the trafficked routes, it will bring more people.
 

stove

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The first two places I thought of were actually Eugene and Bend. Again, as I don't know the area too well, I don't know much about the towns/cities. I don't suppose anyone knows a spot which has a somewhat lax view on large groups camping in public? We only had a *small* problem with the security in Paris, and, well, we were camping on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower.

Keep the ideas coming in!
 

macks

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There would be a problem in Eugene camping in public, if you're in a city park or close to downtown or something. Bend would probably be less intense due to less asshole cops, but still it's getting more uppity by the year out there.

I would try to make arrangements for staying at a farm or something in the area.. or just say fuck it and let people disband to smaller more remote camps at night time.

Sounds cool though, if something like this were to happen I'd try to make it!
 

stove

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Well we would *prefer* to make the camping legit, in the mind of the whole "promoting" hitching...I would actually try to push the local/municipal gov. into allowing an area to be temporarily used as a camping ground/area...Maybe under the auspices like "Hey, look, we can camp in park, sleep a couple of nights, and NOT destroy it!" Of course, that only works if it DOESN'T get destroyed/trashed, which is a significant concern...How do you ensure that a bunch of hitchers/punks/riders/etc behave? Is it even possible?
 

macks

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I'm not sure about that one, I sure wouldn't want to be the one with my name on the permit.

What's the angle on the promoting hitching thing? Like, if there was a gathering how would it be it promoting hitching? Not trying to be critical, just curious.
 

lilylove

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Yip yip, top work stove on getting this up and running... if im gonna miss the one in ukraine, im not gonna miss the one in the states too. Have got a boat hitch sorted and will be heading to west coast in july, so can help with whatever needs help.

I think smallish town on the highway in a field sounds great, but thats kind of just in my dreams. Although, the biggest point of 888 and 789 and the rest that are surely to come, is definitely to promote hitchhiking as a sustainable fun method of travelling... to show ppl how many ppl do it, how much fun they have, and what a great community it is. Thats why we had it in paris and thats why i think it would be cool to have it somewhere where ppl will be around to check it out. But maybe start slow and build up if you guys are worried about cop presence.

Anyways, keep the ideas flowin and lets make this happen! Ill chat to robin www.casarobino.org about it too... let me now what i can do to help. x

oh and i think it would be cool to synchronise it too, so maybe we can think of another catchy name... or yeah i dunno... leave it at that... hmmm
 

Geoff

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sounds fun. around when are you planning on holding the event? If it's timely for me I'll try and make it out.
 
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Anywhere that has good weather!! the latest conventions that Ive been to have had horrible weather. One even had a tornado about 300 yards away from where we were...it does get a lil old.
 

stove

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I dunno, I think a tornado would be pretty badass. But I grew up on the East coast, so I've never seen one firsthand.

As to when: The euro version is 7/8/9, and on THEIR date system, that's the 7th of August, 2009. Unfortunately, in the American system, it's the 8th of July, 2009. Hence the question about sticking with the catchy name (7/8/9), or what.

Last year was 8/8/8...If anyone has a different suggestion, I'm all open. So far this is more of an idea than a concrete plan, but as there does seem to be a bit of interest, I think it would be pretty awesome.

To answer the question about promiting hitching (from Macks): The idea is to promote hitching as a sustainable method of travel, and to dispel a lot of the dirt which has built up over the years (Especially in the US and Western world) about hitching: Legality, Safety, effectiveness, etc.

One of the reasons TO have the event in a public downtown place is to maximize exposure to the unaware public. Drumming up publicity is vital, especially in the interests of legitimizing everything.

Unfortunately, exposure attracts police. This is an ongoing dillema, and as you mentioned Macks, I'm not sure that I want *MY* name on a permit for a bunch of Hitchers...

So, ongoing thoughts/discussion. But 8/8/8 in Paris was a blast!
 

veggieguy12

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Bend, OR is a bit off main routes, so may be harder to get to, especially with a massive influx of people. I don't really know how much traffic it gets from N, S, W, E - perhaps a more local traveler can speak to that (Wider, Macks, Arrow?). Is Grant's Pass, OR a terrible suggestion?

How about Having it May 5, or August 8? Wouldn't the summer months be better due to the addition of student-travelers not enrolled, and more people heading up into the NW areas when it isn't so cold?

I'd put my name down on a permit, what the hell. But usually there are costly fees for street closures or park rental or policing or clean-up, and these are not charged as-needed but are assessed into the permiting process (which has its own fee, of course).

Having this gathering is promoting the idea of hitching, because while your or my individual travel from A to B is unremarkable on any media scale, having all sort of hitchhikers come together in one location to share stories, tips, advice, and gear is newsworthy. Especially for all those who come from the further reaches (Maine, Florida, Mexico?). Having some news reports about the convention, even some local pieces on the neighborhood kid who heads across a couple states to meet other HH'ers or the barber who takes two weeks off every three months to roam by way of HH'ing is promoting hitchhiking by telling readers/viewers "Hey, all that you've heard about murderous psycho-killer hitchhikers is a big myth! Don't be so afraid, you can pick someone up and help them out without shitting your pants in fear."
Thus people will be more willing to HH, and more willing to pickup HH'ers. (Ideally.)

And then any reports from the convention will state "Bill came in from Oklahoma, John from New York City. And Barbara just came to check it out, having only ever picked-up one hitchhiker last year. Stevie & Tom used to hitchhike everywhere when they were young twenty-something students, back in 1969. Stevie said she's just glad to see people still going by thumb." Blah blah blah, but it does legitimize and assuage the concerns of so many drivers who pass me by all fucking day, so maybe they start to grow a pair of gonads and give a goddam lift.
 

Matt Derrick

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if you need a place to have a web presence, let me know, id be willing to host it here (aka http://squattheplanet.com/hitchikergathering) as long as there was someone to maintain it (im quite busy with future plans for stp). also, would anyone be willing to do this on the coast somewhere? i remember way back digihitch was doing a cross country hitchhiking contest, coast to coast. i think meeting up on the ocean would be great.
 

stove

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Matt: I may take you up on that, the brains behind this event in Europe are also heavy into hitchwiki, trashwiki, etc. Once things are a bit more settled/figured out, I'm sure we can find some kind admins to maintain a solid flow of info.

Wider: I have been thinking about that. I know StP tends to be very rider oriented (never hopped, wanting to try!). This originated as a HHing gathering, esp. to legitimize HHing...While I think it would be awesome to bring as many people as possible in, I'm wondering how the legitimacy might be affected by openly inviting people to hop freight. However, as a backchannel mode of travel, it's another reason to use Bend.

I agree that meeting on the coast would be cool, again if a suitable location is found, I'd be game (I love camping by the water).

Veggie: Initially the idea was to hold an event in tandem with the 7/8/9 European hitching event. Last year we did 8/8/8, but I see no problem with doing that again this year in the US. I think May might be a bit early, as it could still be a bit cold (I'll be hiking in the SoCal desert then), but I'm open to any/all thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to spell out the specifics which escaped my tounge [fingers].

Promoting Hitching as a method of travel, a way to escape, a vacation, whatever people take it as, is the idea. From the eternal ramblers whom never settle down to the once-a-year hitch-across town, the idea is a coming together. Getting the media involved/getting the word out to the general public would help to dispel this grotesque superstition that HHers are killers, psychos, alky...well, ok, I like mah beer. But you all get the idea. Even if only a dozen people show up, from a block away or from Nova Scotia, it'd be worth it.

Hell, at the very least, I'd love to meet some of y'all stateside.
 

Ravie

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okay guys i was just in eugene, thats a no. there's no where close o town to do anything. and i asked about bend and they said its hard to get in and out of that town.
 

stove

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ok thanks Ravie, back to the drawing board.

I'm not sure *where*, but I really like the coast suggestion. Does anyone know of a good beach along the oregon/washington coast? I grew up on the water, so I'm partial to oceans...
 

Ravie

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they said they got stuck there for a week because the traffic was weak and the trains rarely stop. never been there but if we dont pay attention to word of mouth what do we? just a heads up. plus it is kinda out of the way.
 

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