Two guys, two thumbs, one week and no money. Hitchhiking across the U.S.

There’s a line in the “The Hitchhiking Movie” that made me laugh. Ryan Jeanes, one of the two guys who decided one fine day to hitchhike across the U.S. from New York City to Berkeley, California in one week to test out the kindness of strangers says, after one car dropped them off at what looks like the middle of nowhere, “Three miles further and only 3,000 miles to go.”

There are the rides one takes when hitchhiking because at least a short ride means going further in the right direction, and who knows when there will be another chance to sit down again?

It took Ryan and Phillip Hullquist 23 rides to make it across the U.S., although, I don’t know if they made their deadline. If they didn’t make the deadline, they would have missed their flights back to NY. Ryan had purchased the tickets before hand to add some motivation.

After reading the text on the movie’s website and watching the trailer, I became intrigued about the unfolding of the journey. There are the people they talked with about their trip who thought they were nuts, and the stories of the people who gave them rides. All are woven into the narrative while the scenery adds the backdrop and also highlights the diveresity between the coasts.

Whether they made it from New York City to Berkeley, California within their self-imposed time period is almost beside the point. Having a goal did influence the outcome. People altered their own trips to help Ryan and Phillip out. Because these two vowed not to use any of their own money, their success depended upon others’ generosity.

Their success also depended upon their willingness to stick out their thumbs to see what would happen. Sticking out their thumb took effort. According to Ryan, they “piddled around for awhile” in New York before they actually hit the road. Starting seemed to be one of the hardest parts.

Last spring, there was a story about three friends who were driving through 48 states in less than a week. Some states meant a quick trip through one small section, and in one case, in and out on the same road. At Four Corners, they checked off Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, for example. “The Hitchhiking Movie” reminds me a bit of that story, except Ryan’s and Phillip’s success involved others’ efforts. In the case of driving through every state, it’s a matter of getting the geography, gas, and bathroom breaks just right.

The “The Hitchhiking Movie” was released on DVD this week. Watching it seems like it would be a great boost to fuel the traveling spirit. Here’s the trailer to get you in the mood. You can buy the film on the 11 Visions Website or pay to watch it online.