A set of ten essays, all focused on specific experiences I have had conducting this peculiar branch of research--finding and logging hitchhiker graffiti--involving, in large part, face-to-face or near-miss interactions with various people of, on, or by the road. Considering the many hundreds of highway on-ramps on which I have stopped and the thousands of miles driven to get them, there are far fewer such contacts, than I would have predicted. These include interactions with law enforcement, locals, hitchhikers, and even a dead dog, and have occurred in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Alaska.
Collectively, a wide range of topics is discussed in these essays, such as race relations, family road tripping, marathon running, Mormonism and freemasonry, the Alaska road network, the Las Vegas homeless, the book Into the Wild, early exploration of the Grand Canyon, superior mirages, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, Moby Dick, the Starbucks logo, the building of the Erie Canal, Prophet Elijah and his chariot of fire, tequila, Edgar Allan Poe, the Phoenicians, and highway patrolmen opinions of what I am doing wandering along the road seeking out hitchhiker scrawl.
These interactions are, to the best of my recollection, offered here in order of their occurrence.