Hitchhikers Guide To The Lower Forty Eight, June 1967, edition

How important is it to avoid hitching a ride at a toll booth? Maybe not myriad, but a very important few. First, the toll keepers resented anything that slowed the flow of traffic. Second, the drivers resented anything that hindered the traffic flow; not a great way to get a ride. But most importantly of all, those state troopers in their big automotive machines love how easy it is to snag a wayward hitchhiker at the toll plaza.

If left off at a plaza, we hurriedly scurry into the nearby town for a fast meal, ask about the best route to where we were going, and generally behave like model citizens. Those who want to smoke a joint in front of the locals or talk about how cool they are; well, that’s not usβ€”just a couple of working dudes on the way to employment.

So what is the purpose of being hip and cool in the sixties if you didn’t display it, rub the noses of the straights into it, and generally be obnoxious? Well, I guess if that’s your thing, it’s OK. But some of us view our life as a journey. So we’d gladly talk to you about it if you were interested in that journey. But by and large, it’s our journey, and we don’t need too much external support for it. It’s nice when we receive it. Very nice. However, we know that you can’t force it.

Don’t get me wrong. We love to talk about the self-righteous jerks who’d never dream of leaving their tiny universe to look at the larger world. They are stuck in a rut of their own manufacture.
No, I’m not talking about small-town people. Lots of the residents of large cities are stuck in their little corners, without a clue that the sun is shining.
Conversely, we met many residents of small places who roamed the universe of ideas and culture from the comfort of the tiny little home in the universe.

The diversion to avoid the toll plaza is a nuisance most times. But it also can provide some of the most interesting “frolicking detours” for the wayward wandering traveler.

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