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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Thumbing a Ride

Hitchhikers, Hostels, and Counterculture in Canada

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Thumbing a Ride

Hitchhikers, Hostels, and Counterculture in Canada

As a national network of roads and hostels spread across Canada, so did the practice of hitchhiking. Thumbing a Ride examines its rise and fall in the 1970s, drawing on records from the time. Many equated adventure travel with freedom and independence, but a counter-narrative emerged of girls gone missing and other dangers. Town councillors, community groups, and motorists demanded a clampdown on a transient youth movement they believed was spreading anti-establishment nomadism. Linda Mahood asks new questions about hitchhiking as a rite of passage, and about adult intervention that turned a subculture into a pressing moral and social issue.

344 pages


Table of Contents

1 Get your Motor Running: Risk, Ritual, and Rite of Passage Travel

2 Thumb Wars: Adventure Hitchhiking

3 Rucksack Revolution: Quest in the Age of Aquarius

4 Cool-Aid: The Transient Youth Movement

5 Crash Pads: Blue-Jean Bureaucrats versus the Canadian Youth Hostels Association

6 Head Out on the Highway: Stories from the Trans-Canada Highway

7 Car Sick: Hitchhiking Dos and Don’ts

Conclusion: The Vanishing Hitchhiker Eulogy

Notes

Index

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