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Hitching: Tales from the byways and superhighways

Published by Wakefield Press 1995

Hitching: tales from the byways and superhighways was published in 1995 and is Kirsty's first book. She drove to Brisbane and back with her friend Dave Sag to research the book. Here is an extract from the book and some quotes she found particularly poignant as she struggled on that epic trip across the continent with the curse of too much enthusiasm and more than a little bad luck.

"I drove just over six thousand kilometres in the eager pursuit of hitch-hikers. If this had been a movie (and I had better hair) I would have been the heroine. I was a hitcher's dream. I had a (borrowed) three year old Mercedes with an automatic sunroof (no power windows which proved to be a little irksome), computer, modem (they could contact their forgotten relatives across the world via Internet), stereo (with a delightful assortment of personally selected music), camera (they could star in my photo's/potential book), no money (cash for petrol but food soon loses its significance in the face of adventure), a reasonable supply of drugs and the kind of hyper-adrenalin that could get a girl into trouble if she wasn't so level headed and cynical.

Covering nearly six thousand kilometres, I found five hitch-hikers. That's less than one between here and Melbourne. I sat down (outside a strangely appealing public toilet block on the outskirts of the quaintly named Cockburn) to ponder the demise of the hitcher. Whatever happened to the adventurous spirit? The co-operation and trust that inspires one stranger to pick up another on a dirty stretch of bubbling asphalt? The environmental advantages of car pooling? The Jack Kerouac inspired lifestyle? I was a little bemused. I had 'cruised' for hitchers, gone down the 'popular' routes, I tried to look as gentle and attractive as possible. It was a disaster."

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