A Northeast Ohio man and his 19-year-old son hope to hitchhike to Florida and up the East Coast after completing a similar journey to California and back last year.
Michael Gibson, 41, and Scott Fritts planned to set off today from their home in Rittman, about 15 miles southwest of Akron, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
They’ll travel south from West Virginia to the Florida Keys, then north to Maine via Historic Route 1.
“Everyone asks where we are going, and nobody can wait for us to be off,” Gibson said before the trip.
They say excitement and support has replaced apprehension expressed by others last year when the pair — with only backpacks and no more than $105 cash — left for California for a 16-day adventure, exploring the country and posting videos daily online.
“I wasn’t really sure if they’d get rides from people, or if people would leave them on the side of the road,” said Gibson’s wife, Katherine. “This time, I can’t wait to hear about the kinds of things they will encounter on the road.”
They’ve made some adjustments since last year. They got stuck for four days in Las Vegas, where the “no hitchhiking” signs eventually led to them walking 17 miles through desert. This time, they’re taking in-line skates to get through sparse traffic areas and big cities.
They’re also taking ponchos and blankets to stay warm and dry as they sleep beneath the stars.
Other parts of the plan remain the same. They’ll avoid interstates in favor of country roads and city streets, and they’ll try to accomplish their list of things to see and do. Among them: ride in an Amish buggy, visit an alligator farm and tour a lighthouse. They also hope to be in New York for the Fourth of July.