I had an idea last year when I heard about the struggle of Appalachian/Long Trail hikers in our area to hitch a ride. I thought that I would offer rides to hikers.

But how to do it . . .

I could leave a note in the journal at the trail head around Rts. 11/30 east of Manchester. I could contact some web sites. I could do all kinds of things that would put me in danger of being killed by some psychopath who preys on the fool who puts his phone number out there and offers a ride in his car to whoever calls.

And then it hit me one day while on Main St. in front of the Mountain Goat. This is a popular store for hikers of the AT that is very expensive, but can provide the occasional clearance sale for scroungers like us.

So I went in and mentioned my ride idea. They liked it. They thought I was swell. Apparently people do this, but no one has offered this year.

It’s a simple system. I leave my number in their files. When someone asks about a ride, they pass along my phone number and I swing by on my lunch break. It will primarly by a one-way shuttle out of town.

I’m excited about this because I’m hoping to meet some interesting people from all over who will hopefully have a story or two to tell.

After one week as an “on call” driver for the AT, no one has inquired at the Goat yet about finding a lift back up to the trail. Maybe they’re afraid I’m a psychopath who preys upon helpless hikers weighed down by 50 lb. packs.