A spunky tourist hitched a ride from me the other day.

A cruise ship docked in downtown Ketchikan, July 2015.
A cruise ship docked in downtown Ketchikan, July 2015.

It’s not often that I pick up hitchhikers when my twin 10-year-old daughters are in the car with me, but I could tell the spunky, elderly tourist on the side of the road was on a mission.  I quickly pulled over and she hopped right in.  She needed to make it to the mall and back to her ship in 20 minutes.  She had to “lighten her load” and mail some of her clothes and gifts home so she’d have more room to shop.  Her friends told her she’d never make it, but she heard it was safe to hitchhike in Alaska so she challenged their pessimism and took off looking for a benevolent, car-driving Alaskan.  No doubt, she would not have made it walking, or even running for that matter since it was a good mile or more one way.  Thankfully I saw her sticking her thumb up in the air with a big shopping bag on her shoulder not far from where she started her quest.   Miss Spunky immediately struck up a conversation with my curious daughters who stared at her from the backseat.  Even they could tell she had some extra sugar and spice in her make-up.  We learned she was from California and was having a great time cruising with family and friends.  We never did ask her age but if I had to take a guess, I would say 70 — give or take a few years.   I dropped her off at Frontier Shipping and told her I would drop my girls off at their gymnastics class on the other end of town and come right back and look for her so if she hadn’t already caught a ride back to her ship, that I would happily take her.  I passed through twice but never did see her.  I wonder who got the pleasure of her company on the way back?  I am sure she made that ship right on time!  I love that we got to be a part of her story that day.  I’ll bet she tells her story of hitchhiking in Alaska many times over.