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Don't let dad hitchhike with the serial killers
September 2, 2011 7:43 PM   Subscribe

How can I safely get my father from Des Moines to Rochester MN?

My dad's 'hobby' is doing things that other people might consider outlandish in order to save money. He's got the cash, but it's like a game for him to figure out how not to spend it.

He's going to be in Des Moines, Iowa on Sept 30th, and he wants to come up to meet me in southeast Minnesota that evening or the next morning. He feels that a car rental from one place to the other is too expensive, so he tried posting in the Craigslist rideshare boards looking for a ride, but hasn't been able to find one (although he is willing to pay for gas). He knows that there is a bus at 6am on Saturday, but it costs money and is inconveniently timed, so last I asked, he said "I'm just going to hitchhike." Now, my dad's the type of guy who can generally take care of himself, but the idea of him hitchhiking through the night along interstates in unknown areas really freaks me out. But it's a significantly long drive, so I can't just go down to pick him up.

Does anyone know of other ways to look for rideshares in that area of the midwest, or know of other ways to get between the two places that don't involve renting a car or taking the bus?
posted by treehorn+bunny to Travel & Transportation around Des Moines, IA (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
He might want to see if any of the colleges in Des Moines have their own rideshare boards, whether they're actual physical bulletin boards or something online.
posted by vytae at 10:50 PM on September 2, 2011


fwiw, hitchhiking along the interstates is more likely to get him stopped by the cops then being picked up for rides, or harmed. Especially at night, most motorists will be too freaked out by a lone male hitchhiker. Even the ones inclined to pick him up likely won't see him in time to stop as they wizz past at 70.

Tell him to rent a damn car or don't come.
posted by edgeways at 11:04 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The biggest college in the area (Drake) has a rideshare board, but I wouldn't expect it to be used much this time of year. Best take the bus.
posted by mcav at 11:55 PM on September 2, 2011


It is borderline psychotic to decide to break a law like this in order to save a few bucks (especially when you say he has the money). Tell him to rent a damned car.

Also, I've done that drive multiple times, and it is not prohibitively long. I-35 is really, really straight in that region of the country, and as long as it's not wintertime, the road is fairly safe to drive on.
posted by King Bee at 6:35 AM on September 3, 2011


Thanks for the tip about the Drake rideshare - I'll look into that! If anyone knows of physical rideshare boards I could try to get his name on then memail me.

Sorry, but it's not helpful to get responses that my dad is crazy or to yell at him about renting a car - I love my dad despite his craziness, and I've already told him to rent a car, but why get into a fight about it? He is the way he is, and I still want to see him.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:33 PM on September 3, 2011


having actually hitchhiked in that area i can tell you that edgeways is incorrect--he will eventually make it but it'll take a lot longer then the bus. the state police will kick him off of i-35/90 if they catch him. if he takes route 30/63 he'll be able to do so legally but pretty much all of his rides will be really short (1-5 miles). lots of walking. probably take 2-3 days.

as for bus: there is more then one bus. check for buses going to cedar rapids and or waterloo, or even maybe mason city, and make connections there.
posted by lester at 2:40 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like this .. the challenge of figuring out how to do something differently. Creative problem-solving.

OK so, you're in Rochester. I've heard there's a rather large medical center there. There is probably a patient services center, where they help people get to the hospital (the rather large Cleveland hospital where I work has such a center). Possibly someone in that department knows of a ride share board on your end, rather than on the Des Moines end. Or maybe there's a shuttle service of some kind, to and from Minneapolis. Would it be easier for him to find a ride share from Des Moines to Minneapolis, and then catch a shuttle to Rochester?

Let us know if you find a way to make this happen!
posted by Kangaroo at 4:22 AM on September 4, 2011


When I went to Iowa State in Ames, about 30 minutes north of DM on I-35, there was a physical rideshare board in the student union. This may be defunct but a call to the student union at Drake might point you in the right direction.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:29 PM on September 4, 2011


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