North America Hitch Gathering

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This is the collaborative wiki for the 2010 North America Hitch Gathering taking place in Boulder, CO on August 21st. If you were redirected here from http://na.hitchgathering.org then the website is still not functional. For now, we are using this wiki to organize, create content, discuss and publish all information needed for the Hitch Gathering. The first section is the working content for the website, the second is the active discussions for organizing. Please feel free to contribute and participate. If you would like to be added to the mailing list where the current discussions are taking place, subscribe here

Website

The text below will be available on the forthcoming website. Do edit the text if you see things that can be changed or added.

Home

A Hitch Gathering is a non-commercial, volunteer based, self-organized project that supports the promotion of Hitchhiking. The idea is simple: Once a year a place is chosen and everyone (hitchhikers or non-hitchhikers) gather together to celebrate, to share, to learn and to discover! It's a time to get together and be happy, to help one another, to talk and meet, and to develop our ideas and then pursue them further.

The next North America Hitch Gathering is set to take place August 9th, 2014. Details are on the 2014_North_American_Hitchgathering page

Our Goals

  • To promote the concept of hitchhiking in North American society and build goodwill toward hitchhikers
  • To stimulate the community of hitchhikers
  • To have a good time doing the above, while travelling and meeting old and new friends.
  • To skillshare any knowledge through playshops in relation to travel, foraging, camping and safety

Where

The North American Hitch Gathering is taking place in Boulder, Colorado this year on August 21st! The exact location is still being determined, though it will most likely be an open area with basic services, possibly a good place in Nature (but still close enough to the city) where we can gather together, camp and live for a few days, a place where we can be free and well.

There will also be a pre-meeting in Denver on the 20th of August. Again, the exact location has yet to be determined, though it will most likely be a city park inside the city. The pre-day gathering is for those that arrive early, those that are interested in meeting hitchhikers and travelers in an accessible location in Denver, and for anyone interested. The afternoon will most likely be spend at a park; then the evening resting with friends (Couchsurfers, Hospitality Club, possible community centre), or other arrangements (to come). The next day there will be a gathering around noon in Denver where everyone can join together, and then all Hitch together to Boulder (20 kilometers away). We're envisioning a great group of people all leaving together, maybe with media involved, and off to Boulder we go!

When

August 21st, 2010 and it should last a couple days. There will be a pre-meeting in Denver on the 20th.

What

At Hitch Gatherings all around the world, hitchhikers gather to promote hitchhiking. The first (recent, to my knowledge) European gathering met in Paris in 2008, participants camped for three days in front of the Eiffel Tower. Then in Odesa in 2009 at Shevchenko Park, where they camped at a beach. 2010 was in Portugal, and a group brought it to North America, with a sister gathering in the Boulder/Denver area.

How it started

A small group of enthusiastic travelers had decided early 2008 to organize the first European Hitch-hiking Week. It started as an art-project but moved quickly into something bigger, something wider as more people joined in.

The aim was now to give one location and time for a rally, and broadcast it to all the hitch-hikers of the world. The place was decided to be the "Champs de Mars" in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; and the time 8pm on the 08/08/08, hence the name of "Project 888". See "Paris 888 hitch hiking trailer" on YouTube.

150 people showed up from all around Europe and stayed for the 3 days week-end. It was a very intense time of exchange, smiles, and french wine. We held playshops on urban camping, safety issues, sustainable travel and many other things travel related.

Odesa 2009

It was so good that we decided to do it again. The community had grown and more people wanted to join. This time though we wanted to meet up somewhere more east, where we could also meet up with hitchhikers from Russia (less visa-issues for everyone). The place chosen was Odesa on the Black Sea in the Ukraine. The challenge was much harder this time. Paris was an easy go for most of us, but the Ukraine was a lot further. Many people embarked on a multiple day hitchhiking trip, traveled non-stop or met up at the pre-meetings that were organized along the way.

In the end we gathered with a bit over a hundred hitchhikers from all over Europe, mostly experienced hitchhikers. A few didn't even make it though, it was too far for them. We spent three days together talking, partying and sharing our skills.

2010

The North American Hitch Gathering took place in Denver, Boulder, Nederland, and the forests around Nederland (on a lake, near a trail, next to Moffat Tunnel), Colorado on August 21st, 2010. It is a beautiful, open area with basic services at the trail head, in Nature (but still close enough to the city) where we gathered together, camped and lived for a few days, a place where we could be free and well.

There was also be a pre-meeting in Denver on the 20th of August, at a park in the middle of the city, with dinner at the SAME cafe (So All May Eat - a pay as you can place, where people can also volunteer). The pre-day gathering was for those that arrived early, those that were interested in meeting hitchhikers and travelers in an accessible location in Denver, and for anyone interested. The afternoon was spent at the park; then the evening resting with friends (Couchsurfers, Hospitality Club, possible community centre), etc. The next day we all hitched together to Boulder (20 kilometers away).

Participate

Everyone is invited to contribute to the event with stories, pictures and videos. The event lives from it's participants, and of course everybody is invited to help along, may it be organizing a (pre-) meeting, translating text into other languages or just by telling the world about this project! If you have an idea, you're the one who makes it happen! Leave an idea at the forum and find people to join you.

How

Hitchhiking is our way of going around! We love to hitchhike for various reasons. Some of us do it for the adventure, others to meet people, and again others see it as the best way of going to places and meet locals.

Are you new to hitchhiking or you want more information? There are many guides. Hitchwiki is by far the most complete as it is edited by many hitchhikers around the world.

Check for example:


Discussion

Things to do

  • Find suitable location in Boulder for gathering! Nature, beautiful, basic services and free for us to use for a few days. Camping friendly! (everyone)
  • Finish An Overview of the Vision paper. (jeremie)
  • Promote like crazy, Couchsurfing, Hospitality club, facebook, etc
  • Organize afternoon and evening event in Denver, the 20th.

-Have one person with computer, pen&paper, or charcoal&cave wall to get all participants to leave contact information for future notices, NOT Big Brother.

  • Official Spokesperson to interact with media. Not that any hitch hiker can say it any better or worse, but an "Agreed-Upon" public statement to promote our ideology. This could involve a senior citizen hitch hiker, gutter punk, and/or college student.
  • Enable participants to be a positive influence on Boulder/Denver
  • Organize with all participants to record audio/video/still images/spoken word/interviews with any and all by-standers or hitch hikers in the hopes ov creating a documentary about this event.

- Boulder Creek trail trash cleanup

- library volunteering (george talking to Boulder libraries) (because locals suggested it in the comments http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15099272)

- a Volunteer Connection or Zero-waste education @ farmer's market(your name here?)

- Request competent, understanding, communication-savvy volunteers for ON-site(Denver and Boulder) mediators between Us and Them. Us being- any traveler there for the gathering. Them being- Authority figures, Media, other Groups (church,4-H, political rally, gang-bangers, etc)who may be occupying the same space. In Paris, there was a delegated group to explain to the Police Who we were, Why we were there and generally to smooth things over. Ended up, they didnt mind us assembling, as long as we kept our backpacks piled centrally instead ov spread out the grass and informed us ov NO tents the second morning. Ovcourse, by the 3rd morning, some ov our group did NOT hear that part and when the SAME police arrived that 3rd morning, they were NOT HAPPY!! In Odessa, somehow the authorities already knew. Whether through the radio, TV or somehow, they didn't mind us congregating in the park. It was pretty unsafe to sleep there(my personal testimony), but the days were fine. The Tourist Bureau also offered a FREE guided tour ov the harbor area WITH translation for us. BUT, by the 3rd afternoon, the police told us we had to leave, the park was not cleaned by some volunteers. We tried to keep tidy, but with many people and not enough direction, things tend to fizzle out.

-Meal Time!-What better way to get to know your fellow traveler than over cup ov Joe? Organize with Food Rescue operations already in place in Denver and Boulder to see if they would be interested in lending a helping hand. Having an approximate time(within a couple hours) for breakfast and dinner feedings will take the stress from individuals foraging for themselves. Allowing more time for stories and skillsharing. People can switch off food duties in order to participate in group discussions. Once again,... In Paris, a kind man(who shall remain anonymous) walked around with a hat and people donated what money they could. Then off to the market we went! Upon returning, there was a smorgasbord ov food available to any who wished. In Odessa, dumpster-diving was not possible(im told) and for the majority ov westerners, restaurants/markets were affordable(but ruined any communal feedings).

- your suggestions here!

Goal date for these tasks: June 1st

  • Find location in both Denver and Boulder for the gatherings. (Jeremie speaking with contacts in Denver and Boulder, May 17th) (George also looking for more CouchSurfing and DigiHitch contacts)
Can we set a vote for destinations? It seems we are leaning towards Denver "somewhere" and Boulder Chautauqua park. To set a place in stone, i think people will be able to make plans, by leaving it up in the air, we may lose a few. And if no one shows up, who cares?
  • Website (Your Name, Jeremie, George, Robin, ... content for north american hitch gathering website)
  • E-mail list (Robin? [email protected]? [email protected]? Might as well set it up now, as long as that won't make it harder to integrate later?)
  • Poster, web poster (your name) Amylin! :)
  • Video media, ie. shorts, promotion stuff, etc (your name) Lily?
  • Catch lines, phrases: The Road is Zen, The Road is True, etc. Possible idea is gather near Naropa university, the first buddhist accredited university in america, and place the Buddhist/Zen theme on the promotion.
im begging to differ on the theme. Why mix spirituality with travel?-r3353

Goal date for these tasks: June 4th

  • Have promotional package ready
  • Have flyer done
Yes, a flyer is a handy gift for all participants to give to the drivers. Making them feel as if they have made a great difference in others lives.-If you tell me where to send the image, i can get one drawn up from a VERY talented artist friend ov mine. i was thinking along the lines ov Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. You know, the planet with goofy eyes and tongue sticking out, but holding a yellow(color ov peace, also color ov jumpsuit offered by Russian Hitch Hiking School(yes, one DOES exist!) also there is an electronic music festival in Ukraine called Kazantip, where if you arrive with a yellow suitcase, the admission is free, supposedly. also the Free State 'Christiania' in Denmark uses 3 yellow dots on a red flag for is symbol) suitcase(international symbol for 'traveler') in one hand and a 'thumbs up' on the other.
  • Have a linked website, www.na.hitchgathering.org


Goal dates for these tasks: June 15th

  • Find on site organizer for Denver Day gathering, then on site organizer for Boulder day and night gathering.
  • Highlight good angles to approach Media, ie. Promotion packages with manifesto type work, at least some sort of written work on the event in our own words.
  • Have set website team to deal with daily motion and postings. (George volunteers after June 19, but his drupal-fu is weak. other volunteers?)
  • Start posting on digihitch.com, Couchsurfing.org (Your Name, Jeremie, r3353(im starting with contacting groups on CS. Does anyone know a way to promote in all US states, Canadian provinces and Mexican states? i certainly dont want to SPAM them all.), George - digihitch forums seem broken, no response from admin)
    • I partly fixed the forum, it's readable again. Not sure how to make it possible for people to post again. Any phpBB experts around? guaka 21:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

In and above all these tasks, the active participation of everyone involved to Promote and Educate each other about both the event and the safety issues involved. Since this is going to take place in America, it's going to be different then what's been going on in Europe. Let it be considered.

Possible Locations

Any suggestions for Boulder or Denver? Add below.

Criteria:

  • Jeremie says I would recommend trying to locate a place where people could camp and be outside for a couple days.
  • For Denver, Jeremie says The gathering could happen in a public park (and probably should be for media) and then the evenings could be CSed or hosted somewhere in the city.
  • For Boulder, somewhere everyone could gather for a few days without too much worry. Close enough to services, yet still far enough from bother.

Boulder

Ariana says: Are you looking for someplace to camp or just to gather close to town? A great place to gather that's public and close to town is Chautauqua park. In most parts of Boulder, you'll be able to find great open space, public parks, and great open cafes. As for camping, just head west from wherever and within half an hour, you'll be able to find great camping places.

Another vote for Chautauqua park from my friend, who also says that a group camping there for one evening would likely not be disturbed. I (George) will check it out around June 10 and maybe try camping there :).

I (Mike L. from Denver) recommend Boulder Central Park, where the bandshell is, at Broadway and Canyon. HOWEVER, an all-nighter in Boulder might be a problem. In fact there was a civil disobedience occurring in Boulder over their prohibitions of camping:

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15099272

It ended at least a couple weeks before June 15.

I imagine that the definition of "camping" is probably a bit loose and at the discretion of the arresting officer :(

Denver

Civic Center Park in Denver. (some interesting reviews) I George like the sound of it from those reviews!

Alternately, Chatfield Reservoir (chatfield is ~15 miles south of the city center)

Aowin suggests Washington "Wash" Park (+always lots of people, +right in the middle by I-25, -big park, 165 acres, might be hard to find gathering, lakes, +playground, rich neighborhood (might get more complaints?)). Also says there is also a good park (City Park) next to the zoo, but likelihood of being bothered by police is higher?

r3353 recommends- for the meeting in Denver, if the goal is media attention, to make it a very busy yet spacious location. But as the hikers trickle in on the 20th, there could be On-site people to receive all new-comers. Keeping things visible for news with Flashmobs and 'playshops' whereby we actively draw in people to spread awareness, making ov statues with the cardboard signs, etc. Then when that evening ends, people can fend for themselves(as it had been in Paris and Odessa. Most banded together in the Champs de Mars(for Paris) or hiking 30 minutes to the nudist beach on the Black Sea(for Odessa). Both were rightous parties independant ov promoting HH(more ov a relaxing "We FINALLY made it-type party). As for the idea ov everyone leaving one point in the morning for the Boulder destination(as a Grand Send-Off) MAY be possible, but imagine how many days everyone has already traveled. Many may be staying with friends 'out' ov the area, so the quickest route may be a southern exit to Boulder(if my directions are right, please correct) With at least one person in the Denver locale holding a very BIG sign to guide any late arrivals(if they dont know they way). For the Boulder location(if media is NOT the point) Chautauqua park sounds possible(never been there). Besides the sharing ov stories from around, and other playshops, the final destination is NOT a place to sit around and pat ourselves on the back for making it. Once there THAT is when the actual fun begins. Spreading the concept, Promoting awareness, interacting with locals should be a higher priority than resting on our laurels with our proverbial HH thumb up our arse. So im curious how Barcelona-Portugal and Denver-Boulder will turn out. It is a new idea this year to have main gathering in a city and then ONE day to dance our way to camping area.

Another idea is in regards to weather. What happens if it rains? Any shelter for a group ov people should be taken into consideration. Its not much fun if everyone is trapped in a tent because ov torrential storms. Sure, rain gear is usually included in all backpacks. But what about make-shift structures? Is there an amphitheater where we can get together?

Above all- let everyone voice an opinion, discuss it and then decide. But for Paris, the destination(Eiffel Tower) was known from the start, in Odessa (statue ov poet Shevchenko) was determined sometime just before hand. And at the moment Portugal is still floating, yes? The flyers may help sway those undecided.



CONCENTRIC CIRCLES outside Denver. i recently posted messages in some major cities that surround Colorado asking for assistance in organizing a meet-up point for any participants on the way in the days preceding the event. In '08 we met in Hamburg and Utrecht prior to Paris. There were other cities coming from different directions on the same days. That is was made it originally called "International Hitch Hiking WEEK', the event itself was 60% and getting there was the rest. In '09, it was more a straight shot once you entered Central and Eastern Europe(some chose the southern route through Poland, Moldova, to Odessa. Where as some took L'viv, Kiev, Odessa. For me personally, these meetings made a HUGE difference in my experience ov the event. Having never traveled there before, the people i met at the pubs and host-houses were invaluable in assisting my novice thumb.

Can someone help me looking at a map to determine other cities farther out(but within approximately 1-day hitch) and post more message??

Quotes

Possible quotes and phrases for the event to be used on web posters, hand-outs, websites and such. Add what you think would be good!! Don't be shy!

Poster Quotes

  • The Road is True!
  • The Road is Zen!
  • Random Roads Lead NowHere

Notes

The active development of this project is open to anyone. Edit and update this page as you wish, link it to anyone you believe may be interested. Art-work, media, documents and such can be linked here or anywhere you think is proper. If you really have a question, email me: [email protected] and we'll learn to inspire and empower ourselves. Love and light!