I grew up in The Columbia Valley in B.C. I was born in 1952 and lived in Edgewater, B.C. (about 500 people) 6 miles north of Radium Hot Springs. Everyone worked in Radium in the summer either in the motels or restaurants. It was normal to hitchhike back and forth to work.
I worked 1 summer in the afternoon shift, and would be out on the corner at midnight. I knew most people but if I was a bit late getting of work most I knew who worked the same shift would be gone by then. On the weekends, my brother or his friends would be in the bar of the National Hotel (a 3 story hotel sat on the corner and you could go to Invermere to the south or Edgewater/ Golden north). I would go to the door to see if he was there and then go wait in his car. But sometimes you had to take your chances with people you didn’t know. But that was the days you where fairly safe, but sometimes it was a bit scary.
We would also hike home from school in Invermere if we just wanted to take the afternoon off. We usually got a ride
with one of the Dr.’s who would be going to Edgewater on Wednesdays, as they run a small clinic that afternoon. Also in those days, we would have to walk 6 miles to my friend’s home as there would be no traffic at all on the highways. These where the days when a teenage girl felt safe and their parents also felt safe to let their kids hitchhike. Now days no one lets there kids out the door, I sure know I wouldn’t let have let my daughter hitchhike when she was my age, and this was in the nineties! We have come a long way and I think it is good that we have cell phones so we know where are kids are but they should have the tracking device like we have in vehicles.
I guess I grew up when no one locked their doors, trusted people, and kids could be kids who knew or felt safe in their world.