Madison, WI

After parting ways with everyone at the St. Paul capitol building we stuck with Roger Johnson and headed to Wisconsin. Shortly after leaving St. Paul we crossed the bridge into Wisconsin. I could see the 'Welcome to Wisconsin' sign ahead and didn't want to miss a great photo-op. Suddenly Roger swung his Dodge Caravan across three lanes of traffic, narrowly missing other motorists, he found a break in traffic, pulled onto the shoulder, jumped the van onto the highway embankment and parked right beside the sign. Obviously we were in the company of an expert.

Here we got a series of welcome sign photos with the world’s first self-proclaimed welcome sign photography expert. Roger approved of our welcome sign styles, I suppose he gave us it the seal of approval.

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Roger took us an hour or so in Wisconsin and dropped us off in Menomonie for Dan to pick us up. It was here Fiddy announced he would only eat cheese in the state of Wisconsin, for life! So far he has stayed true to his word. Dan, a Wisconsin local goes to University in Menomonie for mechanical engineering. He saw us on Digg.com and wanted to help out. He eagerly dropped all his Sunday night plans at short notice to take us into Madison, WI. Dan and his truck cruised us into Madison in no time. Funny thing about this truck too, his grandpa hit a tree going 45 MPH in reverse, and it only left a tiny dent. Don't know what he was doing going 45 MPH in reverse, but it sounds like something amazing was going on.

After a few hours we were in Madison, just in time to get some night time jump shots.

Dan Fiddy

But wait, there’s more. Alexandra was planning on coming to Madison on Sunday night, from Illinois, but decided to put if off until Monday morning. So she too got in on Madison jump shots round two.

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Sammy and Freddy?

We've been getting all kinds of emails asking about some guys named Sammy and Freddy. There must be some confusion, we are Scotty and Fiddy, not Sammy and Freddy.



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Driver's Reactions

When we're out there grassroots thumbin' in we get alot of cars driving by us. Hundreds of cars. Many people just smile, or keep looking straight ahead, but most cycle through a series of funny reactions demonstrated here:



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Lansing, MI



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Alexandra picked us up in Madison and we headed south to Illinois. Alexandra is originally from Byron, Illinois, but has been living in LA for the past few years. She is into competitive fitness routines; kinda a mix between bodybuilding and a beauty pageant. She’s actually on her way to LA today to enter a competition on Friday. Now, here’s where you can help. We challenged Alexandra to eat a hot dog on stage. If she does it, and does it well, we’ll fly her to State 50. So we need you to email her through her web site and encourage her to chow down on stage. C’mon it’ll only take a second. We’re not joking either.

Alexandra is one of those happy-go-lucky kind people. She gets excited when she drives through highway tolls, because she gets to pay for herself, and the person behind her. We had a good time riding with her in her Saturn to her parent’s restaurant in Byron, Illinois. Randy, her step dad treated us to lunch. We didn’t get a chance to do our workout routine, but maybe in state 50.

Stacy came to meet us at the restaurant and took us south towards Chicago. She blew off work for the day to drive us into Michigan. Along the way we stopped to get a new Hitch50 symbol.

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This hound now appears on the bumper of any car we’re in. Watch for it on an interstate near you!

Stacy lives in the Chicago area, and wants to go to law school. Check out her web site to see how you can help her achieve her goal.

Stacy and her dog Madison took us to Kalamazoo. I knew we we’re officially in Michigan when a pickup rolled into the gas station blaring Eminem and a scrawny white guy got out of his Sunfire, adorned with bleach blond hair and proceeded to stare me down. We know Michigan isn’t all like this, but pop culture leads us to this image.

We said goodbye to Stacy and met up with Kahn. Kahn drove out from Detroit to take us to Lansing. Kahn is a cool guy who loves his four kids and steak. He originally planned to take his whole family and us on a family road trip, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out. Oh well, next time.

He took us for a quick visit in Lansing Monday night. After a short photo shoot, at the capitol we were on the road again heading south.

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Live from the Limo

Chris Michaels, the morning host from "The Big Show" on 94.3 Buddy FM in Rushville, Indiana drove up to Michigan Tuesday morning to pick us up. This was no ordinary ride, as Chris did his radio show from the driver’s seat of the car. He left home at 2:30AM to drive up to Michigan to pick us up and take us into Indianapolis. Chris heard about us right when we started in October, and he’s been checking in weekly for updates along the way. He’s a cool easy going guy, with a great radio voice. It was pretty sweet, just sitting in the car talking on a microphone, live on the air, all run through a cell phone. We did frequent updates and different segments of his show for three hours, all the way into Indianapolis.



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Hanging out with Chris was a great lesson on radio. People can only hear a voice, so the DJs totally mess with the audience. All the listeners thought we were riding in a limo provided by an Indiana car dealership as a promotion. But, the promotion was one sided, as we were actually riding in a Chevy Aveo. I bet Chris did get a free limo, but already used it with his friends. Oh well, we didn’t care, it was awesome to meet Chris and do the morning show with him.

Chris took us right to the capitol building in Indianapolis, we had a look around and got some jump shots. Number 40: done. With only 10 states remaining, we agreed the final countdown has officially begun, cue “The Final Countdown” by Europe.

Sean, a local Indy resident met us there too for some photos and to hang out. After hanging around talking with people we joined our new hoosier friends for lunch in the circle city.

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Chicago, IL

Don met us at The Slippery Noodle for lunch and agreed to take us north to Chicago. Don lives in Lebanon, just north of Indianapolis. He took the day off work and met up with us to hang out and go for a drive. A friendly family man, Don got set up in his dad’s car for the day. It even had sheep skin seat covers.

Don took us in downtown Chicago and right to the capitol building. Number 41 done. Nah, just kidding we know it’s not the capitol. Don left us downtown to check out the city and figure out what to do next. All of Chicago is really cool, but the best part is “The Bean”. The Bean is an oversized chrome coffee bean on the edge of Lake Michigan. These photos show how cool it is.

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Julia gave us a call around five and offered a place to stay and entertainment for the night. We quickly met up with her and went to the Chicago Museum of Modern Art. Julia is in town on business from Canmore, Alberta, Canada. She’s staying at a friend’s apartment on the 27 floor of a building in downtown Chicago, and offered us some couches for the night. Julia, or Jules, invited us to a work party in Chicago last month, and it randomly worked out she was back in Chicago again this week. She’s a super cool, laid back girl who retired from the life of a ski bum, and entered the white-collar world. Well kinda, she still lives in a ski town and skis more than me or you. I think she’s still a ski bum at heart. The company she works for, was getting about 20 people together to check out the sustainable design exhibit, then having a wine and cheese party. The museum was awesome, all the new designs and exhibits were amazing to see. You may have heard the trendy catch phrase “Waste equals food”, well this exhibit proved that statement.

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Before leaving we got the record for group jump shots. Here’s 14 staff members of Critical Mass jumpin’ it up.

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Geoffery (third from the left) had us all back to his swanky urban apartment for wine and dinner. It’s a strange feeling sitting in this amazing downtown apartment, surrounded by lots of awesome people, when only two hours before we had no idea what we were doing for the night. Everyone there decided we needed to generate some content for the web site. We wanted everyone to make a hitchhiking sign that shows where they would want to hitch to.

After the party a group of us went out in Chicago and spread the word about Alexandra’s hot dog challenge. After a fun night with awesome people we crashed on the couches at Julia’s apartment.