Author/Hitchhiker   54 comments


I have hitchhiked the United States for most of 22 years.  I am a Christian.  I have had three books self-published:  High Plains Drifter:  A Hitchhiking Journey Across America (2008), The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories (2012) and Writings from the Road (2016).  I am self-educated and also graduated from Iowa State University in 1995 with a BA in English Literature.  I have been influenced by monastic and Pentecostal Christianity.

A short story, “High Plains Drifter”, was published by Ethos Magazine (Iowa State University) in 1995.  Two poems, “Shiloh” and “A Prophet’s Eyes”, were published by Ethos in 1997.  I also had a number of hitchhiking stories published on

Obedience:  The Bondage Breaker
Book Review:  High Plains Drifter
Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973)



“Thou must join in with the beginnings of life, and be exercised with the day of small things, before thou meet with the great things, wherein is the clearness and satisfaction of the soul. The rest is at noonday; but the travels begin at the breakings of day, wherein are but glimmerings or little light, wherein the discovery of good and evil are not so manifest and certain; yet there must the traveller begin and travel; and in his faithful travels … the light will break in upon him more and more.”

–Isaac Penington


“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”

–Walt Whitman


“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door,” says Bilbo Baggins. “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


Luke 24: 32:  “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”


“Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.”

–T.S. Eliot


” . . . and when I choose to travel in the beaten road, it is not because I find it is the road, but because I judge it is the way.”

–John Milton


“Remember us in the roads, the heaven-haven of the Reward.”

–Gerard Manley Hopkins


Psalm 39: 12:  “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”


“Don’t think now, take the road.”

–Oswald Chambers


“Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God. For to journey without direction is wasted effort.”

–Saint Mark the Ascetic

Walls of Jericho
Tim Shey Hitchhiking in Western Wyoming


Tim Shey in Jackson, Wyoming, 2011


Posted June 6, 2011 by Tim Shey

54 responses to “Author/Hitchhiker

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  1. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for checking out my writing and leaving a few comments. I’ve been enjoying your stories as well; it’s always nice to find another hitchhiking writer. Maybe I’ll run into you down the road somewhere.



  2. Thanks, Dave. I mostly hitchhike west of the Missouri River. Today I hitchhiked from northern California into southern Oregon. I should be heading north in a day or two. I am looking forward to reading more of your stories in the future.

  3. Hope your enjoying your journeys lately. It’s been a while if you can remember me 🙂
    Good to see you’re still writing too!
    Peace & blessings ~

  4. Tinkerbell: Yes, I do remember you. I haven’t done any hitchhiking since April. I am helping some friends in California. Looks like we will be branding some calves in a week. Take care.

  5. Hi Tim,

    Thank you really for reading and sharing my post in your blog. More than anything else, I am just grateful that the message of the Lord is spread as it should. Indeed, obedience is better than sacrifice and I praise Him for helping me obey.

    Your blogs and posts are truly inspiring.



  6. Cynthia: Thank you for your obedience to the Lord.

    Here is a blog you may want to read sometime:

    Scottish Warriors for Christ

  7. Thanks Tim, I actually visited the site yesterday and posted a comment on the “True Prophets” article. Bro. Frank responded too. Praise God.

    God bless brother…

  8. You’ve got a great site here and I’ll be back very soon! Thanks for visiting Cry and Howl and for commenting.

  9. Cry and Howl: Thank you for visiting my blog.

  10. Hi Tim,
    Thank you for dropping by. I should be hanging in here a lot as i should be needing some hitchhiking tips from you 🙂
    Those look like very good reads, thanks for introducing. God bless you and may you continue to obey the Lord wherever you go.

  11. itchyfeetme: Thank you for visiting my blog. As you travel, you will see how the Lord puts people in your path. If you plan on doing a lot of hitchhiking, you may want to check out this:

    Hitch-hiker’s Handbook

  12. Hi Tim, a little email told me that you had popped in to like a post on MisunderstoodGodBlog. Thank you for your thumbs up, (smirk). I never knew there were people who purposefully hitchhike around, but I’m sure it’s an amazing adventure, to say the least. You would be an interesting person at the dinner table, and to hear all of the things The Lord has showed you along the way. Here’s to serving The Lord together! Stay safe.

  13. Hey Tim! 🙂
    At the moment we’re running a hitch-hiking photo challenge on our website and you are more than welcome to participate with your shots.
    The best entries will be posted on our website with links to photographers’ pages.
    Here are the details:
    Happy hitching!

  14. HHH: Thanks for telling me this, but I haven’t done any hitchhiking since November 1st of 2012 and I don’t have a camera. I do enjoy looking at the photos on your website. Frodi Brinks has some really outstanding photos.

  15. Any chance your books are available in electronic versions?

  16. I don’t know if you can get it on Kindle.

  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog, ForeWords, and hitting the “Like” buttom.

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  22. Hey Tim! How are you?
    We’ve recently had an interesting debate on our blog about whether or not it’s good for girls to hitch-hike on their own? What’s your view? We’d be really happy if you took part in the discussion having hitchhiked for so many years:
    Take care! 🙂

  23. HHH: I think that women should hitchhike with another woman or with another man. They should not hitchhike alone.

  24. Tim, I just received one of your books for my birthday and am looking forward to reading it. I met you years ago at my grandfather’s farm in West Bend and was so happy to talk to a fellow English major. My Bible study at church is studying witnessing and I am planning on sharing your story with the gals. I keep you in my prayers.

  25. Jen: Are you related to the Berninghaus family? I hope you like my book. Take care and God bless you.

    • Hi Tim,
      Yes, Irene was my grandmother, and Nancy is my mom. Blessings!

      • Jen: When you first mentioned your grandfather’s farm in West Bend, I thought of my and Nancy’s Grandpa Balgeman. I remember talking with you back in 1991 at the time of your grandmother’s funeral. I was a pallbearer at Grandpa Balgeman’s funeral in 1977. I was also at your mom and dad’s wedding, but I forget what year that was.

        It is funny that you received one of my books recently. I just walked several miles from Salmon, Idaho to my friends’ house and noticed my book (“The First Time I Rode a Freight & other hitchhiking stories”) on the table, so I signed it for them. God’s timing is always perfect.

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  28. Ah, lad…you’re living the life! Walking long distance is wonderful, such a precious way to touch the people and places around you. You must either be a distant relative..or a kindred spirit.

  29. The Lord called me on the road. His Providence provides for me and protects me. I just hitchhiked from Montana to a friends’ place in Idaho. I was bone-tired, so I have been able to get some rest for a few days. We are both in Christ: we are kindred spirits.

    Here is an Irish blessing that I just looked up on the internet:

    “If God sends you down a stony path,
    may he give you strong shoes.”

    My translation:

    If the Lord has you walk a narrow path,
    He will give you the strength to endure it.

  30. It is a sincere pleasure to meet you.

  31. Hi Tim:

    Thanks for your recent comments on my site! Wow, you really get around!

  32. Monastic and Pentocostal Christianity fit well into the hitchhiking lifestyle: a simple life led by the Spirit. I’ve not hitched nearly as much as you, but I see where you are coming from.

  33. Hi Tim! I love the article on forgiveness that you suggested I read the other day. Wonderful truths. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog again and for ‘liking’ one of my posts. As you know, I am very new to this adventure of sharing my faith and healing journey, and I really appreciate your encouragement. Blessings!

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  35. What an interesting blog you have. Thanks for the pingbacks!

  36. Hey, thank you for stopping by The Fruitful Life recently and “liking” a post. I decided to follow your blog because you quote some favorites of mine and because you have a strong message. God bless.

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  40. I appreciate your heart and if you ever come North to Canada please let me know


  41. “Only through time time is conquered.”

    –T.S. Eliot

    This is a comment I left on the blog Richard’s Watch:

    When I think on the word “saved” (as in, “I was saved twenty or thirty years ago” or “when were you saved?” and so on), as a Christian, it is probably an incorrect word or concept. To be saved implies the past. The Lord Jesus Christ is past, present and future. As a Christian, I abide in Christ right here right now.

    Let’s say someone surrendered their life to Christ a number of years ago. This is the BEGINNING of being connected with the timelessness of Jesus Christ. As we take up our cross and die daily, our body and soul life are put to death, so that the spiritual life within us (Christ) grows stronger and stronger every day. As the passions of the body and soul life die, time dies. Think of the sinful, physical body as shackled to time: the physical body is born on a certain date (time), it lives for 85 years (time) and then dies on a certain date (time).

    There is a point in physical time when someone surrenders to timelessness—the Lord Jesus Christ. Worldly people and lukewarm Christians are still bound to time; spiritual Christians are timeless.

    The power and beauty of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that that timeless event (it defied time and space) pierced human time and presented us with the possibility of living a life connected to timelessness and sinlessness (abiding in Christ)—if we act in faith and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.

    I John 1: 7: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

    The above scripture absolutely implies, not some historical event (time), but the timelessness of Jesus Christ. To an unbeliever, the phrase “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” is totally insane: the death of Jesus Christ happened over two thousand years ago (time). To a Christian, what happened at Calvary is happening right here right now (timelessness). If we walk in the light (abide in Christ daily), the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us (not cleansed us) from all sin.

    Enoch walked with God and then God took him because (after many years of obeying the Lord through proper blood sacrifices [dying to self] and believing in the future Messiah) he walked in timelessness and eventually timelessness (God) took him. Enoch was no longer shackled by time.

    Prophets are very timeless because the timeless Holy Ghost inspires them to speak of future events as if they are happening right here right now.

    Time to stop writing.

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  44. Hi Tim,

    I’m embarrassed to say that I just saw your comment on a very old article from 2014 that appeared on The Huffington Post website and that you knew my husband. Email me at and I’ll provide more information.

    Thanks and hope this finds you well!

    Best wishes, Catherine Pond

  45. Tim, This is Mike from Rose Hill St. in Boise, I gave you water, money and ‘Ensure’. I just wanted to say it was such a pleasure and an incredible conversation with you. I wish you well Tim and if you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop in to see me. You are an incredible man with an amazing past. Thank you Tim. Also, you truly have a ‘Gift’.

    • Mike: It was great to meet you. Thanks again for helping me out. I was happy to pray for you. It was a relief to get out of the sun for a little while.

      After I left your place, I walked to the Flying J Truck Stop on Federal Way and got something to eat and drink (so as to get out of the sun). Eventually I made it to Gowen Road and got a ride to Mountain Home. Two rides later I made it to Fairfield where I slept on the bed of a junked truck for the night. Right now I am in Hailey.

      God bless you and I hope to see you again in the near future. Take care.

  46. Tim, this is Mike from Rose Hill in Boise, (Water, money, ensure, I’m certain you’ll remember), I forgot to leave you my e-mail address and phone #, 208-867-2405. It was such a pleasure to meet you and to be blessed by you that I want you to know that if there is ever anything I can do for you, just call or e-mail. You TRULY are an incredible man. THANK YOU so much. My heart can only imagine your journeys.

    Most sincerely, Mike Jensen

  47. Tim, I’ve always been a man of logic and science but what defies me is this, to my utter AWE is part of what you mentioned in these comment sections. It is infinity, “Space & Time” This loses me in any form of context and leaves me in deep confusion.

    Michael, Rose Hill, Boise. My utmost wishes for your safety and happiness in this WONDERFUL existence we’ve been given, simply called “LIFE” !

    My VERY best to you. I can’t wait, (God willing) for us to meet again and have significantly more time to interact.

    I will treat you as “Brethren” although I haven’t been blessed, (That I have felt to your extent) with the soul you have. INCREDIBLE

    • Mike: I hitchhiked out of Riggins yesterday planning on stopping by your place in Boise. I got a ride from Donnelly with a young lady who said that she was going to Paul, Idaho. So I thought I would go all the way to Twin Falls and then hitchhike to Shoshone to visit some friends there that I hadn’t seen in a few months. Hopefully, I will be able to stop by your place the next time I’m in Boise.

  48. Yes, hopefully. Will look forward to it. Thanks Tim.

    Michael Jensen
  49. Private message

    I am trying to comment on your other blog – and I can’t seem to figure out how…..

    Comment as follows:

    Very good and timely word! The five foolish and the five wise virgins.

    Oil in our vessels God’s answer for this hour.


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