During my teen age years in Merrill and Lyon Mountain very few families had two vehicles. Parents juggled their schedules and made ends meet with a single vehicle. Students in high school didn’t drive cars to school. We didn’t complain. We could walk or hitchhike anywhere we wanted to go.
People were generally friendly and often offered rides to anyone walking along a road or highway. If you were walking and stuck out your thumb to passing motorists it was easy to get a ride. When you live in a rural mountain community very few people would drive by you. The big problem was lack of anyone on the roads.
Most of my time was spent with friends in Lyon Mt. In the early evenings it was generally very easy to catch a ride from home up to Lyon Mt. We were always on the go like most teenagers. We seldom, if ever, watched television unless it was an evening at home with the family and something special was on. We played many card games such as pinocle and canasta. Parents often joined the teenagers in the games. My visits would end around ten o’clock. It wasn’t uncommon for me to walk home and never see a passing car. The walks were normally pretty uneventful as I walked the highway home. Once in a while a bobcat might screech in the area of the town dump and cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up. Just around the corner from home The Owly Out bar would have two or three late customers. I always looked forward to the neon lights at The Owly Out when walking home.
Once in a while we would pool our money and go bowling in Chateaugay about twelve miles to the north. Two or three of us would have no problem getting a ride before seven in the evening. We would hitchhike down, wait for an available lane, and bowl a few games. If we got onto Highway 374 by nine thirty the chances of a ride towards home were pretty good. It was easy to get from Chateaugay to the Hay House and the Half Way House bars. From there we could usually catch somebody headed to Bouchards on the lower lake. From Bouchards we could get close to home. If we had to walk a couple miles it was just part of our outing.
My parents expected us to be independent and find our own way……………it was part of becoming an adult.