For me it is definitely a no-go as I am at home waiting for a person whose doors are inside, but this year it is again time for a European Hitchgathering. The tradition stays in place as this one is already our fifth, and again in another corner of the continent, Lithuania.
The Academy of Free Travel (AFT) sounds vaguely Casa-esque, but more temporary and exclusively for hitchhikers. Apparently they have set up hitchhiker houses (in the past) in 3 Russian cities, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan, and Egypt. I hear the next one is to be in Tbilisi, Georgia. An English AFT page is here, with links to other pages in Russian, and a CouchSurfing thread is here, including a couple people who have stayed at AFT houses.
I had an experience last weekend that gave me perspective on a lot of peoples' fear of hitchhikers.
Yes we were stupid. It was a dark, rainy night on a coastal highway (HW-1 in California). Our headlights flew past a figure on the side of the road. We only saw him for a split second - just enough to see him gesturing frantically with his thumb.
"I usually don't pick up hitchhikers. But you don't look like the usual hippie... "
The 40-something man opens the door of the fancy car he drives to make an impression on his clients.
I'm in. comfortably sitting in the rear. with my shoulders finally relying on something smoother than a rock.
It was fun to sleep for few days in a tent under zero degrees and winking stars fighting to be brighter than the orange moon. Listening to the birds talking to each other the whole night.