While at the Baldock rest area (the one on Interstate 5 a few miles south of Wilsonville) recently I saw, propped against a wall, a cardboard sign that read, "Pregnant, hungry, out of gas," next to a folded towel, a bowl, a small pack, and a few personal items, but no person. Curious, I looked around, and saw a group of four people a hundred feet off, one of whom appeared to be pregnant. A few minutes later, I noticed that one of the four, a well-nourished male, was now sitting on the towel next to the pack, but with a different sign that read only "Out of gas."
This piqued my curiosity. Perhaps the four are students of marketing, engaging in some research by testing different approaches and signs to see what provokes the greatest generosity from passing travelers. Or maybe they independently descended on the rest area and worked out a timeshare. The most likely explanation, I decided, is that they arranged a carpool, heeding Metro's precepts by reducing their vehicle-miles-traveled and panhandling sustainably.