The strangest part was that he started talking about recent lack of sunspots, as seen by a NASA satellite mission and reported on spaceweather.com.
Now, what are the odds that an itinerant hitchhiker whose hobby is space weather would happen to get picked up by a solar physicist who worked with the very satellite he'd just read about?
He was psyched that I was a solar physicist, I was psyched that, indeed, he wasn't a homicidal maniac, and also that he was interested in my field. I dropped him off at a rest stop on US95 shortly before my exit, and the tale is done.
So hello Jonathan, hope you reached Baltimore, and here's a shout-out to the STEREO mission for bringing us together.
Alex, the daytime astronomer