The world of rifts, as I see it, is a dark and sinister place where danger lurks behind every corner. Travelling the countryside can be just as challenging as going to war, except here you don`t know who`s the enemy. Stomping around in a multi-million credit PA will attract attention and some people would kill you for it, there is the constant danger of radiation and disease, old long-forgotten minefields are still there...
Personally I think that encounters should be plentiful and interesting. Better than saying: "Okay, you arrved". Here`s a few that I`ve come up with.

-A CS patrol fending off monsters/magic-users.
-A crashed PA. Does it have a reactor leak? Is it salvageable? Skills, anyone?
- A pack of wolves/whatever attacks the PCs. This should be an easy fight, for player ego pump.
-PCs find a pre-rifts weapons cache, old SDC weapons OR, PCs discover and exotic alien weapon. What is it?
How does it work?
Skills, anyone?
-PCs find an injured beast. Do they help it or does it become dinner? Maybe it remembers the PCs and returns the favor.
-A jet screams over the PCs. Did it see them? Was it looking for the PCs? Maybe it just happened to fly over.
-A bandit ambush. Again, make the bandits desperate and poorly armed. Players love to kick ass and take names.
-The PCs stumble in the middle of a minefield. SD or MD mines? Will the PCs defuse the field so no-one else will get hurt? Or do they need mines?
-A broken down vehicle, and small footprints leading away. Perhaps to a direction where the PCs know that is dangerous.

-A CS deserter. Maybe he has an interesting story to tell of monsters and treasure. Or maybe he`s a CS Ranger trying to infiltrate the PCs group.
-A shack out in the middle of nowhere. Is the occupant home? Is he the classic insane hermit? Is he dead, cut in two?
Maybe he just had a seizure and died a peaceful death. Right.