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Phoenix (Arizona)

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'''Phoenix''' is [[Arizona]]'s state capital and largest city, located in the south-central region of the state with major highways including I-10 (east-west) and I-17 (originating downtown and heading north). It is not a hitchhiker-friendly city by far, one big suburban sprawl full of highways, but there are some good spots around to get out of it.
The city is in the middle of a large, desert valley and surrounded by many suburban cities. When someone mentions Phoenix they are sometimes referring to the entire valley, which includes the cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, and others. Temperatures rarely get below freezing in the winter, but watch out in summer! Afternoons in late June and July can be as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but usually in the 110s. This can be especially difficult for budget travellers, since an alarming majority of drinking fountains in Phoenix have never been built, or have been replaced with Aquafina vending machines, so it is fairly hard to remain hydrated in the heat if you are short on cash.
'''Tempe''' is a popular hangout in the winter for street kids and other travellers, due to the university nearby and several places to stealth camp, such as Papago Park, a large urban park with hills and caves. Mill Avenue is the main drag, and while it has become much more yuppified over the years, you will still see a lot of travelling folks along the street and in the coffee shops.
There is absolutely no reason a hitchhiker should purposely visit the greater Phoenix area, unless you are a wealthy sociopathic masochist with a golf fetish, in which case you likely have a massive SUV, as most people in the Phoenix area are/have. Not only is it an overheated and ugly sprawl of freeways, beige two-car garages, golf courses, more freeways, and Walmarts, the people of Phoenix are generally quite rude to anyone they perceive as either not having very much money, or having a skin color any shade darker than the sand which envelops the area, and meeting both of these criteria will likely get you arrested and imprisoned for several years. People in the greater Phoenix area also tend to judge others based on the size, cleanliness, newness, and luxuriousness of their cars, which leads to a booming car sales industry, a constant haze of smog over the clogged freeways, and a nearly frightening number of lanes on major roads, but also means that someone without a car (ie a hitchhiker) will be assumed to be either insane or subhuman, and will be treated as such. In general, avoid Phoenix and its environs at all cost. Hitchhiking out of the Phoenix area means getting to an outlying suburb by bus ($1.25 fare) or have a friend drop you at a good spot, then planting yourself at a major truckstop exit or nearby highway on-ramp. Note that public transport is quite slow and quirky, which is to say, it rarely goes where needed or expected and is almost guaranteed to be at least 20 minutes late.
== Hitchhiking Exit Points ==
== Legal Issues ==
Hitchhiking is at the very least discouraged within the Phoenix metro area and may be outright illegal. For this reason, always get to the far city limits, as mentioned in the exit points above, before attempting to hitchhiking. Otherwise, expect cop hassle and possibly a warning citation or fine. Also, nearly all of the Phoenix metro area is within Maricopa county and so is under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, called "America's Toughest Sheriff". His deputies are encouraged to uphold this tough stance, so be aware of your surroundings and consider that the (often draconian) laws will be interpreted and upheld to their fullest extentand often beyond.{{IsIn|Arizona}}
[[Category:Arizona]]
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