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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 travellerstravelers, since an alarming majority of there are alarmingly few public drinking fountains in Phoenix have never been builtavailable. However, common practice for any business establishment (or have been replaced with Aquafina vending machinesresident) is to provide free drinking water when asked, so partially due to a commonly held belief that it is fairly hard illegal to remain hydrated refuse anyone water- although no such law exists in the heat if you are short on cashArizona.
'''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 traveling 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 ($12.25 00 one way bus fare) or have a friend drop you at a good spot, then planting yourself at a major truckstop truck stop 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. Also note that there are no transfers available, and purchasing a day pass on board a bus costs $6. Buy one at a Circle K or lightrail station for $4 instead.
== Hitchhiking Exit Points ==
=== I-10 Westbound, [[California]] Bound ===
[[File:I-10-to-Phoenix.jpg|thumb|300px|right|I-10, 140 miles from Phoenix]]
'''Exit 137 at 67th Avenue.''' From downtown Phoenix, take local Bus #17 west, get off at 67th avenue and walk 1/2 mile south. Two truckstops here: Flying J and Danny's-A Big Rig Resort. Between the two is a public road that all trucks must pass to get back onto the highway. Stand here at the corner with a sign stating your destination ("I-10 WEST", for example). [[User:thewindandrain|TheWindAndRain]] waited at this spot for 3 days before giving up and deciding to go a different direction. [[User:wallpaper|Wallpaper]] was harassed by police here and told to leave after waiting for only five minutes. Alternatively, the regional bus #685 [http://www.ajotransportation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Route-685-PIC.jpg] costs $4 and connects from the Desert Sky Transit Center in Phoenix to Ajo, a small mining town in Southern Arizona. If you take it seven stops to Gila Bend, you can hitchhike directly on the I-8. The town also has a Love's truck stop and many fast food places that may be good for soliciting rides.
=== I-10 Eastbound, [[Tucson]] or [[New Mexico]] Bound ===
=== State Route 87, [[Payson]] Bound ===
If you want to try your luck northeast along the Beeline Highway to Payson and Eastern Arizona, you will need to get out to Fountain Hills past the city of Scottsdale. Local bus service using bus #106 north will only take you part of the way, to Shea Road at 134th street. You will need to go another 10 miles or so past upscale residential areas before beginning to hitchhike without major hassle. There are many drivers en route heading for Fort Mcdowell casino and if you can catch a ride that far you can begin hitchhiking soon after. Try walking along the sidewalk with your back to traffic and your thumb out until you get far enough to really lay on the hitchhiking persuasion.  Another possibly easier location to hitch from is the intersection of AZ 87 and McDowell on the north edge of Mesa, just north of AZ 202. [[User:wallpaper|Wallpaper]] has hitchhiked to [[Payson]] (and beyond!) from the AZ 87 and Gilbert Rd (a three mile walk from the nearest bus stop), just east of the Salt River landfill. She has used this route several times successfully with short waits and no police hassle.
=== State Route 60 towards [[Wickenburg]], [[Las Vegas]] ===
== 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 extent and often beyond.{{IsIn|Arizona}}
 
== Personal Experiences ==
''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.'' - Josiahsettles
[[Category:Arizona]]
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