Location Scouting Volunteers? Pro: Well known to the attendees of HitchGathering North America 2010, *easy* hitching nearby Con: Free camping / cheap lodging hard to find, the place we camped in 2010 is down a long dirt road with little traffic - might not support rides for a medium- to large-sized gathering
Location Scouting Volunteers? Pro: Easy wilderness camping, Directly on I-90, near lots of national parks, including Glacier National Park, pretty close to Canada too, *close* to the rainbow gathering (in Washington) Con: Montana can be cold and a long hitch for some people (~the temperatures don't look that cold, ave high is about 75-80 in summer. Also, the hitch may be long for some people, but it will probably be an easy one, especially since a lot of people visit the national parks)
Slab City, CA
Pro: Free camping, Several previous hitch gatherings have happened there, so it's a proven location, details here: http://gathering.digihitch.com/slabmaps.php Con: really hot during mid-summer months, not a lot of traffic.
Location Scouting Volunteers? Pro: Amazing city Con: Requires US citizens to have a passport, passport card, EDL, or NEXUS card. A long way from the west coast (~is that a requirement? Why would that matter?). Even with a passport, minor criminal infractions are cause for not being allowed in. Could prove to be a potential language barrier for people who don't speak French.
Mexico City, Mexico
Location Scouting Volunteers? Pro: everyone (Canadian, US citizens) is welcome, no visas required (though Canadians would have to fly across the USA or deal with border patrol anyway) Con: There are nicer places in Mexico. Replace this suggestion with one? Also, could be more difficult for non-spanish speakers.
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: hitch-friendly, easy access to I-5, I-84. Camping (both legally and other) fairly easy within proximity. Hitching on the interstate is LEGAL in Oregon as long as you are facing the traffic. *close* to the rainbow gathering (in Washington) Con:
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: hitch-friendly, easy access to I-5, populated but not too populated. Camping (both legally and other) fairly easy within proximity. Hitching/walking is LEGAL on any highway or interstate in Oregon as long as you are facing the traffic. *close* to the rainbow gathering (in Washington) Con:
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: hitch-friendly. close to the rainbow gathering (in Washington) Con:
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: right on the border so ideal spot for Canadians and Americans, weather in the 70s, *close* to the rainbow gathering (in Washington) Con: border could be an issue, for people without passports, people with dogs, minor criminal records, or even people with minimal funds.
Pro: good mid-summer weather, central location, camping close to town fairly easy, people accepting of hitchhikers but also closer to places where it's not as accepted. Con:
San Diego, CA
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: weather is usually great for gathering outdoors Con: not many places for free camping or gathering near the city
San Francisco, CA
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: Decent weather, traffic; open-minded, liberal place, East Bay is likely to have places to gather. Many hitchhikers may already be there. Con: Unpredictable weather.
Joshua Tree, CA
Pro: super hitch-friendly, relaxed desert culture, BLM land nearby for free camping Con: could be *hot* in the middle of the summer, so this one depends on when
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro: Access to I-80, not a difficult hitch, nice summer weather, lots of camping, legal or not. Close to Lake Tahoe, hiking, swimming, biking. Con:
Location Scouting Volunteers: George, Pro:An easy hitch, people are super friendly, camping "around" is easy Con: Bears. May be TOO populated. Need to get park permission (or camp on nearby BLM land)
Pro: Mid-continent, If you were farther away from any ocean, you would be closer to another. Next to Lake Superior. Young, open-minded Mayor who likes to support community. Any ov the summer months listed are the ONLY summer months. Cons: Smaller city=less coverage/less to see/only route away is backtracking. Maybe Minneapolis would be a better option.