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United States of America

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|hitch = <rating country='us' />
:'''''For specific information on each state please check the links at the bottom of this page.'''''
[[File:Kasper-hitch-nh.jpg|thumb|250px|[[User:guaka|guaka]]<small><sup>[ site], [[User talk:guaka|wikitalk]]</sup></small> hitching in New England, taken by [[User:Amylin|amylin]], September 2007]]
=== Cars ===
:''Driving in the United States is similar to driving in Canada, but very different from driving in Europe. It is not uncommon for Americans to drive more than an hour each way to work, and 77 percent of Americans drive alone to their jobs... Most states allow people to drive unaccompanied once they have reached the age of 16.'' -[ Wikipedia: Driving in the United States]
There are more than 250 million registered vehicles in the USA, the most of any country. Everyone has a car, and gas is so cheap that people drive everywhere. As a result there are a lot of roads and highways. Sometimes you may need to change your technique to accommodate unfamiliar infrastructure. Sometimes it can be hard to find a place with slow traffic! Although traffic is heavy, hitchhiking is also hard because nobody trusts somebody with no car. (Why don't you have a car? There must be something wrong with you.) It would help to look like a foreigner, but don't go so far as to wave a foreign flag around. Hitchhiking is not as common as in Europe and Latin America, so expect to have to explain yourself, possibly to the police. (See the section on police below).
The main interstates have two or three numbers, as in I-8 or I-76. Offshoots or ring roads will have a preceeding digit, for example, I-295, which runs along I-95.
=== License plates ===
Every state issues its own specific car plates, and most states have several different styles. In some states, the license plate will also show the county of residence. This can be helpful if you spot a car that might be going in the same direction as you. It might also be helpful to write down the license plate number in case of foul play.
== Methods for catching rides ==
You may also wish to try asking for rides at smaller local gas stations, but you are unlikely to make as much progress doing this.
=== Getting out of big cities ===
You may find yourself in very sprawled out cities like LA or Phoenix, then try your luck on Craigslist! I ( crossed the US and found a few rides on Craiglist, messaging people who offer rides and asking if they would take me for free. Probably works best as a foreigner and a girl, but is worth a try. And maybe you can 'pay' in stories or music!
== Police/Laws ==
=== Police ===
Many police in this country have arrest quotas, not to mention many police (not all!) are assholes. That being said, you may encounter an officer of the law who is a rather enthusiastic about giving you a hard time. Keep in mind that even foreigners have rights, such as the right to refuse being searched. For good information about dealing with the police, check out []. /
Being in a state which permits hitchhiking does not guarantee that the police will not harass you. Most police don't know the laws and will tell you it is illegal to hitchhike in that state. [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]] argues with cops on a regular basis and refuses to stop hitchhiking where it is legal. He has been innocently arrested for this twice, but has remained confident and never been taken to jail even after being cuffed and in the car and continuing to stand up for his rights. They are usually bluffing right to the very end. If you know the law in that state, don't be afraid to tell the police they are wrong!
Tourists who intend to cross into the USA by hitchhiking should note that the US immigration department will log that you have been hitchhiking, should they discover that you are. This log will be visible to any guard who subsequently checks your immigration status. If you decide to leave and enter the USA again, it may make your entry back into the USA more difficult if it is not a hitchhiker friendly state.
== Hitchhiking Books ==
With a long history of vagabonding, the amount of literature on hitchhiking in the USA is extensive. The following list gives an overview, which by all means is not complete.
Jack Kerouac - On The Road <br>
Bill Bryson - A Walk in the Woods <br>
Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance <br>
Jacob Holdt - American Pictures <br>
Colin Flaherty - Redwood to Deadwood <br>
Jon Krakauer - Into the Wild <br>
Tom Robbins - Even Cowgirls Get the Blues <br>
Richard Grant - Ghost Riders
== Personal Experiences ==
''Haven't hitched extensively there, but where I have, the experiences have been unique. I've hitched Oregon to Mexico along the famous highway 101. I also hitched from Oregon to Chicago on i90 in the dead of winter. Lots of clothes for that one, and a warm place to retreat to at every stop. The most remarkable thing about hitching in the States is that you get picked up by REALLY interesting people. Not all the time. But our beloved weirdos are more common in the US than anywhere else I've hitched. Regardless of what you think about the States, it's easily one of the most interesting places to hitchhike, especially if you LIKE adventure.'' - [[User:Chael777|Chael]]
''Have hitchhiked moderately in US, about 9,000 miles(including ferries and train hopping). Its a diverse country so generalizing a state or even a county(as I have been picked up in the most conservative counties) would not be right. I have been picked up by really awesome people(some of them are now my friends), Friendly cops(who offered me water and money) to discriminatory cops(who just wanted to get rid of me), people who turned out to be gay(asked sexual favors), bored people looking for a good conversation(what you have to do is just listen and and ask question to acknowledge that you are listening), people who saw me as a curious and tired foreigner etc. It was a great experience and helped me learn a lot about the culture here. One thing I learned is that if you are having fun then you get picked up easily as compared to when you are not. My personal favorite states are [[Alaska]] and [[Missouri]].'' - [[User:Keep_trying|Tarun]]
''I have hitchhiked over 100,000 miles in the United States, been through every state, and while I have nothing to compare it to other than Canada, I would say in general that it is easy and fun to hitchhike here. Each state varies greatly in geography and ease of hitchhiking. In the south, for example it is easier to hop freight trains since the hitching is so difficult. My personal favorite states are [[Colorado]], [[California]], [[Texas]] and [[Arkansas]]. I have hitched alone, and with any number of other people. Hitchhiking with two people seems to be the ideal scenario with the shortest waits. '' [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]] ([[User talk:Thewindandrain|talk]]) 04:42, 28 October 2012 (CET)
''I hitchhiked over 200,000 miles in 50 states of the US, 19 states of Mexico, and 8 provinces of Canada I would say in general that it is easy to hitchhike in all those countries but some of the most difficult places are in America. Each state varies greatly in geography and ease of hitchhiking. In the south, for example it is easier to hop freight trains since the hitching is so difficult. My favorite states for travelers are [[Colorado]], [[California]], [[New Mexico]], [[Oregon]], and [[Arkansas]]. I have hitched alone, and with numbers of other people. Hitchhiking with two people or large equipment like a bicycle or kayak seems to give shortest waits. I would rank hitchhiking as a slightly more risky activity than cycle touring on windy highways with no shoulder. These days I prefer to ride freight trains and motorized bicycles, and I recommend you do the same.'' - [[User:Thewindandrain|Thewindandrain]]  ''I hitchhiked from Panama to the US, intending to go through the whole of the US by hitchhiking with my little brother. I cannot recommend to hitchhike in pairs. It takes _days_ to find rides. We looked like regular guys, did 20k+ miles in more than 10 countries. If you do it, do it alone.'' - Summer '14  ''I crossed the US from Boston to San Francisco the southern way. The north east is tough, prepare for some waits and looks as if you were not worth anyone's attention. Luckily it gets better soon! Texas was the best state for me, lots of rides even from women, and basically no waites. Also California is pretty good to hitchhike, though more tourists. To all girls - it's definitely safe enough in my opinion, though I was asked for sex a few times by people not understanding hitchhiking much. And in general - for me waites for longer than in Europe (when alone I have to hardly wait longer than 10 minutes ever), but still the longest wait during the whole trip were ~2 hours at a bad spot.'' - [[user:Nora|Nora]]
== Links ==
Analyses of hitchhiking in the USA by [[User:Korn|Korn]] on [ - Hitchhiking in the USA.]
== Nomadwiki & Trashwiki ==
{{IsIn|North America}}
[[trash:United States of America]][[nomad:United States]]
[[Category:United States| ]]
[[es:Estados Unidos]]
[[fr:États-Unis d'Amérique]]

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