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  1. Default Out West (winter-spring 08)

    A friend and I are heading out west to see national parks and possibly do some camping and snowboarding starting in February. We will be staying with friends, eating peanutbutter and taking lots of pictures. We are in search of some great sites of God's creation from mountains to rivers to slot canyons to big big trees...
    I am currently sorting out the budget part of things. i am a college student graduating in December and so I will be looking to save money anywhere I can but also willing to spend some here and there. the only thing I know so far is that gas is my biggest expense and that i am getting an $80 National Parks year-long pass.
    bring on the suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default budget basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I guess the best place for you to start would be to check out RTA's planning section and start reading up on the variety of tips that we've already provided. The art of the cheap roadtrip is one of the may articles I think you'd enjoy. There are also a number of threads dealing with budgeting on the forum. Here is a good one to start with.

    I'll also throw out my basic advice for anyone who is planning to do a shoestring budget for a trip. It can be dangerous to budget unrealistically low, while living on peanut butter for a month sounds like a nice cheap idea, the reality is that if you try to do things too cheap, eventually you'll start to splurge, which can quickly blow and entire budget. It makes much more sense to set realistic goals that you can obtain, rather than put the enjoyment of your entire trip at risk by trying to cut too many corners.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-15-2007 at 09:56 PM. Reason: added a resource link

  3. #3

    Default Photo Guide Books

    These books have some great suggestions for places to go for photography:
    Photographing the Southwest: Volume 1--Southern Utah
    Photographing the Southwest: Volume 2--Arizona

    The Antelope Canyon (Lower and Upper) near Page AZ is easily accessible
    but there is a fee to access these famous slot canyons.

    Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase Escalante is a nice hike (~6mi roundtrip).

    Driving Hwy 89 in AZ and UT are a treat.

    Kodachrome Basin is also an interesting location.

    These places are in addition to the great parks of Zion, Bryce, Grand
    Canyon, Arches.

    Mountain biking in Canyonlands NP is a popular activity.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-14-2007 at 08:55 PM. Reason: changed the amazon for direct access

  4. Default winter weather

    so I am thinking that there is quite a bit more snow during February and March out west than what I am used to in the South.
    I am thinking that I can start in the SW and then head up to CO for skiiing, snowboarding...Camping could be tricky...not to mention that i am not an experienced winter driver (minor detail, right?) are chains and extra antifreeze necessary?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default More from the planning section

    The planning section also includes an entire section on Winter Travel. It should provide plenty of insight on what you need to get ready to travel in winter conditions. And you should certainly read this article and follow our tips.

    If you're not used to cold weather conditions, I probably wouldn't recommend camping. If you do decide to camp, you'll certainly need to invest in some cold weather gear.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-15-2007 at 09:43 PM. Reason: added a link to a useful article

  6. #6

    Default Driving in the Snow, etc.

    Accelerate slowly. Stop gradually. Give yourself lots of space, don't follow too close. Those are the three most important things. The most common type of accident in the snow and ice are rear end collisions - mostly caused by people to tried to stop too quickly or didn't give themselves enough room to stop. You would be surprised how far a car can slide on the ice, especially if the brakes lock.

    Saftey Precautions: Bring a shovel - if you spin out or slide off the road you may have to dig yourself out. A Bag of Sand - this is probably the most helpful thing. If you get stuck your spinning tires will quickly turn the snow into ice making it even harder to get out, toss some sand or dirt around and in front of your tires for traction. Also, the sand adds weight to the rear of your car adding traction. Flares - once again in case you get stuck, to warn other drivers to slow down and avoid you. Blankets - in case you get stuck so you don't freeze while waiting for help.

    I live in the Bitteroot Mountains and have lots of expirience with this kind of thing. If your primary goal is snowboarding you might pick a location that has lots of ski resorts in close proximity. For example, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where I live has a half dozen excellent ski resorts within about an hour's drive (Silver Mountain, Schweitzer, Lookout Pass, Mount Spokane, 49 Degrees North, etc.). Have fun!

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