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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    I spend some time in Lake Geneva, Wisco and Chicago.
    Posts
    2

    Default Couple months come January

    So, its my first post. but im a long time reader.

    I have quite a bit of time before I leave for law school and Im looking to take an extended trip around north america. In the past Ive gone on extensive trips throughout europe (3 times), a month long Haitian trip, and southeast asia, but i have yet to see much of the U.S. outside of the midwest. (besides family trips to DC, NY, and the capitalist mecca of Disney World)

    But I have an old VW passat wagon and some cash stashed away and a tent. Im leaving from Chicago in mid January and need some suggestions. as far as restrictions, there arent really any. I know its a pretty open ended post, but i figure what the hell.

    thought about tenting somewhere nice along a warm beach, but dont know how feasible that is in this day n age. Also, ideally I would love to take the highway up to alaska, but is this not a good idea travelling solo in the winter months?

    in the end I think im just a dreamer who wants to experience something he read in On the Road during his early teenage years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default South, or north, or east, or west

    Welcome to the RTA Forum, we're glad you decided to start posting!

    Your question is pretty open ended, but it seems like you're looking for a pretty open ended trip.

    As far as camping on the beach goes, there are several places in California where you can camp on the beach, however, they wouldn't be all that warm in January. Warmer than Chicago certainly, but it could still be fairly cool. If you were looking for warm beaches this time of year, I'd say look at Florida, although I'm not as familiar with what sort of beach camping you'd have down there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default South Florida is the only "warm beach" I can think of

    Quote Originally Posted by imnotdavey View Post
    thought about tenting somewhere nice along a warm beach,
    There are some camgrounds in Keys that might work for warm beach in January -- but I can't think of any other beach area that would qualify that way. It is pretty darn brisk in south Texas and southern California in January. But, here would be our picks for beach camps in southern California.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default Alaska Option

    Hey,

    This is probably crazy, but you sound like you are up for a challenge.

    If you've got good chains and a reliable heater, how about taking the Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham, WA to Haines or Skagway? It would save you a lot of lonely driving though fairly remote territory, and the round trip cost in January is only about $1,000 + the cost of a cabin, if you want one.

    Once you get on land you can traverse the interior highways to Anchorage, Valdez, Seward and Homer (I don't know about Fairbanks, it gets REALLY cold up there, though the ice sculpture contest in March would be cool to see).

    I'd recommend doing a lot of research on what you need to have in your car in the way of emergency supplies. I've talked to people up there who have told me of the things such as food, batteries, propane heaters, sleeping bags, water, radios/transmitters, etc. that they won't leave home without if they plan on a trip anywhere away from city lights.

    Just a crazy thought, but what a story you could tell when you get home!

    As far as warm beaches go, you might have to drive to Mexico. But you'd see a sizeable chunk of the US on the way.

    Have a great time, where ever you go.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    I spend some time in Lake Geneva, Wisco and Chicago.
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions. I realized earlier that beach camping might be a bit cold that time of year, so if I chose that option it would probably be the Keys...yet Im sure it would most likely be very busy in the winter months.

    As far as California goes, im going to investigate some more on the beaches towards the south. Im really not picky as far as warmth goes, no need to spend a lot of time in the water and im more than willing to throw on a wool sweater. i think theres just something about hearing the water moving thats very soft to both my ears and my heart.

    and to RedCorral, I definately have been toying with that route! the one way ticket would save me from making that same trip twice (back and forth, both lonely and long!) and stories to tell. after searching the website, if i decide against the cabin, is there anything to protect me from the cold? Ive taken a few ferries between Italy and Spain and they have just have one large room for all those without rooms....most likely the same thing huh?

    thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default The ferry ride

    Hi,

    The ferries have lounges (one large room) with great views out the front so you can sit in a seat and watch the scenery go by. Or you can curl up in a corner in a sleeping bag. In the summer people camp in dome tents on the ferry deck, using duct tape to keep their tents in place!

    In other words, you don't need a cabin, and if you schedule your trips right you won't have to spend more than a night or two aboard the ferry. Half the fun is seeing the scenery and the wildlife (orcas, dolphins, whales, etc.) from the boat.

    Have a great trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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