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  1. Default This one is a little crazy...

    OK where do I start? I'm taking a trek from Upstate New York to Denver CO. I have about as small a budget, were talking tiny here, camping and baloney sandwiches small. If it's not free or close to it, I can't do it! I will be taking this trek alone And I will also have a large amount of my stuff coming with me. I would like to keep my stuff and I safe, and still have fun.
    Now with that out of the way are there any nice, safe places to camp along the way that would be dirt cheap or free??? Any cool places to check out that are inexpensive? Any advice to make this trip go as smooth as possible? Any help, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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

    Default How low are we talking

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are a few places you can sleep for free, in your car at a truck stop would be one good idea. Often you can camp for free in dispersed areas of National Forests, unfortantly, your options there will be fairly limited between NY and CO.

    Its hard to say much more without knowing exactly what you are planning for a budget. Even cheap travel costs money, so its extra important to know exactly how much money you have to spend if you are planning on really making a bare-bones trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Looks like...

    ...1,800 miles, just a 3-4 day trip, which means just 2 or 3 nights.

    Seems to me that camping is the safest way to go and there are several options along the way. There are several state parks near Cleveland - 490 miles. Blackhawk State Park is near Davenport, IA - 500 miles. And Windmill Hill State Recreation Area near Gibbon, NE - 477 miles. That leaves about 370 miles to Denver.

    One of the best ways to save money on a trip like this is to slow down. Keep your speed around 55 mph. You're not in a hurry, you might enjoy the drive more, and you just might save enough to pay for the camping.

    If you are moving to Denver, enjoy. That is one of my favorite parts of the country.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Truck Stops are safe

    Normally I would agree with RedCorral but if your budget is as tight as it sounds, truck stops are probably your best bet. Pick a big one with truckers spending the night, buy something inside even if it's a tiny bit and let the staff know you're sleeping outside, and you can get a shower for just a few bucks in the morning if you want.

    Gen, one of our favorite travelers here, does this often and she reports that it is a good safe option. I've done it for a few hours for catnaps but never for the entire night. I've always felt very safe as well.

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

    Default camping correction

    Quote Originally Posted by RedCorral View Post
    Blackhawk State Park is near Davenport, IA - 500 miles.
    Just a minor correction here, Blackhawk State Park in Rock Island, IL does not offer camping, and they've actually changed its name to Blackhawk State Historic site, probably to avoid this very confusion.

    If you are looking to camp near the Quad Cities (Davenport, IA/Moline IL), I'd recommend Illiniwek Forest Preserve, which is located right on the Mississippi River just 2 miles or so south of I-80 on the Illinois side. A tent site is about $15, if I remember correctly, and they have decent shower facilities.

  6. Default Thanks for the help...

    Thanks for the help on the places to camp. It looks like I won't be quite a broke as I originally thought. So camping every night shouldn’t be a problem. Next any good places to eat along the way? I plan on bringing a cooler full of food (I don't really care for fast food), but I would like to stop at places that have local cuisine, or just good food that’s not expensive. I know these places do exist and if there are a couple along the way all the better...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Local Cuisine

    Best thing to do is stop in a town when you're hungry - look for a tourist info building, or a gas station that appears to also serve as a local hangout or even just start questioning people on the street for the best places to eat. The locals always know best and I've never been steered wrong. Make sure you let them know that you are not afraid of getting sick. Sometimes local cuisine can be spicy and people will be wary of telling you about it. I know I always ask people if they can handle spices and/or grease when telling them about good restaurants around here.

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