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pope

Hot Tips for Road Trips

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On my last trip to Joshua Tree, Hemlock and I flew down to Ontario, rented a zippy little babe magnet, then spent as much time sleezing around town, boozin' and dining out, as we did climbing. I remember the splendid road trips I used to take, where every penny counted, but where time was less of a consideration.

There are certainly ways to make these trips go smoothly and cheaply, from eating cat food and potatoes to poaching showers from gals back in town. But I'm going to start this list with ways to stay awake on the longer drives: Dwayner used to have this wig and.....well, need I say more?

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Stay awake? Easy, chocolate covered espresso beans. The caffeine buzz, and no fluids to eliminate. Those ephedrine laced "white cross" trucker pills work well. A natural alternative to the trucker pills is "green mormon tea" and "silver mormon tea". This plant grows in the desert southwest and is a small shrub with no real leaves, but bright green or grayish "twigs" that contain a compund much like ephedra. It grows rampant in the four corners area. You can chew seom twigs for a while (pretty bitter after a minute or two) or actually brew it into tea. We experimented with boiling it and brewing it down into a gooey paste...not a good idea when concentrations vary from plant to plant so you never know the "correct" dosage...kinda like shrooms wink.gif

Best way to stay awake though has to be to get sufficient sleep in the first place. I hate getting to a new area after a long multi-day drive and climbing like shit for the next two days while I recover from the drive.

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staying awake is never a problem, but it did take me awhile to get used to the shaking and tremors after being awake for a couple of days. The shakes also tend to freak out climbing partners when you're far above them and runout and their belay gear sucks; That'll teach 'em. I do need to have my eyes closed for a couple hours a day, but can go without sleep for up to four days. Ah, the joys of mania!

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Ok, some (probably) useful tips:

1. Kansas allows camping/sleeping in their rest areas.

2. Kansas has a "state fishing lake" in every county, most have free camping. The Kiowa State fishing lake definitely has free camping

3. Drive into national parks after the fee booths are closed for the day and drive out before they open.

4. Wal Mart (the evil global bastards that they are) allows vehicle camping in their parking lots. This is especially useful for town stays in big cities.

5. If you have good brakes and are very alert, draft like you were in a NASCAR race. I once made 40mpg over 200 miles (normally got about 17)in a VW bus during heavy winds in the plains while drafting a semi. I have friends who got close to 70mpg in a civic with a rocket box coming back to GA from Hueco by drafting cars the entire way.

6. Three words: Early bird specials. Lots of mom-n-pop and trucker type restaurants have some form of early breakfast specials.

7. Keep your insulated mug handy, coffee/soda is usually cheaper when you provide your own mug.

8. Oregon and a few other states (TN? LA?) have no sales tax, take advantage.

9. Look in the yellow pages under grocers and find a bulk, closeout, or outlet grocery. Selection can be fickle, but the prices are right. Also, the big "buyers club" stores have swinging deals on lots of staples, just have to buy a 86 packs of oatmeal at a time. The bulk food bins in stores like Winco are a great deal.

10. Organic farms can usually use some short-term help and are usually run by some kind folks. Try bargaining some work for food, this has always worked for me.

11. City driving, epsecially in an unknown city where you're making wrong turns everywhere drinks gas like crazy, instead get on your bike and run your town errands. You'll find it easier to get directions from pedestrians, you'll meet nmore people, and most importantly you won't burn up that $2/gallon gas.

12. Poach showers at state parks, health clubs (ask for the tour of facilities), or commercial campgrounds. Ride your bike into the area (makes you inconspicous in campgrounds since it looks like you're already staying there and accounts for your pack and sweat/filth at the health clubs).

There are plenty more, but I have to work now frown.gif

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Pope, the latest issue of Outside magazine has an article titled "Road trip fashion, look cool, look real" one of the the pictures shows a dude sporting a purple turtleneck and black leather pants. You might want to check it out, I'm sure you'll find it useful.

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Here's how to spice up them cheap road trips: At feeding time, drive to the nearest Safeway where there's sometimes a shopping cart full of cans that are dented or have lost their labels. Pick out a couple missing the labels and commit yourself to eating its contents. We did this once and.....YUM, YUM, DOG FOOD! Or play roulette by picking out a couple of similar sized cans: one is something you like and the other is something wretched like tripe or whatever. Then you mix them up and vote on which can is dinner. Delicious.

- hungry Dwayner

 

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By the way, that wig pope was talking about...he keeps it under the passenger's seat of his car with a cheerleader's outfit. The wig I'll wear, but the sweater with the big initial on it (a large sewn on "p" for "pope") and the little pleated skirt is just going way too far!

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I got this idea from Dwayner, but when heading over the pass in January, somebody calls for a "freeze-out". Essentially, the heater goes off, the shirts come off, then the windows go down, and you continue until somebody pusses out. This is tremendous fun with a bunch of party girls!

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CANNED FOODS GROCERY OUTLET - the one with the rainbow sign. Miscellaneous dented cans for like 25 cents each. "eat like a king for pennies a day"!

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My sis and her boyfriend and I had a great system while roadtripping through Montana in May: driver gets to choose music; front passenger has to change CDs and stay awake with driver; back passenger (having just rotated from "driver") gets to sleep. Worked awesome!

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Using that same system a car of 3 people made it from Vancouver to Jtree sub-24 hours.

Buy a radar detector. Over long distances they pay for themselves.

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Books on tape rock for staying awake on road trips. Check them out from your library for free! Get 3-4 different ones so you can change if one is lame. A good thriller can make an hour go by like it was 10 minutes - and admit it, when was the last time someone read to you?

(I leave for Tuolumne tomorrow (wheeeee!) from Portland, and I have 4 Books on Tape.)

Peace, ns

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If you've only got two people, try driving/sleeping in two hour shifts. I've found that you get pretty good at falling asleep almost immediately and waking up quickly when your two-hour driving or sleep shift is over. You can keep this up just about around the clock. A buddy of mine and I did it this way when we drove a 25-foot rental truck from Boston to Seattle in just under three days.

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Mentioning coffee, I heard a rumor that Fred B. has a McDonald's styrofoam coffee cup which he has lacquered. Truly an infinitely voluminous cup of j-j-j-jitter juice.

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And he gets the seniors discount, that cup only cost him 25 cents.

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Books on tape are KEY. If I remember right, Flying J truck stops will lent you rent them, and then return them at another Flying J down the road.

Oh yeah...you can camp free at any campground as long as you wake up before the campground host.

[This message has been edited by EddieE (edited 08-25-2001).]

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Heard that Beckey also found that driving with no shoes or socks on keeps you aware of the road and more awake. Hmmm.

Tips on climbing in Utah:

1. Pull into campgrounds reeeaaaallly late at night, get four or five hours of sleep and a shower, then leave at five in the morning before anybody gets up. Then catch a siesta at noon when its too hot to climb anyway. This is gruelling at first but I met a couple of girls who had it perfected.

2. Food and especially leftovers goes rancid in hours in the desert sun. Rancid peanut butter = farting fire.

3. During the Independence Day long weekend, find somewhere to hide. If you stay at any BLM campground, you will not get any sleep, you will see people cut down every tree in sight for firewood, and you will have gear stolen by Bigfoot-driving yokels if you leave it unguarded. My loss was an MSR Whisperlite and a Petzl Zoom.

4. The "Desert Rock" guidebooks by Beckey's buddy Eric Bjornstad are useless unless you're into Walt Shipley-style A4 desert towers that use two-by-fours as aid pieces in chimneys that have never been repeated. Buy the latest guide to Indian Creek, 'cos that's where all the best cracks are anyways. Sure, do Castleton for the tick and have a look at Fine Jade to marvel at a beautiful climb, then get yourself away from the rotten towers!

5. Cops, i.e. "The Man" just love to pull over scruffy looking out-of-towners, especially from Canada for a little car search. If you have any herbage on you, or even if they think you do, you're going to jail Mormon style!

6. Bring the boards and grab some cool late season turns in the La Sal Mountains east of Moab. Roads run to 9000' and you can get in some awesome runs into June.

7. Restaurants in Moab are expensive. Find the Booze Barn for great deals: $2.50 for a mickey! (I don't know if this is typical in the U.S., but up here in the Great White North, a mickey is $10 Cdn. which = about $6.50 USD). Then buy the weak beer to rehydrate.

8. I still haven't found a good way to stay awake while driving at night through the desert where the roads are straighter than "Supercrack". Last time I started to halucinate that I was driving through the Florida Keys and that on either side of me was an ocean.

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--Buffets. I can survive on one buffet a day. I didnt get this fat from not eating either. $5.99 a day isnt bad.

Driver cant sleep; passenger cant sleep.

Requisition TP from public store/restaurants restrooms...

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Jordo

Don't be messin' with my peeps in UT. Utah great geography, crappy culture. But if your ever in the Beehive state don't forget Little or Big Cottonwood Canyons outside SLC. I grew up in the Wasatch, and the climbing in UT kicks WA's ass. I wouldn't suggest going anywhere near SLC this winter though the Olympics are coming.

Oh, by the way you can now advertize liquer in resteraunts (sp) in Utah. But you still have to buy wine frome the cops.

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