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Winter trips
Old 10-12-2006, 07:58 PM   #1
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Winter trips

We got back not long ago from Yellowstone and really enjoyed the hiking and walking opportunities. We will be going on another RV trip February or March. Any ideas for areas that are:

--not too hot
--not too cold (below freezing, icy or snowy)

with good hking opportunities?

Last spring we went to Big Bend. We didn't hike enough because of the heat, though it was great for motorcyling.

What is the northwest like late winter?

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Winter trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
What is the northwest like late winter?
Dark and rainy. Everybody is either depressed or inside with their sunlamp.

Really, its hit or miss. We'll have some beautiful days mixed in with weeks of socked in dampness.

Have you ever been to some of the NPs in California? Kings Canyon and Sequoia are nice. I also really like Joshua Tree. Those might be farther than you were thinking though.

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-12-2006, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: Winter trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
What is the northwest like late winter?
Horrible.

If you stay on the coast, there are great lowland hikes out on the Olympic Peninsula-Hoh River, Bogachiel River, Soleduck River, Lake Ozette, the Pacific Beaches and much more. But it will very likely be raining. It might be hard to enjoy living in a Motor home.

California is a much better bet, IMO. Great hiking along the central coast, or in Southern California- San Gabriel Mountains, the coast range between San Jose and Santa Cruz, Mt.San Jacinto west of Palm Springs. Lots of great desert hikes in Joshua Tree Monument, Anza Borrego Desert Park, etc. Though if you found Big Bend in winter hot, these might seem hot to you.

Also the east side of the Sierra like the Owens Valley. Lots of interesting Indian artifacts, petroglyphs, etc.

How about taking wind surfers to Lake Amisatad on the Tex-Mex border?

Ha

Sorry Shiny, looks like I pretty much echoed your ideas.
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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Re: Winter trips

In California, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite are all in the Sierra so they can get a lot of snow (40' annually in higher elevations) although in general the temperatures are much warmer than MN.

The CA coast in generally is the 50s and 60s but in CA in the winter I would recommend Death Valley and the southeast desert areas. I have heard that there are some pretty nice clothing optional hot springs!

In Utah the Moab/Canyonlands National Park/Lake Powell area in the southeast is nice in the winter and has some good hiking. As I mentioned in another post some of the outdoor types that live in the Colorado mountain towns have second homes there to escape the snow and get in some winter mountain biking and trail running. But Bryce NP is at about 8000' so they get a lot of snow. Zion is a little lower but I think that they can also still get a lot of snow.

I haven't been to Tucson but I have heard good things about that area (Saguaro Nat'l Mon, etc.) and I suspect that winter would be a good time to visit. Don't you have some real estate in Phoenix? Visit Phoenix so you can write off some of the expenses then continue on to Tucson.

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 12:41 AM   #5
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Re: Winter trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Any ideas for areas that are:
--not too hot
--not too cold (below freezing, icy or snowy)
with good hking opportunities?
How far do you want to drive-- Monterey Bay? San Diego?

Or the Long Beach Tunnel to Hawaii?
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Winter trips

Assuming you will be in your Lazydaze...

There's always the Fla panhandle, then down the nature coast to see amazing estuary parks, catch a view of a few manatees near Crystal River. Then move down toward Tampa and St. Pete, maybe a few days on the beach in Fort Desoto. There are free meals to be had in Tampa, by the way, I hear along with good tour guides.

Id' go from there to the Sarasota area if you need a day or two of refinement, and go down to Sanibel for there, or maybe push on a bit and spend a night or two in the everglades. Depending on time, you could stop there or go to the keys.

On the way back, I'd suggest St. Augstine via Anastasia State Park. Scoot up to Savannah or Charleston, or maybe cut Northwest toward the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina (you'll appreciate it as bikers).

Weather: typically 70s during the day mostly, "quite cool" (speaking Floridian here) at night, even down in the 40s in Feb.
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: Winter trips

Lots of good ideas. I'll start poking around more on the Internet. We used to go to Florida every year when my inlaws were still living. Now we haven't been there in a couple of years. I really do like the Florida parks. And the Everglades. The canoeing is great too--though we swamped once in the Myakka river when Greg's shoulder hit a low branch. Had a few minutes of alligator worries, but the worst was that we froze in the early morning chill.

California has some appeal because I have a sister who lives in Orange. Last January I visited her and we did a lot of birding and hiking down around the Salton sea area.
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 08:59 AM   #8
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Re: Winter trips

We are going to Japan Dec 27-Jan 4th and I expect to be very cold. But very Japanese.
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 09:10 AM   #9
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Re: Winter trips

We're going to Maui again this December for 10 days. It snowed for the first time in Chicago yesterday and I'm not happy about it at all. I hate cold weather.


Nords, my wife wants to fly over to Oahu for the day because in all the times we have been to Hawaii she has never seen it. All that I have really seen of it is Pearl harbor and the airport. What should we see if we only have one day there?

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: Winter trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
We're going to Maui again this December for 10 days. It snowed for the first time in Chicago yesterday and I'm not happy about it at all. I hate cold weather.
Nords, my wife wants to fly over to Oahu for the day because in all the times we have been to Hawaii she has never seen it. All that I have really seen of it is Pearl harbor and the airport. What should we see if we only have one day there?
Damn, this is a travel agent's challenge. There's barely enough time in one day to do the USS BOWFIN Submarine Museum, let alone the rest of Oahu (I'm kidding). But I can't just point you to the "101 Things To Do" website and cross my fingers!

First, since it's only one day on Oahu, you might want to send a PM to JB for Maui suggestions. You won't have enough Oahu time to find a good surfing spot among the North Shore crowds and I don't want you meet you at Queen's Beach for surfing lessons if the water's flat (as it's likely to be at that time of year).

Here's a number of Oahu options depending on your interests:
- "Butt on a bus": Most travel agencies on Maui will offer a one-day Oahu circle-island tour. It'll leave Maui at something like (*groan*) 5 AM and drive you around Oahu, returning to Maui at (*ugh*) 11 PM. But you'll "see" everything on Oahu (even if it's just through a bus window & a camera lens) and it's an all-in-one airfare-included package with zero planning required on your part. I wouldn't do this if you have any independence whatsoever.
- Expensive retail: take a cab from the airport to Waikiki (Kalakaua Ave). Shop until you drop, stroll Waikiki beach, and dine at Duke's or the Wailana Coffee House. If you "have enough time" then go a mile ewa (west) along Ala Moana Ave to the Ala Moana Shopping Center or stroll Waikiki's history markers (they look like surfboards). Hint: If you & spouse have different interests then you could try the Army's museum at Fort DeRussy, or Bishop Center is in Oahu's financial district.
- Cheap retail: take a cab or shuttle bus to Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. Shop until you drop, dine at the food booths, and maybe walk over to visit the USS ARIZONA Memorial. Buy all souvenirs, holiday presents, & gag gifts here. The Swap Meet will be open every day until Christmas.
- Urban sightseeing: take a cab to check out the holiday decorations near the Honolulu Hale (including Shaka Santa), visit Iolani Palace, stroll through Chinatown, see if Aloha Tower is open for sightseeing, and browse the Aloha Tower Marketplace. Dining could be in Chinatown, at the Marketplace, or find a cab to take you to La Mariana Sailing Club on Sand Island Access Road. (No, the cab driver is not going to abandon you in front of a crack house-- it only looks that way.) LMSC is a local legend landmark whose owner, in her 90s, may close down soon.
- Military: Cab to the USS ARIZONA Memorial and pick up tickets first. When you know your time then either browse the museum by the ticket booth, or the USS BOWFIN Submarine Museum (next door), or spend a couple hours on the USS MISSOURI Memorial (a free shuttle to Ford Island). When you're done with the ARIZONA then go back to the other two places to pick up whatever you missed. The brand-new Ford Island Naval Aviation Museum might just possibly be open by the time you get here-- or not.
- Cultural: Cab or bus to the Polynesian Cultural Center and spend the day there. However you'll probably get enough of this at Lahaina.
- Museums: Cab to the Bishop Museum with a side trip to the Maritime Museum at Aloha Tower Marketplace. If you take this option you must have your picture taken alongside a classic surfboard. When you return home you can claim that there are hundreds of them on the beach for "anyone" to borrow.
- Environmental: Wear sneakers, bring bottled water, mask/snorkel, towels, & a flashlight. Cab to Diamond Head and hike up to the lookout. Cab to Makapu'u point and hike to the lighthouse. Snorkel Hanauma Bay (closed on Tuesday!), no fins required. Cab to the Honolulu Zoo (surprisingly good, especially for Chicago residents). If the weather's rainy then fall back on the museums or Waikiki.

Did I miss any general interests?
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Winter trips

Which month were you in Big Bend? Seems like in Jan or Feb it should be comfortable in the desert. I look forward to a winter visit one of these days.

We will probably spend some time at Falcon State Park in February - great time to be there. It's on Lake Amistad. Lots of great birds and neat desert scrub. Nice state park.

I found the panhandle very cold last Jan/Feb. We had to move further south down the peninsula to get warmer weather.

One of these days we'll go to Death Valley and that area in winter.

The Texas Coast is pretty comfortable in winter, but is usually windy (and rainy sometimes).

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 05:15 PM   #12
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Re: Winter trips

We were in Big Bend the end of March and beginning of April. There were days where it was 95-100 degrees.

This trip we would like to have it be a little more green. Big Bend had a quarter inch of rain in the 6 month period before we got there.
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-13-2006, 08:43 PM   #13
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Re: Winter trips

Well, that area has been getting a whole lotta rain lately. This past winter was a major drought, so it was much drier than usual.

Yes, late March into April - Big Bend is going to start getting HOT.

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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-17-2006, 10:12 AM   #14
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Re: Winter trips

Looks more and more like the condo may be occupied until spring.

If so, I will be headed to one or more of the following:

Somewhere near the condo (north Tx.) so I can use my boat.

Texas Gulf coast

Florida. Daytona and Marco Is. where I have friends and relatives.

Key West (still have not been there).

Maybe I will time it so I can hit "Bike Week" in Daytona Beach
before I come back.

JG
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-17-2006, 12:01 PM   #15
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Re: Winter trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Also, don't overlook the Bahamas. Easy to reach from Florida. We're going to Exuma in February.
Might be a bit of a challenge in an RV, though.

But I hear those Lazy Dazes are really well built. Maybe it would make it...
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Re: Winter trips
Old 10-17-2006, 12:44 PM   #16
 
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Re: Winter trips

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Might be a bit of a challenge in an RV, though.

But I hear those Lazy Dazes are really well built. Maybe it would make it...
Yeah, You have to floor it when you reach the Florida Coast.
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