Enjoying the Journey
Roadside Attractions Worth Visiting
since it’s 58 degrees year-round. Kids and adults alike can learn about the history and geology of the area on a guided tour through forest above and lake below. And afterward, you can stop by the general store, ice cream parlor, or cafe. THE MYSTERY SPOT; SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA Advertising itself as a “gravitational anomaly,” this wacky spot in the middle of the redwood forest showcases a series of optical illusions such as balls rolling uphill and a cabin where visitors can lean toward the ground and appear to defy gravity. It might not be aliens, like some believe, but visitors of all ages will get a kick out of the illusions messing with their perception. Plus, the nearby hiking trails through the redwoods offer a free added experience. DINOSAUR LAND; WHITE POST, VIRGINIA It might not be Jurassic Park, but it’s still worth a look. Nestled in the greenery of Northern Virginia, this park has over 50 life-size statues of dinosaurs of all kinds. Tours are self-guided, parking is free, and children (or adults) with dinosaur obsessions are sure to smile and point out their favorites. It’s certainly something to “rawr” home about.
The United States can be a weird place, and some landmarks definitely reflect that sentiment. Along almost every highway, bizarre landmarks draw road trippers of all ages. Sometimes tourist traps aren’t worth the price of admission, but when you’re taking your summer road trip this year and your family needs a place to stop and stretch, these are three roadside attractions worth checking out. THE LOST SEA; SWEETWATER, TENNESSEE The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the U.S. Lying 140 feet beneath the surface, it’s a fun escape from the summer heat,
Whether these spots are your destinations or you’re just passing through on your summer road trip, visiting these roadside attractions and others like them will add some fun to your travels. 3 Tricks to Keep Your Gear Dry
in a rainstorm or had to cross a river, you might not feel the same sense of relief. An effective way to dry wet socks and other clothes is to use your own body heat. Once you’ve changed into something dry, place wet socks between your layers of clothing, allowing them to warm and slowly dry. Insider Tip: While weight is a consideration for backpacking, it’s worth it to carry an extra pair of socks designated for sleeping so you’ll always have a dry pair to look forward to when you arrive at camp. 3. SUIT UP YOUR SLEEPING BAG Moisture that collects in the night can lead to a damp sleeping bag, and you want to do everything you can to retain heat in wet weather. Get better sleep by using your rain jacket to further insulate your sleeping bag. Put your jacket around the end of your sleeping bag and zip it up, creating a heat trap that will keep your toes toasty. Insider Tip: Keep wet gear out of your tent whenever possible by storing it in the vestibule rather than the main space.
Incoming clouds can really rain on a weekend camping trip. Getting wet isn’t just a nuisance; it can be dangerous in cold climates.
Outdoor experts, like the instructors at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), know the tricks to keeping dry, even on the wettest days. Here are three tricks these pros swear by.
1. LINE YOUR PACK WITH A PLASTIC BAG Garbage bags are an easy and cost-effective way to waterproof your pack. As you’re preparing for your trip, put the garbage bag into your backpack first and place your sleeping bag, clothing, and any other items that must stay dry inside it. Carefully twist and fold the bag inside your pack to close it up, place any items that are okay to get wet on top, and look forward to having dry, warm clothes. 2. USE YOUR BODY HEAT TO DRY DAMP CLOTHES There’s nothing like getting to camp at the end of a hard hike and taking off your pack to finally relax. But if you got caught
Happy trails, and stay dry out there!
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