road trip

Best Places to Go Sledding

Sledding is one of those rare activities that is not only extremely fun, but free. It has given joy to kids and adults since the 1880’s, around the time the light bulb was invented. I remember my first experience going sledding as a kid, and it was at that point that I realized the best things in life truly are free. Sledding is a good workout, it’s extraordinarily fun, and when you find the right hill, it is tremendously exhilarating. Those of you who are like me and go sledding every year know a good spot to sled. Some of you know 2 or 3, but how many of you have actually taken a trip just for sledding? I’ve looked around at some places in the U.S. that people rank highly as local sledding destinations, and listed some of the better hills in America (according to locals). Check them out:

  • “Bridge Street Mega Hill” Located in Roanoke, Virginia, this hill is actually a street, but when the traffic is clear, and there is sufficient snow, it turns into a place where a few brave souls dare to sled down. 752-798 Bridge St. Southwest, Roanoke, VA 24015
  • Woodbury Ski Area – Located in Woodbury, Connecticut, Woodbury is known to be a great place for snow tubing. It’s many hills and trails will be sure to please skiers, snowboarders, tubers, and sledders alike. It’s also a hotspot for reggae and rock concerts.
  • Burholme Park – This Park is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is well-known to locals who have enjoyed its massive hills for years. Its only downfall is that it can get pretty crowded on a snowy day. 401 Cottman Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19111.
  • Capitol Hill – This is actually in Nashville, Tennessee. At the very top of “Capital Hill” there is a monster hill, which some locals believe to be the biggest hill in Nashville. Warning: This hill is pretty dangerous. 601 –699 U.S. 41, Nashville, TN 37219
  • Forest Park – Forest Park is located in St. Louis, Missouri. In Forest Park you will find Art Hill, which is a great place to go sledding because there are always fires to keep guests warm at the top of the hill (maintained by the park management), as well as snow bales to keep sledders in the designated areas. 35-57 Fine Arts Dr. St. Louis, MO 63110
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I’m reading Macroeconomics

Sources:

http://www.gwigo.com/maps/juleswhite/best-places-to-go-sledding-in-nashville-tn.html

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-places-to-go-sledding-in-philadelphia/

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-places-to-go-sledding-in-nyc-new-jersey-connecticut/

http://tobogganhills.com/?query=USA&zoom=4

Planning a Summer Road Trip

Tired of drinking on home turf?  Looking for a last blow-out with your college buddies before you all go off your separate ways?  Plan a road trip!  There is nothing like being piled into a car rubbing elbows synching bathroom breaks and sharing moon pies to form familial bonds.  You’ll thank me later when you’ve got a full mailbox at Christmastime.  In this blog post I’ll talk about the major source of your budget drain, gas, how to make sure you’re still friends at the end (hint, it’s odor-related), and do a quick highlight of a trip planner I found helpful to plan my last epic cross-country trip.

Gas

If your car isn’t digital…

You can be allergic to math and figure out your gas mileage with this link. http://www.milesgallon.com/.  Google Maps will tell you your miles, highball the average gas prices, and you will have a gas budget and a cushion.

If you have a smart phone, and you’re not already using the www.gasbuddy.com app, do it.  GasBuddy relies on its user hive to report gas prices to help you find the cheapest spot to fill up.  It’s a pain-free way to save money on gas.  I use it all the time and it’s saved me up to 25¢ a gallon.

To save even more money on gas, there’s a methodology to up your gas mileage called “hypermiling,” the efficacy of which you will only know if you know your gas mileage, which handily, you have already calculated.  Some of the concepts are basic, like accelerating slowly after stops, one will make you look silly–turning your car off at red lights.  Overinflating tires, another concept of hypermiling, is probably dangerous.  I don’t recommend it.  Using cruise control to accelerate and decelerate was the most helpful tip I gleaned from my research.  The precise and slow incremental changes will increase your gas mileage, and it’s not a pain in the ass on the highway.  Hypermiling’s not for everyone but if you’re on a budget, have a full car and a lot of luggage dragging your car down, it might be worth looking into.

Febreeze

You will not be showering regularly, full car, hot summer, you do the math.

Trip Planners:

Though not without their faults, enumerated here: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/travelplanning/userguidefree.htm, these planners have their place.  They definitely help with the planning phase and any spontaneous stops that might happen on the way.  I mapped my route on TripTik and it looks like this:

This particular route starts in NYC, loops to Las Vegas for the epic Electric Daisy Festival (300 electronica acts and a carnival in one?  Yes, please!), swings back through my hometown and drops off friends in Kentucky to ultimately culminate back in NY.  This part of the planner isn’t particularly impressive since Google Maps can do the same thing, but the next tab over, Places, I did find impressive.  AAA has a huge database of restaurants, hotels, gas stations, campgrounds, events, bars, playhouses, art galleries, etc., and they give away their program for free.

What I love the most about this is it’s like getting the town guides you see in hotels, all in one place with no pamphlets, and you’re never surprised by prices in restaurants.  Free Wi-fi is everywhere now (McDonald’s, Starbucks, hotel lobbies) so this ends up being decently mobile even if you’re camping out.

I hope this helps!  Be safe, and take lots of pictures!

 

WonderBread

I’m reading Abnormal Psychology