Plan your road trip with must-see recommendations. Information on the beaches of California to the tundras of Yukon and everywhere in between.

North America Warnings

backlasher

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  • Added on: January 6th, 2008
I read a disturbing report on another board.
http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=82274
It says the Baja beaches aren't safe.
"There's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done."
Circle of Life - The Lion King

CaitMarie

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  • Added on: July 7th, 2008
DO NOT STOP IN WATSON LAKE, YT!

My friend and I drove from Houston, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, in June, and had the misfortune of spending a night in Watson Lake. We got to Fort Nelson and got online. There is a website, www.watsonlakehotels.com, that lists these three beautiful hotels in Watson Lake. It lies. There are two or three hotels in Watson Lake, but they're all owned by the same people. We called the number listed for the Watson Lake Hotel, reserved a room, gave a credit card number, and left Fort Nelson. We finally pull into Watson Lake around 7pm, and drive to find the hotel. Watson Lake is only a street long, so we found it easily enough.

It's closed. And I mean, boarded windows and doors, deserted parking lot, graffiti on the walls, closed.

So who did I give my credit card number to? I still have no idea. So we drive to one of the other hotels and ask if they can explain what happened. They say that the call was transferred to that hotel, The Belvedere. So I tell them we made a reservation. They don't have it. Again, who did I give my credit card number to if they don't have my reservation? He has no idea. So he gives me a key, says this is his last room, and directs us to the room. Three blocks down behind a closed gas station and an abandoned propane tank. Ok. We get back in the car, drive down the street, turn behind the propane tank, and pull into the parking lot. The room is occupied. The door is open, and there's a guy sitting at the desk with his stuff all over the bed. We drive back to the Belvedere, and I tell him it's occupied and give him back the key. He pulls another key out from a different place, throws it on the counter and directs us upstairs. It's the honeymoon suite. Only the door into the room has only the handle lock (the other one has been ripped off) and the door to the conjoining room doesn't lock at all. We pushed several chairs up against it, and proceeded to sleep with one eye open. We left very early the next morning.

I do NOT recommend anyone staying in Watson Lake. Drive through, go see the Sign Post Forest (which is actually pretty cool) in daylight, and then leave. Don't stay. It's scary, expensive, and not good. Whitehorse is only about 7 hours past it. You can make it. I promise.

For pictures and more details, you can check out my blog.
http://www.caitlinlefttexas.blogspot.com

sissyt

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  • Added on: July 8th, 2008
Originally posted by JamesL:

quote:
Faculty see the United States as a greater threat to world stability than Russia by a ratio of 7-to-1. Nearly half of humanities faculty, 46%, see the United States as a threat to international stability, as do 34% of social science faculty. Faculty attitudes toward America look very similar to the attitudes of Europeans. A recent poll for the Financial Times reported that 36% of Europeans identify the United States as the greatest threat to international stability.


What faculty? Just curious who they were polling.

NatureNomad

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2009
Baja Beaches not safe? What a joke. You would probably be safer in Baja on the beach than a beach in Los Angeles or San Diego anytime! Have you even been to Baja? More Americans have traveled to Baja and mainland Mexico than almost anywhere else this year. http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=11306664 I assure you Baja IS safe and I have been there many times to prove it.

wanderinggurl

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  • Added on: March 12th, 2010
Just a heads up, it is now illegal to talk on your phone while you're driving in most states. Some states enforce no texting laws as well.

And a silly little thing in SF, be sure and "curb" your tires when you're parked on a hill. This means you turn them into the turn so your car won't roll backwards. You will get ticketed if you don't (I learned this lesson learned the hard way).

Scritch

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  • Added on: March 12th, 2010
wanderinggurl wrote:Some states enforce no texting laws as well.


Man, I'd hope so. Texting while driving is ridiculous.

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: May 7th, 2010
It's been my experience in PARIS, where people say the french are non /english speaking, that by speaking my perfectly atrocious french for about 10 seconds, those that speak English appreciate that I try, and respond in English, if only to save their ears. This should work in Quebec and Montreal as well.
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KathrynD

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  • Added on: May 18th, 2010
I've found that a simple "Bonjour Hello" works with most people in Montreal. It signals that I respect them by starting with french, but that I'm hopeless so I'm switching to English. Only once in Montreal did I encounter a really rude guy (bus driver) who was mean to me when I asked him questions in fractured french.

Sedan

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  • Added on: December 21st, 2010
KathrynD wrote:I've found that a simple "Bonjour Hello" works with most people in Montreal. It signals that I respect them by starting with french, but that I'm hopeless so I'm switching to English. Only once in Montreal did I encounter a really rude guy (bus driver) who was mean to me when I asked him questions in fractured french.


:D Sounds like some Guys i met in Berlin last summer. Real rude when i asked them in english. Then, a friend of me told me that i only have to shout back and everything will be fine! :lol: First i thought that he was just kidding me... but... some days later, a pair of beers made my tongue eeeeeaaasy, and i articulated my thougts a little bit louder than usual in front of a bus driver after he was mean to me... AND PLING! when i finished, the guy really helped me to find my visa back ! Sometimes poeple are... weird.

greetz
Sedan

Erika Ayala

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  • Added on: March 1st, 2011
Some tourist tips:

If you are a tourist, you should be always on the alert especially with your things. When you ride a cab, bring a map with you. Know where you are going and don't be instantly fooled by the cab drivers. You shouldn't act like you don't know the place. Or else, the cab driver can go and pass random places and won't bring you to your destination on time.

Don't talk to strangers - what our parents tell us when we were younger. This principle applies until now. You can be friendly but make sure that you are aware and not trust right away. If you have seen the movie Taken, you will have a deeper understanding of what I'm talking about. There are many syndicates that target tourists. Thus, you should not act naive and innocent.
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brightone

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  • Added on: April 26th, 2011
when ordering a cheesesteak in philly-- a real cheesesteak-- make sure you know what you want before you get to the register. philly's got attitude and has no patience for outsiders who don't know if they want wiz or provolone on their cheese steak.. my suggestion.. order a wiz with. you'll do alright...

Christian Renee Friborg

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2012
This thread is very informative. Thanks for the warnings, I'd definitely be vigilant and all.

will0502

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  • Added on: June 21st, 2013
It is better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way. - Alan Watts.

40poundpack

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  • Added on: May 16th, 2014
Getting cars broken into at trailhead parking areas is very common throughout the USA, especially in California and the Appalachians. Keep absolutely nothing of value in your car- not even in your trunk or glove box. I have even gone so far as to leaving my car unlocked to avoid smashed windows in a few more remote areas. I also installed a hidden "kill switch" which makes it impossible to start my car. A locking gas cap is a must- there are gas thieves out there as well.

40poundpack

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  • Added on: May 16th, 2014
2gowhere? wrote:Those travelers hiking, backpacking, etc. in wooded areas of the U.S.A. should make certain they use adequate insect repellent for ticks, chiggers, and of course mosquitos. Many visitors are unaware of the diseases carried by ticks the allergic reactions to chiggers, and other diseases carried by mosquitos. If you do not know what a tick or chigger is...do a 'google'. Some people are highly allergic to chiggers and don't know it till they've been exposed to them (particularly people who are taking medication for acne). These insects are a nuisance, but they can make you very sick, and longterm effects of some of the diseases are lifelong (Lyme's arthritis and heart problems). Ticks must be removed carefully, so as not to leave the head embedded in the skin. Carefully check everywhere (yes, there too) for ticks; they can be smaller than the tip of a pencil (seed ticks). Enjoy the great outdoors.


Ticks are especially a problem along the west coast- especially the coastal mountains of California. I've picked as many as 20 ticks off myself after hiking for only about an hour in the Los Padres National Forest. Also note that the Central Coast of California is home to the densest mountain lion population in the world. NEVER hike alone in that region. Another issue in California is poison oak. It is EVERYWHERE and can be found in many forms (bush, shrub, low ground twigs, vines, you name it).


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