Author Topic: Parking Your Car while Touring  (Read 2597 times)

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Offline EnduroDoug

Parking Your Car while Touring
« on: August 06, 2010, 09:10:46 am »
Wife and I are headed out for a few days to do a loop around Mount Rainier. I did the RAMROD ride in 2008 (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day) but the 150 miles and 11,000 feet of elevation gain are too much for my wife to handle (and for me to enjoy at current fitness level) in one day so we're going to take our time and do it over three days.

Question to the group: Where do you leave your car when touring? Responses specific to the Enumclaw, WA area would be wonderful, but general responses are great too. We've only done one mutli-day trip so far and it was easy -- we left our car at a ferry terminal then went island hopping in the San Juans -- but now I'm curious about other ideas. Any suggestions are appreciative.

Oh, and I'll save the inevitable "leave your car at home" reply the trouble and say we definitely plan to do that on a future trip, but we're pressed for time and can't afford the extra day it would require on each end right now. But thanks anyway.  ;D

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 09:57:40 am »
Ask if you can park in the staff lot at the local state park or forestry office, or the US Forest Service or National Park Service. I often try to anchor my trips at our state DNR facilities because somebody is usually around at least 16 hours a day, (And I am a state park ranger.) and the staff/shop areas are either gated and/or fenced. If they say no (Can you spell "L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y"?) then ask if you can leave it in the public lot.

It's an idea, at least.

Ride safe,
Hans
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Offline rvklassen

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 10:52:18 am »
The one time we did a multi-day not starting from home we started and ended on a college campus (out of season for school).  We asked campus security and they told us where they were OK with us parking.

A similar principle applies: if you're starting/leaving from a non-college small town, ask the local police;  if in park ranger territory, ask a ranger.   You want someone who would be the most likely to give you trouble if you didn't get their permission.  There are also trailheads where people routinely leave their vehicles for multi-day hikes.  If that is anywhere close to where you wanted to start your ride...

Offline Tourista829

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 11:18:37 am »
Although I do not know the area you will be traveling, here are a few ideas that might help. Google a church or two and see if you can leave your car there. Check for a local small airport, I have left cars at both before and they have been very accommodating. (I like the idea of the college or local school) If all else fails, rent a car, one way, with a hatch back or fold down rear seats and drop it off as close as you can. Avis does it in Florida and the rates were reasonable. Rent another car back home. (or if you can get a good weekly rate, see if they would let you leave the car there.) I would be curious what you end up doing. Good luck. Bob

Offline bktourer1

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 05:07:37 am »
Check into warmshowers.org  and see if you can find a host who will let you park near your starting point

Offline Tourista829

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 06:17:47 am »
Warmshowers.org that is a great idea!

Offline JayH

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 12:49:10 pm »
You can also try bus stops, railroad stations, airports, etc.

But if it's a small town, you can also call the police as they will be the ones who will be issuing tickets, they will also generally know safe places, legal places, etc...  I've done that before and they are usually very helpful and friendly.

Jay

Offline EnduroDoug

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010, 12:52:50 pm »
Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone. A friend of mine had actually recently done the route we're about to do and suggested the QFC (upscale Wal-Mart) right in the town I was hoping to start/finish in. I called the manager and he said that it would be fine, to just let the mgr on weekend duty know so he doesn't have it towed.

Now let's just hope the weather holds... route tops out around 6000 feet.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 07:48:33 pm »
Many times I've parked on the street in front of a house. I ask the owners if it's OK and have never been turned down.  In fact, they usually offer to kind of watch it while I'm gone.

Enumclaw is a nice little town with plenty of pleasant residential areas.  They also have a fairgrounds so maybe you could call city hall or the chamber of commerce and ask about parking there.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline EnduroDoug

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2010, 08:20:04 pm »
Yep, Enumclaw is nice. I pass through quite often to go mountain biking out at Greenwater. Wouldn't leave my car at the fairgrounds for 3 days though. Heck no.

Online DaveB

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2010, 06:56:55 am »
Several years ago we did a loop tour in the Finger Lakes region of New york and had motel reservations for our last night.  We were able to leave our car in the motel parking lot (with the owner's permission) while we were on the tour.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 10:23:53 am »
I have also left a car at the motel where I was starting or ending from.  The manager was happy to accomodate me, and I parked where he directed me (the far end of the lot).

I have also had good luck contacting the city manager for where I want to start from.  They can usually either find you a safe place to park, or direct you to someone who can.  In August, I road Route G in north central Pennsylvania.  In laying out my route, I talked to the city manager who in turn put me in touch with the police department secretary, and she arranged for me to park in their staff lot.

I am not a big fan of parking at a trail head when I am going to be gone longer than over night.  I feel like ruffians will figure I'm gone after the second day and my car might as well have a sign that reads "steal or vandalize".
Danno

Offline JayH

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 04:29:30 pm »
Yes, be careful parking at (hiking) trailheads, in places like the white mountains because there has been a rash of window breakins the last 5 years, usually coming in spurts because many of the trailheads are close to the interstates (I-91 or I-93) or enough of a highway for the thiefs to break and run.  And they know many hikers are out overnight so it's opportunity and motive...

Jay

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Parking Your Car while Touring
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 05:14:08 pm »
Yes, be careful parking at (hiking) trailheads, in places like the white mountains because there has been a rash of window breakins the last 5 years, usually coming in spurts because many of the trailheads are close to the interstates (I-91 or I-93) or enough of a highway for the thiefs to break and run.  And they know many hikers are out overnight so it's opportunity and motive...

Jay
That's been a major problem on the trail heads along I-90 in Washington, too, especially near Snoqualmie Pass.  Several years ago the cops set up a sting and caught several people that had oodles of gear in their houses.
May the wind be at your back!