Sleeping in a rest area

Discussion in 'Americas' started by bodine003, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Pleiku68

    Pleiku68 n00b

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    Once while riding back to OH from a weekend in NYC I suddenly realized I was in a different lane than I remembered.:eekers Scared the heck out of me. Next rest stop I was sleeping on a picnic table for a couple of hours. It was still daylight and had no qualms about security, nobody bothered me.
    #61
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Small town parks, churches, cemeteries.

    Best bet is to stop at the police station and ask if there is a safe place to catch a few hours sleep. They know all the spots and will probably keep an eye on you since you asked first.
    #62
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  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I've taken naps before at rest areas during the day, no problem.
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  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I've had that conversation once with one while catching some sleep in my car.

    I said I can't stay awake and if I drive any more I will cause an accident.

    I was told to take a few hours and move on as soon as possible.
    #64
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  6. Baccadon

    Baccadon Adventurer

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    I did this in Dove Creek, Utah. Police Officer directed me to the city Park. He stated he would be on duty all night and would cruise by periodically. We slept on tables under a roof near a football field. Restroom had commode and sink. My experience is LEO's like to know what is going on in their areas and will help when they can.
    #66
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  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    The signs at interstate rest areas saying "No Camping" are not intended for sleepy drivers/riders, they are to keep people from doing a set-up. Even Walmarts vary on overnights. In FL most don't allow it at all as the homeless move in. The Walmart version of the rand-McNally atlas used to have a list in the back that told which stores allowed use of the lot. Just in past few days i found that NLA. We used ours often to GPS to a usable store lot.
    LEO's are not trying to hassle people but they do try to keep rest areas safe.
    I've set up tents in some weird spots a few times. Behind rural churches (not on church days), behind Walmarts and fast foods. I slept in back of a Burger King not far from NASCAR track in NC once. Lots of sleep overs in small towns on truck seat, some on wrong side of tracks.
    Trip Planning has taken on a whole nuther meaning in recent days! Going anywhere is a new thing!
    Our oldest returned from Colombia a few minutes ago and was easy w/o any hassels he said @ Houston AP. That's not true at some AP's or stores. Just saw a recent pic of a gun store in LA, CA with long lines.
    It's really quiet here in my woods, like everyday.
    #67
  8. DirtMerchant

    DirtMerchant Long timer

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    I've slept in rest area many times in my car/suv but never while riding my bike. That said, I have seen plenty of guys sleeping on picnic tables. Last year I saw a guy sleeping in the vestibule type of area just outside the men's room. He was on the floor ATGAT including full face helmet, my first thought was I hope he's okay but then realized he was most likely sleeping; I didn't bother him.
    #68
  9. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I've slept leaned up against a wall at a rest area restroom before. Had ridden from Flagstaff to somewhere in Illinois with the last few hundred miles in the rain. Not enough money for a motel. But you don't really get any rest. I remember some truckers coming in and saying"poor bastard".:lol3 I did set up a tent at a rest area outside Flagstaff under a no camping sign. This all was in 1977, so things have changed.
    #69
  10. singhv

    singhv Singhsteen

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    More than 25 years ago, when I was a young lad...riding two-up in India at 3 am, I saw flower beds in the road. I ask my buddy if he was seeing them too, and he said hell no! Never rode so late/tired again,never saw flowers (or black dogs) again. Done many all-night drives in cars, but not bikes.
    #70
  11. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Never seen a black dog, however I have seen little green men. I've also had cactus with comic book faces in Baja waving at me after 36 hours of racing.:lol3
    #71
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  12. Dtx915

    Dtx915 Long timer

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    Used to use them all the time. These days there are people who have nothing else to do than try to take advantage of someone not paying attention.
    #72
  13. ahung12

    ahung12 Adventurer

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    No thank you. Unless by "away from the graves" you mean across the street, at the rest stop or something.
    #73
  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Sleeping is one thing, setting up a camp for the night is totally different.
    #74
  15. Liko

    Liko English is my 2nd legume

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    It seems that each state handles this differently except Oklahoma which just doesn't have rest areas. In NM you can stay for 8 hours or so and its a bit rowdy. There are lots of families out there sleeping in rest areas all night. It's a bit of a mess.

    I'd pop for a tent sight in an RV Park and then you can use the shower and maybe get a coffee and some donuts on your way out.
    #75
  16. Siorc

    Siorc Tiger Shark Supporter

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    I'm confused - why are you riding on an interstate in the first place? :nah

    I suppose I'm lucky to live where I can choose routes that are max two lanes, mostly unpaved single lane FS roads, and camp along streams most people don't know exist. Even on longer paved trips, I just plan to stop in an area of national forest, just ride up a road a ways and find a flat spot. Dunno why anyone would ever want to plan on sleeping in a rest area.
    #76
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  17. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    When I lived in Missouri, it was a long, hot ride to Colorado and MOUNTAINS!!! The best plan was to leave late in the day and ride across Kansas in the dark. I flopped on picknic tables about 2 am and slept until 6 am. Picked the one furthest from the road near the exit. Never was hassled.

    My favorite flop was in Southern Idaho. There's an exit off the interstraight that feeds only dirt roads. At this exit is a failed lake with a sandy beach. Another 2 am stop, I laid out a tarp and sleeping bag on the sand, no need for a mattress. It was warm, so I just laid down on top of the sleeping bag in shorts and tee-shirt. Thinking if the bugs get bad or I get cold, then I'll get in the bag. Next thing I remember is the sun in my eyes. I never rolled over or woke up, no bugs, perfect temperature all night. That never happened again.
    #77
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  18. Glenn247

    Glenn247 Long timer Supporter

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    Here's a post I made a while back about me nearly being slaughtered by several drug addicts while sleeping behind a church in rural eastern Kentucky...with photos, one of which substantiates the existence of an "Opioid Belt", far more dangerous than the Sun and Bible Belts most of us are familiar with...

    The Opioid Belt is roughly Appalachia...

    Be aware of the region you're in, and its threat level...here's the post of my near-death stealth camping experience, an experience that could also take place at a rest area in a highly addicted area with unpredictable, irrational actors:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/stealth-camping-101.1131258/page-13#post-38046523
    #78
  19. Glenn247

    Glenn247 Long timer Supporter

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    Some may consider a rest area safer, higher visibility, and more conventional than stealth camping...

    As you can see from my post above and my post in the stealth camping thread, which is linked to above, perhaps a rest area along a major interstate is more conducive to survival than behind a backroad church in the heart of the Opioid Belt...

    After detailing my encounter with the drug addicts for several local gentlemen at the London, KY Harley dealership the following day...they told me I needed to drop to my knees and thank the Lord I wasn't slaughtered like a pig and thrown down a long-forgotten mine shaft or fed to hogs...
    #79
  20. Bighammer49686

    Bighammer49686 Been here awhile

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    My dad grew up in Switzerland. He had gone on a strenuous climb up a mountain and was riding his Jawa home when he fell asleep. He had veered off the pavement and into a freshly plowed field and the bike and handlebars shook him awake again. We always joked about how stupid-lucky he was.

    I came pretty close to dozing off on the bike once. I had been to a weekend music festival about 2 1/2 hours away. After 4 days of great music, late nights, etc. I was pretty well spent. I had planned to stay in my tent again Sunday night and return Monday, but there was lots of noise and dust of others breaking camp, people using the last of their booze and other party favors, and lots of fireworks. (and I'm in a tent in a large field of dry grass/weeds) I could also tell that my other half was at the end of her rope. It had been a bad work week, our young son had a buddy over for a sleepover and one of them hopelessly plugged up a toilet. The dog had gotten into something and had the squirts and was puking occasionally.

    In darkness, I rolled up my dew soaked tent which got me pretty damp as well. It was about 50° and I realized after filing out the gate that it wasn't just dust and smoke in the air, there was also a heavy fog. It was a beautiful forecast for the July 4 weekend, so I hadn't brought anything for rain or cold. I had jeans, leather jacket and thin gloves. I shivered a bit on the back roads but felt really cold as I hit the expressway. Riding thru fog accumulates moisture really quickly. I was pretty well soaked and my faceshield was fogging up really quickly. I'd try to wipe it a few times, then open it to wipe my glasses. Soon, there was so much inside, I'd have to pull over to try to find a dry corner of shirt, then start all over. It didn't feel safe stopping on the side of a freeway in an early morning fog.

    I was only on it for about 10 or 15 miles to the end of the freeway. There was a 24hr station where I got coffee and stood in front of and over the top of a bathroom dryer. I pressed on, hoping a turn away from the big lake would thin the fog. Not much. Many of the small town places were still closed, but I did find another 24 place and warmed/caffeinated once more.

    It was starting to clear finally, but I'm also realizing the sun is starting to come up. WTF? I'm still close to an hour from home and the sun is rising?? Wife called at about midnight and the packing up, finding my way out, and all the shivering, wiping, warming, etc. has taken 6 hours. I took another break-- A quick walk to get the blood flowing and take a couple photos.

    089.jpg

    As I approached an isolated rural 4-way stop, morning sun in my eyes, but radiating warmth thru my body, I suddenly dropped my weight on the bars. It was more to one side and caused the bike to veer enough to get my attention. I stopped at a park just a mile or 2 down the road and sat at a table and put my head down. A 20 minute nap was enough to get me rested enough to make it home. (and miss my wife who had to leave for work) I didn't realize my phone had quit working and she was freaking out because I should've been home long before.
    #80
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