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    Wildflower Hikes
    springtime wildflowers

    Dirt cheap vacations in California can be difficult to discover, especially when the luxury of travel seems further from reality with each passing year of economic recession. With traveling tourists and retirees focused on the wineries, upscale coastal villages and amusement parks, most want to keep you in the city, dining out and shopping, spending money - well away from the free vacation options.

    Plenty travel sites cover the typical choices - chain hotels, timeshares, tropical islands and cruise ships. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Total Escape offers only local destinations, small towns, outdoor recreation, yurts and cabin rentals, rustic lodges and unique attractions. Local museums, farm stands, organic orchards, caves and caverns, historic railroads, hot springs resorts, bike or kayak rentals, alpine lakes, waterfalls, rivers, creeks, all parks and forests.

    Site founder DanaMite is currently working on transforming old content to new posts on a blog style, mobile friendly format.
    California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors Boondock Dirt Roads


    against the wind

    Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

    California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors, Boondock Camps California is Vast and it has more variety, culture, terrain, and micro-climates than most vacation options. This summer sees significant wildfires at Klamath River, so avoid that region, Yreka to Willow Creek. Budget for high gasoline price, pack lots of food an water; and always have a plan B and C for any adventurous road tripping. Campfires are banned on the back roads, which is typical every summer, so find a developed campground if you must have a fire.

    Wildflowers are also still blooming into late summer, at higher elevations. The higher the altitude, the later the blooms. DanaMite has also been documenting recent fires on out public lands. See the areas affected by wildfires.

    California Escapes


    Rural California Directory: Now that you've found this independent California resource, you can discover more local destinations online. Find your own rural place, a home way up in the hills, or just a good camp spot for the night. Discover that perfect desert spot for winter camping, petroglyphs, or the best small town museums. We list it here, all outdoors, all local. Travel the back roads of the west, on the cheap. Camp year round, without the fees, from Baja to Shasta. Find secluded spots. Historic, independent inns to remote yurt resorts, yoga weekends to primitive hot springs, RV resorts, or dispersed camp sites. Hiking trails, kayaking lakes, fishing streams, gold mines and ghost towns, and all the topographic maps to go with.

    California Hiking Maps

    all local: updated monthly

    ancient: 25 years online!

    We're still here, thousands of pages and decades later. Way outside the city limits, beyond the county line. No wifi, no smart meters, no gaming addictions, no traffic lights, no city noise. Rural living in California still exist. Hike on the weekends, bike to work, boating mid-week, we have you covered for destinations. Find a new boulder garden, a big waterfall, trailhead or an ancient lava cave. Total Escape - Two whole decades online. Not quite obsolete.

    Craving the Wild? Before the tweets, the constant memes and paralysis of our current culture, DanaMite started this travel web site way back in 1996. Catchy phrases like, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did not yet exist.

    Total Escape features abundant real photos of real places. Secluded destinations, camping and lodging, examining the best back roads, side routes, the topo maps (to get you out there). Locals-only travel tips, gear reviews, festivals and events. This unique travel site is updated every month, for the past 25 years!

    Juicy content specific only to California. Focusing on outdoor destinations, small towns and budget-minded travel since 1996, we've recreated the weekend getaway - without the crowds. Escape the matrix, the city life, the traffic jams and learn how to avoid the tourist traps. Drive on past the factory outlet malls and the water slides, we've got much more to show you. Way out there, on the back roads, and in the backcountry.

    Wilderness in California - more nature, less people.

    hike. bike. camp. picnic.

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    camp diva DanaMite

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    California Travels

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