United States
United States

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Top 10 Travel Destinations United States

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  • Day10

    Day 10 - A Bridge Too Far (& TOO High)

    May 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

    Freezing start to the morning, but by 9.00am, the sun was out & everything heated up.

    After a leisurely morning, we headed out for the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. We had booked our tickets on line & upon arrival felt pleased with ourselves that we had saved $8 each on general admission. Our smugness was slightly diminished when we informed that the gondolas had been suspended due to high winds. I was secretly pleased.

    The Royal Gorge Bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River, 1260 feet long, 18 feet wide & made up of 1292 planks. Most incredibly is that it was built in 1929.

    As we approached the bridge, my bum went funny & my legs turned to jelly. Jackie strutted around without a care in the world. Eventually I managed to take a couple of photos & even attempted a selfie, which was bloody awful.

    We successfully reached the other side & went to the Theatre where we were shown a film about the construction of the bridge. The builders were utter lunatics with not a safety rope or harness in sight. For someone trained at ‘Working at Heights’, I was shocked.

    We had a wander round the park, scoffed at the idiots doing some sort of bungee ride, then realised the gondola was now working - oh joy. As we walked up to the gondola station to get a ride back over the gorge, I had to stop for a nervous wee. The gondola arrived at the station & a parks employee cam elite to say that they needed to suspend the gondola operation because the wind had got up again. I was half annoyed, but also half relieved.

    As a result we had to walk back over the bridge. We had lunch in the RV & monitored the gondola, but it didn’t start up again. Matters were made worse when I realised that I had forgotten to wear my Fitbit again.

    After lunch, we drove down into Cañon City, we drove past the Colorado State Penitentiary, which had a museum, but it didn’t take our fancy (Not enough notorious inmates). I have since read that Cañon City prospers not so much from tourism as from prisons. It has a dozen prisons, including a top security superman prison with 500 of the nations most dangerous including the Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols & Al Qaeda ‘Shoe Bomber’ Richard Reid. Amazingly we didn’t see the other eleven.

    Instead we drove up & down Main Street. We didn’t feel the need to stop & get out so we drove 8 miles south to Florence an old historic oil town. It was much more attractive than Cañon City & was full of Antiques Shops. We went to the Rocky Mountain Bank & changed a $5 note for 25 cent coins.

    On the way back we stopped at Pathfinder Park for a photo of John Charles Fremont, The Great Pathfinder. We arrived back at our KOA campsite just after 3.00pm, realising that we were were in a different time zone, presumably when we crossed into Colorado the previous day. We loaded up the washing machines & dryer with our dirty clothes & 25 cent coins, then just relaxed in the sun in our camping chairs with a couple of beers.

    We did have a couple of disasters that evening:-

    1. We snapped off the catch on the window beside the cooker whilst trying to let the cooking smells out.

    2. Whilst watching the rest of After Life, I ‘clumsily’ knocked my glass of red wine off the table onto the seat & all over my shorts. The red wine didn’t stop there, it dripped down into an electric panel, which set an alarm off and lights to start flashing. Luckily they eventually stopped & we had 18 dishcloths.

    FITBIT = 5,507 steps / 2.56 miles

    Song of the Day - Vertigo by U2.
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  • Day12

    City of Angels

    June 2, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Up early to catch the Surfliner Train down the Californian coast to Los Angeles. I would have posted a photo but it was a bit cloudy and overcast and it looked a bit like Saltcoats at the Glasgow Fair. The train called in at Santa Barbara but there was no sign of Aunty Babs. Maybe she was out entertaining the old folks!

    As I arrived at the 1939 art deco Union Station, Los Angeles, I felt I should be carrying a small dog like so many wannabe stars of yesteryear looking for fame and fortune in Tinseltown. As I only have one day in LA, I decided to make the most of it. Took the Metro then bus to Melrose Avenue and caught the last tour of the day at the legendary Paramount Film Studios. We were a small group of 6 and had an excellent guide - Jackson, an aspiring writer - who gave us a 2 hour tour of the back lot in a buggy. It was quite a thrill walking through the famous Bronson Gate as so many stars have done in the past (Aileen you would love it à la Norma Desmond). I particularly loved the older part which was originally RKO Studios (where King Kong was made), before being bought by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jr who turned into Desilu Studios and created shows like I Love Lucy and the original Star Trek. As we stood in Sound Stage 29, we were told that this was the very spot where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had created their movie magic - unbelievable!

    The back lot too was impressive, with mock ups of New York streets etc where the Godfather was made. Altogether a great visit and a place to be recommended if you are interested in old Hollywood.

    Three buses later and I arrive at the Griffith Observatory high in the Hollywood Hills, near the famous sign. The beautiful deco building featured heavily in the 1955 movie Rebel Without A Cause starting James Dean. It is free to enter and a very popular place to visit especially at sunset, with fabulous views over Los Angeles.

    Lastly a quick visit by Metro to Hollywood proper, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the footprints of the stars. Still can’t see mine there - it must be an oversight.

    Back to Union Station to enjoy the hospitality of the Metropolitan Lounge before boarding the 10pm Amtrak Sunset Limited Service, and my sleeper for the two nights Zzzz...
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  • Day4

    Early day - Reno - Fallon

    August 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Got here at 3pm after an hour in a gun shop & then knife warehouse, put the tents up for the first time. Trailer park, had a beer (1), shower, some bike tricks & in the sleeping bag by 9! Plan to be on the road 5.30 before heat gets up & head for Idaho Falls, few hundred miles but the speed limit here is 70mph so cars, trucks & Ute's are passing us at 80mph! We have to do 90 to stay in front so we let them go. Hope to make up some distance tomorrow!Read more

  • Day5

    Nevada - just huge!

    August 2, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Left Fallon at 6.30 then stopped for breakfast (eggs over easy) at Austin. On & on through to Eureka, copper, silver & gold mining then grabbed a coffee & beautiful snowfreeze at Ely. 2.45pm now so heading for Jackpot near Idaho border! We've been on Highway 50 all day. It's the original Pony express route & is now known as the loneliest road in USA. We now know why, most of the day was 80-90mph & we were being overtaken! Sheriff clocked us at 90, flicked his lights & waved us on. Only in America. 😎Loud pipes save lives! BOOM 👊🏻Read more

  • Day12

    Mt Rushmore - South Dakota

    August 9, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Had a massive ice cream & asked the sherrif for a photo. He said ok but see his hand on his pistol... They're nervous over here & although we're always feeling safe they are always at the ready. Then you know what he said... Loud pipes save lives 😎Read more

  • Day24

    Manchos - Colorado

    August 21, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    The scenery still has a whisp of New Mexico in it at the bottom end of Colorado but the roads & the vehicles have definitely changed. New Mexico was really run down with even repaired & dinged in police cars while Colorado is very different.Read more

  • Day26

    Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah

    August 23, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Wow! Look at this! Absolutely like nothing I've ever seen before! Just huge. About 5 people simply fall off here every year taking pics from outside the fences. Just dumb cause there's no coming back & the metal is loose & fine.Read more

  • Day16

    Skagway

    September 14, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    What a way to start the day - breakfast in a brothel. 😳
    The famous Red Onion Saloon in Skagway put on a basic breakfast, while we had breakfast the girls did some story telling of what life was like in the 1890’s. This was followed by a tour of the establishment.
    There’s original wallpaper from 1898. The story goes that every working girl chose the wallpaper for their room, so every time a new girl started another layer of paper was added. One sample of wallpaper was really thick.... turn over was high 😉

    What makes today fabulous is the sun is out and it’s gorgeous. 🌞🌞

    After breakfast we’re on a driving tour of the town - a whole 6 blocks. We stop at the Museum then the gold rush Cemetery. A brisk walk up to Reid Falls was worth it (mind you I wasn’t saying that on the way up the track 🥴). We then drive up to the lookout - wow, it’s magnificent.

    We drive past all the colour coded churches & bars. Most people were illiterate back in the day so buildings were colour coded to help guide residence & visitors.

    We then decide to stay in town so we can walk around in the gloriously sunshine & take some touristy photos. The buildings are maintained and look awesome and there’s a snow blowing train that is still capable of working. Lots of shops and you have to work out which ones aren’t owned by the cruise ships, we prefer to support the locals directly.

    We track down the Westmark Inn, this was called the Klondike Hotel - where dad stayed in ‘77. A complete refurbishment happened 4 years ago so apart from the facade everything has changed.

    There’s no chemist, no hospital & no doctor- basically the locals don’t get sick otherwise it’s a long and exorbitant costing trip to get help. Newspapers are flown in and arrive in the afternoon.

    We’ve visited all the cross itinerary places now. 💖

    Back on the boat for a late lunch and an arvo nap 😴
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  • Day24

    Crater Lake - we made it!

    October 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    What a day...! The tortures of camping in below 0°C were totally worth it!
    So we woke up this morning, - 4°C, cloudy, tent frozen... Difficult to make breakfast as our hands were freezing cold... Luckily, we had to start with a climb of 500m which warmed us up a little. The North entrance road up to Crater Lake was closed, but we could pass anyways with our bicycles. This was actually pretty cool as we were all alone - no cars or people! - on the way up. And it started clearing up, so we rode through a winter wonderland 😀
    By the time we reached the top, the sun was out and we could enjoy stunning views of Crater Lake, surrounded by snowy cliffs of the crater. Absolutely amazing!!
    We met some National Park officers and expected some trouble. However, they didn't seem to care that we cycled on a closed road, waved and wished us a great day. So we continued our exclusive semi-circle around the lake and stopped at every viewpoint.
    Once we got to the historical Crater Lake Lodge, we got a coffee to warm up. We must have looked completely frozen as the waiter wouldn't let us pay for it. Nice guy!!
    We then rolled downhill towards Prospect with great views of some nearby volcanoes, Rogue River Gorge, rivers and lakes. Kind of crazy that it took us about 1.5 hours to lose all the metres we had climbed during the 3 days before... But we are actually happy to be in lower altitude again. At Lost Creek Lake where we camp it's about 13°C and sunny 🌞
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  • Day31

    A good deed, the ER and a brewery

    October 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    What an eventful day today! It started off with a big breakfast at Zac's. We took it slowly as we only had an 80km tour ahead of us. Herbert had contacted a local brewery, nicely situated in the forest and by coincidence halfway in between Greenville and Truckee, our next stop. Susan and Rich, the owners, had replied straight away, that we are welcome to pitch our tent on their property. So we left Greenville around 10am, so we could get to the brewery early afternoon.
    However, sometimes you can't really plan things. About 10km after Greenville we saw a tricycle rider in a dark, shady turnout next to the highway. He waved for help so we stopped. He was disabled and only had one arm and one leg left and had accidentally driven his remodelled trike on log, so that he was stuck and couldn't get it out. The cars didn't see him as he was kind of hidden in the shade behind a corner of the highway. And as he couldn't really walk, he was lucky that we passed on our bikes and actually heard and saw him. So Herbert and me tried to lift the trike while, at the same time, moving the log away. I then heard my back crack and felt a strong pain - it was definitely not a smart idea to lift a trike! So we stopped the efforts and I decided to stop a car instead. Luckily, a lady with a pickup stopped and also happened to have some straps in the back, so we could toe the trike out of where it got stuck. One problem solved 👍
    So now, I still had to solve my aching back. Quincy was another 30km away, but it had a hospital and some chiropractors, so we decided I'd try to cycle. The road was actually quite pretty as it led through a canyon, however, I couldn't really enjoy it with my back pain. In Quincy, people recommended to go to the ER (emergency room) for having it checked, so we went to the hospital. For checking in, I had to answer many questions about my ethnicity, skin colour, religion and if I am confronted with domestic violence. The lady also took my temperature and stated that I didn't have any fever (what a surprise...). We had a bit of a discussion if travelling on a bike and sleeping in a tent is considered as "homeless", but agreed that it is not as we are doing it by choice. (Homeless people have to get treated differently by law she explained) I was then checked in and could wait in the waiting room. They had free wifi, water, coffee and tea, so it wasn't too bad.
    After 3 hours of waiting, it was my turn to see the doctor. But first I had to sign that they are allowed to bill me. Having a travel insurance, I shouldn't bother too much. But having heard about the US health system, I wanted to at least know how much I have to expect. The lady told me that it's about 2600$ (!!!!) to get examined. I was shocked and thought she was kidding, but she was dead serious. I decided that my self-diagnosis skills are not too bad and diagnosed that nothing serious has happened and I just need to massage my back and keep it quiet (actually something that I did during my waiting time and which had already released some of the pain). So I walked out of the ER without signing or getting examined. Funnily, the doctor came out and told me outside of the hospital - inofficially - that he couldn't have done much except telling me to take Ibuprofen, put ice on my back and have a break from cycling for a couple of days. So my self-diagnosis skills aren't actually not too bad and saved me (the insurance company) some $ 😉
    I followed his advice to take an Ibu and then we finished the 40km cycling to The Brewing Lair. They welcomed us with their excellent craft beers and also had icebags I could use to cool my back. As it was already late, we were too lazy to cook but ordered pizza instead. Now, lieing in the tent, I also keep my back quiet - so I followed all the doc's recommendations 😊
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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