Gullfoss Waterfalls

Gullfoss Falls by Charley Carlin

Gullfoss Falls

The Gullfoss Waterfalls outside Reykjavik, Iceland are a few steps beyond impressive. We arrived on the site near the fall where there is a small shop, a restaurant, and a post office box. There is a medium sized parking lot and lots of tour buses and cars and vans and more with a line of people walking up to the viewing area. There is a fork in the road, with one path leading up to the upper falls and it looked like a single file line that stretched to whole way, maybe almost a mile, and it seemed never ending. People coming and going to get a couple minutes with a close up view and a few photos.

The alternate path went down several large stairways with viewing platforms along the way. Visitors were warned to remember that what goes down must come up. And for the average age group of the visitors, going up would be taxing.

Gullfoss Information by Charles Carlin

Gullfoss Information

The scope of the falls is near impossible to get from a picture. Saying the falls are huge, or gigantic, or even ginormus do not do them justice. Having visited Niagara Falls last year and completely enjoying their grandeur, I must report that Niagara has a longer drop,  while Gullfoss has a wider span with a two tiered drop. Now depending on which one you visited lately, might sway your opinion. Also depending upon your heritage you might vote for one over the other. Additionally the event surrounding your visit, like a proposal or honeymoon, might cloud your objectivity in choosing the greatest of the two.

Rather that take sides I will say the the people of Iceland are sure that Gullfoss is greater than Niagara and while I was looking at the falls I agreed with them.

Today, after consideration and much thought, I will declare that they are both knockouts for beauty and impressiveness. Definitely a must see, both of them.

Gullfoss Falls by Charley Carlin

Gulfoss Falls

History of the World in Granite

History of the World in Granite

History of the world In Granite

History of the World in Granite
Coming west out of Yuma one crosses into the State of California where there is a long stretch of nothing for many, beautiful open space for others, and the great southwestern desert for me. About 8 miles later there is the off ramp for Felicity,

However there appears to be nothing, give one lone gas station. One turns down the frontage road on the north side and the next thing you see is the site of the History of the World in Granite.

History of the World in Granite - Photo by Fernando Castillo

What could this be one might ask? There is a rusty spiral staircase standing alone. There is a chapel on the hill in the distance. As you turn in the drive way there is an honor system three dollar donation. You can visit this museum anytime, if it is ‘open’ or not.

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American Windmill Museum

American Windmill by Charley CarlinThe American Windmill Museum is a real gem here. I had no idea such a museum existed and this one is really super. On the grounds which looks to me to be somewhere around 25 or 30 acres there are windmills everywhere old to new all over the place. One might think oh that’s nice then move on and miss the whole shooting match. The building is huge there are two of them there are hundreds of different windmills on display, complete with stories of operation time periods and where they were used. It’s quite eye-opening to see all the things that have happened in the history of the windmill.

I was amused by the small windmills that were used in the 20’s 30’s and 40’s to run your radio when you’re out in the middle of nowhere on the Prairie. Thence you could hear what was on the radio. Cool!

Now in addition to all these windmills there is something I’ve never seen before which is a collection of millstones. Yes the stones that were used to grind grain and coffee and chocolate and bunches of other things including animal feed and who knows what all else. Someone collected all these and saved them and gave them to this Museum.  That is another complete mini-museum.

Now add on to this huge huge model train layout and beautiful miniaturization around the train. Well that’s enough to amuse any child or adult.. And to make sure nobody’s left out on the other side is a collection of Miniatures not dollhouses but just miniature houses that describe many things from the past it’s Charming it’s well done it’s worth the stop it’s a fabulous Museum I would give it six stars but 5 is the limit here.

 

Carhenge Monument

Carhenge Monument - by Charley Carlin

Carhenge Monument

At Stupid Vacations oddities are a specialty. We love oddities.  And the Carhenge Monument really qualifies. A step up fro Cadillac Ranch for sure, this qualifies way up there.  In far western Nebraska, away from the interstate on the north and the interstate on the south lies Alliance, Nebraska. Carhenge as built in the late eighties and at first the town thought of it as an eyesore. Small towns and small town politics is always a puzzle, with some vocal opinions om both sides of the aisle. The locals whined and complained until they figured out that The Carhenge Monument is a draw for tourism and that brings tourist dollars. So now the guy is a local hero. Tie that all in with the City of Alliance being in the path of the last solar eclipse and about a bazillion tourists came to know and love Alliance and Carhenge. There are additional odd art pieces in the town of Alliance. Carhenge is a fun oddity and a must see for sure.  Definitely a bucket list item for  the oddity fanatics.


About The Author
Charles Carlin - Finding Roadside Oddities

Charles Carlin

Charley is a magnet for those slightly odd and one of a kind places, some of which you may have never heard about. Charley easily found all over the web. Just Google Charley Carlin for more insights. He can also be found via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, and Google Maps

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is the Nation’s first waterfowl refuge. Established in 1908 under President Theodore Roosevelt it encompasses over 40,000 acres. The 10 mile drive around the refuge is a bird watcher’s paradise.  The species visible varies throughout the year, as some of the birds are migratory.

Take the Loop Drive – Slowly

The loop drive through the refuge is a bit puzzling on the first trip.  When I started the loop many of  the areas that would be flooded during the rainy season were pretty dry. The water in the roadside canals was stagnant and I was getting a bit disappointed. I was thinking ‘my gosh this drought in California is awful’. But I stuck it out. Dusty, oh my was it dusty.

I kept rolling through the park rolling and rolling and finally I came to a stand of cottonwood trees. The stand of trees is a sign for me to stop and be quiet and wait patiently. The payoff is coming. Then there was water and then there were birds and birds and birds and birds it was marvelous.

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge Best Viewing Times

Best viewing is always early and late in the day, however there is always some degree of action throughout the day. On my last trip,  I came up on a raptor having lunch and he flew directly in front of my windshield to a tree on the opposite side of the road. Wonderful. Then as I was approaching the tree where he was dining, he flew back in front of me and flew off into the reeds. It was a falcon and I got such a beautiful view it was breathtaking.

This place is always worth the drive, and if it’s dry, or you get the wrong season there will always be some action. Most noteworthy are Bald Eagles in addition to the Golden Eagles, American White Pelicans and over 200 other bird types that are resident at various times of the year. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is mind boggling today, and to think of it in in 1908, when it was founded, is indeed inspiring. Ah the imagination.  Where there’s water there will be life. Oh what an incredible slice of life.

 

20 Mule Team Museum – Boron CA

While coming through Boron, CA the 20 Mule Team Museum is awaiting your visit. I think it is waiting for anyone to visit. We were on our way to the Saxon Aerospace Museum (next door) and we arrived right at opening time. Wow! Right on time, however, as luck would have it the place was locked. No one around.

20 Mule Team Museum Hours Vary

Well as places like this can be, and usually are dependent upon volunteers. In this small town, Boron (population 2,253), we weren’t too surprised. A few minutes later a pickup with two guys pull up and they wave one finger indicating, I think, that it will just be  few minutes.  Well they park their truck and tell us that the person who is opening the museum today, was having breakfast and they pointed at the restaurant across the street. No problem I say.  

So I wander next door to the 20 Mule Team Museum.  Now this place I have driven by for many years, and not stopped as the grounds looked pretty sad. Scattered around the place is bunch of ferric oxide disguised as mining equipment.

So,  I go into the museum, which is also the chamber of commerce of Boron, and sign the guest book and start looking around. The whole place seemed a bit small, and I thought this would be a real short visit. Then I was greeted by the staff member and the fun begins. She lit up everything and and museum began to take form. The back rooms came to light, There were models, displays, and photographs of the 20 Mule Team Experience. The viewing area has a movie about the mules and how they were used in the transport of the borax. The information is what you need to know if you are going to have mules pull your wagon. for sure it told me more about mules than I will ever need to know.

The collection of history is a nice stop to break the trip, be it to Vegas, Phoenix or beyond. I enjoy the work volunteers put into preserving history that would otherwise just fade to dust or rust in the desert. Oh Yes! Its Free. So help support it with a donation!