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.
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.
The Evergreen Aviation Museum was an unexpected find on my way to Portland. There were lots of the hotels around that were full or at a price higher than I wanted to pay, so I after some searching I ended up in McMinnville, Oregon. Now that I had a room for the night I looked around for something to visit the next day. What a museum of flight. As I only had a few morning hours I examined all the exterior planes and was impressed. They even had a Russian MIG 29! The list of planes at the Evergreen Aviation Museum is very long and quite distinguished.
Evergreen Aviation Museum – Home of the Spruce Goose
The most incredible of all the planes is the Spruce Goose built by Howard Hughes in 1947. At the time The Spruce Goose was the largest plane on earth. Now things may have changed when you say largest what. The Spruce Goose is for sure the largest wooden plane ever built. The wingspan is thought to be the largest. With the advent of stronger and more powerful engines, there are planes with much larger takeoff weights. Anyway it is definitely the largest something or other.
Well, anyway, I loved the driveway into the Evergreen Aviation Museum. The road is painted as if it was a runway! This is a very nice touch. The the planes adorn the outside are all around the incredibly giant hanger that houses the spruce goose and LOTS and LOTS of other planes! The planes are not cramped in any way. Some aeronautical museums really crunch the place together, but not here. This spacing made for easy pictures. When the museum opened I only had an hour before I needed to meet someone at the Portland airport. So, for 25 bucks I chose to be content with my exterior portion of the museum, and an incredible view into the huge hanger.
This looks to me like a place to spend the day or more. With all the fantastic displays inside, and a giant theater next door it might even take more than a day for those with aeronautical leanings. I am sure I will be coming back to this museum. This place is definitely worth the side trip if you are in the Portland area.
The Camp Roberts Military Museum is the largest military museum in California – or so they told me – this is a great museum for military historians and also for everyone to get a picture and feeling of many historical events that are not covered in a movie based history about the battle of so and so. This base has been training hundreds of thousands of men for many decades.
The museum has a very limited schedule as to when you can enter. So check carefully, and have ID, Registration and insurance ready. Remember the only days are Thursday and Saturday 9 to 4 Only.
Once through the gate you are greeted by the museum annex. It has a display of choppers and tanks in many configurations. Inside the Annex there are displays from many different battle fields and displays of what conditions were like in the past. It can get quite warm on the base in the summer, however it gets a great deal warmer inside a tank or in the fields of the deserts where many of the men portrayed were deployed. The base has trained many movie and stage stars, and created a legacy that is worthy of investigation. The barracks of Red Skelton are displayed and the story of his service is one that was almost all done at Camp Roberts.
Camp Roberts Military Museum – Main Building
Proceeding up the road to the main museum, upon entering one is greeted by most welcome air conditioning. It may be a swamp cooler, but whatever it is it was most welcome! There is a 35 minute movie of the history of the camp and I always find these documentaries to reveal so many stories about goings on in the past. The museums entry way will tell the story of the naming of the base. This one was not named for a general! The docents are very helpful and will talk your ears off with stories given the slightest openings. So be ready to be guided through a big piece of California History. This seemingly desolate site hold many secrets. How many can you find?
The General Sherman Tree, listed as the largest living thing on earth, makes it a must see on everyone’s bucket list. Well it is impressive, and the tree definitely has pull for visitors. It is Located in Sequoia National Park above Visailia and east of Fresno, it is easy to find. A winding road is definitely worth the drive. To visit the tree there are two options.
General Sherman – Just Ahead
I like to think of the options as the easy way and the harder way. As the elevation is nearing 7,000 foot, oxygen is short, and for city dwellers, even short walks can be difficult. For those who are sedentary, pay attention, and you will be happier on your trip.
General Sherman – The Harder Way
World’s Largest Living Tree – General Sherman
– For the walkers – The longer way is to go to the Sherman Tree main trail and parking. Sounds like
the right thing to do doesn’t it? This will lead you to a what they say is a half mile trail to the Sherman Tree. It is down hill to the tree, and I think it is a lot longer than a half mile down to the tree. It is then about 3 miles back up the exact same trail to the parking lot. Up hill with lots of steps and at over 6,000 foot elevation, this will be very difficult for those unaccustomed to altitude. For the Hikers, it will be a short jaunt.
General Sherman – The Easy Way
Go to the Giant Forest Museum and park across the street. Enjoy the museum for a bit and then Continue reading
The Wardholme Torrey pine tree is the most amazing pine I have ever seen. Now I have been to Carpinteria many times and driven past Carpinteria on US 101 hundreds of times, but who would have guesses you could find the Largest Torrey Pine in existence? Really in Carpinteria?
Anet wants coffee and the car wants gas, so we made the standard stop for rest room, coffee and gas. I gassed the car and she found a coffee place across the street. The Lucky Llama. It was just across the street and down a few doors down. She calls me and Continue reading
The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is a Wow! Wow! Wow! No matter how prepared you could be this place is mind expanding. It is Overwhelming and beyond belief! If you are ever in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area this is a must see. Allow yourself most of the day and you will be glad you did! – Now for the story – As always I check yelp and see what museums are in a given area (OK at meal time I look for restaurants too). I love to find museums of all sizes and types, and especially like little odd museums, but that is for another time and rating. So I find this Musical Instrument Museum and figure that I can go look at a few fiddles, flutes, accordions and guitars.
Musical Instrument Museum – 10 Stars
Well this museum is so first class I would give it ten stars, really TEN stars. The quality of the presentations and the breadth of the offerings is completely beyond comprehension. After a few hours I was sure my brain would explode! Anet’s jaw was on the floor from the the first display on. Really! But enough about us.
The museum is impressive from the outside, and the patio for the entrance is very inviting. With you entrance ticket, you will receive a headset and power pack. Pick a region of earth and start. You can walk up to a monitor and it will start playing the music of the country, people, area, or type depending on which hall you are transiting.
The Displays are spacious and have representative instrument for a given, culture or country, and videos with music to bring it all to you. The videos and music are only a couple of minutes long and give wonderful examples of contemporary and / or historical music. Stroll and listen and look and be impressed.
There is so much you could never take in it all in a day! So plan to come again.
I would recommend come early, have lunch in their restaurant, and return to listen and look more.
Oh, and on the restaurant, it is too cool! Fresh, local, tasty, incredible 5 star eating experience in a cafeteria like setting. The food was wonderful too!
So that should be enough bait to get you on a plane to Phoenix and up to the museum. A first class must see museum.
Voted a Top Ten Museum in the United States.