Im back! Well not from the same previous location

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mspowerplant
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Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by mspowerplant »

Well where do I start hmmm...
Should I just say im currently MIA? lol
Well my life as I knew it has drastically changed
im currently sitting in a hotel in Tokyo at the start of my round the world trip
Next Stop Eastern Europe.
Following Stop U.S.A
and adventures keen on showing me the sites in your area or suggestions in what I should see post away!!
Mind you my first port of call is always the first gym I see lol

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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by Antison »

Miss P,

Welcome back! I was wondering where you've been. Where in the U.S. are you going? You should come to our great city of Boston as long as its in April and not in March as the temperatures in April are drastically better than in March.
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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by Flaming »

Why don't you visit some of the world wonders like in the USA nanagra falls or maybe in eastern Europe... You could eat sausages in Germany..?

I don't know. Go somewhere.
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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by mspowerplant »

Antison wrote:Miss P,

Welcome back! I was wondering where you've been. Where in the U.S. are you going? You should come to our great city of Boston as long as its in April and not in March as the temperatures in April are drastically better than in March.
Hi ya Antison!
I have been away for awhile I had to sell mine and Kaylas house and make sure Marcus wasn't going to run my gym into the ground while im gone lol
Well I start in L.A I'll arrive April 23 so I won't make it to Boston in April by the looks of it but I will make it there!
The only real plans I've made of to see so far is Mecca (golds gym Venice) besides that I've got a few friends that are determined to drag me all over the place! hence why any suggestion is a great one.
I've got 2yrs to see all I want to see. Obviously I won't be spending the whole time in the U.S but a good chunk of it.

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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by rijackson741 »

I've lived in five states, including states in the Southwest, the Northwest, the Midwest, and the Northeast :) I've also traveled extensively in the US. The only states I haven't visited are Alaska, which is on my hit list, and North Dakota, which is not :lol:

So I can give you some tips, but I need a little more information.
What are you mainly interested in seeing? Cities, or the countryside and parks? Do you want to visit museums? Historical sites? Something else? All of the above?
How do you intend to travel? Flights and car rentals (expensive!), train and bus, or buy a car and sell it before you leave? My first tip is that since you will be in the US for months, if you have the capital that last option will probably be the cheapest, and certainly will give you the most freedom.
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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by sdevaney »

mspowerplant wrote:
Antison wrote:Miss P,

Welcome back! I was wondering where you've been. Where in the U.S. are you going? You should come to our great city of Boston as long as its in April and not in March as the temperatures in April are drastically better than in March.
Hi ya Antison!
I have been away for awhile I had to sell mine and Kaylas house and make sure Marcus wasn't going to run my gym into the ground while im gone lol
Well I start in L.A I'll arrive April 23 so I won't make it to Boston in April by the looks of it but I will make it there!
The only real plans I've made of to see so far is Mecca (golds gym Venice) besides that I've got a few friends that are determined to drag me all over the place! hence why any suggestion is a great one.
I've got 2yrs to see all I want to see. Obviously I won't be spending the whole time in the U.S but a good chunk of it.
Nice, that sounds like it will be a great trip.

That's my gym, although I don't go as much as I should considering I live like a mile and some change away from it.
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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by mspowerplant »

rijackson741 wrote:I've lived in five states, including states in the Southwest, the Northwest, the Midwest, and the Northeast :) I've also traveled extensively in the US. The only states I haven't visited are Alaska, which is on my hit list, and North Dakota, which is not :lol:

So I can give you some tips, but I need a little more information.
What are you mainly interested in seeing? Cities, or the countryside and parks? Do you want to visit museums? Historical sites? Something else? All of the above?
How do you intend to travel? Flights and car rentals (expensive!), train and bus, or buy a car and sell it before you leave? My first tip is that since you will be in the US for months, if you have the capital that last option will probably be the cheapest, and certainly will give you the most freedom.
I would have to say all of the above! and one important factor gyms!
I've already purchased a 2002 cherokee with the help of a friend. I had one back home there pretty reliable and large enough to haul everything we need and a few things we don't lol. Finances really aren't a problem I've got the funds from selling house,previous winnings of comps plus a steady income from my gym so its more take our time and float about.
sdevaney wrote: Nice, that sounds like it will be a great trip.

That's my gym, although I don't go as much as I should considering I live like a mile and some change away from it.
Awesome! Chances are we may run into eachother.. if you see a blonde woman running between equipment chanting oh my god, oh my god,this is so cool oh wow look at that! lol it will be me come over and say hi.

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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by Pyrizzle »

mspowerplant wrote:The only real plans I've made of to see so far is Mecca (golds gym Venice) besides that I've got a few friends that are determined to drag me all over the place! hence why any suggestion is a great one.
I've got 2yrs to see all I want to see. Obviously I won't be spending the whole time in the U.S but a good chunk of it.
Don't forget about me up in Seattle. =) I have a big list of things I am going to take you to go see and do! =)
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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by mspowerplant »

Pyrizzle wrote:
mspowerplant wrote:The only real plans I've made of to see so far is Mecca (golds gym Venice) besides that I've got a few friends that are determined to drag me all over the place! hence why any suggestion is a great one.
I've got 2yrs to see all I want to see. Obviously I won't be spending the whole time in the U.S but a good chunk of it.
Don't forget about me up in Seattle. =) I have a big list of things I am going to take you to go see and do! =)
I won't forget! I've got a special delivery just for you :D

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Re: Im back! Well not from the same previous location

Post by rijackson741 »

I bet by now you thought that I had welched on my offer of some tips. Not so! It just took me a little longer to get this together than I would have liked, because I’ve been very busy. Most of what you would want to see in the US is either in the west, or in the east, with not much in the middle. That of course leaves you with a problem, in that you have to get from one side of the country to the other. You could do that in the south, straight across the middle, or in the north. IMO the south is by far the best option (straight across the middle would be by far the worst!). Based on the geography, I have created a route that I hope you can use as a template for your visit to the US. The route I propose would minimize the driving, while allowing you to cover most of what is worth visiting. Certainly there are things worth seeing that are far off my proposed route, but that will be true of any reasonable route you could take. The yellow line on the map shows approximately where the route goes:
US trip.png
As drawn, it is about 5600 miles. It does not follow the roads though, so add at least 1000 miles to that for the real distance, and probably more.
The details are in the spoiler below, so that everyone is not confronted with a wall of text. This is certainly not an all-inclusive itinerary, and maybe you do not want to visit some of the suggestions. It’s based on my own experiences, because I don’t see any point in commenting on places I have never visited (with a few exceptions, all of which are noted). You can get that from guidebooks. As I said, my main objective was to create a template, with whatever tips I could come up with, that you could adapt to your own preferences. Based on the posts above I can see that an extension of the route up to Seattle is one adjustment you will make!
1) Joshua Tree National Park. Unique scenery and vegetation. Having a Jeep means you can go down some of the dirt roads, and there are some interesting places with fewer people. If you do that take plenty of water though (several gallon jugs!), and I advise you to check in with the ranger station first, and tell them where you are going and when you plan to check in again. You are under no obligation to do this, but they will certainly not mind if you do. This tip applies to any remote part of any national park (and especially Death Valley: see below!). Note that some parks do require you to check in if you intend to go into a designated wilderness area, but there are no such areas with roads in them (not much of a wilderness if there’s a road!). Specific tips: drive all the way down the park to see the change from high desert to low desert. Take hikes into “the wonderland of rocks” by Barker dam (with GPS tracking on your phone turned on), and to 49 palms oasis.
2) Death Valley National Park. You should visit this soon after arriving. I have been there many times, and I once went in July, just so I could say I had done it. Now I can say I’ve done it, and I don’t intend to do it again! There are some long drives with no gas stations, so keep the tank full. You can figure out most of the things to see from a park map, but one specific tip is to go to Zabriski Point for sunrise. Yes, it means an early start, but it is a view you will not forget. Dante’s view is a good place to visit later in the day when it gets too hot in the valley. A warning. The back roads in Death Valley are BAD! There are lots of large, sharp rocks that are very bad for your tires, and make for a bone jarring ride that’s not so great for you or the rest of your vehicle. I’ve been out to the Devils Racetrack (in a Jeep Cherokee), and shortly after returning one of the tires blew. Some of the roads are so bad they are not even passable in a Jeep Cherokee.
3) Sequoia National Park. Big trees. Really BIG trees. You cannot appreciate how big they are from a photo, you need to go and see them.
4) Yosemite Valley. It’s stunning. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I have visited, and I have visited a lot of places. It’s also very popular, so I advise you to book some accommodation before arriving. You will not get anything in the park, so don’t bother trying, just get something as close to the entrance as you can, and drive in each day. Yosemite is worth visiting at any time of the year (although I have yet to visit in winter), but the best time is in spring when the waterfalls are in full force. Lucky you, the peak for that is about May, so your timing is perfect! Make sure you visit Glacier point at sunset. The view is surreal.
5) San Francisco. A unique city. There is China Town, Little Italy, Fisherman’s wharf, Lombard Street, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. On July 4th they have a great fireworks display over the bay, but you will probably be there too early for that. If you want to see Alcatraz, book on the first day you arrive, because there is always a lead time of a few days. Just over the Golden Gate Bridge is Conzelman road, which goes up a hill where you get a great view of the city and the bridge (several views in fact). If you go there at dawn you can often see the fog rolling into the bay and over the city. When bathed the in dawn light, it’s awesome (another early start, and there will be more)! If you drive north from there on highway 1 you will see houseboats in the bay at Sausalito. Other things to see that are within striking distance of SF are the Wine Country (interesting if you like wine, probably not otherwise), Mount Tamalpais state park (great views) and Monterey. Monterey is kind of a long drive from SF, but it has the best aquarium I have ever been to. The drive down the coast to Monterey is nice too (watch for the pelicans out to sea!).
6) You have a few options when you leave SF. You could go up the coast, and see the coastal redwoods (I have never done so), or you could cut further inland up through the wine country and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a really impressive place, but I suspect is somewhat similar to Yellowstone (which I have not been to – more about that later). All the way up in the Seattle area is Olympic National Park, which I have also never been to so I won’t comment on it. Portland and Seattle are both very nice cities, but I wouldn’t personally go hundreds of miles out of my way to see them. So, depending on your time and inclinations you will have to decide what, if anything, you do before heading to the next must see location: Yellowstone National Park
7) Yellowstone National Park. I haven’t been there, yet. There’s nothing in the US that’s higher on my hit list though. Since I haven’t been there I won’t say anything about it, except that it’s a must see place. Close to Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, which I believe is also worth a visit, but like Yellowstone, I have not been there.
8) From Yellowstone, head south again. You can follow the Rockies all the way back down into the deserts of the Southwest. I will list some places I think you should see, but to see them all you will have to zig-zag a bit as you head south. I’ll list them in roughly north-south order, but the exact sequence is up to you.
9) Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. They are right next to each other, and I’ll therefore deal with them as one. The place to stay is Moab. Good accommodation at a decent price (there’s a Best Western on the edge of town that I’ve stayed at more than once). Also very good food for a town of its size. There’s an interesting restaurant with good food that used to be a bank. You can eat dinner in the vault :) . Both parks are well worth seeing, especially Arches. Make sure you hike out to the most well-known arches, and especially Delicate Arch (it’s a lot bigger than you might think from photos!). It’s worth taking a tour into the Fiery Furnace too (only allowed with a Ranger, but there’s regular tours). Close by is Dead Horse Point State Park, which is definitely worth a visit because the views are phenomenal. There are some very interesting back-roads in Canyonlands that are only accessible by 4WD, but many of them are really serious stuff (I’ve never been on any of them, just commenting that they exist because you have a Jeep. Don’t go down them without checking at the Ranger station first!). The best time to see any of the arches is either early or late, when the light is much better (especially if you want good photos, because for a good photo light is everything!). Actually, in the deserts the best time to see anything is early or late, not so much because of the heat, but because the light in the middle of the day really washes out the colors.
10) Bryce Canyon National park. This is not actually a canyon, it’s a group of huge amphitheaters carved out of an escarpment. It is absolutely a must see place. The view from the edge of the escarpment is unique, and the best times are sunrise and sunset. It’s worth seeing it at both times (another early start!). Bryce Canyon has some of the clearest air in the US, and on a good day you can see for more than 100 miles from the edge of the escarpment! There are many very good hikes that drop down below the escarpment and wander through the hoodoos (I’ll leave you to look that up ;-)), and I highly recommend doing some of them.
11) Zion National Park. It’s nice. Not nice enough that I would recommend driving any great distance to get there, but it’s very close to Bryce, so if you have the time it’s worth a visit. If not, you can skip it without missing too much.
12) Mesa Verde National Park. From Bryce, more-or-less in the opposite direction to Zion. It’s the best set of Native American pueblo ruins in the US. This is another must-see.
13) The Grand Canyon. You can visit either the north rim or the south rim, but almost everything is at the south rim. Unless you book way in advance, accommodation is going to be really tough to find (I slept in the back of my car in a layby – LOL). This is somewhere you can either go for one day, or for many days. The reason I say that is that unless you intend to hike down into the canyon (which, down and back, is a very serious hike that very few could do in a day), it’s a very impressive view of a really big hole in the ground, with a river at the bottom. Then you leave. I know some people will be surprised (but hopefully not offended) by my seeming put down of such an American icon, but if you have been to Dante’s view in Death Valley, and stood at Glacier point in Yosemite, and been to Dead Horse Point State Park, and Bryce Canyon, then the view at the Grand Canyon just loses a lot of its impact. It’s certainly worth seeing, but not for more than one day.
14) Sunset crater and Wupatki national Monument. These are south of the Grand Canyon and just North of Flagstaff. Since you will be going right past them they are worth a visit. Sunset crater is an old volcanic crater with an interesting coloring. Guess what. It’s best viewed either early or late in the day :) . Wupatki is a site with old Pueblo ruins.
15) Montezuma Castle National Monument. It’s not much compared to Mesa Verde, but it’s just south of Flagstaff, and close enough to be worth a visit. Very close, but on an adjacent road is Oak Creek Canyon. It’s a nice drive, and there’s more Native American ruins way up on the cliffs (I have no idea how they got up there!), and a number of swimming holes in the creek if you are into that sort of thing.
16) At this point you start what will be a very long eastwards drive. The first stop is hardly any distance at all though: Petrified Forest National Park. Apart from all the opalized trees in the park, there is also a really great view of the Painted Desert. You can probably guess why it’s called the Painted Desert, and at this point I shouldn’t need to tell you that the light is critical for the best view. I was there late in the day, so I can’t say what it’s like very early. Probably just as good though! On the way in you will see warning signs about possibly having your car searched on the way out. It’s good advice, because you can buy opalized wood in local tourist traps for much less than the fine would probably be ;-)
17) As you head east you will pass very close to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I’ve never been to either, but since they are close to the suggested route they might be worth checking out. In San Antonio is the Alamo, which I have also never been to. As you keep heading east you get to Houston, which is a massive urban sprawl that IMO is best left behind you. Apart from a stop at the Johnson Space Center, anyway. That is definitely worth a visit, because there are not too many places in the world where you can go see a Saturn V rocket and a space station!
18) Eventually, you will get to New Orleans. This is a great city to visit. You can visit old plantations, the French Quarter, take a walk along the river, and the aquarium is pretty good too. But the thing I like most about New Orleans is the food. IMO, it has the best food in the US, and some of the best in the world. Particular favorites of mine are The Palace Café, and Beignets for breakfast at Café De Monde. And perhaps the Acme Oyster House too. And of course Emeril’s. And a dozen others :) . If you are out in the French Quarter at night (or even perhaps in the day) stick to the main, well lit, streets with lots of people (such as Bourbon St and Royal St). If the choice is a long walk on well-lit streets or a shortcut through the poorly lit back streets, opt for the long walk! There’s more than one way to exit New Orleans as you head east again, but I suggest north, across Lake Ponchartrain because then you can say you have driven over the longest bridge in the world that continuously crosses water :)
19) Now you have another very long drive, and you will have to decide exactly where to go. There’s not a lot so see that’s easy to get to between New Orleans and the East Coast / Florida. At least, if there is, I don’t know what it is. You will have to decide if you want, or have the time, to go to Florida. Unless you are in to lying around on beaches or Disney, you need to go all the way to the south of Florida to see the Everglades or the Keys. I’ve never been to the keys, but I heard they are a tourist trap. The Everglades are interesting (Actually a river, not a swamp as many believe, with extensive bird life and lots of alligators!) but I don’t think they are worth the drive just to see them. If you don’t go to Florida you could cut up to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve never been there, so I can’t comment about them. Or you could head over to the East Coast and Charleston, which I have heard is worth a visit, but I have never been there either. Either way, from there you will head up towards Washington DC. I haven’t been to that south east section of the country though (well, I have, but only on business) so you will have to pick your own route.
20) Close to Washington DC is Shenandoan National Park. There is a road that goes from one end of the park to the other, Skyline Drive, which has some great views over the mountains. It’s only about 60 miles from DC, so worth a visit.
21) Washington DC. The main things to see in DC are of course the White House and the monuments and memorials. There is also the Smithsonian, which is vast. Unless you really, really, like museums, you will not want to see all of it, so what you see, if anything, depends on your interests. I thought the natural history section (a museum in its own right) was very impressive, and it’s the sort of collection you don’t get to see so often.
22) Almost due north of DC is Gettysburg. This is where one of the most important battles of the Civil War was fought, and the best place to go and learn about that part of American history. I highly recommend a visit.
23) The next major stop is New York. Of course you have to go to the top of the Empire State building for the view, and the Statue of Liberty. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best art museums in the world, if you are into that sort of thing. There are lots of other museums too, including the American Natural History Museum, if you are not sick of natural history after the Smithsonian! There are so many things to see that apart from the really obvious ones, you should just make a list for yourself of what interests you most.
24) The last stop (in my itinerary, anyway) is Boston. Definitely check out the USS Constitution. That is actually at the end (or the beginning) of the Freedom Trail, which takes you through some of Boston’s most important historical sights. You can’t get lost on the Freedom trail; just follow the painted red line. There are two art museums in Boston that are of note. One is the Museum of Fine Arts, which is very good (it has an outstanding collection of Chinese furniture, amongst other things). The other is the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Even if you are not really into art museums, you should visit this one. It is unique, because it was actually her house, and when she bequeathed it to the city she stipulated that nothing could be moved. So it’s not like most museums, where things are arranged in collections, it’s actually how she lived. Just east of Boston is Concord, and the Minute Man National Historical Park. That is where the War of Independence started, and it’s worth a visit. There’s a nice walk you take down “Battle Road” (which largely follows the original road), which takes you through the history of the start of the war. It’s not a loop though, so it’s best done with two cars. You are now up in New England, so the best time to visit is fall. People come from across the world to see New England in the fall! If you do visit in the fall, you should take a trip to see the fall foliage. Quite where that would be depends on your timing, but from the hills of Connecticut to the White Mountains of New Hampshire gives you a pretty big window.
I can’t help much with gyms, except to say that in the US they are plentiful. Every city or town of any significant size will have at least one. Also, many hotels and motels have workout rooms, often with a surprisingly wide range of equipment.
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