Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Eight: Lake Superior’s North Shore

While visiting my friends in Minneapolis I took a day trip to Lake Superior’s North Shore.

My friends and I built up a big appetite after spending the morning driving north from Minneapolis so we stopped for lunch at the New Scenic Cafe which is a few kilometers north of Duluth. The food here was excellent, especially the Salmon Burger.

Salmon Burger at New Scenic Cafe

With full stomachs, we then continued further north to the Gooseberry Falls State Park.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Seven: Minneapolis

After a week in California, I flew across the country to Minneapolis. On arrival in Minneapolis I checked into my hotel and then headed straight to the Mall of America. A few hours later I left with a few new pieces of clothes that I had picked up for some really good prices.

The following morning I headed into downtown Minneapolis which unfortunately was filled with construction around the main shopping area and much of the shops were closed. As I had the entire day to myself I decided to walk across from the downtown area to the Walker Art Museum.

After a few hours I then headed back across the city to the Store Arch Bridge which crosses the Mississippi River. Continue reading “Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Seven: Minneapolis”

Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Six: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and a Californian Sunset

My final day in California was spent visiting the NASA Ames Research Centre, the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and then watching the sunset over San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

The NASA Ames Visitors Centre was a disappointment, it looked like it was either temporary or extremely rundown.

In contrast after driving through most of Silicon Valley, we arrived at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom which was a lot of fun.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Five: USS Hornet Museum and UC Berkeley

My best mate took some time off work to show me around the Bay Area during my visit to California. On one of the days we didn’t really have much of a plan other than that we may go visit the area around UC Berkeley. After playing around on Google, I stumbled onto the website for the USS Hornet Museum. Not really knowing what to expect, other than some fun exploring an old aircraft carrier, we set the car’s GPS navigation and drove across the bay to Alameda.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Four: Alcatraz

Visiting Alcatraz was one of the highlights of my trip. My friend and I were fortunate to get some last minute tickets as I was not aware of just how popular it is and how far in advance it sells out.

Once we arrived at Alcatraz we wandered up the hill to the main prison cellblock. Inside we picked up audio guides and began the self guided tour. Although the tour at times got you slightly lost and was a little boring it did a good job at explaining the key events and history of the Alcatraz Prison.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Three: NorCal and Point Reyes Road Trip

After a few days in San Francisco I arranged with some of my friends to do a day road trip. Through my travel guide book and messing around with Google Maps I discovered Point Reyes which is around an hour and a half north of San Francisco (or a little more in traffic).

Being a nerd, the main attraction of Point Reyes is that forms a peninsula situated on the Pacific Plate and is visibly separated from from the North American Plate by the San Andreas Fault which runs directly under Tomales Bay.

San Andreas Fault running directly under Tomales Bay
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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Two: San Francisco Dreaming

I spent three days with friends in San Francisco during my stay in California.

On the first of these three days I met up with two friends of mine who work for technology companies. After a tour around a company making autonomous cars we had lunch in at “The Market” which is directly below the Twitter head office. Following this my best mate and I began to walk around the Market Street and city hall area of San Francisco.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part One: California Coastal Cruising

In June I took three weeks leave and travelled to the USA and Canada to visit friends who live in various cities.

My trip began on a wet Wednesday morning in Sydney with a 15 hour flight to Los Angeles, followed by a one hour flight to San Francisco. With the exception of getting quizzed about my travel plans by various airline staff and border agents both in Sydney and Los Angeles the trip up with Delta was smooth and after being upgraded to Economy Comfort quite enjoyable.

On arrival in San Francisco I was picked up by one of my best friends and as I was surprisingly awake we explored the small city area of Redwood City, pretended to be students at Stanford University and had dinner at the headquarters of Facebook where he works.

The following morning, after a small sleep in we drove from Redwood City across the hills of the San Francisco Peninsula to Half Moon Bay. Joining Highway 1 we travelled, in the fog and the rain down the coast to Santa Cruz. Continue reading “Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part One: California Coastal Cruising”