Lorraine McNamara


Lorraine McNamara

off on another road trip, this one is to the Pacific coast with lots of stops in between

North America » Canada » Ontario » Windsor June 11th 2014

This is my last blog as all good things must come to an end. Bill and I are heading home after five weeks on the road and after travelling well over 10.000 km. We have journeyed through Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri as well as Alberta and British Columbia. We have seen most of the popular tourist areas in each of these states and provinces, as well as some remote areas as we took one too many forks in the road. I asked Bill what his favourite place was and he replied, “Our stay in Deadwood South Dakota and visiting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Spearfish Canyon and the Badlands” For me, the journey down the pacific coast highway, especially through ... read more

We have now spent three days in this beautiful state .It is interesting that its nickname highlights the monument to the four presidents, when, in fact, for me, the other attractions are more memorable. The Black Hills of South Dakota are filled with sights to see and things to do. We were able to see the major tourist spots but, again, to see everything worthwhile, it takes more than a couple of days. Bill and I decided to stay in Deadwood, which is just a few miles from most of the attractions such as Spearfish Canyon, the Presidents Monument and Crazy Horse. Unfortunately, the weather the first day was not great and our trip to see Mount Rushmore was hampered by the fog. We were unable to see the mountain clearly. However, we made the most ... read more
Model of Crazy Horse

Bill and I have had two adventure filled days travelling in Idaho and then through Yellowstone Park in Montana and Wyoming. After spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho we got up early and arrived at the Shoshone Indian Ice Caves, just outside Shoshone, of course. This area of Idaho is very much influenced by the historic Shoshone tribes who made their home along the Snake River. In the early 1900s the tribe was moved off their land to a reservation. These caves are spectacular to tour. The fee was 10 dollars and worth every cent. I expected underground caves with hieroglyphics instead; we travelled through a lava field and entered the largest cave by stone steps. The cave was accidentally discovered in1860 by a young child. So what is an ice cave? According to the ... read more
crater with snow
map of yellowstone

North America » United States » Nevada » Reno May 30th 2014

After nearly one month on the road, we are now heading east as we drove from San Francisco to Reno. We are at the halfway point of our Bucket List road trip. Still to explore are Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan before arriving home. It was a lot of fun staying in Reno for three days as we walked the city streets, visited various casinos and treated ourselves to those meals advertised as “$4.99 for steak and lobster”. Reno reminded me of Las Vegas twenty years ago. It really does have a small town atmosphere that is in contrast with the many huge casinos. The streets are lined with souvenir shops, pawn shops and liquor stores, all appearing to be in some distress. However, the city streets are clean and there are ... read more
Reno from hotel room

North America » United States » California » Fairfield May 26th 2014

We have spent the last two days in California. Although I think the nickname “The Golden State” comes from the fact that gold was discovered here, it is also descriptive of the rolling hills covered in yellow poppies. When you look at the hills from a distance, they appear gold in colour which may also be due to the drought the area is experiencing, but it is “golden”. We arrived in Redding after a drive through the mountains east from the Pacific Coast Highway. Of course, by now, we are very accustomed to driving through mountain ranges and in fact, Bill has become an “expert” at negotiating the hairpin turns and steep slopes! As long as there are no high bridges, he drives these roads like he is racing in the Grand Prix. Now it is ... read more
sundial bridge in Redding CA

Yesterday, we took our time and drove slowly along the 101 stopping in most of the towns, Reedsport, North Bend, Bandon, Coquille and Gold Beach. Our plan was to spend one more night in Oregon in the town of Brookings, which is the last one on the coast before you cross over to California. We spent some time on the beach and strolled down the main street of Bandon, which is called the Old Town. We ended our day at the ocean wharf in Gold Beach eating fresh cod for dinner. Today, we drove the few miles and entered California. Our first adventure was visiting the Jedidiah Smith National Redwood Park. What a place! Travelling through the park is like driving through an obstacle course. The dirt road is narrow, winding and in most places there ... read more
uprooted tree
tree top

North America » United States » Oregon » Coos Bay May 21st 2014

Bill and I have had two adventure filled days. We are still on the Oregon coast but planning to be in California by Friday. Yesterday, we began our day by driving to Newport, a small town on the coast. We went to Yaquina Head to see the sea lions, the many bird species and the biggest lighthouse on the coast. This morning we were up early to take a walk on the beach. Bill was determined to swim in the Pacific Ocean and so he put on his bathing suit. He walked out, up to his knees, and then, due to one large wave was soaked up to his waist! At that point, he turned around and scurried back to shore. So much for a dip in the ocean. The sea lions are abundant in the ... read more
mures birds nesting
sea lions from the top of cliff

North America » United States » Oregon » Lincoln City May 20th 2014

Here are some pictures of our adventures the past few days. Also, I forgot to mention that the area we are staying in, although beautiful and the people are friendly, is not exactly the ideal place to stay because as you enter the town you are faced with many signs stating: YOU ARE ENTERING TSUNAMI TERRITORY perhaps, the property here is cheap!... read more
Glimpse of Mount St. Helen

I have lots to tell you about. We drove from Vancouver to Seattle to visit the Space Needle. It was interesting but the view from the Willis Tower was better and higher. From the Space needle we drove to Arlington Washington to spend the night and left early the next morning for our trek up to Mount St. Helen’s. (part of the Cascade mountains) Now this is worth a visit! The park is free except for the observatory at the very top; however, you do not need to go there is the mountain is quite visible from many of the turnouts even on a cloudy day, which we had. There was a free lecture giving the details of the eruption in 1980. If you were born in the 50’s or early 60’s you most likely will ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Hope May 16th 2014

We have now accomplished one goal of our trip: to have travelled from the easternmost point of Canada to the western most point. And so from Cape Spear, NFLD (not far from where my son lives) to the Pacific Ocean (technically the western point is in the Yukon, but that would be one too many forks in the road. Speaking of Forks, it is directly west from where we are for you Twilight Fans. This wonderful country of ours is vast and changes from province to province. It is not easy to say which area is the best in terms of scenery, culture, attractions because it is all so different. I am feeling very proud to be a Canadian; it is almost a spiritual feeling as you travel across the many places and see the diversity ... read more

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