Larry Gorman

retiredfflarry

Larry Gorman

I'm a retired firefighter who (after my January 2009 divorce) has decided to become a fulltime RVer so I can see the US (first) and then other parts of North America.



North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage September 11th 2018

The drive from Alyeska Resort in Girdwood AK to Kenai River Lodge in Soldatna AK was slightly over two hours, which gave us time to stop at the Soldotna Visitor Information Center. The visitor center has a wealth of information, had answers to all of my questions and has a number of incredible animal mounts including a World Record King Salmon – 97 pounds, 4 ounces and 58 ½ inches long – caught on May 17, 1985 on the Kenai River over which our room window looks. The motel is unique in that it owns the riverfront property and restricts fishing there to motel guests. We were able to watch several successful fisherpersons (both on the motel property and the public park across the river) land what appeared to be nice-sized keepers. Other features of the ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Girdwood August 29th 2018

August 23, 2018 found me singing, “Happy Birthday” to myself a couple of hours after I had awakened. At this point, it’s just another day on the calendar. Our next real “destination” was Valdez AK, but that trip would amount to 363 miles and 6 hours and 15 minutes, so I decided to split the trip in half – well, almost. Splitting the trip allowed us to make a stop in North Pole AK – 13.5 miles and 18 minutes from Fairbanks. Not everybody gets to go to (the) North Pole on their birthday! Little Richard's Family Diner looked to be quite interesting and had an All-Alaskan dish on the menu. Although I had ordered eggs and reindeer sausage before, I was anxious to have it again. Very tasty! Of course, we then made our way ... read more
Many Alaskan Rivers Have Large Flood Plains
The Tanana River Bridge Is the Second Longest of the Thirteen Major Bridges on the Pipeline, The Longest Being the Yukon River Bridge
Above Ground Sections of the Pipeline Are Built in a Zig-Zag Fashion to Allow for Expansion and Contraction from Heat and Cold as Well as Opportunity for Limited Movement During Earthquakes

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks August 22nd 2018

The drive from Healy AK to Fairbanks AK was only 110 miles, and we arrived at the Best Western Plus Pioneer Park Inn on Thursday, August 17, 2018 without incident. My primary reason for selecting this particular motel is its location about a quarter mile walk (or a one-mile drive) from, ta-da, Pioneer Park – home to a handful of interesting attractions, including Pioneer Hall which was designed to represent a 1900s-era building that houses two historical attractions, The Pioneer Museum and The Big Stampede Theater; Riverboat Nenana, a now inoperable sternwheeler nicknamed the “Queen of the Yukon,” that was built in 1933 in Seattle and then shipped to Nenana AK where she was constructed; The Harding Car, also known as the Denali Car, a passenger railroad car named after President Warren G. Harding; Mining Valley, ... read more
Just the Cinnamon Roll by Itself Would Make a Meal
A Bridge on the Footpath from the Motel to Pioneer Park Crossed the Chena River
Here’s Why They Came to Alaska (and to Yukon)!


As I was planning the Alaska trip, I wanted to get out of Anchorage AK on Sunday evening so I didn’t have to deal with the Anchorage rush hour on Monday, August 13, 2018 so I made a reservation at Best Western Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla AK, less than 50 miles away. Initially, I had discovered a couple of attractions of interest in Wasilla but then happened upon a really cool attraction that originates in Talkeetna AK, right on our glide path. After breakfast at the Lake Lucille Inn, we completed some housekeeping errands in Wasilla under threatening skies that produced some sprinkles from time to time and began our 1 ½-hour drive to Talkeetna, home of the Hurricane Turn Train. What I had read about the attraction, part of the Alaska Railroad, led me ... read more
I Thought the Wind Might Help Clear the Observation Deck Windows of Raindrops, But We Apparently Weren’t Going Fast Enough
The Scenery Might Have Been Quite Nice on a Sunny Day
Here’s One of Those Sidings – This Time in the Rain, I Didn’t Disembark

North America » United States » Alaska » Inside Passage August 12th 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018, safely tucked aboard ms Westerdam, Marilyn was ready for her first cruise and I my second – well, not counting the round trip I made between Vietnam and the Philippines aboard the Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) USS Iwo Jima some fifty years ago. Here are some interesting statistics about our oceanic mode of transportation. MS Westerdam is owned by Holland America Line and is a sister to MS Oosterdam, MS Zuiderdam and MS Noordam. The prefixes of the four ships' names represent the four directions of the compass in Dutch. Pretty cool. She was christened in April 2004, has eleven passenger decks, is 936 feet long, 105.8 feet wide and weighs 81,811 tons. The mostly Indonesian and Filipino crew of 800 tends to the needs of 1848 passengers. After departure from Vancouver ... read more
We Weren’t the First Ship Out of Port
Creek Street Is Loaded with Quirky Little Shops and Eateries
The Real Deal Is Just as Intricate, Though Less Vivid, than the Replicas

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver August 5th 2018

Let the Northland Adventure begin! Tuesday, July 31, 2018, Day 1 of the YMT “Alaska Cruise & Canadian Rockies” Tour: “Day 1, Fly to Calgary AB – Today, your Alaskan adventure begins with your flight to Calgary. If you booked your flight with YMT, you will meet a YMT representative at the airport for your transfer to the hotel.” Not everybody needs to fly to Calgary – duhhh!!! Some travel enterprises count a travel day as a day in the tour package. It makes a 12-day tour appear to be a 13-day tour and, therefore, a more economical tour. How much fun can a person have on a red-eye between New York City and London? Tour day 1, give Uncle Larry a break! Deceptive at best, and it tells me something about the tour company. Our ... read more
And Marilyn Doesn’t Even Look Jamaican!
Even the Lake Louise Experience Was Compromised
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge at Lake Louise

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary July 31st 2018

To paraphrase the 1960 Johnny Horton song North To Alaska: “Where the river is windin' adventure they're findin'; North to Alaska go north the drive is on.” After months of planning and weeks of anticipation, cousin Marilyn and I finally set off on the biggest adventure I have undertaken since The Great Adventure began in 2010. I had general plans to make an Alaska trip in 2019, and Marilyn had wanted to drive the Alaska Highway for years but had no specific plan or dates in mind. When we learned of each other’s desire to visit the great northland, we decided to take the plunge. What really got us going was a magazine advertisement Marilyn received hawking a bus trip through the Canadian Rockies and a cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia to Anchorage. Marilyn had been ... read more
… Corn Appeared – Now, Is that Iowa or What?
A Fella Could Sit for a Week Waiting for This Photo – Timing Is Everything!
The Workmen Did a Stellar Job During the Refurbishing of the Exterior

North America » United States » Iowa » Davenport July 15th 2018

The drive from Alton RV Park in Columbus OH to Clark's Ferry Recreation Area in Montpelier IA (from where the journey to Alaska would begin) was too far for Uncle Larry, so I decided to make a stop at Kamp Komfort RV Park in Bloomington IL to visit one family member and a childhood neighbor. I departed Columbus on Wednesday, June 26, 2018 and took I-70 to Indianapolis IN, connected with I-74 through Champaign IL and on to Bloomington. The trip was long by Uncle Larry’s standards but was uneventful. Unfortunately, I had learned a few weeks before my visit that my nephew, the women’s gymnastics coach at Illinois State University in Bloomington, would be out of state during my visit. That was not a problem as I had last-minute details to address before heading out ... read more
An Amusement Park Is Located Just Over the Left Field Fence
Marilyn’s Great Nephew, Luke – I Guess that Makes Him About My Seventeenth Cousin or Something, for Those Who Insist on Splitting Hairs!
Marilyn’s Great Niece, Ella, and Sister-in-Law, Rhonda, Found Some Ham Somewhere!

North America » United States » Ohio » Columbus June 26th 2018

I had a relatively short drive from the Fox Den Acres Campground in New Stanton PA to Alton RV Park in Galloway OH. The trip went without a hitch, and I found Alton RV Park conveniently located on US 40 just outside the Columbus corporate limits. My space was at the rear of the park so road noise was no problem, and a grocery store was on my way back from anything I had scheduled for Columbus. Undeterred by the events near Rogersville PA a couple of weeks previous, Covered Bridges, Scenic Drives, Waterfalls, George Washington and a Big Oops in Morgantown WV, I had scheduled a covered bridge day for Thursday, June 21, 2018. My first stop was the 1888 Hartman #2-Lockville Park 48' Covered Bridge in Lockville Canal Park in Carroll OH. The bridge ... read more
Even if Only for Traversing a Water-Filled Drainage Ditch, It Serves a Useful Purpose
The Day of My First Visit, a Herd of Bicyclists Had the Same Idea
I’m not Sure How Many Communities Got a Piece of Twin Towers Debris, But This One Was Put to Good Use


The drive from Mylan Park in Morgantown WV to Fox Den Acres Campground in New Stanton PA, a short distance southeast of Pittsburgh PA, on Monday, June 11, 2018, was short and uneventful. Fox Den Acres is a first-rate operation with spacious sites, but I never learned to negotiate my return to the RV park without the assistance of the GPS. Natural barriers such as hills and rivers cause the roads to be curvy and to have numerous T-intersections. Besides, my week-long stay didn’t justify spending a lot of cerebral energy on map memorization. In addition to the two national memorials alluded to in the blog title, this area is replete with remnants of the construction of transportation mechanisms created by very innovative problem-solvers to get goods and people over the Appalachian Mountains. One of those ... read more
A Model of a Freight Boat Used in the Allegheny Portage Railroad
A Depiction of Two Cargo Barges atop Railroad Cars Approaching the Engine House
As Luck Would Have It, A Train Passed During My Brief Visit – Timing Is Everything




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