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Old 10-23-2016, 05:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Technical things to see? - US west coast trip

We live in Australia. My wife, 12 year old son and I are going on a west coast US trip in Dec/Jan.

We are going to:
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington

We have done a previous US trip: see:

AutoSpeed - USA Diary, Part 1
AutoSpeed - USA Diary, Part 2
AutoSpeed - USA Diary, Part 3
AutoSpeed - USA Diary, Part 4
AutoSpeed - USA Diary, Part 5

If you read the series, you'll see we were quite disenchanted with US inequity and some other aspects, so this time you might say that we're going with our eyes opened!

We intend seeing:
  • Peterson Automotive Museum
  • California Science Centre
  • The Nethercutt Collection
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Robinson Helicopter Co
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not
  • Hollywood Guinness World of Records Museum
  • Titan Missile Museum
  • Pima Air and Space Space Museum
  • Boneyard tour
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Meteor crater
  • Petrified forest national park
  • Monument valley
  • Hoover Dam
  • Pinball Hall of Fame
  • The National Atomic Testing Museum
  • Cable car museum
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • SS Jeremiah O'Brien
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
  • Moffett Field Historical Society Museum
  • California Auto Museum
  • California State Railroad Museum
  • Tower Bridge
  • World of speed museum
  • Evergreen aviation and space museum
  • St Johns bridge
  • Museum of Flight
  • Boeing factory tour
  • Future of flight exhibition
  • Living computer museum
  • United States Naval Undersea Museum
  • LeMay - America’s Car Museum
  • LeMay family collection at Marymount
  • Tacoma Narrows Bridge
  • Museum of glass

I am an author who writes about technical things (engineering, architecture, all transport technologies - but specialise in cars) but I also have an education degree with majors in sociology and geography - and so I like societal things as well.

We're not much into drinking/eating/bars/restaurants/theatre.

I welcome eclectic, wonderful things being suggested that we should see!

(Previously for our Hawaiin trip, an Insighter suggested one of the best places we stayed in Hawaii.)
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking now at adding New Mexico.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes! Add New Mexico! My wife and I would like to host you while you're here. We are centrally located in Albuquerque and have two guest rooms. You will have full use of our mini-van (or two Insights). There is plenty to see in ABQ, but you should also consider Los Alamos (for the atomic connection) and Santa Fe (for the Hispanic history). Along the way you will see Indian Reservations. If you are curious about something while you are doing your research I can check it out for you.

Sam
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Judging from your linked diary, one wonders why you have planned a return visit.
For myself, I enjoy meeting folks from other countries and would like to join you and Sam if you decide to visit him here in Albuquerque. For your journey, however, I am afraid that I could only suggest minutes of fascination for the hours and hours that you will have to spend being outraged, disgusted or merely disappointed by more of the culture that has unsettled you in the past. Have you not learned this from your extensive first visit here? By your own evaluation, the U.S. is not your cup of tea. I admire your perseverance in giving it another try but I do not hold onto optimism that you will have anything good to say about this country.

My best short selection is that you eschew staying in the cities and make the countryside more of your itinerary. It won't fit in with your love of engineering and architecture but the 'primordial architecture' and geology are worth anyone's attention. More specifically, get to Grand Canyon earlier and from there go to Monument Valley and then to Bryce Canyon and the other national parks in Utah, depending upon your research. You will be traveling at a good time of year to avoid the worst of the crowds, something that may fit well with your travel needs.

P.S. The New York Public Library is a closed-stacks library, just as the National Library of Congress is, and most of the world's largest or most scholarly libraries. They are a different breed than open-stack libraries. Did you appreciate Walter Cook's architecture while you were there?
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A genuine thank you for the meet/greet/accommodation offers but we probably won't take advantage of them.

Re my comments on the US in the linked diary:

1) I certainly didn't want to be working under false pretences: better that people giving advice are aware of how we found the US last time. I think it would have been hypocritical to pretend to be the typical, blindly accepting tourist.

2) If anyone wants to debate any of the specific negative points I espoused in that series of stories, I am happy to do so. We could start off with the inequity in wealth distribution, that is just mind-boggling. Or the extraordinary sight of how the US has let one its cities (Detroit) fall into ruins - that's not something you will see in any other rich democracy in the world.

On the other hand, we saw some extraordinarily fascinating and exciting things last time we were in the US, and I think we will do so again this time.

Edit - This is what was most obvious to my eyes, and was not what I had expected:



But, at the other end of things:


Last edited by JulianEdgar; 10-30-2016 at 04:12 PM. Reason: added images
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Some changes:

Los Angeles


Peterson Automotive Museum
California Science Centre
The Nethercutt Collection
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Flight Path Learning Center & Museum
Robinson Helicopter Co tour
JPL tour

Las Vegas

The National Atomic Testing Museum
Shelby
Pinball Hall of Fame
Pawn shop

Travelling...

Hoover Dam
Grand Canyon
Monument valley
Meteor crater
Petrified forest

Albuquerque

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
Institute of Meteoritics Meteorite Museum
Silver Family Geology Museum
Telephone Museum of New Mexico
The Turquoise Museum
Unser Racing Museum

Los Alamos

Bradbury Science Museum
Los Alamos History Museum

Socorro
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Mineralogical Museum

Truth or Consequences

Spaceport America

Las Cruces

White Sands missile range museum
White Sands National Monument

Tucson

The Mineral Discovery Center
Titan Missile Museum
Pima Air and Space Space Museum plus boneyard tour available by bus!

San Francisco

Cable car museum
Golden Gate Bridge
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Legion of Honor NOT de Young)
Moffett Field Historical Society Museum

Sacramento


California Auto Museum
California State Railroad Museum
Tower Bridge

Portland

World of speed museum
Evergreen aviation and space museum
St Johns bridge
Mount St. Helens
Powell's City of Books

Seattle

Museum of Flight
Boeing factory tour
Ferry ride
Living computer museum
United States Naval Undersea Museum

Tacoma

LeMay - America’s Car Museum
LeMay family collection at Marymount
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Marine Park fireboat
Museum of glass

Last edited by JulianEdgar; 11-03-2016 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 11-09-2016, 04:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianEdgar View Post
A genuine thank you for the meet/greet/accommodation offers but we probably won't take advantage of them.

Re my comments on the US in the linked diary:

1) I certainly didn't want to be working under false pretences: better that people giving advice are aware of how we found the US last time. I think it would have been hypocritical to pretend to be the typical, blindly accepting tourist.

2) If anyone wants to debate any of the specific negative points I espoused in that series of stories, I am happy to do so. We could start off with the inequity in wealth distribution, that is just mind-boggling. Or the extraordinary sight of how the US has let one its cities (Detroit) fall into ruins - that's not something you will see in any other rich democracy in the world.

On the other hand, we saw some extraordinarily fascinating and exciting things last time we were in the US, and I think we will do so again this time.

Edit - This is what was most obvious to my eyes, and was not what I had expected:



But, at the other end of things:

Trump: no surprise; I couldn't see possibly how the US could continue as a society with what we saw.

Last edited by JulianEdgar; 11-09-2016 at 04:30 AM.
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