Saturday, October 31, 2015

getting caught up

Golf, dentist, exploring, arch hunting, socializing.    We've done a little bit of a lot of things these past 3 days.

One afternoon, Wednesday I think, we played nine holes at Mt. Whitney Golf Course.   I decided that I wouldn't take any more photos at this golf course because we'd been there twice before, how many scenic golf shots can a reader endure?    A few more...

another warm golf day while the snow fell at altitude

Golfus Interruptus
Dave finds it hard to ignore the jets "playing" overhead
Do you see the zig zag "shelf" road behind Dave in these two shots?   That is Horseshoe Meadow Rd., it climbs to a vast meadow surrounded by lodgepole Pines at 10,000 feet, that is more than 6,000 feet above the golf course.   They want to drive up that road, and They want me to go along.....we'll see.

On the way home from our golf game we discovered that the rose robber had struck again while we weren't looking...

We had a heavy hors d'oeuvres happy hour/dinner combination at Pam and John's with Jodee and Bill since they were leaving on Friday.   A beautiful little grand baby is calling them...   I took no pictures, just ate and laughed and talked.

Thursday morning Dave and I drove back into Bishop for a hastily made dentist appointment.    He's been having a recurring toothache and we wanted to get it checked out before it becomes worse.   Good news is that there is no abscess, bad news is that the recommended endodontist in Desert Hot Springs (our next stop) has retired.    Ah well, life on the road and all that.

The appointment had me getting up earlier than usual, not early enough to witness a sunrise, but I was rewarded with the sight of a beautiful moon set over the Sierras.

On our way back from Bishop (with a load of fresh produce, groceries and cookies (yes, cookies from Great Basin Bakery - don't judge) we took a few little dirt road detours.

One led us to a very heavily populated fish hatchery - eat your heart out Bill.

Another took us through a lava flow area with so many "cones" of various sizes that we wondered if there was a field of giant moles beneath our feet.

The dusty road would through sharp lava formations and dusty sage covered ranges.   We crossed creeks edged by gnarled cottonwood trees a few times, which always surprise us in this environment.

Closer to home we decided to follow Tuttle Creek Road, a path suggested by Bill as a wonderful ride through a narrow, rocky canyon and ending up in the now familiar Alabama Hills.

He was spot on.   It was a great ride and we stopped several times to admire the surroundings.

I know, more rocks and boulders.   The one in the above photo was huge and just barely balanced on two points above our heads.    

Pam and John must have been intrigued by Bill and Jodee's description of this little drive because we met them driving toward us half way through!   We'd seen no other cars the entire time, what are the odds?

Once out of the canyon we passed through an area with some pretty interesting houses.   Lone Pine is a very small little town with all the usual types of stores, gas stations and tiny, older homes.   It was a surprise to find ourselves among much larger and more modern homes in the hills.    There were many styles represented but I only took one picture because I didn't want to trigger a neighborhood watch phone call to the police.

Yesterday, Friday, the four of us did more rock climbing (rock crawling, really) to check off a few more of the arches in Pam's book.  Also to see if we could find some old movie locations.    I'll post about that later.

Today is Saturday and I'm home alone doing domestic chores and bills.   Dave, John and Pam have gone off to hike to the Ashram.   Don't feel sorry for me, it was my choice to stay home and get caught up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mazanar National Historic Site

In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center, just a few miles from Lone Pine, California, was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens were interned during World War II.   Its 500 acre housing area was surrounded by barbed wire with 8 guard towers, complete with search lights.     Manzanar was our destination today.   To see and to remember and to wonder.

It was a powerful and sobering experience.   We wandered around the well done exhibits, looking at photographs, reading letters, listening to voices.   We watched a movie.   It was hard to understand that there was enough fear in this country to virtually imprison an entire group of Americans, innocent Americans.

These were not concentration camps.   Families were not separated,  children were educated,  health was taken care of.  Their accommodations were spartan and crowded, hot in the 110 degree summers and cold in the below freezing winters.  There were community latrines and showers, Mess halls for meals, mattresses filled with straw.   They were paid for their work, they beautified their surroundings, built lovely gardens, married and had children.  But they could not leave,  the guns in those guard towers were pointed inward, not outward......

Some only had 48 hours notice to leave their homes and their businesses and their schools, even their pets.   Their property was not stolen, or looted, but it was lost to them forever, nonetheless.    They were allowed to take only what they could carry.

signs mark where rows of barracks used to be stretch to the mountains

Most of the buildings have gone back to the earth, but a few have been restored for people to see.   To help us remember and not repeat.      

little girl's tiny shoes next to a bed
A number of their original gardens and water features have been uncovered and left for our imagination.

They used found objects to try and beautify their harsh desert home.

Rice, stones, bits of pottery, rusted nails, beads, coins and origami have been left on the base of the white cemetery obelisk built to commemorate the Japanese who died here and all the Japanese Americans who were interned by their own government.

I have no idea where the blank white lines between photos in this post have come from.  Perhaps the google gods are feeling playful tonight and thought I was too serious - sigh.....

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Today, Sunday, we took it pretty easy.    We drove the 58 miles back into Bishop this afternoon.    We all visited the little grocery store here in Lone Pine and quickly decided we needed to make a fresh produce run to Von's in Bishop.   After our usual relaxing second cup outside we picked up Pam and John and had a pleasant ride north.       We dropped them off at Starbucks and then Dave and I went to Schats Bakery for a yummy fresh turkey sandwich and to pick up one of the items on Jodee's request list.    Next stop was the feed store for Lewis and Sasha's necessities and then continued on to Von's.    I'm afraid we've all become grocery store snobs, we need what we need.    Not one of us wants to buy a spongy eggplant, shriveled zucchini, bruised apples, soft, mushy grapes or dove grey hamburger.

Yesterday a family with 2 or 3 boys pulled in across from us (actually across from Pam and John).    They race their bikes and/or skateboards up and down the campground roads (isn't tonight a school night?).    This vexes Lewis, scares him bad.

Tonight, during happy hour, he quietly but quite firmly crawled up on to Dave's lap for security.

He kept his eyes on the children, but relaxed in Dave's arms.   Since Happy Hour most always involves a gin and tonic it presented a slight problem for Dave.

He rose to the occasion and used his other hand...although maintaining eye contact during conversation was difficult.

Yesterday morning Dave and Lewis ducked under the wire fence at the back of our campground and enjoyed a vigorous game of ball in the desert.

off they go

Lewis was thoroughly tired by the time they got back.    He also slit two of his pads pretty badly during his sliding direction changes.   He has no regard for his body when a ball is in play.  

back under the fence

a tired, happy and very dirty poodle

After lunch we played a round of golf at the Mt. Whitney Golf Course....I took no pictures, you've seen the beautiful views from that course before.    It wasn't Dave's best day - we'll have another crack at it, I'm sure, before we leave Lone Pine.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Arch quest, part 2

Are you tired of seeing adults acting like children, playing in the rocks?  If so, do not continue reading this post....

Oh Pam.....

So, yesterday we set off, booklet in hand, to find the arches listed on page 13 (I think we're on page 13....).     Just past our campground, on rt. 395, we were stopped by a cowboy astride a beautiful chestnut Quarter Horse.   He was lazily waving his white hat at the traffic,  evidently a local signal to stop....

We complied, as did the tractor trailers and other vehicles, and another cow-person....cow-woman opened a gate and a large herd of Angus cattle proceeded slowly across the road.

A few stragglers were quickly and deftly handled by the two dogs accompanying the cow-people.     They were the star of the show for me.

After a few minutes everyone was across the road and headed out to greener pastures.    We had to laugh at the working dog.    After his job was done, he jumped into the full ditch and plopped down in the cold water up to his neck to cool off.    Dusty, hard work this cattle herding business.

On to the Alabama Hills to continue our quest....and lunch among the boulders.

John points - "its over there!"

no John...its not over there -
they're right behind you....turn around!

I have to admit, I don't remember the names of all the arches.   Its the journey you know....     If you'd like names, however, check John and Pam's blog - - Pam has the book.

interesting view of the inside of one of the archeds

Oh Dave.....

Pam wanders, seeking the slot canyon arch

here it is!

As borderline ADD folks (no comments please!) we did wander off task occasionally and were rewarded with interesting finds.   The picture below looked like a garden gate to me, complete with yellow flowers planted beside it.

the surface of these "posts" is very smooth
unlike the rough texture of everything else

this reminded me of a bullet wound....

I relax in my bean bag chair, while waiting for the others

Pam quickly brought us back to task and we all enjoyed another happy day in the boulders.

New friends, Lauren and Eric of invited us (Pam, John, Dave, me, Jodee and Bill) to their site in Tuttle Creek Campground for happy hour so we quickly took care of the dogs, made drinks and grabbed snacks and were only a half hour or so late to the gathering.

We sat outside talking and getting to know each other.   Eric provided a nice campfire to ward off the chill and Laurel served some yummy tomato compote from her garden, along with cheese and fruit.  We stayed until the fire no longer worked and we were frozen.     They were leaving early this morning so decided not to join the rest of us for dinner at The Grill, in downtown Lone Pine.  

 Another lovely day.