We have started our trip to Alaska. We are spending a few days on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas, which has proved to be as beautiful as the western side. During our drive we stopped at Alabama Hills a range of hills and rock formations near Lone Pine, California. It is absolutely beautiful and has been the site of many movies (over 300 between the 1920s and the 1950s) like How the West Was Won. More recent movies were Star Trek IV and V, Django Unchained, and Gladiator. For those of you that are old enough to remember, they also filmed the Lone Ranger TV series here.
We took what was supposed to be a 10 minute walk to the arch that is in the 5th picture (that is Mount Whitney you can see through it). It was only a 10 minute walk and only 98 degrees – no problem. After 20 minutes we realized that we had gone off the trail and were walking in a wash. So…we turned around. So our supposed to be 20 minute walk turned into about 45 minutes by the time we back tracked. It is very easy to get lost hiking in the desert – which is why we always carry plenty of water.
A few miles up the road we stopped at Manzanar which is one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. The park preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States, particularly the 10,000 people that were at Manzanar. We watched a movie about the camp and it was quite sobering to think that this was done by Americans to Americans. The next to the last picture shows one of the barracks where the people were housed and the last picture shows a memorial that is in the cemetery. We did a brief tour of the grounds as it was 106 degrees.
We ended the day by driving to Lee Vining which is next to Mono Lake. We climbed to over 7,000 feet and there was a rainstorm and the temperature was 61 degrees. What a relief.