My first trip to the MOVIES. Oh my goodness. Marsha and I saw In The Heights. We were so excited. POPCORN was involved! Then the next day I saw a headline saying that with the new virulent spread of the delta variant we are once again advised to wear masks inside. SIGH!
SO many dolphins! Ken put this whole day together And he drove from the valley to pick me up and then on to Newport Beach. What a treat! It was billed as a whale watching tour. Nope on the whales but WOW on the dolphins!
And my birthday too! Cynthia treated me and Windy to a splendid sushi dinner. They kept an empty seat between the parties so it was all very comfortable and delicious. When I tried to pay for the ‘overs’ Ken, the owner and main sushi-man, said no no don’t worry your daughter said she wanted to pay for everything…which caused everyone at the sushi bar to ask about my daughter and why I was getting such a fine treat. Many Happy Birthdays ensued.
Before sushi we went for a stroll in Fern Dell, a part of Griffith Park we both remembered from our youth. We grew up in Hollywood so all the in-town venues were closer than the Westside where we live now.
They must do daily sweeps since there were no tents or even people sleeping on benches but the creek was not in good shape and the paths were stinky where clearly folks had spent the night. It wasn’t really this nice but I’m very glad to have had the chance to check it out.
Unlike the olden days when we used to walk up to the Observatory from Fern Dell…today we drove! That’s downtown in the distance.
I also had a fantastic moment in Parallel Parking. On my seventy-fourth birthday I made it into a spot with 1-2 feet clearance in ONE turn. It was a beautiful thing.
..say Happy Birthday! (tomorrow…). Aren’t they adorable. Mehrzad, me, Victoria, Hilda, Luna. Judy didn’t make it today. These expressions say ’74?! That’s…well…old! Good for you!!’
I want to remember this exchange. Me: I remember when I wasn’t supposed to trust anyone over 30… Victoria: hey. wait!!!! if you can remember the 60’s, you weren’t there!! Me: Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself (I am large, I contain multitudes.) Walt Whitman.
Bonnie and I went to the Annenberg restaurant Back to the Beach for a late breakfast and a nice stroll.
It was something to see so many families out enjoying a day at the beach..in the middle of the day in the middle of the week on day two of the lifting of most of the mask mandates. Everyone was having so much fun it made me smile. And then we moved along down the shore where in a few minutes it was quiet. Why everyone was clumped together, I don’t know. I am expecting many many more people as the season moves along and more folks are out and about.
The Marion Davies House wasn’t open yet but there was a woman at the office who agreed to show us around since Bonnie had never been there before. A quick private tour, perfect! Here’s one of the bathrooms that’s usually unavailable to see.
Unlike the year before hers, Lilly got a ceremony at the school for her promotion from elementary to middle school. They did it outside with distancing and masks. Everyone was so happy to be out and many hugs ensued.
We enjoyed a festive lunch for Lilly and her bff Roxie with Roxie’s family including My Friend PAULI who I haven’t seen in ages.
Cute, right! There’s a picture of these four kids on every last-day-of-school since kindergarten. ak.
The school took these portraits of every graduate. I especially like Lilly’s hands here, holding her mask and her graduation certificate, an excellent summary of the 2020-2021 school year.
The timing working out amazingly well since Bill and Cheryl had a few hours in the afternoon before their flight and I got home last night, so we got to enjoy each other’s company, the first time in, no surprise, So Long! I forgot to take a picture so here’s a selfie from the airport…
Mono-June-Mammoth Lakes, Manzanar, the Alabama Hills and various amazing landmarks.
SATURDAY June 5
Leaving California at the north end of Lake Tahoe I took a very short detour once in Nevada to have a roll through Carson City knowing I’d get the cheap gas and in hopes of seeing the capitol building. Thumbs up on both goals.
After I drove away I thought I should have parked and had a stroll. But it was Hot, so there’s that. wiki: “The city is in a high desert river valley approximately 4,802 feet with cold winters and hot summers.” Truly true.
First stop, Mono Lake, from a view point off the highway.
“The desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp, which thrive in its waters, and provides critical habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and alkali flies. Historically, the native Kutzadika’a people ate the alkali flies’ pupae, which live in the shallow waters around the edge of the lake.
“When the city of Los Angeles diverted water from the freshwater streams flowing into the lake, it lowered the lake level, which imperiled the migratory birds. The Mono Lake Committee formed in response and won a legal battle that forced Los Angeles to partially replenish the lake level.”
And here’s a little excerpt: “All tufa at Mono Lake forms underwater. Beneath Mono Lake, calcium-rich freshwater springs seep up from the lake bottom and mix with lake water rich in carbonates (think baking soda). As the calcium comes in contact with the carbonates in the lake, a chemical reaction occurs, resulting in calcium carbonate, or limestone. The calcium carbonate precipitates (settles out of solution as a solid) around the spring, and over the course of decades to centuries, a tufa tower will grow. Tufa towers can grow to heights of over 30 feet underwater.”
Not my pictures: Grant Lake with a small cabin complex and accessible beaches; June Lake that I remember as a beautiful and peaceful alpine retreat was none of those things; one of the Mammoth Lakes that I never found.
SUNDAY June 6
I left the Mammoth area around noon having spent the morning trying to get through the Lake Tahoe pictures and then decided on a visit to Manzanar.
Both Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams spent many months at war-time Manzanar making photographs with very different outcomes. They both worked under strict regulations, no photos of barbed wire or guard towers or military police or anything negative really. Lange was first and from what I read much more gritty and also censored whereas Adams’ work was widely criticized for being simple propaganda.
“Dorothea Lange, “Manzanar, California, Dust storm at this War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry are spending the duration” (July 3, 1942). The area was subject to extreme seasonal temperatures, with dust a constant presence due to the high winds. Incarcerees often awoke mornings covered in a layer of it. (photographed by Dorothea Lange for the WRA, courtesy the National Archives [Archives Identifier 539961])”
Having several times visited the very extensive exhibitions at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown LA I wasn’t particularly anxious for more Manzanar but actually I’m glad I went.
The visitor’s center was closed but the driving-around tour was open and you could get out along the way. It was standing there that was so physically overwhelming much like the photo above – so hot with a furious hot dusty wind and I got a more visceral feeling for the enormous scale of the place (only 5th in population size of the 10 internment camps).
It looks mostly like this now, with a very few buildings, mostly desert and signs about what was there during the war.
Instead of trying for the Alabama Hills this afternoon I decided to check into my motel in Lone Pine and find a nice big western dinner, full service, wine, lots of courses.
And I did. And these walls? There were more!
MONDAY June 7
The last leg of the trip, before home sweet home tonight. But first I want to take a spin through the Bureau of Land Management recreation area called The Alabama Hills, but first before that, I missed the turn off and ended up at the Mount Whitney trailhead!
UpUPUP. I knew at about 7,000 feet that I had made a mistake but why not follow it through to the 8,600 feet trailhead. I left the motel at 5:30am (that’s right, HEAT) so when I got up there it was still early enough to see Hearty Youth packed up for the assent to 14,500 feet.
On the way down I found the turnoff and spent some time admiring the formations of the Alabama Hills.
“The Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains. Both geologic features were shaped by the same uplifting occurring 100 million years ago. Visitors enjoy touring film sites, photography, rock climbing, exploring natural arches, and viewing the swaths of wildflowers that bloom every spring. Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular activities.”
And after 5 stops to pee (remember? Drink More Water?) I was Home Sweet Home!
The gang from my visit to Sweden reassembled itself here in Lake Tahoe! Jim, Baby, Rick, Lill, Tony. They drew that dog ‘tattoo’ on their arms to send to a friend who, during a game of Pictionary, drew this very dog for a dog…and will never Ever live it down.
WEDNESDAY June 2
I arrived from Sacramento just in time to join in for a late lunch and then we went to the nearby town of Tahoe City. As well as shops and restaurants, they have a nice public beach there and a very nice walking path.
Later in the evening we went down to the private beach connected to the complex where we were staying at Dollar Point.
The dock above belongs to the next door complex. I seem to have missed a picture of our beach I guess because I got too excited over this bird. ND found it on the internet, a sweet little Barn Swallow.
THURSDAY June 3
We left early to visit Virginia City, Nevada. These pictures are all from the internet because there were so many people and so many cars I wasn’t happy with any of my own. Virginia City was developed overnight in 1859 with the great silver discovery of the Comstock Lode and now it’s a full-on tourist town. Not like Colonial Lynchburg for example because the refurbishment efforts have been minimal which added to the charm (although I should note that all the trumpiness did give me a bit of a shiver).
FRIDAY June 4
We did two easy walks in the morning, chosen for me I’m sure because Rick, Jim, Lill, and Tony are Hikers: big boots, two walking poles, quarts of water, see you in several hours.