We leave Lone Pine on the 100 mile leg to Mammoth Lakes. We head out the road to the Manzanar War Relocation Center, where Japanese Americans and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, America got involved in World War II. In 1942, 110,000 men, women, and children were detained in military style camps. This is the site of one of the ten of them. It held over 10,000 people behind barbed wire, with no due process of law. The nearest town is named Independence. It was interesting to walk around the exhibits and read some of the personal stories of the interns and their families. We didn’t stay for the film. We wonder though, if America has really learned anything from this “historic site”. Will there be more historic sites in the future for the Muslim community?
In a more sombre mood we drive to Bishop, CA. Íde finds a thrift shop straight away and we both end up purchasing a pair of shorts for the princely sum of €2.00 each. We had a hardy lunch in Raymond’s deli: a quirky café that celebrates a bad attitude, but provides good service. The OPEN sign reads “Sorry, You’re out of luck, we are open”. Worth a visit just to look at some of the signs on the walls, but the food is good as well.
When we reach Mammoth Lakes (made slightly famous by the Bear Whisperer as seen on TV’s Animal Planet), we pop in to the visitor centre and followed their suggestion of going straight to the Reds Meadow Valley. The drive up to the shuttle depot surprised us with the large number of cyclists and skateboarders on the road.
Next stop was Devil’s Postpile National Monument. The Devil’s Postpile is a vast layer of basalt columns. It is like looking at at inland version of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway from the bottom up. The Devil’s Postpile ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt (as the US NPS say). We arrived in time to make it to the Postpile, but not to the Rainbow Waterfall, which is a shortish hike from the shuttle buses. “Red’s”, of course, refers to the hair colour of the gigantic scoundrel who made this area famous.
We have a little competition for our half-dozen or so readers now: both Íde and Pádraig love using tree framing for their photos. We can’t agree on which of the two tree framed photos above is better. Make your voice heard – caith vóta anois.
Then it was on to our hotel – Mammoth Creek Inn. It is obvious that this hotel is set-up as a winter resort. It is a big skiing area in the winter. The room has a heating system but no air con! We have a plug in fan, but to be honest, it was never going to be able to cope with the abnormal temperatures they were experiencing while we were there. We had it on full blast all night. It was very noisy and therefore we didn’t get a good sleep. We did, however, enjoy the hot tub and steam room which they have on-site (meant for their winter clientèle perhaps).
We saw lots of nature and many animals in Mammoth Lakes … But there was not a bear to be seen….