Monday, October 13, 2008


Today, we made it to Lone Pine, CA, and stopped by the Manzanar National Historic Site which is run by the National Park Service. In case you didn't know, Manzanar was an internment camp where people of Japanese ancestry were moved to near the beginning of World War II supposedly for their own protection. Surprisingly, when they arrived, they noticed that the barbed wire and machine gun turrets were turned inwards. My mom and her family were internees. Since we are on the way to a Manzanar reunion, it seemed fitting to stop off at the camp especially since my parents had never been to the visitors center here since it opened. It is pretty similar to the Japanese American Museum that we had stopped at in Los Angeles last summer. This difference here is obviously the location. Many locations were marked with signs even though there is no trace of the original structures.

This is a monument located in the cemetery located at the western edge of the camp. Lone Pine Peak is behind the camp with Mt. Whitney to the northwest (not visible in this picture). A very scenic location if you are here for recreation but a very hot and dusty location in the summer and cold and windy in the winter if you aren't here by choice. It was pretty windy here today but a very nice 72°F.
This monument, the guard shacks, and the visitor center building are the only ones left from the original camp. I wasn't aware that Canada and Latin America had similar relocation programs in place during the war. In Canada, they weren't allowed back to the Pacific coast until 1949. If you are ever in the neighborhood, you should stop by Manzanar. You may be surprised at what you may learn.

On another note, the road from Bakersfield to Hwy 14 would have been a wonderful motorcycle ride as it wound all over the place through a canyon following the Kern River. Many 20 mph turns with a rock face on one side of the road and a drop off on the other. But this is supposed to be a blog about walking and exercise so I should mention that I have been a real slacker these days. Today, I walked only a couple of miles. I walked from one end of town to another this evening after dinner. I tried out a pedometer application on my iPhone and it worked really well. I knew the length of town from my gps while in the car and the step count matched it within a few percent. The only problem is the app needs to be running in the foreground and the display appears to stay on. Doesn't do much for battery life. I didn't bring my pedometer and didn't feel like breaking out the gps. Hopefully, tomorrow, my exercise pattern will improve.

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