Manzanar and Mountain Light
Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
39Trip End Oct 26, 2010
A recommendation from the hotel receptionist sent us across the street to the Alabama Hills Café for breakfast, a small café off the main street; it was packed but we arrived at a good time and only waited a few minutes for a table. The bakery case was full of incredibly delectable looking temptations and the cinnamon rolls looked particularly sinful. The two waitresses were scurrying between the kitchen and tables bringing large plates of breakfast delights.
George ordered French toast on homemade cinnamon bread and for Nancy the Erroll Flynn breakfast of scrambled eggs, chilies and salsa with hash browns and homemade whole wheat bread. The portions are large and George had to help her finish the eggs, which were delicious, but Nancy couldn’t stay away from the toasted thick slices of homemade bread with real butter. Neither of us ordered bacon, sausage or ham from what we saw delivered to other tables they also looked wonderful, thick slices cooked to perfection. This is a 5-star café for a hearty breakfast. We were even to full to think about a bakery treat for later, maybe a mistake but we waddled out happy.
Upon reading the area guide we discovered that Manzanar was a short distance down the road so a short detour from our morning travel was in order. For those who are not familiar with Manzanar it was an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II and a shameful part of our history.
Manzanar held 10,000 of the 120,000 men, women and children who were interned. The government claimed that it was not only for national security but also for the safety of the Japanese Americans as fears of sabotage, the government, the press and the public inflamed racial prejudices.
Approximately two-thirds of those interned at Manzanar were American citizens by birth. The remainder were aliens, many of who had lived in the U.S. for decades, but whom, by law, were denied citizenship.
The Manzanar Historic Site is still a work in progress but does a good job of presenting was life was like for the residents. The ranger who led our tour was good about trying to take us back to that time. This is still a very emotional topic. Nancy asked a question about some of the young internees enlisting in the military. The ranger related a couple of stories of internees serving and being highly decorated. The stories brought tears to her eyes and to Nancy’s.
Practice tolerance; learn from the past to make a better future and if you are in the area take the time for visit Manzanar, there is much to learn.
We had also read that photographer, Galen Rowell’s studio and gallery, Mountain Lights, were Bishop CA along our route. We stopped in the gallery which is beautiful and presents a good representation of his work, well worth a stop if you are near Bishop or check out the website for a sample of this amazing photographer’s work. http://www.mountainlight.com/
It was a long day of driving but we made it to Bridgeport CA without incident and thoroughly enjoyed our visits to Manzanar and to Mountain Light Gallery.