Where are we?
Subj: 173. Where are we?
Date: Monday, October 2, 2006
Here we are in "The Deepest Valley" or so it is sometimes called. It is
also the location of some early 20th Century "water wars." It's a place
steep in 20th century history, beautiful landscapes, and is very
popular with sportsmen, especially fishermen.
We left Manchester Beach KOA for a vacation about a week ago. We had
planned about a three week vacation but, for various reasons, it turned
into about a 5 week vacation. We left Manchester and headed to
Lancaster California and Ridgecrest to visit some of the kids and
Grandkids. Now we have started to head north again but we will be
taking our time.
There are several things we have to mention since it has been just over
six months since our last Where are we? First, we have become
interested in something called geocaching. Geocaching is kind of like a
scavenger hunt but with a high tech twist. We read about it several
times in different magazines and all you need is a sense of adventure,
a little bit of knowledge, and a hand held GPS unit. First of all, you
go to www.geocaching.com. There is no charge to join. Once you join you
can type in your zip code and you will be given a list of geocaches in
that area. A regular geocache is some type of container that is hidden,
it will typically contain a log book, and various trinkets. The
description on the webpage will tell you the GPS coordinates where it
is located and maybe give you some helpful information on finding it.
Then, using the information given, you look for the cache. The basic
rule is that if you take something, you also leave something. You also
sign the log book.
There are also virtual caches. With these you are given the GPS
coordinates of a location and asked a question. Once you are at the
location, you will have the information to answer the question. We
really like the virtual caches.
This past summer was very busy. Besides working with some great
workampers, we were visited by both some of our kids and grandkids.
After taking about a week off for Scott (Adrienne's eldest son) and
Jennifer's wedding in June, we came back to Manchester with Daniel and
Breanna, two of our grandchildren. Daniel and Breanna were with us for
two weeks. The second week they were at the KOA, Adrienne's second son
(Jeff), his wife (Jill), and their kids (C.J. and Nicolas) visited us.
Everyone had a great time. Then in August, Scott and Jennifer, Sam, and
Mark came for a visit. We really had a great time with all of them.
It seems like the summer went really fast. We still did a lot at the
campground and, as we said above, we worked with some really great
workamping couples. We still did most of the pancake breakfasts (among
other things) and we set a record for the number of breakfasts served,
176 breakfasts in about 90 minutes. That's a lot of sausage and
Now, where are we? We are at Boulder Creek RV Park in Lone Pine
California. It's at the South end of the Owens Valley, also called the
deepest valley. Although the valley itself is at an elevation of about
4000 feet, the Sierra Mountains on the West has peaks over 14000 feet
and the White Mountains to the East have peaks of 12000 feet. The water
wars, in the early 20th century, came about when the Los Angeles
Department of Power and Water started buying the water rights from the
farmers in the area. This was not really popular with the local
On the road for a few weeks.
Subj: 174. Where are we?
Date: Monday, October 2, 2006
Here we are in the "Biggest Little City in the World!" It's a city also
known for its casinos. Yes, we are in Nevada but we are in the high
desert in Northern Nevada.
In the last email we mentioned about geocaching. Well, we did some
while we were at Lone Pine. We actually found four caches, there were
others but we didn't feel like taking our truck down some very
questionable dirt roads. However, one of the virtual caches was really
The title of the cache is "Manzanar Virtual Cache." Now, since we lived
in Ridgecrest and have been in the Owens Valley many times, we had
visited Manzanar several times. However, we were still surprised and
overwhelmed by this visit.
First, if you don't know, Manzanar was one of the 10 Japanese
Relocation Centers created by the Federal Government during World War
II. Manzanar was also the subject (and we believe title) of a made for
TV movie in the 70s or early 80s. Although it was called a Relocation
Center and specifically not an internment camp or a concentration camp,
people of Japanese heritage on the west coast were moved from their
homes and businesses to these Relocation Camps.
On previous trips to Manzanar, we have seen foundations for what used
to be buildings, we didn't really know much about the details other
than the brick guardhouse at the entrance and the fact that there was a
county road construction building a bit north of the entrance. Well, in
1992 Manzanar was established as a National Historic Site. We have
driven by the site many times since then and never noticed anything
different. In 2004, the old County Road Construction Building (which
much to our surprise was the Manzanar Auditorium) was opened as the
Manzanar National Historic Site Interpretive Center and operated by the
National Park Service. The National Park Service has done a fantastic
job. Manzanar is much bigger that we had thought. There is a self
guided auto tour of the site (over three miles long) and is well worth
the time. Over 10,000 Japanese Americans were interred at Manzanar.
The first few paragraphs of the cache description say a lot:
"This cache is not for those seeking a physically beautiful place. It
is dusty and hot in summer and snow-covered in winter. However, if you
want to experience a meaningful and important historic site, you should
definitely make this trip.
"We almost flew past this site on our way north on the 395 between Lone
Pine and Independence. All you can see is the brick guardhouse and
large auditorium amid the 800 acres of desert shrub and a few trees.
All that remains of the buildings are numerous concrete slabs. It is
hard to believe that 10,000 American citizens were forcibly relocated
here during World War II. Almost as tragic is how shamelessly the site
was demolished as if to wipe the entire incident from our national
Manzanar happened because of the national hysteria against the Japanese
after the attack on Pearl Harbor. That is understandable. However, just
think where we would be without Japanese companies like Honda, Toyota,
Sony, Panasonic, Nissan, and others. Now, think about the events of
September 11, 2001. Tragedy caused by radical extremists. Was it right
to blame Japanese Americans for the events of December 7, 1941? Is it
right to blame all believers of Islam for the events of 9/11? We'll
leave the answer to these questions to you. However, suffice it to say
that a visit to Manzanar is well worth the time. And a heart felt Thank
You to www.geocaching.com for helping us to visit Manzanar again and
thanks to the National Park Service for making Manzanar a memorable
place to visit.
The drive today was nice. Yes, we drove straight up US 395 from Lone
Pine. It's not a road to drive fast but it is a beautiful drive.
Although it is mountainous, we have become used to CA Highway 1, so US
395 is a piece of cake.
Now, where are we? We are actually in Reno Nevada at the Reno KOA. We
do have to mention that Larry won $50.00 on a nickel slot machine so at
least we came out a few dollars ahead in the casino.
Havin' Fun in Nevada
Subj: 175. Where are we?
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2006
Sometimes it's difficult to follow the general outline that we
developed for the Where are we? emails. This is one of those times.
It's difficult because we have been here a number of times so it's
difficult to find something new about the area. However, we will
describe the area. It's a city known for Ducks! The campground brochure
"Visitors to this area can enjoy a scenic wilderness area, relax at a
luxurious resort, view abundant wildlife, go deep sea fishing, and
mountains, or explore exotic and eerie lava beds - for just a few
"Covered bridges, cool waterfalls, hot springs, formal gardens, unique
festivals, delicious seafood, friendly people, fresh air, clean water,
and so much more, all await those staying to explore [this area]."
We only spent one night in Reno because we had a schedule to keep. The
Reno KOA is right next to the Reno Hilton, so, of course, we spent some
time in the casino. The cost of the night at the KOA was very
reasonable, especially since we were comped for the stay since we are
active KOA workampers!
After leaving Reno, we drove north on US 395, back into California.
Then taking some state highways, into Oregon when we spent two nights
in Chiloquin. Chiloquin is on the Williams River and is usually a
pleasant place to stay. We've been there several times before. One of
the reasons we chose Chiloquin is that it is very convenient to Crater
Lake National Park, where we worked during the summer of 2003. We had
heard that many changes had been made and we wanted to see them. So, we
took a side trip to Crater Lake. Most of the concessions had already be
closed. It seemed a bit early to close the campground since the first
weekend in October is usually a busy weekend but that's just our
There is now a restaurant at Mazama Village. We didn't go into the
restaurant since it had already closed for the season. At the rim, the
main building was closed for restoration. They are trying to restore it
back to the original configuration. Except for the main restaurant at
Crater Lake Lodge, there was no food service at the rim.
We did stop by the Administration Building where we happened to see
someone we knew. (A special note to Jack and Loretta and Tom and Dottie
- Lee says HI!).
Of course the Lake itself has not changed and is as awe inspiring as
On Thursday we left Chiloquin and headed to our current location where
we will be for a couple of weeks. Everytime we drive in this area,
especially on the state highways, we are impressed by the scenery. Yes
the drive here was beautiful.
Now where are we and why are we here? We are staying in Coburg Oregon
which is about a 15 minute drive from Michelle, Keith, and Tristan
(Larry's older daughter, her husband, and their son).
Why are we here? On Monday, October 9, Michelle is having a baby girl
(we don't know the name yet). Since Michelle will be in the hospital
for a few days (C-section), someone has to take care of Tristan, so
that's our job. We'll send another email sometime after October 9
telling you more about our new Granddaughter, and probably our
experiences with our youngest Grandson Tristan.
becoming buddies with Tristan
Subj: 176. Where are we?
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2006
We reluctantly left Eugene today to meet other obligations. Right now
we are near a city that is just south of the "Jewel of Northern
California," also called the "Houseboat and Wakeboarding capital of the
world." The city we are in was founded by miners during the 19th
Century, but it was not very prosperous and became known as Poverty
Flats. It's current name came from a Railroad man. In the 20th Century
the main industry was lumber. Now it's two biggest industries are the
medical and legal industries.
We had a great time in Eugene. Tristan, Larry's Grandson, was a joy. Of
course he is a typical two-year-old, but an amazingly well behaved one.
It took about 5 minutes or less for him to warm up to us. He stayed
with us in the RV starting on Sunday night and stayed with us through
Thursday night, the night Michelle came home from the hospital. For the
remainder of the time, we constantly had Tristan at the RV after Day
Care. He really seemed to enjoy us, and we certainly enjoyed him. He
even spent a night with us at the RV dealer while we were getting some
warranty work done.
Rachel is a beautiful baby. Would you expect us to say anything
Larry even was able to get in nine holes of golf with Keith. Actually
Michelle and Rachel went also but they just rode around in the golf
cart. Adrienne was having fun with Tristan while the others were at the
We also watched both Tristan and Rachel while Michelle and Keith
enjoyed a night out, probably their last one for a while.
Where are we now? We are in Redding California (named for Benjamin B.
Redding) and we are just south of Lake Shasta.
headin' back to Manchester
Subj: 177. Where are we?
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006
"Wave-swept beaches, rugged cliffs, rolling sand dunes, sleeping sea
lions, soaring pelicans, towering redwoods, glowing sunset, and vast
expanses of ocean ... ." That's the standard statement from the RV park
where we are. We also have to mention that 7 of our nine grandchildren
have been here, some more than once. The only two that have not been
here are our eldest granddaughter, Ashley, and our youngest, Rachel,
who just turned two weeks old as we write this.
What's missing from the statement in the brochure is the roads getting
here. They can be described as narrow, hilly, twisty, and not
necessarily fun to drive. However, the drive is certainly worth the
effort. We do hear people complain about the drive here and they are
driving in a car, maybe even an SUV. Well, to those people we have to
say, try it in a 39 foot long motor home. We just take it slow and easy
and it works out fine.
Although we wanted to, we didn't spend much time sightseeing in
Redding. We did do some shopping for the KOA and a little personal
shopping. We also had a great $5.00 dinner at the campground. So even
though we didn't do any sightseeing, it was certainly fun.
Now, Where are we? We are at the Manchester Beach KOA in Manchester
California where we will be completing our obligation through
Octoberfest and the Thanksgiving Holiday.