Friday, October 25
Upon finishing our breakfasts, the crew and I board the Perfect Tow Vehicle and rumble over the rock and sand lane that is our campsite’s driveway. We leave Alabama Hills, turn left at Lone Pine’s lone stoplight, and head north on Route 395.
I don’t have a set destination.
Not far out of Lone Pine, I pull over and park the PTV to photograph this bucolic scene.
I’m reminded of Old Master paintings.
We continue northward through Owens Valley. The Inyo Mountains are on our right.
On our left the majestic Sierras . . .
We pass a sign announcing that the Manzanar internment facility is up ahead on the left. Several cars and RVs are in the lot. Soon we approach Manzanar Reward Road that cuts across the divided highway.
I have a choice.
I can choose the way of most people. I can turn left and visit the historic site, a place of sadness, fear, despair and shame. Or I can turn right onto the less traveled road.
I turn right.
The road crosses an old airplane runway. We come to a small bridge over a canal. All around the colors are beautiful shades of autumn.
“Okay! Let’s get out and take a walk!” Bridget and Spike howl with delight. I run around and open the side door. They spill out of the PTV.
“Over this way!”
Bridget sees the lane and scampers ahead, her tail spinning like a propeller. Spike trots behind her. Those are two very happy pups. I smile.
I keep a close eye on Spike. I don’t think this is a good place for him to soak. Fortunately he seems to agree and keeps his explorations on the bank with Bridget.
One golden tree catches my eye. It’s way across a field. I zoom in.
We don’t walk far. I know that Bridget and Spike will be ready to take their morning nap soon.
Gee, I could be over at the interment camp on this gorgeous autumn day.
I’d rather be here.
I always put a spill-proof dish of water on the floor of the PTV before we go anywhere. I set it on the ground for the crew.
We continue further toward the Inyo Mountains. Now they’ll nap and I can concentrate on finding photos.
Each time I stop and get out to take a photo, I check the ground for a rattler who may have come out of the grass to sun himself.
It’s impossible for me to be in a place such as this without being filled with gratitude for being alive.
Spike is fast asleep. Bridget watches earnestly from the passenger seat.
“Take your nap, honey. I’m not going to leave you.”
No one seems to be anywhere on or along this road. The morning hours fly by.
I’d wander here all day if not for the light changing. The softness of morning light is replaced by bright sunshine. Sometime near noon the PTV carries us back to our camp in the Alabama Hills.
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