CA – 395 Jaunting (early spring)

I had a one-day window between storms to try to safely make it south on 395. While the road was clear, the landscape was covered in plentiful snow. Have you ever seen a white Mono Lake basin? Even though the visitor center was closed, I couldn’t resist taking a few short walks to capture the image.

I found a nice place near Bishop to camp for my first night back on the road with views of the snowy mountains of the eastern sierra.

I hiked to the nearby mesa for sunset.

It’s going to take a long time for all that snow to melt this spring.

My timing couldn’t have been better as once again the 395 was filled with closures and chain controls. I breathed a nice sign of relief to be headed toward greener pastures.

It seems I’m always in a rush to reach some hiking destination when driving 395 and thus had never taken time to visit Manzamar National Historic Site.

I’ve always had a special connection to the Japanese Internment Camps as I grew up not too far from Tule Lake CA where nearly 19,000 Japanese where held. My mom’s parents also lived at a forest service lookout where they were tasked with watching for Japanese airplanes, and in fact my grandma spotted one.

The families are assisting in creating replicas of the amazing gardens that the Japanese created while living in this camp.

Staff provided me with a map for a few mile walking tour. I highly recommend this option as well as taking the full driving tour.

It hurts my heart to know how we as humans can somehow rationalize such ill treatment of others. What resonated for me however after this visit was the resilience of the prisoners especially in their turning crappy living conditions in to homes, growing gardens and creating sanctuary spaces. I was surprised to learn they could order from Sears! I’m grateful the families and survivors have helped to create a living memory.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 1-2, 2019