"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Friday, May 24, 2019


There hadn't been much happening in our lives since returning from Arizona the end of February.  We've made a couple of week long trips, but nothing that I haven't blogged about before.  Why post about the same ol' things?

Our front yard a couple of years ago, and this past Fall.

Life as we knew it changed on May 9th, around 11:30 AM.  Our phones alerted us of a tornado warning for our area.  We've been exposed to hundreds of warnings in our lifetime, but never felt we were in danger enough to seek shelter.  This one was different for some reason, though I can't put my finger on why.  Maybe it was the small warning box with our home dead center, or just God taking care of us.  We grabbed a blanket, picked up Sally, and headed to our smallest bathroom. Within minutes we could hear the wind; then the sounds of debris hitting the walls and roof.  We kept waiting for the horrendous crash of our home coming apart around us.  After a couple of minutes all that could be heard was pouring rain. I walked to our front door, opened it, and this is what I saw.

My shop, and truck.

Our driveway.

Random shots around our yard.

A miracle, or the Hand of God, saved our house.  We had "large" pine trees down on three sides of our house.  We had a tree overhanging our house, but it didn't fall.  We chained it up over night, till a tree guy came and cut it down.

We had no choice but to practically clear cut our front yard.

The last one falling.

Our front yard, today.

This small pile of logs represents what our front yard once was. Everything that wouldn't make a log was hauled to a burn pit.  There's no market for pulp size wood, anymore. We have a very big job clearing all the stumps, roots, and associated trash.  We'll have our own burn pile for weeks to come.

As I mentioned before, we were blessed that our home received NO damage.  Our fence around two and a half acres was destroyed.  My shop, as well as another out building received damage also.  Insurance?  Yes, we thought so.  We've had a homeowners policy with the same company for almost fifty years.  We thought we were adequately covered. But a little known clause called "policy limits for peripheral coverage" raised it's little head. 

We're going to be fine, though we're covering most of the cost of repairs.  But, a word to the wise.  If you have a house, and maybe a fence covered by your homeowners policy, you're probably ok.

  If you have a home with a shop, extended garage, fence, pool house, etc.; you might want to check with your agent to find out what your "policy limit" would be for repairs on all those if you have a catastrophic loss....jc

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


What can one say about Manzanar, Heart Mountain, or any other Japanese internment camp, that is good?  American citizens; torn from their homes, businesses, families; for some, forever.

Just a few miles North of Lone Pine was located the abandoned townsite of Manzanar, California.  It was here in the Spring of 1942, that the U S Army built a one square mile camp that would come to hold a total of 10,000 Japanese American Citizens and Japanese immigrants.  Each of those 10,000 had a story.  Manzanar tells a number of them.

The camp closed on November 21, 1945.  It wasn't until the 1980's that a congressional commission concluded that it was "a dark time fueled by war hysteria, racial prejudice, and a failure of political leadership".  Over 82,000 Presidential apology letters were issued to surviving internees, along with checks for $20,000, between 1990 and 1999.  That seems a small gesture for almost four years of confinement, along with the loss of homes, businesses, and in many cases, loved ones...jc

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Alabama Hills

Though it has been over a month since our visit to the Alabama Hills, I thought I would put together a few pictures that will help you appreciate the beauty of the area.  The first pictures are of the three most prominent arches within the recreation area. Mobius Arch is the largest.


The smallest being Heart arch.

And, what I thought the best to photograph, The Eye of Alabama.


The landscape is eye candy in most every direction.



As I mentioned in a previous post, there have been hundreds of movies filmed in the area since the silent movie days.  One of the things available for purchase at the museum is a booklet that gives the locations of a number of movie shots.  We set out one morning to see how many we could find. 

Compare the cracks in the rock.

Compare the rock formations on the right side.

                                The van is parked under the bridge.

          Scene of the wagon wreck. 1500 pairs of moccasins?

Besides movies, there were other interests in the area back in the day.

I wonder if he ever struck it rich.

I would recommend a visit to Lone Pine, and the Alabama Hills, to everyone.  It is a beautiful area, backing up to the Eastern Sierra's.  The desert landscape, with the mountains so close, is stunning.  Mt. Whitney overlooks the entire area.