Whiskey Flats days
Since Kernville is just a short drive from Bakersfield I was happy to head over for a day of ole west entertainment.
After a few hours of wandering around checking out the vendor booths and watching the occasional gunfight in the street we headed into a cafe where I bought some delicious chicken wings and a cold drink.
Then it was back out to watch the frog race, the costume contest and a little more gun-play before heading home.
Even this little guy got dressed up for the occasion
Now that’s a serious look!
In front of the saloon
Frog number 5 makes a break for it!
ground squirrel on lava
Returning to Bakersfield the long way via 395 I spotted a sign that said I was approaching the turn off to Manzanar. Since I had plenty of time I decided to pull off. I remembered hearing the name somewhere but it wasn’t until I spotted a guard tower nestled in the desert scrub that my history class came back to me. Referred to as a relocation camp or other euphamistic names, Manzanar is a reminder of some of the sadder parts of U.S history as it was one of several concentration camps where Japanese family s were forced to stay during World War 2. One thing that hearing about it in History class never impressed on me the way driving through the site did was the huge number of people affected, as I drove through the camp and stopped to view the spots where a church, ball field or hospital were located I tried to imagine what this enormous camp would have looked like when occupied by the over 10,000 people that were forced to stay here in some very inhospital climates. Imagine being told you had to live here…
The most emotional spot of the tour is probably the graveyard though. 146 people died during their incarceration and were buried at Manzanar, only five graves remain as most were later reclaimed by family members. This is a reminder of how many never returned home though. There’s an annual pilgramage to this site held on the last Saturday of April.
Civil War at Gibson Ranch
After returning from my vacation I had a couple of weeks before I was heading out to take more pictures. This time it was just a short trip to Gibson Ranch to watch the annual Civil War re-enactment.
I was really impressed with the levels of detail people had put into their outfits and props, everything from the black powder muskets and rifles to the simple things like a bath tub.
Peoples knowledge of the history of the time and their willingness to share this with all of us who came to watch was really wonderful as well.
It's just over there!
It made for a very enjoyable day. The battle was certainly the highlight complete with the deafening boom of cannons.
Bird along the riverwalk
Before heading out on the Pre-ICS field trip “Giant caves of Northern Mexico” I had a couple of days to spend in San Antonio. I visited the beautiful riverwalk, toured the historic remains of the Almo and viewed the entire city from the top of the Tower of the Americas. The riverwalk was especially nice- even in the heat of the day it seemed quite a bit cooler down in the shade alongside the water, making it a great place to stroll along site seeing.
The river walk at night
Touring the Alamo
The Alamo at night