Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bishop - California 2014

I left Kanab at 5:30 AM and arrived at the Elks Lodge in North Las Vegas , Nevada, at 10:00 AM. It was hot already and I chose an electric site. I turned on the air conditioner right away.
After lunch I drove to Henderson and visited Mark, a friend who I met ten years ago at the Elks Lodge in Oceanside, California. He does not travel anymore since he bought a business.
From Mark’s shop I drove to the Henderson Elks Lodge. Tom and Mary Jane had just arrived. There was also Gene. I had not seen him since last year’s summer trip.
Back at the motorhome I had to make a change. Another motorhome had arrived and as soon as the owner attached his electrical cable to the box, and turned on his air conditioner, I lost power.
As soon as I turned on the air conditioner again, the power shut off again. The surge protector on my motorhome noticed low voltage and shut off the electricity. Mark, who stayed here for a long time, told me to use a site near number 1. So I moved from site nine to site 7. Site 7 has a 50 Ampere outlet. Whether it is a true 50 Ampere outlet I do not know, but it worked. The temperature in Las Vegas was 100 degrees F. today.
While I was in Henderson I went to the library. They told me to fill out a form to get a library card. I did that on the computer, and the computer told me that my application cannot be accepted because a person with that name has a library card already. I had forgotten that I did that two years ago. The card is not a physical card. It is a user name and a password.

This was another hot day. Tomorrow it will be a lot cooler. I left at 8:00 AM for the Las Vegas Strip.
The Mirage is still there. Sometimes buildings disappear in Las Vegas and new, bigger ones take their place.

Siegfried and Roy made a lot of money for the Mirage and the casino displays this statue next to Las Vegas Boulevard. 

Ceasars Palace has a lot of expensive shops on their property. 

I spent some time inside the Belagio. It is beautiful and colorful. 

Across the street is the Eiffel Tower. 

Nobody was in the gondolas at the Venetian. 

Water is used everywhere. 

I had parked my car at the Treasure Island Casino. 

I left North Las Vegas at 4:30 AM. The plan was to drive to Tonopah and stay the night there. When I arrived at Beatty I noticed cool air coming through the vents. The town is at an elevation of 3,000 feet.
I changed my mind and headed west. Seven wild burros stood on the side of the road and were heading to town to beg for food.
It was 7:00 AM when I entered Death Valley National Park. 

Forty minutes later I was a Stove Pipe Wells. It was hot already. In the campground were two rental motorhomes. Europeans come to Death Valley when it is hot, to experience the heat.
Gasoline at the pumps in the park was $ 4.85 for regular. I kept moving and went up that long, steep hill. It is no fun to climb from below sea level to 3,000 feet on a nine percent incline. The next 2,000 feet were not that bad. Going down to Panamint Valley was bad again. Fortunately the valley is at an elevation of 2,000 feet. From there I had to climb only 3,000 feet.
At the rest area, north of Big Pine, I ate lunch and took a long nap.
I arrived at Pleasant Valley, a County Campground north of Bishop, at about 12:00 noon. I have been here before and like to stay next to the Owens River. There is still some snow on the Sierra Mountains.

I moved this morning to the fairgrounds in Bishop. Eleven WINs were here already. Mule Days start tomorrow.

Most of the group went today to Laws Railroad Museum. I have been there several times and stayed behind. I went to the Visitor Center, the library, and then to a barber shop to get a haircut. Back at the motorhome I vacuumed the furniture and the floor. I got rid of most of the sand from Lone Rock Beach. When it was so hot in Las Vegas, and I had to stay inside, I bought a bottle of furniture polish and started to use it on the kitchen cabinets and the cabinets in the living room. Today I did the woodwork in the bathroom. It really improved the look of the wood.
The temperature is very pleasant here. Bishop is at an elevation of 4,000 feet.

The group went this morning to the Manzanar National Historic Site, near Lone Pine. Manzanar is the former relocation camp where Japanese Americans were detained during WW II.
They also went to the Alabama Hills where many western movies were filmed. Some went also up to the Mount Whitney Portal.
In the morning the weather was perfect. I walked to K-Mart and Vons. Then I went to the Senior Center and the City Park.

At 12:00 noon, when I drove to the library the sky was dark and the temperature had dropped. It started to rain and it just got nasty. At the fairgrounds Mule Days started today. In the morning I could hear the announcer over the loudspeakers. It was quiet in the afternoon. I believe they canceled the afternoon program. We have a ticket for the whole week, and we will start attending the shows after some of the eliminations. 

No big outings were planned for today. The weather changes real fast and makes it impossible to plan ahead . In the morning I went to the library and then went around town and took pictures of the murals artist have painted on walls of buildings. I have not found all of them yet.
At 12:00 noon I went to the Senior Center and had lunch. I met some nice, old people. The weather was still fine and I drove up Bishop Canyon to Lake Sabrina. There is very little water in the lake. The last three years have been very dry. 

Below Lake Sabrina is a smaller lake where anglers were catching trout. At 8,000 feet it started to snow lightly. I headed for home and when I arrived there it started to rain. 

 During a break in the rain two women on mules rode by our camping area. 

We are staying on a meadow next to the fairgrounds. Cattle have been grazing before we came here. We can tell by the cow patties which are all over the place. Our neighbors are probably wondering why we are staying on their feeding grounds.

In the morning I walked around town and photographed more murals. At the park a lady and her young child were feeding the ducks, and ducklings. 

Erick Schat’s Bakkery is a well known place in Bishop. They sell all kind of breads and sweets. 

I had again lunch at the Senior Center. From there I went to the fairgrounds and watched mule drawn wagons going through obstacles. It was not very exciting. By 2:00 PM dark clouds appeared and I went back to the motorhome. A short time later it started to rain. 

They have a food area at the fairgrounds and booths were they sell all kind of merchandise related to riding mules or horses. 

We had fantastic weather today, with blue skies and more snow on the mountains.

In the morning I visit our neighbors. The men come out early while the women stay where it is warmer. Two of the men forgot in the last few days important dates like a birthday or a wedding day. I gave them a card of the WIN camping club, in case they become single. 

Since the weather was so nice I drove up to Rock Creek Lake. 

At the trailhead I noticed this Volkswagen Mini Van from Austria. 

The Owens Valley used to be a fruit growing region before the water went to Los Angeles.

At 3:30 PM most of us went to the movie theater where they showed “100 Mules” Mules were used to built the aqueduct which brought the water to Los Angeles. In 2013 that was 100 years ago. One hundred mules were walked from the water inlet at Big Pine to Los Angeles. They followed the aqueduct. The movie was free and people were sitting in the isle and some people had to leave because there was no room left. Give people something free and they come.
After the film I went to the fairground. Some of the WINs went for a BBQ.
On my walk to the fairground I passed this meadow with sheep grazing.

Some of the booths have fancy, expensive merchandise. 

The saddles are not cheap either. 

A father and his children provided some entertainment.

A small cow girl enjoyed her ice cream.

I finally finished taking pictures of all the murals in Bishop.
A Dangerous Arrest.

Celebrating the Sierra.
The ceramic tile and mosaic includes 237 species of Eastern Sierra fauna and flora. Each tile was hand sculpted and painted by one of 110 community members.

The History of Medicine at the Local Pharmacy.
This portrait of longtime resident Dr. Robert Denton is one of five colorful scenes depicting local people, traditional medicine from plants and an old-time soda fountain.

Will Rogers in Bishop.
Will Rogers would come to town, visit the children and buy them ice cream at the local pharmacy.

This painting is called “Drain”
It shows the water from the Eastern Sierra being piped away to Los Angeles.

Young at Heart.
It is inscribed with a land title. This layered core sample of Bishop earth represents a sedimentary survey of the towns heritage.

Bishop Mining Mural.
It shows the now mostly abandoned mines around Bishop.

The Ernest Kinney Teamster Family Mural.
It is a three panel mural. The central part illustrates a twenty two animal team of horses and mules going up and over Sand Canyon to Power Plant # 3 on Bishop Creek. There are 18 in front and four pushers in the back.

Kittie Lee Inn.
The Kittie Lee Inn was built in 1924. It was the height of luxury during Hollywood’s heyday, and many celebrities stayed there.

Trompe L’Oiel Mural.
This mural was painted to fool the eye, by matching the windows, awnings and siding of the adjacent building.

The Slim Princess.
This mural depicts Laws, a thriving railroad depot and community just outside of Bishop circa 1909.

Father Crowley.
Father John Crowley remains a legendary figure, recognized as the visionary leader who saw the potential for the region and as a man of faith who dedicated his life to helping its inhabitants.

4 H Quilt.
This mural honors the children, their activities and the 100 year anniversary of the 4 H Club.

The Sunland Orchard.
Starting in the 1870s, early settlers trapped the Owens River to irrigate fields and orchards in the remote valley and created for a short time, one of the most productive agricultural areas in California.

Bishop Bakery.
Since the 1850s, Basque sheepherders have trailed their flock in the area. The shepherds taught their time honored recipe for a thick crusted, tasty bread to Bob and Luisa Schoch, the owners of the Bishop Bakery.   

Today, at 10:00 AM, started the Mule Day Parade along Main Street in Bishop. People had put out chairs two days ago. I was sitting on Sierra Street, next to the entrance of the Fairgrounds.

The Grand Marshal was in the first float. 

Then came part of the 100 Mules. They appeared in the film


There were many wagons. 


Packing companies were represented, and there are quite a few in the Sierras Mountains.

Motors cannot be used in the parade. Everything has to be moved by mules or horses. The guys in the tubs were funny. 

The Bishop Fire Department has a mule drawn pump wagon. 

The Bishop High School Band provided some of the music. 

There was also an old shepherd’s wagon, one of the first camping vehicles. 

The Wild Ass Women got a lot of applause. 

After the parade most of the wagons and riders lined up in the arena for receiving prizes.

A 20 mule team was also at the parade. We, on the side street, did not see them because they entered the fairgrounds at another entrance. I saw them at the fairgrounds though. They made a turn and we saw them jumping over the chain. One mule had to be coaxed to make this maneuver. This is understandable because there are no more 20 mule teams. This one was put together just for the parade.

The weather was perfect for the parade. In the afternoon it was too warm to sit in the bleachers. I stayed only an hour. I went again for the 7:00 PM program. At 8:00 PM was a dance in one of the halls. The music was too loud and I did not feel like paying $ 8.00 to have my ear drums busted. Some of the WINs stayed, but they were not happy.

In the morning I walked to the city park, which is now a Mecca for shoppers. The park is filled with booths. 

Most of our group went today up the White Mountains to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. The oldest trees in the world grow there. I have been several times and went instead to the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery. I have been there before too, but was never able to see the inside.
The stone and wood building is very beautiful and fits in the landscape.

The inside is now a museum. They still hatch a few Golden Trout. This fish lives only in the Eastern Sierras.

In the evening I went to the fairground and watched several events. A lady on a mule performed with a zebra and a steer. It was very interesting.

Later, flag bearing mules with riders entered the arena. The flags represented all the countries, and states participating at Mule Days. 

This is our last day in Bishop. We had all kinds of weather. It was cold, it rained, it was hot and yesterday we had a cottonwood snow storm. Cottonwood seeds were coming down like snow. At the arena one could hardly see the mules and riders for a few minutes.
Most of us were happy though.
Today we went to the cemetery where the Veterans of Foreign War and The American Legion had a memorial for the fallen soldiers. 

Bagpipe Bob was playing his bagpipe. 

Most of the campers have left today. They have to go back to work. The WINs are the only ones left.

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