After celebrating at Bishop bowling alley the night before, the next morning was slow goings.
First stop, Schat’s Bakery luckily right next door! Famous Schat’s Bakery!!!! It is a destination must when traveling in the Owens Valley!!! I drrreeeeam of Schat’s fresh bread!!! My family always requests the award winning chili cheeze bread!!!! I always buy 3 loaves. One for me, one for my sister + one to freeze!!!!! No joke!! Here is Jeff squinting into the high desert sunlight, clutching onto a bottle of water to rehydrate himself from the previous night, haha!
That’s a leaked picture, y’all. This is because after I took this photo, an employee said to me, “No photos allowed, please.”. Oh, girl!!! Like it was the pentagon or something! So enjoy this official piece of documentation everyone.
Jeff wanted sandwiches for breakfast – go figure. I didn’t want sandwiches at Schat’s because it’s crazy busy, crowded + loud. I looked on the ever-faithful Yelp + found amazing reviews for Raymond’s Deli!
Look no more! Let me just say that this place is a GOLD MINE!!!!! Rock n’ Roll Deli!!!! HUGE, inventive menu, video games, pinball machines + super cool dudes behind the counter! But, wait! That’s not all!
Crazy, sensational sandwiches from the sandwich gods that were insanely amazing!!!! After we were done eating, I walked up to the tattooed guy who was the chef + said, “I just want to let you know that those were the best sandwiches my husband + I have EVER had!”. And that is the solid truth!!! He was PSYCHED!!! Plus, there was a great mix of young people + wizened, tiny old people + tourists eating at Raymond’s. Good sign. I would literally go back to Bishop to try every single sandwich on their menu!
Bellies happily full, we wandered down Main St. to the Mountain Light Gallery. Galen Rowell + his wife Barbara were two of the most prolific outdoor photographers during their lifetime. They tragically died in a plane crash on their way home from a photography workshop in Alaska. Jeff + I would love to own a breathtaking print one day. Please go visit even if you’re short on time. It’s a large + very well curated gallery.
Bishop was their home base. And rightly so.
The mood turned somber on the drive south to Los Angeles. Jeff drove me to Manzanar, one of the 10 Japanese Internment camps in the United States. I’ve always wanted to go, but have never had the chance. The wooden guard tower near the entrance is a stark introduction leading visitors into the camp.
The interpretive center is built inside the old auditorium of the camp. It is a great place to take anyone who wants to learn about the injustice placed upon the Japanese community, the personal + financial losses they experienced + could never regain. I always remember this famous picture when I think of the Japanese as they were tagged like pieces of baggage + awaited instructions for which camp they would be assigned to:
Oh, it always makes me cry. She looks so afraid + confused. When the Japanese arrived in Manzanar, some of the barracks were just being finished. Dust blew into the homes through cracks + holes, there were multiple families living in one barrack, with no privacy. The extreme temperatures, straw mattresses + inedible food at the mess halls, endless lines – not to mention communal toilets built with no partitions, where people were so close to one another, that you would be touching the person on the toilet next to you – made life very uncomfortable for the typically private Japanese.
It is amazing what the Manzanar community created to make their quality of life bearable in such a bleak, harsh landscape, under such horrible circumstances.
Everyone should visit Manzanar. It is a reminder of an embarrassing part of American history that should never be repeated. This country should never forget the humiliation + loss that was placed on one group of people, solely because of their race.