My morning in Rainbow...Our evening in Moonlight!

My morning began by meeting Brady in the darling 16 square mile town of Rainbow.  The area, previously known as "Vallecitos", (little valley), was renamed "Rainbow" in the late 1880s, after Mr. J.P.M. Rainbow, who bought a homestead there.
The Rainbow Oaks Restaurant, originally built in the 1950s, is now new and greatly improved.  Definitely a worthy meeting point.
The potato skins filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese and onions were absolutely delicious.  The service was excellent and the decor- cozy.
We ended our week long So Cal visit at Vista's Moonlight Amphitheatre for an evening with friends, under an idyllic full moon.  We arrived early to dine al fresco together.
The great eight:  Mark & Carol, Mike & Julie (our daughter-in-law's parents) and Karen & David.  A group with interconnections that is still mind boggling to me!  An ideal gathering.
Sweeney Todd was a truly unique experience.  Stephen Sondheim’s ground-breaking musical experience is laced with brilliant wit and dark humor. Centering on Sweeney Todd’s return to London after fifteen years of false imprisonment, the musical boldly displays his quest for justice and retribution. Aided and abetted by the pie-shop owner, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney sets out to avenge the wrong doings done to him and his family. Set in the 19th century, it is regarded as Sondheim’s most beautiful and ingeniously crafted score.
I don't think we all agreed on the wonderfulness of the subject matter (human meat pies) but we did agree that the cast was exceptionally talented.  The staging was amazing.  And being together, on a warm fall night made for an unforgettable event!

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Mary Cupples...you will be missed!

Some people come into our lives and we never quite know why but their presence makes an enormous impact.  Mary was one of those truly special people.  Eighty-seven years young, with an enviable attitude and a storytelling ability to captivate, our times together were filled with lots of giggles and a great deal of love.

Mary
She was generous, kind and truly fun (characteristics that I admire) and one of the reasons we came south was to see her and say our unavoidable farewells.  Mary succumbed to the cancer that had plagued her.  Thankfully, I had several visits with her and, as usual, Mary was her wonderful positive self, rallying to provide us with comforting memories.  “It’s always hard to lose somebody. It leaves a hole in you heart that never grows back. ”

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Rusty Rooster Barn Sale...

Timing is everything, and our visit south coincided with this fun sale.

The Vessias are a creative couple with Monica organizing the sale and Franco making the yummy olive oil I came to purchase. 
It was a delightful way to spend a Friday morning.

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Old friends...new memories!

We've been spending our days here connecting with friends, running errands and just living life in So Cal.  We began our day brunching on the wonderful front porch of Scott and Lynne's Wine Country home.

Homemade scones and lemon curd...Fresh fruit...Great catching up...The perfect start to our day.  How wonderful to sit in the comfort of friends.
After brunch it was time for lunch.  We dined with Joel and Terry and then strolled to The Merc.  Built around 1890 as the first brick building in Temecula, the building was used as a general store until 1953. It is now rebuilt and functions as the entry to the new Temecula Community Theater and Art Gallery.
Terry is a very talented artist and has two beautiful paintings on display.  According to her website, Terry says of herself, "I define myself as a colorist, employing a vibrant palette to portray landscapes and other images in an Interpretive-Realistic manner.  The goal is to share my vision of a particular point in time with the viewer, and encourage him or her to explore the visual text I have created."
Friendship is born at that moment
when one person says to another:
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
-C.S. Lewis

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Manzanar War Relocation Center...

Continuing south on US Route 395,  our destination was Manzanar, a remnant of WWII and the ugliness of war.  In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was the first of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.

We explored the area and learned the history.  Then, as we drove to Temecula, I read, aloud, the book Farewell to Manzanar, the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.

There are parts of history that are painful to learn about... this was one of those lessons.  While I understand, I am saddened by the the history here.

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The Road to Bodie...

US Route 395 is dotted with historical landmarks and on this trip south, we decided to take two days and see some amazing sights.

We were forced to take a detour heading south because of the Carter Springs Fire, which has grown to more than 2,000 acres, in the Pine Nut Mountains.
Our first stop was in Bridgeport at the Mono County Museum, located in the original Bridgeport Elementary School (1880).  The entire town is rich in history.
This was the 1881 home of James Stuart Cain (a man who went to Bodie at the age of 25 looking to make his fortune in business. He built an empire one piece at a time).
We came here two decades ago and have been trying to get back since then.  Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Being a visitor allows you to walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. It is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown. By 1879, Bodie had around 2,000 buildings and was possibly California's second or third largest city.
When the mines dried up, the people left.  To wander through town and peer into the windows is unbelievable.  The residents simply left, leaving their belongings behind.
In its boom, Bodie was an incredible, vibrant town.  Today, less than 10% of its buildings survive but what remains paints a pretty accurate picture of life in this thriving mining camp.
Tonight we sleep in history at the Dow Hotel, built in the early 1920s. Even then Hollywood was looking for movie locations where there was a variety of scenery. Where better than the Owens Valley, with its snow-capped Sierra, its ancient Alabama Hills, its deserts and mountain lakes and streams. And when they came on location, they needed lodging. Mr. Walter Dow, a Lone Pine resident, could see ahead and knew what it could mean to the valley to have the big movie business, so he built the Dow Hotel.
In its day, it hosted countless producers, directors and stars. To name a few of the stars, John Wayne, William Boyd, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Pat Buttrum, Stewart Granger, Errol Flynn, Robert Mitchum and Clayton Moore.

What a day of discovery!

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The Day in Emerald Bay...

What better way to conclude a visit to Lake Tahoe than hiking to Emerald Bay.  Our goal was to share with Chuck as many of our favorite spots in the limited time we had.  I feel we succeeded.  What a fabulous introduction to our life in the Sierras.

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Lakes of all sizes...

After falling in love with Wrights Lake, last week, we wanted to share it with Chuck.

Discovering this lake, late in the season, gives us so much to anticipate next year!
We feel very fortunate to have a wonderful friend who generously welcomes guests on his traditional Wednesday night sailings.  What an opportunity for all of us.
Steve and Cyndi are the hosts with the mosts!
I don't think there are many things more beautiful than the sun setting on lake Tahoe.
Mark Twain said it best, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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History Lessons...

After errands in Carson City, we took the 'scenic' route home and stopped for a drink in Genoa.

As we drove through Nevada's oldest settlement, I pointed out Nevada's oldest thirst parlor and Chuck wanted to stop.  Steve and I had been here before and loved it.
The Genoa Bar (1853) has a rich history of famous partakers and movies being filmed here.  It is always worth a pause for a pint!
We ended our evening at Camp Richardson for a lecture on mapping the Johnson's Cut- off.  The Gold Rush created a demand for crossings of the seemingly impassable Sierra Nevada range so Americans could reach the goldfields. John Calhoun Johnson surveyed and opened the route to traffic in the spring of 1852. Finding and mapping the whole route of Johnson's Cut -Off became a passion of "Cockeye's " great -great granddaughter Ellen Osborn.
Speaker John Winner,encouraged by Ellen and under the auspices of USFS and the archaeologists, has led enthusiastic members of Oregon California Trails Association (OCTA) through forestland and thicket - clearing, marking and mapping the 1852-era Johnson's Cut-Off trail for posterity.  Our friends, Dick and Joan are part of the OCTA and have shared their enthusiasm about this very unique "treasure hunt".  We learned a great deal about the history and the hardships these early 'tourists' had to endure.  It was an interesting and educational end to our day.

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