Today was a great day for us in the touring department as well as with good deeds. We left Lone Pine, CA at 8:30 and drove a few miles to the Manzanar Internment facility just a few miles up the road. This facility has been refurbished and is meant to remember a dark time in American prejudice. After the outbreak of WWII over 100,000 American citizens were forced to live in facilities like the one near Lone Pine. The reason they were imprisoned in places like the one we saw today is because they were Japanese Americans. It didn't matter that many Japanese young men were fighting and dying while defending our country - our leaders back then still wanted Japanese Americans locked up.
Then we made the two hour trek to Yosemite National Park. We spent nine hours in the park and repeated many WOWS. We stopped at a lot of recommended stops, but our favorites were Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Waterfalls, and especially a grove of gigantic Sequoia trees. But even more spectacular than those was Glacier Point. Of all the places we've seen over the past four years, the view at Glacier Point today and the scene at the Grand Canyon three years ago were the two that left us speechless. I defy anyone to stand and look out from Glacier Point and deny God's existence. The panorama includes views of famous formations such as El Capitan, Half Dome, the Yosemite Valley and much much more. If you haven't been - GO!
The good deeds started off early when Pee Wee ate at McDonald's for breakfast. He saw a young man - probably a hiker, who wanted something extra for his breakfast but was a little short with the money he had. As he began to walk dejectedly away from the counter Pee Wee plopped the amount he needed on the counter for him. The smile Pee Wee received made his morning complete. Then when we entered Yosemite we saw two young men - again hikers - asking passing cars for a ride. Like everyone else, we passed them up, then feeling guilty we made a U-turn and came back to see how we could help. We ended up giving them a ride all the way to the other end of Yosemite (about 30 miles) so they could catch a bus to San Francisco. Before we made it there we had become friends. We discovered that they were born and raised in Israel and had recently completed their required tour of duty in the Israeli Army. They flew to this country to hike from the Mexico border to Canada. They were very friendly and intelligent young men. We're even counting our time with them as two good deeds because after we gave them the lift we also supplied them with food and drink. They also got a kick out the Good Deed Doers card we gave them. If I remember correctly, our relations with Israel have been a little strained lately but after our time with Tzur and Shakhaf I think we have fixed any diplomatic problems between our two countries. You're welcome Obama.
The last picture is a little bit of a disappointment. Pee Wee and I tend to have push-up bets from time to time over just about anything. Like the temperature reading when we arrive at a certain place or who will get cell phone service first when leaving a remote area, etc. Every other year I've won almost every bet but he's ahead of me this time. I don't mind the push-ups - the bad part is when you have to pay up with a crowd of tourists looking on.
So three good deeds today and a total of five so far - a little ahead of last year's pace. We're staying in Merced, CA tonight - the hotel is good enough but from the looks of the bars on the doors and windows of the houses nearby, I don't think I'll be going for the morning run I was wanting to take.
We have no idea where we're heading tomorrow - which is kind of like we want it...