Page 29 of golfkat Travel Blog Posts

This is a must stop for any book lover: There's no denying the significance of San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore, recognized as an official historic landmark for its role in beat culture. But the Last Bookstore has grown along with L.A.'s revitalized downtown and now holds the title of California's largest used and new bookstore. Its 22,000 square feet on two floors of the Spring Arts Tower hold 250,000 books, as well as thousands of vinyl records and graphic novels. The building also includes the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore, which features the gallery shops of local artists and mind-boggling installation art, such as a tunnel made from stacks of old tomes. And this: Not only is the Los Angeles Central Library ... read more
Entrance on 5th
Creative displays
Love the book sculptures

I have long wanted to visit this museum in Los Angeles, but until today, May 13, never found the right opportunity. I found it today, by attending the Asian Pacific Islanders and Historic Preservation Community Symposium at the museum. Among the current exhibits: New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei March 12 - August 20, 2017 New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei explores the life and career of pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon George Takei. By examining Takei’s diverse experiences and achievements, this entertaining and interactive exhibition creates a portrait of a unique individual while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America. GK: His YouTube conversations about Relocation are very inter... read more
Gila River Relocation Camp, Arizona
Moving day
JA Museum Los Angeles

Where in the heck is Lone Pine, CA? In the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills, not far from the Manzanar War Relocation Center (just north of Lone Pine). Can you imagine living here for almost four years? This area is called, for lack of a better term, "the "frontier"!!! In 1872, an earthquake almost destroyed the town, and killed 27 residents. Coming from Los Angeles and other communities in California and Washington, Manzanar’s internees were unaccustomed to the harsh desert environment. Summer temperatures soared as high as 110ºF. In winter, temperatures frequently plunged below freezing. The elevation is 4000 feet above sea level. Throughout the year strong winds swept through the valley, often blanketing the camp with dust and sand. Internees covered knotholes in the floors with tin can lids and scrap paper, but dust ... read more
Two brothers, one soon to be drafted and sent to Europe!
Much better than it really was!
Nice artistic depiction of camp

My grandparents, both maternal and paternal, were sent to relocation camps in Arizona. None of my family were in Manzanar, but rather Poston and Gila, Arizona, as well as Jerome, Arkansas camps. My parents actually met at Gila River, and got a weekend pass to get married in Phoenix. But the path along Highway 395 leads to Manzanar. Manzanar National Historic Site The sprawling desert site was the first of 10 camps used by the U.S. military to confine Japanese Americans and their families during World War II. A marker near the entrance says, "May the injustice and humiliation suffered here as a result of hysteria, racism, and economic exploitation never emerge again." The visitor center has 8,000 square feet given over to exhibits and offers an outstanding 22-minute film called "Remembering Manzanar." It turns out ... read more
Sad times for all!
That could have been me!
They had to rent toys since they could not bring any!

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage April 13th 2017

Please bear with me, excuse the pun. Here are some thoughts and observations about this great state and its friendly people. I got invited to a village whale harvest dinner in June by a member of a local tribe. She said her village gets 5 strikes to harpoon a whale or more. They make food from the whale, harvest the skin and oil, and use the blubber for various native traditions. Lots of smokers up here, must go along with the long, cold winter nights, or just boredom. Mental illness and drug use also big issues. The staff of my two tours have been mostly outstanding. They even know how to set every camera for the Aurora photos. They are safe drivers, and really know their Alaskan history, and wilderness facts. The ice on the Yukon ... read more
Standing in front of the Trans Alaska pipeline
Standing on the Arctic Circle

North America » United States » Alaska » Denali April 13th 2017

I am taking the train back to Anchorage on Sunday. Alaska Railroad (the Aurora Winter Train) has year around service throughout the state. It was originally named Alaska Central Railway in 1903, starting in Seward and extending north about 50 miles. Then in 1910, they reorganized into Alaska Northern Railway and added another 21 miles to Kern Creek. Our government lent a hand in 1914 (wasn't that in the middle of WW1?), with $35 million to extend the railway to Anchorage. Merely a tent town as of 1915, Anchorage gets going and the railway moves its headquarters here. In 1923, President Warren Harding drives in a gold spike at Nenana, completing the railroad between Seward and Anchorage. But Harding suffers food poisoning on his way home in San Francisco, and dies. With only 5400 people living ... read more
We had 3 coach cars
We saw Dall sheep on the hillsides
It is a long way down!

I am headed to Denali tomorrow. I need to rest today, having got back from the Aurora hunt at 5am this morning. Plus, I have to watch the Masters. Denali National Park in Alaska is a mere 6 million acres of wild land, bisected by a single road. The nation's highest peak stands there, Denali, formerly Mt. McKinley, at 20, 320 feet. An old prospector named it Mount McKinley in 1897. Denali means "the high one" in Athabaskan language. With legalized marijuana, we attach the name Denali to anyone smoking! How did it happen? "More than a century ago, two remarkable men spent the winter in a cabin not far from the Toklat River. Their experience and interaction with the wild landscape changed them. In turn, they came to have a profound influence on preserving the ... read more
Frozen falls
A cloudy day but beautiful anyway
Quiet Denali Park

North America » United States » Alaska » Tok April 12th 2017

World Atlas website says: The Arctic is a region of the planet, north of the Arctic Circle, and includes the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Baffin Island, other smaller northern islands, and the far northern parts of Europe, Russia (Siberia), Alaska and Canada. The Arctic Circle, incidentally, is an imaginary line located at 66º, 30'N latitude, and as a guide defines the southernmost part of the Arctic. The climate within the Circle is very cold and much of the area is always covered with ice. In the mid winter months, the sun never rises and temperatures can easily reach lows of - 50º F in the higher latitudes. In the summer months (further south), 24 hours of sunlight a day melts the seas and topsoil, and is the main cause of icebergs breaking off from the frozen north ... read more
The famous Trans Alaskan pipeline
bush plane from Fairbanks
Coldfoot, Alaska

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks April 12th 2017

Auroras are natural light displays in the sky, usually seen at night, and particular to the polar regions. They occur in the ionosphere, and are called polar auroras. They are most commonly visible between 65 and 72 degrees north and south latitudes, which would place it in a ring just inside the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. In the north, it is known as the Aurora Borealis, named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, so named by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. The Aurora Borealis is also known as the northern lights, and is visible in the sky only from the Northern Hemisphere. The southern counterpart, the aurora australis, is visible only from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, and Australia. And Auroras can be observed from ... read more
Not far from the Yukon River

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks April 12th 2017

Just a short flight up from Anchorage lies the mysterious city of Fairbanks. This city is known as the gateway to the Aurora, and to Denali. At 64 degrees north latitude, it is known for sunsets and sunrises that last forever. Yet, for only about 35,000 residents, it garners more than its fair share of publicity. And it is less than 120 miles to the Arctic Circle. Why am I here? To see the famous Northern Lights. the Aurora Borealis, of course. The city is relatively new, having been founded in 1901 by Captain E.T. Barnette, while he was headed to Tanacross. He set up a trading post after meeting up with some gold prospectors. But the new settlement was named after a Republican senator from Indiana, Charles W. Fairbanks, later the 26th Vice-President on the ... read more
Downtown Fairbanks
Alaskan Highway

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