Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fun, Now With More Ice!

OK, maybe not so fun.  I really don't dig driving on the stuff.
But regardless, it was time to hoof it down to my pain management doc for another knee injection, so off I go.

Despite the slick roads, the drive was lovely as always.

Plus, the snow made this plaque look cool!

Eventually I got past the snowline.  I always like to try and stop and new and interesting places on highway 395, there are so many.  This time it was the Thien Vien Chan Nguyen Buddhist Temple in Adelanto.  We've watched this place being built for years, and have been waiting to visit it.

It's a bit unnerving to see it at first, it's this huge place rising out of the desert with not much around it.

It was just after the new year celebration, so there were lots of decorations, flowers and offerings.

The marble carvings were stunning, and the attention to detail was amazing.

The plaques were mostly in Vietnamese, with a bit of English.  It left me wishing I knew more about what I was looking at, I'm sure the history behind the sculptures is fascinating.
'...and the experienced ones.'  I love this.

This statue was HUGE.

The shrine at the foot of the statue.

Gorgeous carved marble plates were on all four sides of the base.

When you stand with your back to the huge statue, you face a long avenue flanked by more statues.

This guy looked like a badass you wouldn't want to mess with.

This guy, either.

Shrines were everywhere.  Most held incense, water, little mints and oranges.

Everything was beautifully done

Even something so simple as a lamp post was ornate.

It was marvelously quiet and serene.

I absolutely fell in love with this one, I could have sat and looked at it for hours.

On the steps leading up to the temple.  The temple had amazing stained glass windows, which sadly did not photograph well.

I peeked inside the temple, which was open, but deserted.  I wasn't sure of what was allowed and didn't want to disrespect the place so I did not enter...but it was gorgeous!

I highly recommend stopping here if you are in the area.  There was much more to the grounds that I didn't have time to explore.

After seeing the doc the next morning, I hit the road back home, stopping at one of our traditional stops, Brady's Mobil station in Pearsonville.  Brady's is famous for having one of the few remaining neon 'flying horse' signs, at night the place is glorious.  Also glorious is the touristy crap they sell inside!

Clap friends!  Although I wouldn't call someone who shared that a friend, especially.

I can't see the phrase 'land shark' without hearing it said in Chevy Chase's voice. "Candygram!"

One of the motels on the road has a cool wind sculptures, although they have sensibly tied it down during the windy season.

Another traditional stop, Manzanar.

The view people entering Manzanar had.

They'd added some barracks since I'd been there last.  When Manazanar closed, the barracks had been sold off.  They were able to find a couple, still intact, and reinstalled them, outfitting them inside with what they would have looked like in the 1940's.

Went back and paid my respects at the cemetery.

The recent windstorms had blown away much of the offerings people had left, but some origami was still left.

As I left I spied a small sign...

What?!  OK, this I gotta see!

Sadly, there was nothing but part of a foundation there and another sign.  Although I will say it is the first historical chicken ranch I've ever seen.

Oh well, time to go anyway.
I thought the juxtaposition of the Blue Star highway sign honoring vets with the Manzanar guard tower was striking. 

At least they added a small plaque to the bottom acknowledging the Japanese Americans.

Next was the Eastern California Museum in Independence.

It's a very cool little museum, absolutely stuffed to the gills with interesting stuff, including this huge skull!

Next to this was a mechanical diorama from the 1930's that to it's credit still worked, although it was ungodly noisy.  It had bighorn sheep prancing about and scrolling sheep facts.  At the end was this dire message:

Outside was a wonderland of old farm machines, autos, trucks, etc.

A little western town display.

The world's tiredest-looking Ford.

Farther up the road is a fun, 3D sign advertising Mammoth.

And at one of the rest stops is one of the cleverest public service ads I've seen in a long while.

The last stop was at the grave of the unknown prospector, at the highway 120 cutoff for Mono Mills.  I don't think many people even realize it's here, it's so well-hidden.

After this it was time to beat feet for home.

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