Monthly Archives: August 2013

Battleship USS Iowa

IMG_4161Last weekend, we were pleased to meet up with a friend from New Zealand, Phil Rickerby.  Phil attends our church back home, and he had spent the previous month back-packing around Canada, before spending a week in California.  We invited Phil to spend the weekend with us, so we drove down to LA to pick him up.  Before we headed back home, we went to San Pedro to tour around the USS Iowa battleship.

 

IMG_4129The USS Iowa, known as the “Battleship of Presidents,” since it has hosted more US presidents than any other battleship, including Roosevelt, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, opened as a museum in July, 2012.  The tour on the battleship is essentially self-guided, which takes approximately 90 minutes.  While the museum is still being completed, there are several guides stationed around the battleship to answer any questions, and an interesting gift store.  Of particular interest is the bathtub that was installed specifically for President Roosevelt.

IMG_4206Built in 1940, the USS Iowa saw four decades of action through World War 2, the Korean War and the Cold War.  In 1989, an explosion occurred in the Number Two 16-inch gun turret during a firing exercise, in which 47 crew members were killed and over a dozen injured.  This proved to blight, an otherwise impeccable record of the battleship during it’s time in action. After finally being  decommissioned in 1990, the battleship was used as a training vessel, until it’s arrival in the Port of Los Angeles.

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Yosemite

IMG_2781Every year, a family at Placerita Baptist Church runs a ministry, whereby they organize a camping trip to Yosemite National Park.   They have been running this ministry for a number of years, so much so, that Yosemite has become their “home away from home,” and now their trip has become incredibly popular.  As a result, it is often difficult to get a spot as places fill up fast. However, we were blessed to be able to go this year.

IMG_3937After four days in Lake Tahoe, we headed south and drove to Yosemite National Park.  We took the east entrance to the park via the Tioga pass, and this proved to be a bit of a masterstroke (completely by accident, of course), as we were able to view a large portion of the park as we made our way to the Yosemite Valley.  The road was slow, but easy, and incredibly spectacular.  We were hoping to see some wildlife whilst at Yosemite, and things seemed to get off to a good start as within minutes of entering the park, we had to stop the car as a deer ambled across the road right in front of us.

IMG_3978While at Yosemite, we stayed at Housekeeping Camp, situated in the Yosemite valley and beside the very scenic Merced River.  Who would have thought it, but there was also a nearby beach on the river, where the children, and parents for that matter, could go swimming.  The cabins were constructed from concrete, where three of the walls were solid concrete and the fourth ‘wall’ was a thick curtain.  A wooden fence enclosed the front of the cabin, thus creating a front porch area – perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining.  In separate building were the restrooms and showers.  Yes, we were indeed camping!  At Housekeeping, we also had amazing views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, right on our doorstep.  It was truly amazing to wake up to a further display of God’s amazing power as evidenced in His creation.

IMG_2871By staying in the Yosemite Valley, we were able to explore some of the incredible sights that Yosemite had to offer.  For the next few days, we hiked, cycled and shuttled throughout the spectacular Yosemite Valley, viewing the incredible mountains, the plunging waterfalls and serene meadows.  We also explored the other camps in the valley and their respective gift stores.  We had a great time at Yosemite, and sharing the experience with members of our church made it much better.  We spent each evening gathered around a campfire, getting to know others better and participating in great fellowship.  We are thankful for the time spent here.