AOKI's CrossCountry Trek 2008 travel blog

We got underway from Las Vegas a little later than planned. By 3:30 we stopped for a break. Much to our amazement we saw snow on the ground in Telehachi, just west of Mojave. When you think of desert I certainly don't think of snow. At that point we knew we'd be too tire to make it all the way to Oakland.

I called Navy Lodging and was able to get a two room suite for $40 for the night at NAS Lemoore. My first duty station in the Navy in 1971 was Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA. It still is in the middle of nowhere. (175 miles from LA and SF, 100 miles from the Ocean and Mountains and 50 miles south of Fresno. The Welcome Aboard brochure calls it centrally located) There is nothing near it for miles. When people ask me where Lemoore is I tell them look at a map of California, take a dart and aim for dead center.

When I was station there, I lived in the next town over Hanford. There was nothing there and it too was in the middle of nowhere. We stayed at Lemoore Saturday night and dined in Hanford. I had remembered a wonderful restaurant I used to love to dine and with the help of my Navy friend LaVonne who I phoned in Hawaii, we came up with the name, "the Imperial Dynasty." The Imperial Dynasty restaurant was a five-star restaurant in Hanford. The restaurant was founded in 1883 in Hanford's Chinatown, and was run by the same family for four generations. Richard Wing combined French and Chinese cooking in the 1960s to create one of the first fusion cuisines. The restaurant was known for many things. It has been complimented on its Chinese cuisine, excellent service, escargots (which were my favorite), and atmosphere. We found the restaurant, but the restaurant closed in early 2006 and had been out of business for two years. The family hopes to reopen it.

We talked to a wonderful gentleman and lady who run the Taoist Temple and museum which was next door and found a good Chinese restaurant for Warr Wonton Soup. The town of Hanford has really grown. I found the house I had owned on LaVaca Way, but did not try to see the inside. Lemoore now has an Indian Casino, but after a week in Las Vegas we really didn't want to do anymore casinos. It was really cold at night and warmer during the day. I guess I didn't realize how tired we were as we both went to bed early and were asleep before 9 PM. We were up early and on the road the next morning as we needed to be home in Oakland by 1 PM Sunday.

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