The Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West – a project of the Wing Luke Museum and the USDA Forest Service – had historic moments, personal reflections about Chinese pioneers, thoughts about family histories and, well, hours and hours of life on the bus.
This post is primarily for the 35 or so people who participated in this year’s rolling history project which included visits in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada. It’s for the public, too.
But on Sunday evening – the day before the trip ends with flights back to Seattle – members gathered for dinner and talked about how life on the bus gave them a way to meet different people, learn about their lives, think about Chinese and Chinese American history and, in a way, move and inspire them.
Yes, all on a bus. It happens. Stories and friendships can unfold anywhere.
So, in that spirit, here are some selected images taken on Saturday, July 24, 2010 – when traveling, visits and a repair from Boise, Idaho to Virginia City, Nevada lasted about 16 hours.
Yes, it was hot, too, so much so that some of the younger people on the trip placed ice on their arms and heads.
It is safe to say that it is highly unlikely that the same experiences in those 16 hours will ever be repeated – which, in a way, makes for some great (and yes, hot) memories.
These images are of morning exercises.
At first, tour members relaxed in their seats.
Then, they were asked to take some photocopied passages and move their eyes left and right.
After that, they moved on to hand exercises, including stretching of the fingers.
Still, more hand stretching for people onboard.
Pressing hands together also was part of the morning movements.
Soon, bottles of water had been passed out, enabling people to do more exercises.
Arm curls with water bottles were spotted, too.
Overhead stretches with the water bottles, well, capped the exercises off.
Later, tour members reviewed June 1870 census data, in photocopied form of course, for Placerville, Nevada. Placerville was a Chinese mining town in which the miners lived in dugouts.
Census data – in this case of the nation in 1870 – of the Chinese in America also was reviewed, this time on an iPad.
It is a popular phrase, but an apt one, for life on the bus: Let the good times roll.