We're back from a wonderful trip! Thanks so much for all the good wishes posted last week.
We had an enjoyable drive north up the 395, which found us shopping for jerky and eating breakfast in lonely Olancha alongside a supporting actor from STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE: ATLANTIS. The rest of the family, particularly my 18-year-old daughter, are all STARGATE crazy, so seeing someone from SG-1, almost in the middle of nowhere, was a lot of fun. He appeared to be traveling with his daughter so we didn't approach them, simply enjoyed the unexpected "sighting" experience.
After our stops in Olancha, it was on to Lone Pine and the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Film History:
The ladies working at the museum couldn't have been nicer. They gave us directions to Movie Road -- heading north from the museum on the 395, you turn left at the town's only stoplight, Whitney Portal Road, which takes you straight to Movie Road in the Alabama Hills:
The brown sign in the background says "Point of Historic Interest" (click on the photo for a larger look) and points down Movie Road, where hundreds of Westerns have been shot since the silent era.
Some of the striking scenery in the Alabama Hills outside Lone Pine:
More of the Alabama Hills:
The site below can be seen in the background of RAWHIDE and SEVEN MEN FROM NOW. We used a museum-provided map and Dave Holland's great book ON LOCATION IN LONE PINE to "treasure hunt" for movie sites.
We also believe we found the location of YELLOW SKY, but those photos were taken with old-fashioned film; however, I'll get a CD-Rom when the photos are developed so I may share those in future.
The Museum of Film History was small but nice, with room to improve exhibits as future fund-raising allows. Front and center when you walk in the door is the stagecoach from RAWHIDE. Props, stills, and movie posters from films shot in the Lone Pine area are included among the exhibits. One of the most impressive exhibits, which will hopefully be displayed to even greater effect in future, is a collection of cowboy hats "personally owned" by a large number of Western stars. The amount of "star power" represented by the hats alone was dazzling.
The museum has a small theater which shows a 15-minute movie about filming in Lone Pine. They did a good job with it, although the film buff in me would have enjoyed something even longer, with more movie scenes and comparisons to the actual locations.
The museum is preserving a valuable slice of film history, and movie fans may want to consider it as a possibility for donations.
Apparently there is another film museum on the horizon, as we found this sign a little further up Main Street (aka the 395):
After saying farewell to Lone Pine, we continued up the 395 and spent the night at one of our favorite hotels, in Bishop. In the morning we fortified ourselves at the bakery before moving on to outlet shopping in Mammoth Lakes. Then to Bridgeport and our campsite along Robinson Creek, near Lower Twin Lake, where we spent a week.
To top it all off, we came home to our newly adopted dog! That is a saga in and of itself, but we are now adjusting to life as first-time dog owners. The little Chihuahua mutt who chose us as his family is named Chance -- quick, name the John Wayne movie which inspired his name! His name is also a nod to Sam Elliott's character in the short-lived Western series THE YELLOW ROSE.
More to come soon about the trip and other "miscellaneous musings" I've collected over the past week. It's good to be back!