Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back From the Sierras!

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!


Blogger Dana said...

Hey there Laura, welcome back!!

7:34 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Welcome home. Sounds like a nice trip. Looking forward to hearing about the dog :)

8:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks very much! :)

8:17 PM  
Blogger jau said...

And good to have you back! It's not the same without you. Though I do hope you had a great time!!!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, Anne, I appreciate it! We had a great time.

Looking forward to catching up with your blog, too! Paid a short visit to take a peek and will be back soon.

Best wishes,

10:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

"a supporting actor from STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE: ATLANTIS"

Awesome! I also watched him in China Beach and Star Trek: Voyager. I've been wondering how your daughter was doing since Stargate's over. There is great mourning going on at my house. What did your daughter think of the finale?

Great photos. I really enjoy reading about the history behind the movies.

4:16 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Good to see you back and that you had a good time. I very much enjoyed your photos and "trip report" of the Film Museum.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Mrs. H.H., she was "pleased" with the finale, though "not overwhelmingly impressed" with it. What did you all think of it?

Like your family, she is very sad. She watches ATLANTIS but doesn't like it nearly as much as SG-1, due to its darker tone. She is glad that at least there are direct-to-DVD SG-1 movies coming! She says one will wrap up the Ori plot and one is on time travel, if you hadn't already heard that yourself. She likes the Gateworld website for info.

My husband had also seen Picardo on VOYAGER. :) Although he looked kind of familiar, I didn't recognize him when he walked into the store, as I hadn't watched his shows. He has an interesting background, including Yale.

Thank you, J.C., glad you enjoyed the photos!

Best wishes,

10:49 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Sorry I missed your return! Looks like you had a great time and look forward to seeing more photos!

4:23 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks Cathy!!

1:40 PM  

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