Monday, April 19, 2021

A Winter Visit to Lone Pine, Part 1

Last month we spontaneously decided to spend a long weekend in Lone Pine on just a couple days' notice.

It was fantastic to get away after so many months at home, and the businesses up and down Highway 395, which were hit hard by the pandemic, are grateful for business. We hadn't been to Lone Pine in the winter months before, and the snow-capped mountains made for some striking photography.

This weekend's release of the Western Movies podcast on Lone Pine prompted me to sort through my photographs for a couple of photo posts. In Part 1 I'll look at scenes around town, including a couple of interesting movie locations, and later this week I've scheduled a post featuring shots in the Alabama Hills, along with Lone Pine's newly refurbished neon signs.

As we approached town in late afternoon we drove past Anchor Ranch, familiar from THE VIOLENT MEN (1955). Click on the photo to enlarge it for a look at the wooden anchor.

We've been wanting to visit Copper Top BBQ, which is in Big Pine, about half an hour up Highway 395 past Lone Pine.

We've heard great things about Copper Top, and it did not disappoint! Below, green chili with beans and a pulled pork sandwich.

They even have a vending machine with vacuum-sealed barbecue which can be purchased "for the road." It was well worth the trip.

As we headed back south to Lone Pine at dusk we passed Manzanar, a haunting sight at twilight.

We woke up to a beautiful morning in Lone Pine. We delighted in the snowy peaks...

...and striking cloud formations.

As I shared last year, Frosty is a statue of the owner's beloved horse, who doubled famous horses in the movies, including in Hopalong Cassidy films.

The Frosty Chalet promises to return for the summer season in May.

I always get a kick out of Lone Pine's very unique McDonald's. Longtime readers may recall that horses have been seen in the drive-through on occasion.

During last October's Virtual Lone Pine Film Festival I watched a couple of films directed by Robert F. Hill, who liked to film on the streets of Lone Pine as well as in the Alabama Hills. One of those films, THE PHANTOM OF THE RANGE (1936), starred Tom Tyler and is on YouTube.

At the 6:10 mark in the video, Tyler can be seen riding his horse up Bush Street in Lone Pine, past these two buildings at the intersection of Washington Street. As seen comparing this photo to the movie, the location has changed little today, other than the smaller building having a different roof:

Looking at the intersection from a different angle, Tyler approaches from the right in the movie, heading into the intersection.

Like many places in town, our favorite Alabama Hills Cafe currently offers outdoor seating. The Cafe built what looks like a permanent patio area in the street, and I hope it stays long term.

You just can't find a better French dip and fries than at the Alabama Hills Cafe!

One evening we got Mexican food from the Bonanza restaurant. Although we've eaten at many of the restaurants in town, this was a first-time visit for us. The food was good, the service was friendly, and we'll definitely be back in the future.

The Museum of Western Film History recently reopened a few days a week:

I was limiting my time indoors until being fully vaccinated so I skipped the museum exhibits on this visit, but I did pop into the gift shop. I found a wonderful book on movie locations, ARIZONA'S LITTLE HOLLYWOOD, by Joe McNeill.

The book focuses on Northern Arizona, around Sedona and the Flagstaff area where our son went to college, and is impressively thick (680 pages) and detailed, with glossy photographs throughout. We'll be using this as a reference to explore Arizona movie locations in the future! Highly recommended.

In my next post we'll travel into the Alabama Hills, visit the area where the finale of RIDE LONESOME (1959) was filmed, and take a look at Lone Pine's refurbished neon signs.


Blogger Vienna said...

Lone Pine is becoming quite a magical place to me. I love all your posts and photos. That book Arizona’s Little Hollywood looks to be a must buy!

1:38 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm delighted to hear that! Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could visit?

The book is really excellent. The first chapter I read was on ANGEL AND THE BADMAN, and I was really impressed by the level of research and detail.

Best wishes,

9:29 AM  

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