Thursday, September 29, 2022

Photos From the Road: A Summer Visit to Lone Pine, Part 1

This year's summer road trip began with a long weekend in Lone Pine, California.

Like our 2021 winter visit to Lone Pine, our trip afforded us the opportunity to do exploring we don't always have time for during our busy Lone Pine Film Festival visits.

I previously wrote about visiting all of Lone Pine's cemeteries on this trip, as well as seeing a wall which is all that remains of Lone Pine as it existed prior to the great earthquake of 1872.

After our morning hike at Red Rock Canyon we rolled into town right on time to eat lunch at our favorite place in Lone Pine, the Alabama Hills Cafe.

The hotels were busy due to the annual Concert in the Rocks taking place that weekend, so instead of our usual motel, the Dow Villa, we stayed at the Best Western Frontier Motel on the south end of town.

It was our first time to stay there, and we thought it was as nice as the Dow. The only drawback is that, unlike the Dow, it's not in the heart of town and thus not in easy walking distance of restaurants and other locations.

The wing of the motel where our room was located had rooms named after actors who worked in Lone Pine, and there was one room -- ours -- named after a movie filmed in the area.

The artwork in the room included framed stills from the "Lone Pine" movies GUNGA DIN (1939)...

...and YELLOW SKY (1948):

Here's a sampling of a few of the other room names:

A few years ago we went on a Lone Pine Festival movie locations tour which included Keeler, 13 miles outside Lone Pine. Several movies were filmed in Keeler, including I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955) with Jack Palance.

We were quite amused to learn that the Best Western where we were staying was another location from that movie! Jack Palance is seen walking through the Best Western parking lot in the film. Please visit the wonderful Sierras/Highway 395 locations blog The Great Silence for a screen shot.

We returned to Keeler this summer for another look. It was rather sad that the vintage gas pumps seen in I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES, which looked like this when I photographed them in 2014... look like this:

We also revisited the old train depot in Keeler, seen in GREED (1924) and the Hopalong Cassidy film SINISTER JOURNEY (1948). I shared photos of the depot along with screen shots of SINISTER JOURNEY at Classic Movie Hub in July.  Here's another shot:

Keeler is an interesting, admittedly slightly creepy semi-ghost town, population roughly 70. It still has a post office:

A scene in Keeler:

Coming soon: Photos From the Road: A Summer Visit to Lone Pine, Part 2.

Additional Summer 2022 road trip posts: Photos From the Road: Red Rock Canyon; Photos From the Road: Lone Pine Cemeteries; A Visit to Marysvale Cemetery.

For my Classic Movie Hub Western RoundUp column: Another Look at Western Movie Locations! (includes additional photos of our visit to Keeler, along with several locations around Moab, Utah); The Violent Men (1955) (includes photos of Lone Pine locations).


Blogger Walter S. said...

Laura, I really enjoy your wonderful write-ups of the LONE PINE country, so much History there. I'm happy that Keller still has some residents. The old ghost mining town that I live nearby doesn't have anyone left. Rush, Arkansas was a thriving mining town over 100 years ago. My wife and I first visited Rush during the Summer of 1982. We learned to not visit there during the summer, because the chiggers will try to eat you alive.

Keep doing what you are doing.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Walter. It seems like the more we get to know Lone Pine, the more there is to know!

I enjoyed hearing about your own local ghost town!

Your reading and comments are always greatly appreciated!

Best wishes,

11:43 AM  

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