Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Iverson Ranch Part 3 (Garden of the Gods)

For my final entry on Iverson Ranch I went across the steet from the Lone Ranger Rock. I posted one picture before in a previous entry showing what the rock looked like from across the street on the public trail in the Garden of the Gods area. Here is another looking slightly to the right of the rock and more south(ish). You can see the Cliff of Nyoka.
Continuing along the trail more to the west you run into a few well seen rocks.
It looks like something out of Easter Island. I have seen these rocks many times. Usually horses are taken by the rocks above and below. You can see the trail below. I have seen this area many times, but can't recall too many tv shows or movies off hand right now with this.

If you go between the two rocks you end up at a area that eventually dead ends. Coincidently, I watched a Have Gun Will Travel episode The Monster of Moon Ridge recently. This "horror" episode written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry has part of the episode at Iverson. The following area is where Paladin (Richard Boone) takes the father who is trying to find out why his daughter disapeared. Paladin takes him here to discover the secret of Moon Ridge.
The problem I have with some tv series is they don't explore the scenery as much as movies. They do closeups of the characters rather than show the area. There is some trace of the area in this episode.
If you look at the episode picture there is a three part rock. If you compare them to these two pictures you should see the lines in the second rock are the same. It is the line that is by Richard Boone's right arm; there are two lines...find one and line them up. I do not know if the angle is right compared to the episode picture. I would have to go back and compare. The problem is the background does not line up just right. My gut feeling is they are slightly to the right of the above picture. The hills would probably match up a bit more if the rocks in this picture were not there. Either way in all of this, like I tried to say before, there are many houses in the area now and the sad fact is there is not much left of what you have seen before in the movies and on television.

Next up, my hiking trip into Death Valley and the Mystery of a CIA Aircraft. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Iverson Ranch Part 2 (The Lone Ranger Rock Video)

The following video is an updated version of the one I originally had when I created this blog entry. This new video was done during the summer of 2011. It has been a long time in coming after many delays. So, here it is:

The next blog covers the Garden of the Gods pictures.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Iverson Ranch Part 1 (The Lone Ranger)

(GPS: N 34° 16.440 W 118° 36.610)

Recently, I took some pictures at Iverson Ranch where a lot of movies were made. If a movie studio did not want to do a lot of traveling for a movie they would just go to one of the local ranches to make their movie. They area is not as scenic as what you would see at the Alabama Hills or Monument Valley, but it is a cheaper alternative.

With the creation of the 118 highway it made it difficult to come to the ranch since the issue of car sounds being caught on film was a problem. So, the area has developed into many houses and what you might have seen in movie at one time does not exist anymore. There is very little left of those old days.

A few things remain. The famous Lone Ranger Rock shown in the opening title to the series remains along with an area known as Garden of the Gods. Let me start off by showing the famous rock:

The ground where I am standing was not very solid. The dirt felt like it was eroding under my feet. The big problem is trying to get to the rocks since there really isn’t a trail to it. There is a street nearby, then you have to scramble and bushwhack to get to it. Although the rock is not on private property you do have to be careful in how you get to it.

Behind and to the right is the Cliff of Nyoka:
Here is how the other side of the street looks leading to the Garden of the Gods which is a small part of the ranch owned by the city. There is a small trail over there. I will show a little of the public area in one of my next entries.
As I mentioned, the biggest problem I had is I did not feel too comfortable walking around the area since it is near private property. Here is the way it used to look in 1952:
Here it is today:

There are signs warning about security and such. I don’t blame them for that. It is sad that such a well known area has turned into this though.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out of the Past (Part 3)

Twin Lakes, CA (Outside Bridgeport)

I don't have gps coordinates for this area even though I know it very well. Twin Lakes is about 13 miles outside of Bridgeport. It is two lakes that are divided by a small dam and bridge. At the beginning of Out of the Past Robert Mitchum is fishing at one of the lakes. He remarks that the fish are not biting which, coincidentally, is what people often say when fishing these lakes.

For some time I believed the above picture was taken at Lower Twin. Lower Twin is the lake you first see as you drive into the area and the lake, Upper Twin, drains into. It seemed about right because everything I read online and in books said it was Lower Twin. Let me show why there is a problem by thinking this.
This is Lower Twin. I marked Matterhorn Peak, but notice if the above movie picture was taken at Lower Twin then you should see a lot more of those mountains around there. Let me show a picture from where I originally thought it was at the shoreline of Lower Twin.
In the movie picture the features are a lot closer. So, this can't be the area. Before I show Upper Twin let me show you a picture from one of my favorite trails looking back down into this area I took this above picture from.
You can see a little of Upper Twin and then most of Lower Twin in this picture. Bridgeport Lake can barely be seen in the background. A very lovely four hour hike that I enjoy doing almost every other day or so while I spend my summer there. Okay, back to where the movie picture should be.
This is not the exact area. Unfortunately, I do not have anything that close. Maybe the next time. (EDIT: SEE LINK BELOW) This however does show the two main hump mountains. If you compare this one with the movie picture above you should see that I am in the right area. All I have to do is go further to the right and probably around the lake a bit then I would find the right area.
Since most people never encounter this area during the winter due to avalanches I thought I would show a few pictures right after a major snowstorm. It was very white and gray on this day. I did not enjoy it at the time since it meant I could not hike where I wanted, but you can see the beauty in the snow filled areas.
This ends my little section on the film noir Out of the Past. If you have not see it you should because it is a classic of the genre. The areas I show aren't the only ones in the movie. The movie takes place over many different areas.

(EDIT: GO HERE: OUT OF THE PAST AT UPPER TWIN LAKE (CORRECTION)

Out of the Past Locations (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past Locations (Vimeo Version)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Out of the Past (Part 2)

(GPS: N38 15.340 W119 13.735)

The gps coords should get you pretty close to this location. It is on School Street. Here our antagonist tries to find out from the deaf boy where Robert Mitchum is. In the movie this is where Mitchum's gas station is and apparently it was one at one time. Now it is the volunteer fire station. Lets compare the movie picture with mine:
Notice what looks like a church like building in the back. That was actually the old school house. Today, in my picture below is the new school house. Notice that the small house is still there and the telephone pole. The house behind the small one (or connected to it) looks like it was added on to over the years.One thing about the old school house is it was taken down and transported to a park area behind the courthouse. It is now the Mono County Museum located at N38 15.415 W119 13.825.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Out of the Past (Part 1)

(GPS: N38 15.390 W119 13.450)

I thought I would do a few entries over an area I know very well. The scenes take place in and near the town of Bridgeport, CA. The 395 highway goes right through it. The movie is titled Out of the Past and stars Robert Mitchum. It is usually considered a film noir top 10 movie. It really is my favorite film noir for a bunch of reasons.

The first picture I want to show is from the main house they show in the movie. Even though it is a historic old house that I have a few pictures of I decided I will not post them here mainly because it is privately owned. The gps coords are nearby and to be honest you can't miss it if you are driving into the town heading north. It is the first house past the bridge on the right. In the 1950's my grandmother actually wanted to purchase this house, but other property was purchased instead.
At the beginning of the movie one of the antagonists is looking for Robert Mitchum and drives into the town. Notice the what looks like a tower on the right. That is actually the old courthouse.
This next picture is a little further back compared to the movie picture. It is the 395, but just as you enter town. To get a picture close to the movie one I would have to continue up the road a bit.
The next picture our antagonist heads to the local coffee shop. In the movie as he approaches from a different angle it seems to have a different name. However, I know this store rather well these days as something else...
Today, this is actually Ken's Sporting Goods. I usually go in there and also visit the gift shop right next to it at least once a year. At one time, long before the movie was made, it was a saloon. In my picture you can see the courthouse right next to it.
In my next entry I will show a few more scene areas nearby.

Out of the Past Locations (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past Locations (Vimeo Version)