Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Iron Man Cave Location

(GPS: N36 30.990 W117 49.580)

The Iron Man dvd will be out on September 30. I recently visited the "cave" location. The shots in the scene are very quick, and I really did not have much to work with. Let me tell you the story...

This is one I have wanted to check out for a while now. I drove by at the end of July, but the road to Cerro Gordo was closed since work was being done on it. That was a bit frustrating and is one of the possible problems I have encountered with my location hunts. There are so many things that can go wrong, and the thought, "I have to come back here again," is not one I like.

On the way home a few weeks ago I drove back to Keeler, CA which is near Lone Pine, but on the other side of Owens (Dry) Lake. The road to Cerro Gordo (N36 29.180 W117 52.010) is where I pulled off at. The signs say you need a 4-wheel drive, but to get to the area I went to, which is into the canyon, looks like you can get by on a 2-wheel drive. Again, the sign said the road was closed. I thought about it and just decided to hike up the road and see if I would be forced to turn around.

Now hiking to this location was not too pleasant. Had I not been in good shape from a bunch of hikes I might have decided to turn around. In fact, I did turn around.

Finding this area was not easy. I thought I would just have to enter the canyon area, but they went much deeper than I thought they did to film this sequence. As I mentioned above, after walking more than an hour to this point at a very fast rate and taking sips out of my only drink (a gatorade bottle) I decided to turn around. The sun had just come up from the east side into the canyon. I could not see very well in trying to compare the few pictures I had with the landscape around me. I did not have the time to stick around, and it was starting to get warmer in what would end up being a very hot day. I was disappointed in that I thought for sure I would find this area.

Then, on the way down, I noticed a few rock formations that had been in my mind's eye. I got my pictures and started comparing them. I found it was one of the places that I had passed on the way up. It was definately not the way I visualized it. The area where the cave was located is more on the eastern side rather than on the western side. The bad news is, like I mentioned in the video, is that it was 9 a.m., the sun had just come up over the east side, and the conditions for video and pictures were terrible. So, I realized that I would have to come again someday, but I tried to make the most of the situation with what I could. I held my picture folder in one hand to block out the sun while I took a few pictures and video. Some of the pictures:

The cave entrance you see is not part of the natural environment and is the cave they "inserted" for the movie. I had hoped that the rock between the red and green ones I circled would be there, but that was part of the cave set. So, without the cave, I really had little to go on in trying to reproduce this shot. One thing I always do is try to look for rock formations that are unique. I found only two "major ones." You may have to click both pictures see them in a bigger format to see this.
The cave would have been just on the other side of the road. Those rocks seem to have been bulldozed over in front of where the cave was after the filming of the movie. I assume they cleared out the road a bit. If and when I go back, I will probably move to the right of this picture a bit. This was the only angle I could get at the time, without having spots on my picture, due to the way the sun was shining down on me. Now looking back down to the western side:
These were the rocks I saw that I knew I had the right place. This area below is where the firefight took place:
It is interesting that the road is on a slope so they were not filming everything on a level road. At least that is the way the road is when I was there.

Someday I will head back and take pictures and video later in the day. The pictures are good enough for now. BTW, I have never been to Cerro Gordo. It is privately owned, but you can visit there. Some interesting mining history and a few movies have had scenes there. I do not have a real desire to go there, but you never know. Refer to the following link for more info:

Cerro Gordo Official Site