Saturday, January 26, 2008

Posse From Hell (The Alabama Hills Series)

(GPS: N36 38.690 W118 08.040)

One of the reasons I enjoy going to the Alabama Hills area is because it is a movie location playground, but part of what makes it fun are the locations are the same 50-80 years after a movie was filmed there. A lot of the other locations I have been to are completely different than when they were filmed. The principle is that although people change and environments change, rocks pretty much stay the same over time. If we had millions of years to examine these locations, then that would be a different story.

Notice the protruding rock sandwiched just about John Saxon's head and left of Audie Murphy's:

Notice they are on the ground right underneath it. Audie is on his knees. Now, find that same rock in the middle in this next picture. It is in the center, but slightly to the right. Double click if you want a bigger version.
If you spotted it you will notice something strange. The rocks are certainly the same, but John Saxon and Audie Murphy must have been really small to get under that! No. This is an example of the environment changing some. If you watched the video you saw where I panned from the western side to the eastern side. What has happened since this movie was made in 1961 is any water that has run down from the western side past this area to the eastern side brought the sand in. Over time it has piled up. So, it looks like every 15-20 years it has gained 12 inches or so of sand here. If you were to ever stand where they were, your feet would be standing right about where their heads were!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Beale's Cut Pictures (A Stagecoach Location)

(GPS: N 34° 20.530 W 118° 30.570)
Here is a fun one. This one is located near Newhall, CA. It is one that was used a bunch of times in the silent movie era. John Ford used it in four movies. Its most famous use was for a few seconds in the movie Stagecoach. Here it is used there:
The gps coords above will get you to this area along the historic HWY 6. There is a chain fence, but there is an area open so you can get through there. Unfortunately, vandals struck and took them all down. This is all that remains.
Just past the stolen landmarks above to the left side you can go down here. Careful walking over this bridge.
After a short walk up the canyon, which is obvious, but please be careful if you try it someday, is Beale's Cut. If you compare with the above picture from the movie it doesn't look quite the same. The area looks like it either collapsed a bit, or the pass was filled up some. Today, there are many water pipes that go through it.
I went up into the middle of it. This is looking back of where I came from. You can continue through it to the other side, but it looks almost the same over there.
One thing I wanted to do is see where they did the jump across Beale's Cut in some of the old movies. It wasn't a long hike up there, but it was slippery. I had to be very careful going back down. Here I am on what I will call the right side cliff from the pictures above looking over to the left side.
This is looking into Santa Clarita/Newhall area. If you click the picture you can see the refinery remains below, as well as, HWY 14 on the right middle side.
I can't say it looks exactly the same as it used to, but it was a fun area to explore. For more of the history related to this area go here:

The Santa Clarita Valley History of Beale's Cut
Wikipedia Entry
More Trivia
California State Historical Landmark #1006

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008: Where Am I Going This Year?

When I started doing this blog my original intention was to use it to show my friends and relatives what I had been doing. The reason being is I got tired of writing different e-mails to different people or resending pictures to others at different times. I thought it was best just to have this blog and then send links to any entry I have done. I mainly wanted to keep things simple. That I have done, and this blog has been helpful in that regard.

I have received a bunch of e-mail from people in 2007 over this blog. That I never really expected, and I thank everyone because that has been encouraging. You want more of what I have done in the past, and you will get more.

The thing is I really have only done about 65% of what I intended to do with this blog. There is lots of other stuff I want to talk about. Some of the stuff I mention in the description of the blog above I really have not spent much time going over. That I intend to do more of this year. There are a few other areas that I am very well equiped to talk about regarding the more serious issues of won't see me writing about those areas here. I may hint at those issues from time to time, but this blog is a combination of things that I consider fun hobbies.

Of course, the heart and soul of this blog is location hunting. That I will continue to do because there is always something out there. In fact, I have tons of stuff I can put up at any minute, it is just a matter of doing it. With that said, there are some things I would like to put up, but won't. For example, I know where the house they used in the 70's tv show Happy Days is. I won't put that that up, as cool as it is, because it is privately owned. I am sure the people who live there are used to people driving by, but I would rather not post pictures and reveal locations like that. Something like that is probably a google search away, but I am going to stick to my rules on that one except for special circumstances. There are actually a lot of private homes that are easy to get to that are seen in movies; especially in the L.A. area.

This year I want to add more historical types of things than before. I have been to a bunch of museums recently. Those will come out in the next few months. I'll throw in some stuff with animals occasionally for a change of pace at times because I have goofy stuff on videos with that. Finally, more western movie locations will come out this year as usual. Those are easy to do. I already have a bunch ready to go and others that are just a matter of going to the location and actually getting.

So, stay tuned this year. You may not enjoy every single entry I come up with in this blog, there maybe some things you that will be new that you will have no interest in, but you may find some blog entry that interests you this year.