Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tribute to John Wayne #6 (True Grit at Hot Creek)

(GPS: N37 39.750 W118 49.650)

Some years back I was reading an exchange back and forth on an e-mail list about various movies filmed in California. At one point a person had mentioned True Grit, along with others, being filmed in California. One of the next messages was something like, "Oh no! True Grit was filmed in Colorado. I lived there. I have been all around California and nothing there looks like Colorado!"

When I had read that I thought, "He is for a shock. The best scene in the movie takes place in California!" Well, maybe best scene is debatable, but it does take place at Hot Creek. Certainly Colorado is a beautiful place and most of True Grit was filmed there, but for some reason they chose this place to film this scene.

This area of Hot Creek was the one I was after this particular morning. I had driven up HWY 395 almost six hours that morning. I had about another hour I had to drive before I could get to the summer home. I had been at another nearby location I may show at another time. Even though I adjust to high elevations pretty quickly, driving long periods and then walking around areas starts to get me tired. I was starting to fatigue, but I told myself that it was important I get this area then I would be done.

True Grit was what got John Wayne his Best Actor Academy Award for his potrayal of Rooster Cogburn. This scene is the one where he confronts the men in this small house. He has them "smoked out" by having the top of the chimney covered so the smoke stays inside.
In the last blog I was down below on the other side of this picture. I knew I had to do some climbing which usually is not that big of deal, but considering that I had been up since around 3am and had driven a few hundred miles the fatigue was starting to kick in.

I felt pretty good about this picture. What I call the "island barge" in the middle is the my main point of reference with the movie picture. It looks like the land next to where the house was has broken off over the years. A few rocks are the same, but like I mentioned in the last few blogs this is an area where the geological features have changed due to its environment.
In the previous blog about Nevada Smith I mentioned that Brian Keith was camping down here. This is essentially the same area used in that movie. If you watch that movie all the rock formations in the distance they show are the same. Here is John Wayne near the "island barge" confronting the men in the house.
This is the main picture I was after that day and probably my favorite.
It looks like they filmed this scene sometime around October to get that orange look. Mine has the August green look. Almost anytime of the year, except during the late summer time on a dry year, you will see snow on the mountains in the background. Usually, sometime during September or October the first snow fall will leave snow on some of the mountains.
I wanted to show the rocky cliff formations on the other side of the creek.
You can see how they have the trail that keeps one out the areas below. Look for the moon between the goal posts. ;)
What you do not see in the above pictures is there was a lot of steam coming out of the creek near where the small home was in this movie. I will show that next time.

Having Grit at Hot Creek (Youtube Version)

Having Grit at Hot Creek (Vimeo Version)

For the video I used the following music from Incompetech:  Americana, Crusade, and In the West.