Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miner Vincent's Cabin

(GPS: N34 22.075 W117 44.665)

In the last two blogs I covered the Big Horn Mine. There was one more thing I wanted to check out before leaving. I backtracked about half of the hike. I reached this point below and turned around. If you stay on the wagon trail then you get to the Big Horn Mine, but there is a small trail that you can't really see in the middle of the picture that drops down, and you head to left.
About a 1/4 of mile later I went off trail to my right and encountered the following cabin.
This is the Miner Vincent Cabin. It has been worked on in order to keep it around as a historical artifact. The inside of the cabin:
Here is some sort of tray. I assume that a lot of what you see in here is just stuff that has been added to give it a historical look rather than being original items owned by the miners. I could be wrong though.
Miner Vincent was a hermit that kept his cabin closed up most of the time. The open window areas would have been closed up.
Here is looking back out.
I will list a PDF file below you can read if you want to find out more about Vincent. Long story short, he was a Civil War Vet., went west to Arizona, and then ended up here working at the Big Horn Mine he helped discover.

While he was dying in a hospital he revealed that he and a friend that were working a claim in Arizona had killed three men in self-defense. Although it does not appear he was ever sought after for possible murder charges he came further west and changed his name around to confuse any possible avengers. Since he was a war veteran he was allowed to be buried at the National Cemetery in Los Angeles.

That covers the hike I did almost a year ago. My other goal was to make the connection to his gravesite. I did that a few weeks ago. This was my main purpose of coming to the cemetery. There were a few more graves I looked for, but this is the one I was after.

The name he was known as in California was Charles Tom Vincent. His real name was Charles Vincent Dougherty. That was the name he was received his Civil War pension checks from, but no one ever knew because he would always go to Los Angeles to receive them himself. The PDF talks more about the mystery life he was living.

GPS: 34 03.845 W118 27.265 (his Find a Grave Link for the actual grave section)
His tombstone is kind of different looking because it has a black line streak on it.
Other than that, you probably would not know about the mysterious mountain man life he had lived.
There aren't any facial pictures of him AFAIK because of the fact he was keeping a low profile in the mountains.

The Charles Vincent History PDF (This gives the most I think you will find on him)

I think this is best I can do in putting the pieces together on this little historical quest.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Big Horn Mine (Part 2)

(GPS: N34 21.390 W117 44.680)

Alright, so I was at the stamp mill at this point. This was the main goal of the hike, but I wanted to see the mine. It does take a bit of work to get over to it. Although one could fall down the mountain side here, the issue is trying to climb back up if you do slide down a bit. I did have to use my hands a bit to grab and climb.
There is a lot of graffiti and trash around. I was just hoping the place would not cave in on me.
I crossed over the stamp mill and reached the ladder. You can see the entrance to the mine. This is probably the most dangerous part because the ladder is missing a few steps. Even still, while doing it I was even wondering if some of the steps would hold. I was really slow going up it while making sure I had three points down while continuing just in case.Origininally, I did take videos here, but I was not sure I wanted to expose my camera to whatever was inside. A few feet into the mine all sorts of mosquitoes were swarming the entrance. I quickly passed them and then took this picture.
From what I had read there are around 7 different levels to this mine that go on for miles into the base of the Baden-Powell mountain. One has to be careful of the drops that go down 50 feet. I had no intention of going that far into the mine. I had a flashlight and went in about 100 feet or so and turned around getting this.
There were some wooden beams around overhead. At my feet there was a lot of water. One of the reasons I did not want to go in that far was because of all the water at the foot level. This was good enough for me, and I am not much of a mine explorer anyways. I got to the entrance and looked back down the ladder.
Another shot down the ladder.
I have heard rumors they may close off this area to the public, or knock the stamp mill down altogether and close the mine.

I have purposely not mentioned the history of this mine. Although I split this hike up into two parts there is something I was looking for on the way back that I will reveal in the next blog. In the meantime, you can look at the history of this mine by reading this PDF file:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Big Horn Mine (Part 1)

(GPS: N34 21.390 W117 44.680)
This is one of the hikes I am posting more for historical reasons than anything else. A lot of hikes I do near where I live are more for exercise compared to what I do in the High Sierra. These Angeles National Forest trails are good just do to get away and get some exercise in. I always feel like I am hiking in a forest in a desert. The smells, the scenery, etc. just do not feel quite right. It is usually dry giving it that forest in a desert feeling.
We parked at Vincent Gap off the 2 HWY (which recently just opened up all the way through to the west after being close for some years). The week before we had hiked up to Mt. Baden-Powell which I will talk about some other time. The above picture shows the signs at the trailhead. If you go up the trail you start the dozens of switchbacks to get to the top of Baden-Powell. If you head to the left of this picture then you start on the historical wagon road to the Big Horn Mine. I had done Baden-Powell a bunch of times, but I had never been to the Big Horn Mine.
The hike is pretty much straight forward. It is easy. I do not remember how long it took us, but it seems to be it is about 2 miles with about 500 ft. elevation.

I am cutting out a lot of pictures, but this is the point where to the right is a steep incline and to the left is a drop off. Nothing too dramatic. This is really the only part I remember that was opened up a bit compared to walking on the road through a forest. We eventually got to the stamp mill.
To the left of me I could see Mt. Baldy (in the middle background) and Iron Mountain to the far right. Somewhere down below would be the East Fork River and the Bridge to Nowhere (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) which I have covered before.
Here is a closer shot of the stamp mill.
The mine is on the other side. I will show a little about the mine in my next blog.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two Medal of Honor Recipients

I had mentioned in a blog two weeks ago I visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery. My main purpose was to look for one gravesite related to a hike I did about a year ago. I will talk about that in my next blog. I did find a few other gravesites that I will probably show at a later time.

I do not visit cemetery's that often. I do it once in a while mainly to see if I can find a historical person's site. I do know the sites of a few celebrities, but I do not get too excited about those. With the following two men I was just walking down a slope to get to another area when I ran across them. It was only when I got home I looked them up on Find a Grave and Google to see what I could find about them which was not that much. Here is a Civil War statue you can see as you continue in past the entrance to the cemetery.
The first site I found by chance was Charles Rundle. Although I walked right in front of it the reason I was able to spot these was because there is a huge Medal of Honor engraved on the tombstone. He received his Medal, along with 8 other infantry, for a Union Army assault on Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863.

N34 03.875 W118 27.280 (Refer to the find a grave link above for the plot section)The backside.
The next Medal of Honor Recipient earned it during the Philipine-American War (or, Philippine Insurrection). Harry Harvey was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and earned it in the battle against the Benictican on Feb. 16, 1900.
N34 03.745 W118 27.160 (Refer to the Find a Grave link above for the plot section)
The backside.
I wanted to put this up around Memorial Day even though technically neither of these men died during their service.

I will show my main purpose in coming to this cemetery in my next blog or two. It will make more sense in those blogs.

Charles Rundle on Find a Grave

Harry Harvey on Find a Grave

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clint Eastwood's Sniper Shot Location (The Alabama Hills Series)

(N 36 36.570 W 118 07.870)

This is from the movie Joe Kidd. Clint and the people he is with are being shot at by a sniper so Clint returns the favor. Clint drops down behind the bushes below. However, notice the rock formation in the background.
As you can see, all I really have to go with around here is the bushes which does not really tell me very much. At this location we are going to get close, but I can not pinpoint exactly where Clint was kneeling at. We can see that same rock formation in the middle background of my picture. The enemy sniper is right under the arrow I put in the picture:
The following picture is pretty good. Lone Pine Peak should be a little more to the right of the Alabama Hills formations you see.
Time to zoom in. Here is the enemy sniper position. Clint takes aim slowly and fires.
My zoomed picture.
As zoomed in as I could go.
Clint Snipers the Sniper Spot (Youtube Version)

Clint Snipers the Sniper Spot (Vimeo Version)

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The Unit" Location on Mother's Day

(GPS: N 34 03.855, W 118 27.350)

Here is an odd one. I have to give credit to my mother for notifying me of this one. For Mother's Day my brother and I decided to take our mother to Pink's Hot Dogs. She likes to go there so we decided to take her. I have been there a few times, and somewhere down the line I may write something about it.

After eating there I wanted to head to the Los Angeles National Cemetery. I wanted to see if I could find a few headstones of some historical people. I will share a few in one of the next blogs I do. As we were leaving my mother pointed out a large granite oblelisk and wanted to know what it said on it. It reads, "In Memory of the Men Who Offered Their Lives in Defense of Their Country."

Monday afternoon I was told by my mother that the strangest coincidence happened the night before. She was watching the CBS show The Unit (Season 4, Episode 22: Unknown Soldier). The climatic scene was supposed to be at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. Like this:
Okay, I see the Washington Monument and the Capital Building in the background. Mom realized something was not quite right though. Those landmarks in the background look to be added into the picture and we are not in Washington D.C. at all. Mom saw the following monument in the show:
Yeah, it was sort of suprising to see that. I do know that the new G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is supposed to have a scene at this cemetery, but I do not watch much TV these days so I had no clue that show was going to be right where we were earlier.
In the climatic scene, the above car and open gravesite you see in the first picture are crucial to a happy ending. I think the name of this road is called "San Juan Hill" and we drove on it on our way out. Here is my picture as we went by.
It is quite interesting how they filmed the ending to this show so if you have some time you should watch episode that is now online. Our two heroes run down the cemetery after the crisis. You can see where the car was and the monument in the background. If I truly wanted to I could probably go back and pinpoint every part of the final scenes at the cemetery.
Again, I have to thank Mom for this one on Mother's Day. She told me that she probably would not have recognized it had she not been there earlier and made the connection with what she saw on tv. Let me list the TV show link and the episode link if you want to watch the episode:

The Unit (Website)

Unknown Soldier (Whole Episode)

Graveyard Bust Up (A short clip of the key part of the episode)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Not so Scenic Stagecoach Location (The Iverson Ranch Series)

(GPS: N34 16.500 W118 36.720)

(Edit 1/22/10: I added a video for this one:

It's about time for another Iverson Ranch location. Iverson Ranch movie locations are some of the easiest to find, but there is a trick to them that can make them difficult. The difficult part is all the housing that is on top of the old movie locations. Finding them is one thing, but then you have to keep in mind you are in an area that is partly private and partly public. Then you may find a location that is drastically different than when it was used in a movie. Here is one that I am going to admit was not the highest on my list of finds that I was excited about.

This picture is from John Ford's Stagecoach. The stagecoach reaches the next destination only to find that the way-station has been burned to the ground. Focus on the rock in the upper left side of the picture.
Okay, here is the best I could do to show you that rock. Bleah! Not so pretty is it?! The rock in the upper middle to the right is the identical rock. I wonder if anyone has ever watched this scene of Stagecoach in this residence, or one nearby and thought, "This stagecoach is driving right through our house right now."
As they drive the stagecoach away they show a bit more of the rock formation that too me looks like the side of a huge face (see the big nose and mouth?). They then cross the Kern River which is mysteriously, with editing, only a few feet way from the picture below.
You can still see the big face, but it is covered up a bit. Obviously, the place is different with a more modern type of stagecoach in it.
I have seen this area used a few times before. I do know it was also used in Buster Keaton's Three Ages. This Batman and Robin serial from the late 40's used it.
You get the idea...
One of my all time favorite episodes of Have Gun, Will Travel is called Gold and Brimstone. If I remember correctly it was the last episode of the second season (it is on DVD). I will say more about it below, but the following picture is either the same area or very close. That rock formation you see on the right side should be the "face" above, but done at a different angle (northern side).
In the episode, Paladin and his two clients are are hiding in the bushes from this wagon. They then ambush them. The area at this time was a big open area. Now, all this area has been planted with houses and the streets. At the time of the movie making you would have been able to see the Garden of the Gods rock formations in the distance. In fact, there are times in Stagecoach this actually happens. This is not possible today.

As I have indicated, this location is not the most attractive site I have been to. In fact, it is not one I was actively trying to find. When I found it I was just walking on the nearby trail and then realized I had seen it in movies before. Sometimes it is fun to find something like this with small traces of what it once was.

I wanted to mention some more about the Fire and Brimstone episode of Have Gun, Will Travel. This episode is fun because had we not known who Paladin (Richard Boone) was from the previous episodes and seen this episode in isolation you would think that it is something out of The Twilight Zone. He seems more like a mysterious devil in this episode in the way he helps out his clients in this one. I have often wondered if Akira Kurosawa ever saw, read, or heard about any episodes of this series before he made Yojimbo. A typical Have Gun, Will Travel episode will have Paladin work the opposing sides against each other, but for the common good. This episode is a little different though. It is something to think about if you like Yojimbo, Sanjuro, or Fistful of Dollars or like that type of anti-hero theme.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pulling the Plug on Youtube

(8/2011 Note: this was regarding one of my older channels on youtube. It was kind of a downer period for me. That channel is no longer around. I do have my current one up, but in some ways I share the same sentiments with how youtube runs things. Take it for what it is worth.)

For the past few months I have put a lot of thought into this. I started my main youtube channel a few years ago as another aspect to support this blog with videos. In its own way it worked by itself, and a lot of people have subscribed to it independently of this blog just because they enjoyed what I was doing on my main channel.

My original videos were partly experimental. It was sometime before last summer that I started to figure out what I really wanted to do. I think the high point was during last summer where I was cranking them out about once a week for about three months. I really enjoyed doing that at the time.

That was then, this is now. Youtube has changed a lot in my view over the past few years. They have had to take into consideration of being sued by various people and companies over what is put on their site. This is typical of almost anything that evolves on the internet. I mentioned this issue back in January because it was never really a surprise to me regarding restrictions, etc.

That is one thing, but my problem is I am just not enjoying putting up videos anymore. It takes a lot of time and mistakes to jump through all the hoops to get it right on youtube. Then after a few weeks I look at what I did and wonder why I put it up. There was a period a month or two back where they were supposedly getting rid of HQ quality which did not make any sense. I think it is back to normal now, but the way they handled it with their minimal explanations left a lot of us in the dark for a while. Also, me trying to keep up with the technology is all related to this.

Finally, there are a lot of sane and creative people on youtube. Then again, there are A LOT of screwballs on there. I am not a real fan how they have set up the way people do comments on there. To really say anything of substance you need a lot more than the small boxes they give you. Otherwise, you get bumper sticker epistemology (lol...I just made that up). Apart from a few videos, I pretty much disabled comments with the strategy that if someone really cared to put some thought into something they would have to have the smarts to come to the blog to do it.

So, the "bad news" is that, as of this blog, I am going to stop putting up videos on youtube. The only possible exception is if I feel differently during the summer months I might put up the last few videos I had ready to go for the subscribers on there. However, right now, it is time for a change, and I am fine with it. For the time being I will keep up the channel. I will probably continue to log in and use it for my own purposes. At some point I may take it down altogether. If there is some video(s) you want from my channel then I suggest you use something like http://keepvid.com/ to save them on your hard drive.

The "good news" is that I think I am free to do other things for this blog that were taking most of my time with youtube. There are some of my other adventures from about a year ago that I just put off because I was not sure if I wanted to wait for better video footage. Now I do not have to worry about that. If I get the desire to do videos again it will be on another site, and it will have to be done differently than the old way I was doing on youtube.

My next blog will show a movie location where it is not so pretty due to housing. Stay tuned...