Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jack Palance at the Best Western in Lone Pine

Early on in the remake of the movie High Sierra, I Died a Thousand Times, Jack Palance walks in front of the Best Western Hotel in Lone Pine. I've stayed here a few times. I am not sure the trees are the same as the ones you see above in 1955, but they are close to the same place. I recently went back to the Alabama Hills. Part of my quest this time around was to do new updated videos of a lot of the "classic videos" I had done before. I had not been on Movie Rd. in quite sometime. So there was some "good news" and "bad news" about this trip. Let me give you some of what I considered the "bad" part of it.

This trip had been postponed for quite a while. I had wanted to be there last year about this time, but it did not work out. Then I wanted to do this about a month ago. Well, it turned that my only chance of doing this trip was to go "there and back again" within 24 hours. I did get parts of two days to do this since I stayed overnight, but I knew I would have to rush a bit to get a lot of what I wanted done.

The weather conditions were okay, but not great. A little too warm and cloudy. I can handle it being warm, but if the clouds are blocking out some of the mountain features it can mess things up. Don't get me wrong, clouds can create really good photo opportunities to get that Ansel Adams shot. However, when I am trying to show where some scenes from a movie took place and Mt. Whitney is completely blocked it just does not work very well.

The bugs! What the heck were those things?! They were not mosquitoes, but boy were they swarming me out there. These small things were flying all over me. No bites or anything like that, but I have never encountered bugs like this out there before.

There were lots of people there. I have never seen this many people out in the hills before. I had a couple of areas that I wanted to video and people had parked right in my way. Although I did talk to a bunch of friendly people out there, this was the first time I felt that there were some "shady" people in the Hills and in Lone Pine. Like people eyeing what was in my truck when I was parked in town. Reading the Whitney Portal forum here at home I see some of what I was thinking was justified. Even with a quick stop in Red Rock Canyon while walking back to the truck there were some people doing the same thing and then took off. Very odd!

The sad thing is at the end of the day I started looking at the clips of what I had done on my laptop and realized one of the settings on the video cam were not right! Oh no!

Alright, the "good" news side. On the second day, which ended up being most of the morning, I did get back to almost every area with my cam settings right this time. The weather conditions were slightly better. It is going to take me some time to decide this, but I think most of the footage I took will work well. The video of one of the things I did I almost shot it perfectly, but I think it may have been to early in the morning for it. No big deal though, I will just go back at some other time later in the day and get it right.

What was great was right before I was leaving I was able to see a rock formation from a rare movie that I was wondering about. I had the right idea about where it should be, but could not place it. Then seeing it from the distance confirmed my intuition about where it should be. It is one of those I will have to go back to and hike into it. One of the techniques I always tell people to do is that it is important to take pictures of every area and direction so that you can analyze some of these places from home. I took pictures of it from the distance. When I have time I will go over it and prepare for next time I can visit. So, I intend to get back to posting more videos taken in the Alabama Hills. It will not be something I will do right away though.