Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ramona Epic #6: Father Salvierderra Leaves the Rancho

Father Salvierderra is important as a kind fatherly figure to Ramona and the rest at the ranch, but also as the religious authority. He is about eighty in the story, and he travels by foot to the rancho from the mission in Santa Barbara. At the rancho he has his own room where he stays and performs his priestly duties. He is held in high regard by all the characters in the story. From the book, when Ramona first sees him coming to the rancho:

"Ay, Ramona, I am tired," he replied. "Old age is conquering me. It
will not be many times more that I shall see this place."

"Oh, do not say that, Father," cried Ramona; "you can ride, when it
tires you too much to walk. The Senora said, only the other day,
that she wished you would let her give you a horse; that it was not
right for you to take these long journeys on foot. You know we
have hundreds of horses. It is nothing, one horse," she added,
seeing the Father slowly shake his head.

"No;" he said, "it is not that. I could not refuse anything at the
hands of the Senora. But it was the rule of our order to go on foot.
We must deny the flesh. Look at our beloved master in this land,
Father Junipero, when he was past eighty, walking from San Diego
to Monterey, and all the while a running ulcer in one of his legs,
for which most men would have taken to a bed, to be healed. It is a
sinful fashion that is coming in, for monks to take their ease doing
God's work. I can no longer walk swiftly, but I must walk all the
more diligently."


While he eventually leaves the rancho and is no longer an active character in the story, his influence is still felt as various characters refer to him and what they think he would say about their situations.

In the play he gives a few final blessings and leaves. It is the final time we see him in the play. The video gives you an idea of how natural surroundings are used as part of the peformance:

Father Salvierderra Leaves the Rancho (Vimeo Version)

There are two historic ranchos that many think Helen Hunt Jackson based her story around. When I come back to this in a few weeks I will show you one of them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ramona Epic #5: You Are Going to Stay and Help Us?

Happy Valentine's Day! This is the first time we get to see Ramona and Alessandro together.

In the book, Alessandro's violin was stuck in Temecula. So, he had it brought to him. The distance from Temecula to the rancho will come up in a later blog or two. It is not that important to the story, but it is a minor issue regarding which location is where. It will make sense later.

Ramona Epic #5: You are Going to Stay and Help Us? (Vimeo Version)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Return to Lago

As I was mentioning on Twitter last week, I can usually tell when certain movies have played on television. Whenever High Plains Drifter comes on this blog constantly gets hit. I think I have seen every search varation of "Where was High Plains Drifter filmed?"

This will be the third time I have discussed this locaton on this blog. I did not mean for it to be like this, but it has turned out to be an important place for a lot readers. I will link everything I have done below in the past here, but unless I find out something new this blog should wrap it up for good.

In fact, the only reason I am doing a new blog on this area is that the conditions were really different. Although I was the guide for this place that day, I had no control over the order of the areas we visited. I would have preferred to come here first with clear morning skies because this just happened to be the same day as what I showed in December. We visited another place to the south, and then we returned here. I was kind of disappointed because I had hoped to have clear blue skies for the video.

Then looking on the "bright" side of things I thought gloomy pictures of where Lago was in High Plains Drifter might actually turn out to be a good thing for the blog. This is looking to the west:
The following is at the beginning of where the town of Lago was in the movie. The set buildings would have been on both sides.
At the end of the town I turned around and looked back. The conditions started to lighten up at this point.
We then visited the lake. A bunch of seagulls were down there and what I call the "viking ship" in the distance.
Back in early December there was a lot of excitement over newly discovered "arsenic based life" here. Like I thought might happen when the hype was over with, a bunch of people examined the research and started poking holes in it. Until some show otherwise, it appears that it maybe back to the drawing board on this one. Or, more appropriate, keep searching.

Since it was important to me to have better conditions for the video I did come back a few days later. I will go ahead and link the video and other related links below:

The Return to Lago (Youtube Version)

The Return to Lago (Vimeo Version)

High Plains Drifter at Mono Lake (All three blogs on this area, including this one)

Clint Spooks 'Em (Youtube Version)

Clint Spooks 'Em (Vimeo Version)

Clint Spooks 'Em (My blog on the other HPD location nearby)

Regarding what I wrote up on the "alien life discovery" in December.

You can also check any of the labels on the right side that deal with Mono Lake and any other nearby area. I have often pointed out this area from up above elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mono Mills

(GPS: N37 53.275 W118 57.650)

Today I am going to cover a quick stop one can make south of Mono Lake on Route 120 on the way to Benton. What this blog should do is make a few connections with what I did in December and a few future blogs I will do this year. This is another one where there is very little left of what once was.

The problem that the town of Bodie and a few of the others had was they were a little too far away from the trees found more to the west on the high mountains. They had to find a way to get lumber for building and for fuel. While there were a few others that brought lumber into these towns, it was Mono Mills that was the answer during their existence.

While driving along the 120 there is a monument just off the road to look at. You can click or right click open in a new window the following pictures to read them if you need to:

At the kiosk that stands over the site they have a bunch of signs:

This is looking down on the what little remains of the mill area. You can barely see a tiny part of the Mono Lake in the background.
So, what they did was build a train track from the mills through the east side of Mono Lake to Bodie. Some more of the debris:
This is from the mills looking west. I just wanted to show that trees that grow here.
The area is a little odd for tree growth. What you see above seems normal for an area like this. If you have seen High Plains Drifter, then you may remember the scene where the outlaws get out of prison. That area is just to the west of here. It has a sandy white dirt look to it, yet some trees grow out there.
In the above picture you can see little tiny trees just starting to grow. I am not going to post the other picture I have, but if I were to turn around to other side of the road you would see a few full grown trees like that.

A Quick Stop at Mono Mills (Youtube Version)

A Quick Stop at Mono Mills (Vimeo Version)