Saturday, December 31, 2011

So It Ends!

I ended up blogging every day of this month, but the current daily blogging streak went back to mid-November. This blog will end the streak, and I do not intend to do anything like this every again. I did want to end with a bang so the total for the year is 117 blogs. For me that is insane and ends up being almost 33% of the days this year I had a blog entry up. There was a point about the middle of this month I started to get tired of doing this and felt a lot of what I was trying to say was "mental mush", but once I got close to Christmas I was almost over the hump.

Like I usually do at the end of the year, I want to take some time to reflect on some of the high and low points of this blog this past year. Then I will mention a little of where the blog goes from here.

Speaking of which, I started out in the beginning of January of this year announcing that this would be the final year of me blogging as I have been doing. I am going to skip this for now and come back to it at the end of this blog entry. I will say that had been in my mind for how I went about doing every blog this year. That is part of the reason I had 117 blog entries this year is because I wanted to cram as much as possible into this year not knowing what the future would be like.

Of course, the big theme of the year was what I did with my Ramona series and a big reason for the amount of blog entries. I said all I really want to say about that series in the blog entry for yesterday. That started off in January and just ended yesterday.

In February, I did my Return to Lago and added some more blogs about that area. One of the main things my stats have shown over the years is people really care about where High Plains Drifter was filmed at. I can understand that. So, it was important for me to get an updated video and to show what "Lago" looked like on a different type of day with those pictures.

In March, I was finally able to show one that I had waited for years to do. That one had to do with the snowslide that was northwest of Mono Lake near the entrance of Lundy Canyon. That took place on March 7, 1911. I visited the cemetery there and wanted to have it up on the anniversary of March 7, 2011. Goal accomplished!

Also during that month I finally got to post my first time at Rancho Camulos. This was special for the California history involved with that one, but also the oldest film location that I will ever find was filmed there. Interesting enough, I did find another movie made during that same year that has the potential to be an easy location hunt. I like the old silent film location challenges because those are the most difficult to find traces of after all these years. That silent film I am referring to is on the list of things to do, but I do not know when I will get around to that.

In April, I showed my "Mammoth Mountain Hike" which was partly a joke because that was a just a ride to the top using the gondola. The real treat was my Yellow Sky Series that I had waited and waited to post over the years. I was not too thrilled with the morning light conditions I had for the video, but it was one of those I waited so long that I just got tired of waiting anymore. I think I did the best I could do with what I had on that one. If I were to be able to pick just one thing I think you should have seen this year that I did, then that series would be it. I just love that movie, and along with the Boetticher films, I would list it as one of the top films made at the Alabama Hills.

The highlight of May was the Devil's Playground Cave from that Hopalong Cassidy movie. I knew a lot of people would like that one just because of the title. I do have other Hoppy locations and footage I am sitting on right now. I am not sure when or if I will put those up, but since Hoppy did half his movies out in the Alabama Hills there are tons of those one can show.

In June, I spent most of the month showing my hike up to the top of Mt. Wilson and then my time at the observatory. I love astronomy, at least from an amateur perspective, and it was important for me to hit the holy ground of astronomical discovery for the 1st half of the 20th-century. Let me tell you something new. I re-visited the observatory in November! This time I was driven up to the the top. The great thing is we got to go inside some of the places I showed from the outside in the June blogs. So, at some point in the future I hope to show you my "Return to Mt. Wilson" pictures and footage.

July was an okay month, but nothing super special. It was more of a turning point for my Ramona series.

During August I spent some time identifiying some spots in Temecula that most people would walk by and not understand the significance of for the Ramona series and the history of California. Then I covered some things in Long Ranger Canyon like the Gun Smugglers Rock and Hoppy Rocks that I should have had done a long time ago.

During September I spent some time showing how the Palm Springs Tram was used in a Dean Martin film. I then showed my hike to the top of San Jacinto Peak. Another hike that I had wanted to do for years and finally got to do it as a part of my Ramona series.

In the case of October I knew there was no way I was going to outdo my Halloween series from 2010. You can see what I did there if you missed it, but basically I went back and updated some new videos during that month as part of that Halloween 2011 series. I spent most of my time with my Ancient Monsters series that dealt with the new dinosaur exhibit in Los Angeles. I know most people can turn on the tv and see something related to the dinosaurs all the time, but I really liked how I edited those videos with the music. The T-Rex one was the highlight. I had to laugh when I showed that video to some kids, and one of the girls had to walk away from the screen as the big "Thomas" model skull was looking down on her. You had to be there for that because it was projected on a wall.

During November I had my "Murder of Juan Diego" series that was one I really loved and the basis for the whole Ramona series. I love those hikes where you are out in the middle of nowhere and you come across some artifact/sign about the past. The mountain hike was fun. Then, the cemetery was VERY important to me too! Of course, my Reflections at Conness Glacier was the essence of what this blog has been made of. The silent beauty of it all! Many care about that Huell Howser Glacier episode, in some ways my blogs regarding that were a tribute to Huell, but I put my own spin on how I presented it to make it more in line with what I like to do.

The crazyness started in November and I continued it into December every single day. Aurora Ghost Town , then East Pine Street, and R.I.P. Aurora was a major project that I am proud of, but I can understand people not really liking that one. It some ways it is a case of, "nothing to see here!" I just love the history of what was once in that town. That was one that I sat on the footage for quite some time until I could edit it to make it work.

Of course, the big project that offered something I suspect you probably did not have any clue about is the one I just finished up about the movie Nightfall that I called "Out of the Past Too" and "Out of the Past Too Two". There is a tendency to think of my blog primarily dealing with westerns, but that is not really the case. The reason I love westerns is because they were primarily filmed in the rugged outdoors away from civilization. However, if I can find any movie that was filmed outdoors then I am there! So, it is somewhat rare to find a noir-ish movie like this filmed partly outdoors. Not to mention the same director using the same spots in a movie 10 years earlier. There was a time that I really meant to show more noir movies that were filmed in Los Angeles. I started to do it, but because of the dramatic changes in Los Angeles, and the fact that it is so public, it just did not fit with what I had in mind with this blog. I just do not get the same amount of satisfaction walking around the big city for location hunts as I do in nature.

So, those were the highlights of the year. Let me go back to my original post in January and where I go from here. I have been battling the motivation to keep doing this for the past three years. There was a time somewhere between June and July that I really had to ask myself why I keep doing this. I was that burned out.

Of all the years I have been doing this the feedback was a lot more negative too. It was really strange in this regard because not only was it negative, but many times it was irrelevant to anything I have been doing on here or the video sites. In some cases it was people expecting me to do things for them that I have never done during my whole time blogging. Then they would get irritated with me for not giving them exactly what they wanted. Those of you that have contacted me via e-mail in the past know that I have usually written back eventually and given as much information as I could if you had a specific request that I could help with. That changed this year. I got to the point that if something was not relevant or someone just wanting to advertise their site then I just ignored or hit delete. I just did not care anymore. At the same time, not everyone who reads what I have done on here or watches my videos has done this, but more did so this year than in the past.

As of right now, I am taking some time off. At some point I hope to have a short series called "The Nature of Silence" which will cover a hike and help explain some things that if was not obvious about what I have been doing since the beginning it will then. I then hope to have my own version of a FAQ which will be a blog that will go into a little more detail about how the blog will be from now on and why I am will not be doing as much blogging compared to what I have done over the past six years.

I am holding myself to what I mentioned in that first blog this year. There will be future projects, but not to the extent that I put something up once a week. Those days are over. Since I started this blog I have had something up every few weeks or so. In fact, I have never missed posting at least once a month since I started doing this back in 2006. That is going to change now. There will be many months that I do not post anything.

So, at this point, the blog will be in read only mode for the time being as I take an extended vacation. I will make the corrections I promised I would do at the beginning of this month, but I really do need to get away from this blog for a while. Get my life back I guess you could say. However, if you are concerned then have no fear because I just got a new video camera for Christmas that blows away my old one! A big wide angle lens, 1080 60p, and the zoom goes on and on and on and on! :)

With love, sincerity, and thanks from me please be safe, be healthy, and have a Happy New Year!

The Silent One is checking out!


Buster Keaton's Bathtub (Youtube Version)

Buster Keaton's Bathtub (Vimeo Version)

Hell Bent for Leather Rocks (Youtube Version)

Hell Bent for Leather Rocks (Vimeo Version)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ramona Epic #40: It's Been Fun!

(GPS: N33 54.470 W118 18.585)

Here we are at the end of the series. Let me talk about todays location and then I will give you a few thoughts on how I thought this all turned out.

I wanted to lighten things up at the end so I went to a place that was another partial inspiration that began that series. I was out walking one day, and I noticed a truck that went by with a Ramona Mexican Food logo. I went home, did a quick google search, and saw that this place originates in the Gardena and Torrance area. Since I lived there when I was a very young kid I asked some family members about this: "Oh, that's been there forever!" Well, that was news to me. So, it was another place that started to make me think more about doing a whole series dedicated to how the Ramona name has influenced California.

I thought it would be a good place to visit and eat to end the series.
It's basically a take out place. I think there are places to sit outside of it. I ended up just eating my food in my truck.
Ramona Epic #40: It's Been Fun! (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #40: It's Been Fun! (Vimeo Version)

Let me give some closing thoughts on how I think this series turned out. Years ago I had considered doing a Ramona series, but I was never really enthusastic about the Ramona concept. I did have Delyser's Ramona Memories book in my hand at one point, but decided it was not for me. Then as I started to burn out of the things I was doing on this blog I knew I needed something to do that I did not know that much about. The further I examined Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona I realized it was a lot closer to what I normally do on here than I thought. In many ways the book is a traveling novel.

The thought of committing myself to a year long series was something I felt I needed to do. There were some down sides to it though. First, I knew it would drain me some in trying to keep it going over the year. There would be times where I would put up some things that I was not as eager to talk about than others that I had more enthusiasm to blog about. Second, for many people it is very difficult to follow something like this over a long period. I knew beforehand that putting it up as episodes would be problematic for some due to the patience one has to have to get through some of the parts. I did put this series up in a way that one can read the book and follow what I did on here at the same time since it did go in chronological order with the book. However, one could jump in at any time thoughout and just pick up the parts one cares about.

I really was doing this for the long term. Now the project is at the point where it is done so the whole series can been seen as a whole. The only thing I really regret for the series as a whole now that it is done is how I started the opening of the videos. That was important while I was making each video and putting them up during the year. Although, now that it is done, watching all 40 videos with that 10 second introduction to each video is something I wish was not there. I had thought of changing the intro about midway through the series to something else, but just decided to leave it. So, it was a necessary evil that I hope does not drive someone crazy if they watch all the series at one time.

At this point, I consider this project finished. However, I do have extra footage, and there are some places I could go to in the future that might show up on the blog or in video at some point. That will not be anytime soon, but if and when I do that it would be like adding an appendix to the end of a book. For all practical purposes, my "official canon" of blogs is done.

BTW, occasionally I get an e-mail mentioning the city of Ramona in San Diego Co. I guess if there was one place many people thought I was going to visit it was that place. While it is true that the city was named after the main character, it is relatively close to some of the places that Ramona lived in the novel, but I never encountered anything in my research that made me feel I had to go there. Maybe there is something connected to the novel? Will I ever visit there? I do not know. For those who care, there was a town of Alessandro that was located at where March Air Force Base is now. It never really grew into anything, and then the Air Force took that area over. However, if you do research the history of the base you will encounter the Alessandro name at some point.

So, I hope you have gotten something out of my epic journey through the world of Ramona. If you are just seeing this then hopefully you will go back and view the series at some point. If there is something that represents cultural history of California then the book does it.

That is all I have to say about my Ramona series, but I will have some thoughts on some of the individual places I visited for this series as I review the highlights of everything I did for the blog as a whole this year in the next blog.


Ramona Mexican Food Products

At some point I will eventually come back and add a link to every entry in this particular blog, but for the time being all the videos can be found on either one of these links:

Ramona Epic Playlist (Youtube)

Ramona Epic Album (Vimeo)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ramona Epic #39: Applause

The players come out for a round of applause:

As you see in the video, the posse "captured" Farrar. So, the play is not a total downer in that regard. As I mentioned back in the blogs at the end of October and November, both the fictional Jim Farrar and the real historical Sam Temple were never brought to justice like this. Even though a casual viewer of the play might think that this capture represents a step toward justice it really should not be thought of in that way.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ramona Epic #38: "Let Silence Reign"

Juan Canito gives the final narration as the play ends.

This blog and the next two are the wrap up blogs of the series.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Out of the Past "Too Two" (The Ending)

This will be the final blog of my Nightfall series. This blog in some ways is a let down because I am not going to get to the exact final location, but I just want to give you an idea of where it took place. I'll try to get some GPS coordinates for this one later today or tomorrow.

After I saw this movie for the first time I kept trying to figure out where the ending took place. The main thing you always start with is where the background is. If you can identify that then you start looking for whatever is in the mid-range, and then what is up close. It depends on what you are given. In this case, I kept looking at the mountains knowing I had seen them again and again, but I could not place them. At first I thought Mammoth was being used, and it is at some points in this movie. In fact, one of the scenes they have the bus drive through is literally right across the street from where the Legend of Deadman plaque is that I covered on here a few years ago. That was not it though. One day I was traveling to Carson City, NV, and as I looked up it was a case of, "Bingo! That's it!"

On HWY 395 there is a monument that is often passed that is called the Fremont Trail 1844. It is difficult to read even when you are there, but you can click the picture to make it bigger. Basically, John Fremont, Kit Carson, and their men came through here with a howitzer during the winter. They were trying to cross the Sierra to get to Fort John Sutter. They had to leave the howitzer in the deep snow, but eventually crossed over to get there.In the video I show a little more of what it looks like around here, but this is across the street from that sign. I zoomed in on a certain mountain to the north side. To get to the final spot of where I ended we need to drive a little further toward this mountain.
This is in the movie as the bus drives by, but at this time I do not know exactly where. I have some ideas. In any case, that is our mountain in the background.Here is going to be the final spot I wanted to show. This is not the final location of the movie, but it is a good reference point to show you what I think went on here. See where that building is on the left side? My location intuition says that the final scenes were done just past that over the hill there. I scouted this area and a road further on down beyond it that leads to a campground. From what I can tell the final scenes of the movie were done on what is either private property or government property that the public is locked out of. In Nightfall, the detective takes Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft back to the camping spot where the murder took place. Then they head to where Aldo Ray left the money which was only supposed to be a few minutes away from where they camped. In reality, the drive is about 30 minutes away. There in a shack that the money was left, they encounter Brian Keith and Rudy Bond who had also been waiting for the thaw of the winter to come back here. You can see the movie to figure out how they knew the money was here. At this point Rudy Bond is going to kill the three of them. However, in a desperate move, Aldo Ray jumps out of the shack and is able to get a rifle.
If you look closely in the above movie picture you will notice there is a drop off in the middle of the picture that heads down somewhere. That was the other area I mentioned above that I went to. There is a road down below there that heads to a campground. In my picture below you should be able to compare the above movie picture mountains with these.
You will have to watch the movie to find out what happens.

This wraps up my Christmas edition of my blogs for this movie. This is one that I had been working on doing for this blog for the past few years since I did the original Out of the Past Locations. Even when I was doing those I knew I would have to come back, but decided not to mention this particular movie at all as my little secret to be revealed at a later time. Then I had to delay this because the pictures and footage were never to my expectations due to the conditions at the time I was at these places.

For example, the very last time I was at the movie's campground spot I was doing the introduction video. It was during this last October, the non-tourist season, and I was doing a great job narrating what I wanted to say at the beginning. In fact, it was a much longer introduction than what made the final cut. Just as I was about to turn and show where the campground was some overweight lady came out of nowhere right in that spot I was going to turn to! Then she just started to hang out nearby. I did not say anything, but I was so angry! Of all the bad luck! During the tourist season one gets lots of people fishing there even though they usually do not catch anything. I was so convinced no one would be there at the time I went that day in October. That was how typical that area was during the past few years. I would either get there too early in the morning, have bad light, bad weather, or someone would be parked nearby and fishing there. I can't tell you how many times I walked here only to realize I would have to come back. I meant to go back one more time at the end of October or November, but never did.

All the areas you see in the pictures and video I came to more than once. I was not totally satisified with what I got, but it just got to the point that I decided to present this now or never. Otherwise it would be an endless cycle I would never get out of. So, the final product you are seeing is good enough. I don't intend on doing anything further on this one.

So, please see the movie. As I began with, it is not as good as Out of the Past, but it is worth seeing once because of how the director came back to almost the exact same locations for this movie. This is one of the rare movie locations that I know of that no one I have encountered knew about this movie being filmed here. So, I hope you enjoyed something I did during the past few days for the Christmas season as the best I can do for a Christmas gift that is a little out of the ordinary.

Out of the Past "Too Two" (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past "Too Two" (Vimeo Version)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Out of the Past "Too Two" (The Church)

Happy Boxing Day! Happy 2nd Day of Chrismas! The family broke tradition yesterday without gift giving by going to church to see the Burchfield Brothers perform, and then had a big feast. I've never heard The Little Drummer Boy done like a western movie soundtrack so that was cool. Today, is gift giving day. I kind of like the idea of Christmas continuing a few days rather than where I am at where the media quickly goes on to something else.

This is phase two of my Nightfall series of blogs about this movie. Much like Out of the Past the same director used flashbacks in this movie as well. He also used some of the same locations. BTW, most of the movie takes place in the city, but the flashbacks and ending take place in the setting of Wyoming. Which in reality is the Eastern Sierra.

Since the last blog Aldo Ray has been living on the run since he hid the money he found and took off. The authorities are now after him in the belief that he killed his friend. After meeting up with Anne Bancroft they flee back to Wyoming. Something Aldo does not realize is that a detective is now following him and is on the same bus as they are on.

Now in the original Out of the Past Locations blogs I did some years ago I was down on the corner in the background looking back this way toward where the school is.In both movies you can see the old school. In Nightfall we get to see it close up as the church Aldo Ray stands by.From my picture above I just turned around to show you this one which is the new school that is here these days. In the Out of the Past video I showed you where the old school is now located on the other side of town as the Mono County Museum. In this video for this series of blogs I inserted a picture of the old school being transferred to its current location when they did that, so you can look for that in the video.The detective reveals himself to Aldo Ray. At first, Aldo gives up, and is relieved that it is over that he has been caught. The detective gets irritated by Aldo mentally giving up, and just tells him he wants to hear his story. He then tells Aldo something about the gun that must have killed the doctor. Aldo realizes the detective is on his side, they decide to go back to the murder site, and then to the where Aldo hid the money. Btw, in the movie you get some nice looks at where Dunderberg Mt. and that range are. I can't remember if you get a good look at Excelsior Mt. (I climbed that one that is why I care about this) since the clouds are really covering that area in the movie. My video for this part does have the clouds almost doing the same thing.So, they would have been just standing over there.I should have the new video up by tomorrow with the final blog of this series. For this portion of the video I decided to use the footage from November that I took. So, it kind of matches the mood you see with the clouds.

Out of the Past "Too Two" (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past "Too Two" (Vimeo Version)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Out of the Past "Too" (The Murder)

Merry Christmas! How can I talk about a murder on Christmas Day!?!? Have no fear, things get dark here, but things are not as bad as they seem. You can thank Hollywood for happy endings. :)

In the movie Nightfall, Brian Keith and Rudy Bond take Aldo Ray and the doctor (Frank Albertson) back to where they were camped. As pointed out in the first blog on this, this is the exact same area Robert Mitchum fished in Out of the Past (OOTP), and I covered this before in my Out of the Past Locations blogs. I am going to show you what it looked like on another day I was there so you keep getting different looks of how this is during different times of the year. BTW, that is one thing I love about this movie is they filmed it when the lake was partially iced over.Dismayed as to why these men want to kill them after they tried to help them, Brian Keith and Rudy Bond explain they just stole a lot of money. This is a way to make sure their is no witnesses against them. Also, setting up a murder/suicide situation helps our bad guys in the story as it will place the blame on Aldo Ray. This is close. To get it right I would have to go a little further to the right, but as I remember I did not like the angle I had the times I went there. So, I went with this. Something to note is in this picture, and the ones I did before it in the previous blogs, the tree looks a lot bigger in the movie pictures, but that is because I was further away in my picture.Rudy Bond gives the doctor a count to run for it. He then shoots the doctor in the back. Now, it is Aldo Ray's turn. They give him a gun, and Rudy Bond gives him a shell to put in the rifle. All he has to do is turn around and Rudy would shoot him to make it look like a suicide. There is some thought in this scene that Aldo might challenge Rudy with a gunfight, Aldo is uncertain about this, and as he turns around Rudy fires the shot that looks like it kills Aldo. What happens is that a shot hits a rock and that bounces off of Aldo's skull. He appears dead. Rudy looks over him and then he and Brian leave the scene. The problem is not only is Aldo Ray still alive, but they left the money behind. When Aldo Ray gains consciousness later he finds the money, hides it in the snow away from this area, and then leaves.Here is that spot. The two red trees are the same ones from the previous blog. The red tree on the right is the same one we have been dealing with in this blog. The gray tree on the right is a different type of tree. It is interesting looking at the types of bark in all of these trees here and then seeing how they were back then. Again, usually I don't like using trees in comparing with old movies or pictures due to their unreliability, but these seem to be them after all these years.For me, all my life I have been walking right by these trees as I do my exercise walks around the lakes which usually takes place during the summer. For a while I would think of Robert Mitchum fishing here, but I never thought of this place being associated with such sociopathic evil until after seeing Nightfall. Although, I should mention that sometime over a 100 years ago an actual murder did take place near here. Not here, but I would say within about a five minute walk. It is hard to believe this place would have anything like that, but sometimes remote places can have their dark sides.

This ends this phase of this series, but I will continue this movie's locations starting tomorrow. The video gets you to this point in the blogs.

Out of the Past "Too" (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past "Too" (Vimeo Version)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Out of the Past "Too" (The Accident)

As Aldo Ray and his friend the doctor are reflecting on their lives at their campground they see a car go off the side of the road. They do show the car go off the road nearby, but the actual site they end up on is really about 20 minutes or so away off HWY 395. To get to this site you have to be heading south to Lee Vining/Mono Lake.

I need to give my brother credit on this one since he fine-tuned this one for me. Basically, the scene was done very close to the entrance to Virgina Lakes. My brother decided this #5 sign right here is a good marker for this scene. This was done sometime in October. In this scene you see the car down below. In the following picture I am looking more to the west. The car would have been close by down below. Dunderberg Mt. is the one in the back that appears to be apart of two peaks that look like twins. Just as an aside, one of the early seasons of The Big Valley had a perspective close to this at the beginning of every episode. It was further south. On the other hand, Ansel Adams took a picture in this direction, but he was a little further north. I did something on that one, but I kept it out of the video so maybe some other time.
Aldo Ray and the doctor help bring up Brian Keith and Rudy Bond. Something is wrong with Brian Keith's arm. So, they attempt to make a sling for him so they can get him to a hospital.
The viewer is never really told what caused the accident, but you can tell Rudy Bond is upset. Both Rudy and Brian start asking questions about the car and where they are camped. They do not seem to care as much about Brian's arm or the accident. Our good Samaritans start to realize they have encounted two very desperate men. Rudy Bond goes over to Aldo Ray's car and pulls out his gun. He intends to kill Aldo and the doctor right here. Brian Keith tells them not here because the sound would be too loud.
This is just past the sign that I showed in the first picture above. It was done during the middle of summer. Interesting enough, what I liked about the movie picture is it actually shows another area I hiked to that I have not shown yet. I will sometime in the future because it leads to an old mining area.
So, in the next blog I head back to the campground for the evil scene.

Out of the Past "Too" (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past "Too" (Vimeo Version)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Out of the Past "Too" (The Camping Spot)

The time has come for my little secret to become public. Let me preface this with saying that this is one I have been promising a number of you for the past couple of years. I have hinted about it on this blog at some points. I have equally anticipated and dreaded doing this one. I really have wanted to present this on the blog. However, the problem is I was never satisfied with the pictures and videos I took at the locations for this one. I have literally been back to the same places over the years many times at different times of the year. Sometimes the weather would not be the best. Other times the lighting would not be that great. Then there would be people sitting, parking, fishing, etc. in the exact places I needed to take pictures or video. So, my attitude was that I would have to come back the next day, the next week, or the next year. The result is I really burned out on doing this one.

When I first starting doing videos online I used to just improvise as I went along. As I started to take the process a little more seriously as a long term venture, I started to "script" things a little more. I would watch the movie or read up on where I was going. I would plan out in my head what I needed to do and approximately what needed to be said. Inserting videos within videos takes some planning too in order to make sure how much time I need while shooting the video. So with this in mind, with me constantly going back to some of these places, saying the same things, shooting the same type of video over and over...I got really sick of it. The nice thing though is I will show some of the same spots at different times of the year so it gives you different looks at the scenery.

During the next few days through Christmas I will be showing my sequel to the Out of the Past (OOTP) locations I did a few years ago. However, this series of blogs has really nothing to do with that movie. Or does it? The deal is that the director, Jacques Tourneur, came back to some of the same spots ten years later to film a movie called Nightfall in 1957. It stars Aldo Ray. Much like OOTP, this movie has flashbacks that take place. Although I would not consider Nightfall as good of a movie as OOTP, but I do think it should be seen at least once.

A key spot in Nightfall is this one:Now in the above picture, if I walk down about 10-15 ft. and look to my right I get the place Robert Mitchum was fishing at in the beginning of OOTP.In Nightfall, Aldo Ray and his friend the doctor are on a hunting and fishing camping trip. BTW, the setting is in Wyoming, and just about everyone that I have seen write something about this movie seems to think that is where these scenes were filmed at. In fairness, they are just going along with the setting given in the movie. Many years ago I saw a picture of this movie. Not this exact one, but one like this that showed the background. I knew it was an Eastern Sierra location, and I knew it was quite familiar. I could not place exactly where it was at though. Then it came to me, "Oh! The director just came to the exact same area and shot it at a different angle. A 'totally new location'". It took me a while, but I did finally see the movie to verify everything.From the Robert Mitchum fishing spot, I just continued moving another 15 feet or so and I encountered these trees. Normally, I do not like to use trees because they can be unreliable. Especially in dealing with movies that are over 50 years old where new trees can come up. I have had some luck in the past using them instead. This is one of those cases. I was very surprised to see the exact same trees are still around here. See how the tree on the left does not come straight up, but is slightly tilted. The angle of that tree is exactly how it was in 1957 movie. I was amazed when I originally verified this one. I will be coming back to this spot in an upcoming blog since an important event happens here in the movie. In the meantime, I just wanted to show a different look on how Sawtooth Ridge was on this day. In the movie, if you really pay attention, you can see Sawtooth Ridge. Unfortunately, the mountain that I use in the picture at the top of my blog can't be seen from this angle in the movie. In my pictures you really can't see Sawtooth Ridge because of the clouds blotting them out that day.
A close-up of a another ridge that you can see in the above picture.
Just a note, the video for this part of this series will be entered here in the next few days. Let me apologize now for any mistakes I will probably make during this series. Give me some time to edit and correct whatever typos and the way I word things. BTW, "Too" in this context is not typo. lol! ;) During the next few days I have a bunch of family Christmas events I will be going to. I do intend to be on the blog each day to enter something new, but I will be doing them rather quickly and then coming back to them when I finish up this series.

Out of the Past "Too" (Youtube Version)

Out of the Past "Too" (Vimeo Version)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas (Festivities Cont.)

After thinking about it over the past few days, I decided to add a few more pictures of the rooms of the adobe in this blog as I wrap up my time at the Rancho Christmas. I am starting out with rooms near the main courtyard in the middle of the adobe structure, but then I get to the carriage courtyard.

The following picture is the horno. It is the oven that is connected to the bakery.
Now moving around to the other side you can see the bakery room and see how the horno connects to it.
The pantry is another room right next to the bakery. There are a series of other rooms that connect the kitchen to another pantry nearby. Some of those are shown in the previous R.E. #36 video.
Heading into the carriage courtyard one can find many people over here during this event. There were a few exhibits of different things on this side. Later during this day it started to get colder. There was a woman making tortillas. So, I waited in line to get mine. When she gave it to me it was hot, and at first I thought it would be a good thing to keep me warm. However, it was much hotter than my cold hands. So, I ended up playing "hot tortilla" with it until I ate it. It was very good!
In the carriage courtyard there is the blacksmith shop so I went into there. They have a museum of items in here.
On this day they had a few people actually show how a blacksmith would work here.
Overall, it was a fun and relaxing day going here. Very family oriented with lots of different activities going on. If you are ever around the San Diego area near the end of November then I would suggest going to Rancho Christmas at Rancho Guajome.

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas Festivities (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas Festivities (Vimeo Version)

If you would like to see the previous blog entries on Rancho Guajome from way back in R.E. #11 then go HERE. It goes along with what I did here because I show you more of the courtyards themselves rather than just the rooms like I did in the past few blog entries.

The previous part, R.E. #35, of the Rancho Christmas blogs covered some of the rooms if you did not see those then go HERE.

Feliz Navidad!

A little on the music for this video. The very end background song is called Laid Back Guitars by Incompetech and can be found HERE. The other thing I should mention is that all the other music you hear is nothing I added, but what was being played at the event. In fact, a lot of that I have no clue who or what the titles are for those.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas (Festivities)

In the last two blog entries I noted that the adobe was decorated for this Christmas event. There was a Christmas tree and a person playing Christmas tunes inside. On the outsides of the adobe they had all sorts of things going on. I'll touch on a few of these in this blog and the next.

The first thing I did that morning is watch a local dancing studio have their kids dance to Christmas songs behind the chapel. When I say "kids" I am talking really young. Mostly elementary school level kids. I put a few snippets of this later in the video, but no need for pictures here about that.

Next a mother and son that are Luiseno Indians gave some traditional stories that came from their tribe. I took some video of that, but cut it out of the main video since it would have made this video way bigger than it is. If I am ever in the mood somewhere down the road after the series is over I might find a way to make a video that.

In the following picture you will notice a few things they were doing on this side of the rancho. If you look closely on the left side you will see a tractor getting ready to pull some people around. They were giving people rides in my direction and then behind me. I wanted to do this near the end of the day, but I ended up leaving before that. In the background right by the adobe, they had things like free popcorn being made and art for kids. Just to the left you can see how they fenced off the area for the horse riding.If I remember correctly this horse was in the process of being trained by this man.He was trying to motivate him to bow and other tricks. He ended up walking the horse around and then doing it in a faster pace. The video shows parts of this.This group of young ladies compete in competitions. They were riding back and forth by each other without touching.One of the horses a little closer.One of the other horses and rider close up.So, the horsemanship was enjoyable. This is probably the closest I would get to having vaquero culture in this series. One thing not seen here, but seen in the video is some of the guys do some rope tricks. They had one act as if she were a bull, and they roped her up.

I'll continue the festivities in the next blog going to the other side of the adobe to the carriage court where they had somethings going on over there. I'll also show a few more parts of the insides of the adobe from that side.

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas Festivities (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #37: Rancho Christmas Festivities (Vimeo Version)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Inside the Adobe Cont.)

I'm continuing from last blog where I started to show some of the insides of the adobe during the Rancho Guajome Christmas event that takes place at the end of November. The purpose of this is not to show every single room they have because there are way too many, but to show a few of them.

Here is a child's room decorated with Feliz Navidad signs and symbols.
Another room to sleep in.This is the school room the kids would have been taught. The teachers desk is by the chalkboard, Christmas stockings over the fireplace, and a students desk. BTW, one of the math problems on one of those chalkboards was wrong. lol!One of the living rooms.This is where the paperwork and business was done.I am going to stop here with the rooms because it would take me another week or two to present every room in the adobe, and I do not feel the need to do that. The video does cover some of the other parts of the adobe like the dining room, the rooms food was prepared, etc. In #37 I will show some of the festivities they have during this event.

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Vimeo Version)

If you want to see the previous blogs on Rancho Gaujome (R.E. #11) go HERE.

The music used in the background is called Laid Back Guitars by and can be found HERE.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Inside the Adobe)

The next couple of blogs are about my return to Rancho Guajome during their Rancho Christmas event. What dictates what number I am on in this series is the video I am on. Since the video I had for this one would have been too big I decided to split it up into two parts. This means that this blog and the next one will be dedicated to video #36 which covers some of the insides of the rancho. The two blogs about some of the festivities at the adobe will be in #37.

During the last time I presented this adobe I dealt with what you can see on the outside. This time I want to show you just some of how the insides of what the adobe looks like. There are many rooms at this adobe. It would take too many pictures and video footage to show them all. So, I will just show a few rooms and let it go at that.

Rancho Guajome is a California Historical Landmark, and the following is the CHL marker for it. In the previous blogs on this place I mentioned how the Cout's family were the ones who built the adobe here. For our purposes this adobe has been the chief rival of Camulos as far as being thought of as the "Home of Ramona". There was some thought that Helen Hunt Jackson visited this place, that it was an influence on the novel, people came here as a tourist spot because of the novel, etc. No one really knows though. You can click the following picture, make it bigger, and read if you want to.
That up there is the sewing room that was added much later. It is fun to go up there since you get an overlook of the area.What they do here is at the end of November they have a special family event called Rancho Christmas. The place is decorated for Christmas and they have a bunch of festivities here. When the weekend is done then the rancho is closed to guests for the next few months. In the above picture you can see the door entrance, and you can see the Christmas Tree below as you enter.Continuing past the tree, taking a left, going down the corridor, then turning around will get you to the next picture. Most of the rooms are decorated in some way. This following picture location I have shown before. It is decorated, there are people down the way, and there was a man playing Christmas songs on a piano/organ behind me. There were lots of people moving back and forth through this way. It only took me two takes to get the necessary video footage here which was pretty good considering the amount of people that had the potential to get in my way. When I went upstairs I had to delay moving where I wanted to because of the family up there. No big deal. So, I ended up cutting there, then I got footage that I decided to use at the beginning of the video. The following is a quick stich of two pictures just to give you an idea of what was going on outside at the time I was upstairs.

In the next blog I will show you some of the rooms they lived, slept, and did business in.

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #36: Rancho Christmas (Vimeo Version)