Friday, October 17, 2014


LONE PINE CALIFORNIA IS THE MECCA OF COWBOY MOVIES----over 500 of them have been made here---for a very good reason!

I found myself a scenic free spot only a block from the center of things. I'm parked outside the estate of  Louis Statum--rich guy who invented medical stuff.
But every spot in Lone Pine has a scenic view.  This is the view from McDonalds.
One of those peaks up there is Mt Whitney---14,494 ft--highest point in the continental 48 states.

So I do the tourist thing---take a pict with a young John Wayne.
And here's a skin tight Lone Ranger and stolid Tonto.
And a gold clad Elvis.
And the most famous man in the world (for a few years) Roy Rogers.
But just outside town is the big draw---the famous Alabama Hills---miles and square miles of boulder filled backdrops ---just perfect for movie making.
(named during the civil war by local southern sympathizers to honor the amazing confederate battleship Alabama that had no equal in the Yankee Navy---boarded 450 vessels---captured or burned 65 Union ships---took more than 2000 prisoners without a single loss of life of prisoners or her own crew) Curious? read about it here.

Here's an over view hinting at the hundreds of nooks ready made for Western movies.

Festival people place movie shots at the precise spot it was filmed.  Hundreds are scattered around the area letting you relive some of your favorite scenes---if you're old enough to remember.

This classic spot was used over and over.

Fascinating to walk around--
see how movie people can utilize a spot
like this

And of course they had a parade.  Here's a Hopalong Cassidy look-alike.
And John Wayne---all American hero. 

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This area will make you feel good about the BLM. (Bureau of Land Management)  They preserve this historic scene and keep it open for free use by campers.  Movies are still made here.  Don't leave town without visiting the movie museum at the end of town and the BLM visitor center just south of town.  Also, there's an abandoned monastery within hiking distance in the mountains.

PREVIEW OF COMING STORY:  I'm on my way to a slightly dangerous situation:  I mean to penetrate the dark innards of an occupied ghost town. A town listed in the encyclopedia of forlorn places.


Anonymous said...

Randy, Thanks for the link to the forlorn places. Looks like hours of great reading and research! Love your blog, and seeing all the places you travel to and the people you interact with. Linda

Randy said...

Thanks Linda---I'm also enjoying the encyclopedia of forlorn places. Received a nice e-mail from its Author. You may want to let him know is work is appreciated. Apparently he has actually gone to the places he writes about.

bayrider said...

Much more than just cowboy films are filmed there these days, they did scenes in Gladiator there, also Iron Man and Transformers.

Since I first visited the area twenty five years ago I always recognize it almost immediately in films, always a hoot to see the familiar rocks!

While you're there it's a great day hike up to the summit of Mt Whitney, it's a strenuous and long day but not particularly difficult.

Randy said...

Thank you Bayrider Didn't know about those other films. And yes--when I see a film with boulders in it I immediately think of the Alabama hills. I first saw them about 20 years ago.

And re: climbing Mt Whitney: I was told that only 16 people per day are allowed to climb. I don't think I could make it anyway.