Monday, April 27, 2015

Destination: Lone Pine

Downtown Lone Pine

Dateline: Friday, April 24, 2015, exit stage north along the I395 to Lone Pine, Calif.  Gateway to Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills, the latter of which has been the site of hundreds of Western films since at least the 1930's.  You name it, it was probably filmed there in parts.  Lone Pine is also home to the Lone Pine Film Museum which highlights many of these films and actors.  The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and many more.

Below, John Wayne's hat and coat from the film, The Shootist

Nevada Smith with Steve McQueen was filmed in part in the Alabama Hills.  Co-starring Karl Malden, who after being gut shot near the end of the film by McQueen's character, yells and prods McQueen to kill him and says, "You're Yellow, ya haven't got the guts..." over and over.

Humphrey Bogart's car from the film, High Sierra, below...

Lone Pine is also a bit past the half way mark from Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes, Calif.  Rarely have I stopped in Lone Pine but that has changed since this past weekend when I got the chance to visit the museum and some of the stores, shops and motels in town that dedicate themselves to commemorating the films made nearby in the Alabama Hills and in town where the stars and crew would gather for meals and to rest.  Indeed, John Wayne slept at the Dow Villa Inn.

Lone Pine also hosts many of the people who annually attend the Manzanar Pilgrimage in the spring each year.  There is even a coffee house that carries exceptional coffee from locally sourced coffee roaster namely, BLACK SHEEP, out of Bishop, Calif. On the other hand, their flat screen had FOX NEWS on every time I went in the place... so you may not want to sit inside for very long...

The Mt. Whitney Cafe, however, is your typical 60's era coffee shop and diner but with hundreds of photos of western film stars and esp. of John Wayne.

It's only a 13 mile trip up from Lone Pine on the Mt. Whitney Portal Road, open seasonally, to the trail head to the hike that will take you to the top... if you are lucky enough to get a permit from the Park Rangers Office in LP.  It's still worth the trip up to the trail head for the views of Mt. Whitney on the way up and the valley floor on the way down... just be sure to drive slow and carefully... (note: the following 5 photos are from a previous road trip up the Mt. Whitney Portal Rd. on March 29th of this year.)

There is also the 7 mile Movie Road that is passenger vehicle safe and is well worth the trip...

Below, go straight to head up the Whitney Portal Road, or turn right on Movie Road...

... and at the end of the 7 mile loop on Movie Road is Hogback Road...

Happy Trails!...

Respectfully submitted,

Will Maguire

(All photos by & © Will Maguire 2015.)

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