DUARTE SENIORS GET THEIR KICKS!

October 23-24, 2013

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MORE THAN 50 SENIORS BOARDED A BUS AND HEADED EAST ON ROUTE 66.   AFTER TRAVELING THROUGH THE CAJON PASS, THE FOG DISAPPEARED AND WE EMERGED INTO THE WARM DESERT UNDER BLUE SKIES.  OUR FIRST STOP: THE MOJAVE RIVER VALLEY MUSEUM IN BARSTOW

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TIME FOR LUNCH, WE HEADED FOR THE MOVIE-FAMOUS BAGDAD CAFE, GREETED BY OWNER ANDREE PRUETT.  WE WERE PRETTY COZY IN THAT ROOM BUT REVELED IN THE AMBIENCE OF THE OLD MOTHER ROAD

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SOMEONE SAID THE TRAILER BELOW WAS WHERE JACK PALANCE STAYED DURING THE FILMING.  COULDN’T VERIFY THAT RUMOR! BAGDAD3.AIRSTREAM

HARD TO SEE, BUT MOST EVERYONE WAS ABLE TO PICK OUT HUELL HOWSER’S HOUSE OUTSIDE NEWBERRY SPRINGS WHERE IT SITS LIKE A WHITEHEAD ON A BLACK CINDER CONE.  WE MADE A STOP IN AMBOY AT ROYS WHERE EVERYONE TOOK SHOTS OF PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED SIGNS ALONG THE ROAD.

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ROYS1 ROYS2                                           THE MIGHTY DUARTE SENIORS 

THE ROUTE 66 TOWN OF GOFFS IS NOW HOME TO THE MOJAVE DESERT HERITAGE AND CULTURAL ASSOCIATION. THE GOFFS POPULATION IS NOW ELEVEN.  THERE WAS MUCH TO SEE!  WE WERE GREETED BY HUGH BROWN WHO TALKED ABOUT THE AREA’S HISTORY.

GOFFS1 GOFFS2 GOFFS3The 1914 Goffs School House (above)  was almost a goner when Dennis Casebier and his group, then known as Friends of the Old Mojave Road, restored it to its former glory.  It now serves as the Goffs Museum.   GOFFS4.CANONThe seniors pose with an old cannon that was brought in to Goffs from a desert mine. GOFFS5.stamp.Above, Alan tells John West about the working two-stamp mill.

After a night’s stay at the Avi Hotel in Laughlin, we crossed the Colorado River and took the dusty road to the Route 66 town of Oatman. Once a thriving gold mining town, it is now a block of shops, eateries, wandering burros, and scheduled “shoot outs.”

OATMAN1WOW!  THE TOWN WOKE UP WHEN 52 DUARTE SENIORS STEPPED OFF THE BUS.  IT WAS SHOP-AND-SIGHTSEE GALORE. OATMAN2 OATMAN3 OATMAN4 OATMAN5 OATMAN6 OATMAN7 OATMAN8.BURROS OATMAN9.BURROS OATMAN10.SHOP OATMAN11 OATMAN12 OATMAN13

WELL, TIME TO HEAD HOME.  WE TOOK A RIDE THROUGH NEEDLES TO SEE THE EL GARCES DEPOT AND MADE IT TO LUDLOW FOR LUNCH AT THE CAFE.  HOMEWARD BOUND, OUR LAST STOP WAS THE VICTORVILLE ROUTE 66 MUSEUM.  THE VOLUNTEER STAFF THERE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO STAY AFTER HOURS TO ALLOW US TO VISIT.  IT WAS ONE FUN STOP!

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BACK ON THE BUS, WE RELUCTANTLY RETURNED TO DUARTE’S LITTLE STRETCH OF THE MOTHER ROAD AFTER A FUN, EDUCATIONAL DAY OF GETTING OUR KICKS.  WITH BAGS OF PURCHASED SOUVENIRS, GREAT PHOTOS AND A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRESENT STATE OF AMERICA’S HIGHWAY, WE BID FAREWELL TO EACH OTHER.

THANKS TO PEGGY AND KELLY FOR MAKING THE ARRANGEMENTS, AND TO FRED OUR BUS DRIVER FOR DELIVERING US SAFELY HOME, AND TO ALL THOSE VOLUNTEERS ALONG THE ROAD WHO WERE QUICK TO GIVE US A SMILE, A WELCOME AND SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THE ROAD’S HISTORY.

IT WAS OUR PLEASURE TO BE THE TRIP LEADERS TO A BUS LOAD OF FUN LOVING SENIORS!   ALAN & CLAUDIA

 

LONE PINE FILM FESTIVAL – A TRIP INTO HISTORY

Remember those days when such movies as Gunga Din, Hop-Along-Cassidy and The Lone Ranger entertained us?  Hundreds of movies were filmed in the Alabama Hills, a jumble of rocks between the town of Lone Pine on Highway 395 and the saw-toothed peaks of Mt. Whitney.  Via bus and led by a town of Darwin resident named Jude, we toured the hills and learned alot!

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Comparing photos of the actual filming, we could locate the exact spots where filming of Gunga Din in 1939 by RKO Radio Pictures occurred.  The unique rock formations made the exercise easy!  Imagine the hundreds of people, the sets, the elephants, the caterers, the tents for the cast to live in –  gd2.smThe movie starred Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Fontaine and Sam Jaffe in the title role.  gd3.smAbove is where the temple stood.  We were able to find shards of sets and even elephant dung. gd4.sm gd5.smOur tour leader, Jude, explained the details with her australian accent – sometimes hard to understand!   gd6.sm

We took another tour called the North-South Tour – and visited many movie sites. Below is where William Boyd (Hop Along Cassidy) lived with his wife.  There is also a rumor he once had a home in Duarte, but we have not been able to verify the truth of that rumor.

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Another tour was called The Water Wars – Today we think of the modern war between the Owens Valley and the MWD over mitigation of the dust problems.  This tour took us back to the days the land was taken from the Native Americans!

ww1.smA spot little known to even Lone Pine residents:  The old train depot. ww2.sm ww3.sm

Our tour stopped for photos at magnificent view of the Sierras which received a dusting of snow the day before we arrived for the festival.  Foreground:  The Owens River.  Much of the foliage showed signs of being crushed by the large Elk herd which lives in the area. ww4.smportal.sm

We drove up the switchback road which appeared in the film The Long Trailer with Lucile Ball and Dezi Arnaz.  At the road’s end (above) Alan attempted to fish in the Portals Pond – only to find it was frozen!

We visited the almost ghost town of Keeler on the north shore of Owens “Lake.” (below). The steamship “Bessie Brady” once brought ore from Keeler across the lake to the town of Cartago.

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Looping back to Hwy 395 we found Dirty Sock Mineral Pool not far from Olancha.  We were horrified to recall that we used to take the kids into that pool to swim.  Yuch!

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Below is Palisades Glacier.  We were in search of fall colors and were not disappointed. The scene was breathtaking, but the fishing sucked.  palisades1

fall1.colors fall2.colors fall3.colorsBelow, Alan spotted an osprey and managed to get some good photos. fall4.osprey

After camping in Lone Pine at the Boulder Creek RV Resort and enjoying their hook ups, pool and jacuzzi, we spent a few days primitive camping at Taboose Creek with our friends Bill and Elaine Held, then came back south and (below) enjoyed a night at Diaz Lake.  The full moon shining across the water made for an awesome scene.

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