Surprise, I am laying on my bed at the Trails Motel, still in beautiful downtown Lone Pine, sending you an update on my trek, day 16, Saturday, April 26.
I thought my blog for the day would be a little sparse since I was just resting in the little town that I have passed through hundreds of times and never really paid much attention to other than stopping to get something to eat once in a while. I have always seen interesting places here, but fall for that mistake we all make, and that is not to stop and smell the roses. When you are walking or don’t have a car you can’t help but stop and smell the roses. But, you basically have to be the kind of person that finds interest in the small things. And I do.
Ok, first I have to get my excitement out of the way. Life’s full of little joys. I found out I got a big discount here at the motel because I was brought in by a police car. I guess the owner gives cops discounts, and I didn’t even have to ask for it. As I said before, I love getting stuff for free or bartering, and I didn’t even have to work for it.
I had a great night’s sleep and the bed felt great after all those nights on a pad. I did use the pillow I brought with me since I only sleep on my side because I have a bad back. At home I have a memory foam pillow that has a large neck roll. I took one and cut it into about a third and it packs down into a small stuff sack. The only thing I can’t quite figure out is why they call it memory foam? Isn’t it suppose to return to its original memory as a neck roll pillow, instead of a stuff sack pillow? Sometimes I have to slap it around so it remembers it’s a neck roll pillow!
I was hoping I would sleep late, but found myself up before six since I have been getting up so early. As much as I wanted lay there, my feet wanted get moving. Maybe restless leg syndrome?
I thought I would walk into town for breakfast and went to the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. What a nice place. Even though it’s touristy, it had a great atmosphere. The waitress was like out of a movie (there goes my movie analogies again, but apropos for the area). She has been here twenty-five years and knows all the stories of all the hundreds movie star and movie photos hanging on the walls. It was nice to see someone that is so busy, and probably has a tough job at times, still smile and be so friendly after all those years. The menu was great and very reasonable, but not something I would eat all the time. I am burning calories and I am on vacation, so the healthy food can wait until I get home.
I told her I was just taking it easy and resting for a day, and told her I was trekking. She told me to go walk down the street for a mile or so and see the Alabama Hills out back. A mile or so, wait a minute, I was going to rest. This trek is about adventure, knowledge, exploring, etc., etc., etc. Well, off I went with my Crocs on and I started up the road to the Alabama Hills. It had snowed last night so the background of the Sierra Mountains, and of course Mt. Whitney, were absolutely beautiful, like a post card. Looking at the Alabama Hills, I could visualize those hills in so many of the movies I have seem. Westerns most of all of course, but many, many others too. I have alway recognized them as the Sierras in movies, but I will appreciation them even more.
So, there goes my rest. As I walked back to town I could not help but notice how nice and peaceful the residential neighborhoods looked. The house were a mixture of old and new and most looked well cared for. It is not the image I have had all these years whizzing through the town, but now I see why people move here to small town America and stay here. As an appraiser, I have always liked looking at house, so I wandered through the neighborhoods just looking at the house. Many face the Sierras and I can imagine how wonderful it must be looking out your window and seeing that view every day.
I walked through a park that I have seen whizzing by and never stopped to look at it. It was beautifully green and had a stream running through it. There were several groups of people that looked like locals having some type of event. It was like a Norman Rockwell painting, small town America. I figured I walked 3-4 miles on my rest day, but it seemed like nothing compared to my regular day. It was well worth it.
When Mindee got here to resupply me, we decided to walk next door to the Lone Pine Film History Museum. Another one of those places that I have seen passing through and never stopped to see. The waitress had also recommended it. Darn that waitress, I needed my rest!
It was five dollars to get in but well worth it. We spent well over a hour there and could have stayed longer because there is so much to see. Almost all of the of photos, displays, memorabilia, etc., are from movies that were filmed in the Alabama Hills. There were hundreds and hundreds of movies, tv series, and commercials, filmed here. There was also a short film on the history of the film making here. Filming first started here in the twenties with the silent movie era. Current movies like Django, Gladiator, and Ironman were filmed here too. It was well worth the five dollars, and of course the time. I’d come back again.
Well, I am back in the room writing this blog and heading into town for dinner. There are actually many good restaurants in town. I think that what I considered bad circumstances yesterday leaded me here actually turned out to be a fortunate one for me. It gave me time to see Lone Pine in a different way, and stopping to see it made it a great part of my adventure that I might have missed.
Tomorrow I will likely go back to Olancha in the morning and walk back to Lone Pine so that I can complete my trek on foot. Mindee will take me back, but I have two other options. One is get a ride from a highway patrol officer, or get a ride from a store owner that I met today that lives in Olancha and offered me a ride. It’s interesting how I am finding such nice things and people on my trek.
Hope to keep you updated tomorrow.
Best to all, and please keep good thoughts, prayers, and blessings, going my way,