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Friday, November 1, 2013

Lone Pine: A Movie Museum and 100 Mules

Rick Morgan


As mentioned in our last post we are camped in Tuttle Creek Campground just a few miles west of Lone Pine. This charming western town is located in Inyo County, in the beautiful Owens Valley, at the foothills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The town also serves as the gateway to the Alabama Hills and the Whitney Portal.




In addition to all of the “normal small town stuff” the town is home to The Beverly and Jim Rogers Lone Pine Film Museum. This is a wonderful little museum that does a great job of chronicling Lone Pine’s connection with Hollywood. The amazing number of Hollywood feature films, TV shows and commercials made in the area is astounding. Who knew? It was fun roaming around the Museum and it brought back fond memories of all those B-Westerns we watched at Saturday matinees at the DuPage Theatre in our childhood hometown of Lombard, IL. Sadly, we had arrived in the area one week past the Lone Pine Film Festival – Perhaps next year?

After visiting the museum we walked up a few blocks, crossed the street and stopped at the Interagency Visitor Center. Not only did we get helpful information about the surrounding area, but also a bit of information shared by one of the agency staff got our curiosity. She asked us, “Have you seen the 100 mules?” Nope, what 100 mules? Where? So she told us about the L.A. Aqueduct Centennial and the ride along the Aqueduct by 100 mules (one for each year) to commemorate the anniversary and gave us directions. As it turns out, the mules had just rode into town from Independence for the second stop on their journey and were corralled behind the museum. We said thank you…and off we went.




Wow! There they were – all 100 of them! It was such fun to see the cowboys, wranglers, and tent camp. We sat, took pictures, listened to the hee-hawing of mules and watched their antics. They have a long 200-mile plus journey to Los Angeles over some rough varied terrain. Can’t wait to see the completion of their ride knowing we got a chance to share in the history of this celebration. 


Of course there was also some fun… a local band played and all of the participants, townspeople, as well as, JoAnne and Rick enjoyed the “party”.