Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Meanwhile back at the ranch -- Turtle Rocks and Hidden Valley

In the photo above I've labeled Turtle Rocks (which is actually the south side of Ambush Pass) and Hidden Valley which was just a small patch of land hidden behind Turtle Rocks.  As you can see (far left) grading is already changing the area.

Hidden Valley was the home of a stone outlaw cabin that I'll discuss at length in a future post.  The important thing about the aerial photo at the top of this post is that almost all the significant rock formations on the upper Iverson Ranch can be seen in it.  In coming days I'll tell you about them.  They are Whale Rock, the Slates, Indian Head Rock, Totem Pole Rocks, and Lookout Point.  But, today we'll concentrate on Turtle Rocks.  

Here's a photo of Turtle Rocks (center above) taken in the spring of 2009.  A chase road once meandered through the area passing all the unique rocks mentioned above.  Turtle Rocks did not actually reveal themselves until you were about a hundred yards west of them on the chase road.

Above is a screenshot from a "Bonanza TV Show" episode "The Crucible" filmed from almost the same camera angle as of my 2009 photo above.

Here's a still (above) from King of the Bullwhip (1950), in it Turtle Rocks are just above the horse's head.

The screenshot above from The Lone Ranger (1956) shows Jay Silverheels riding past Indian Head Rock (far right) with Turtle Rocks in the background.  Once you recognize this camera angle--you'll spot it again and again in dozens of movies.

Here's a still from Rocky Lane's Desperadoes' Outpost (1952).  Can you find Turtle Rocks in the background?

In the screenshot (above) from Marshal of Cripple Creek (1947) (another Rocky Lane film) you can see Turtle Rocks (top left) and Hidden Valley (far right).

In the shot above (from my book Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland) I illustrated how cameramen sometimes got caught up capturing a "cool rock background," so the same rock actually appeared behind two people facing each other in the same scene :-)

I'll finish off this post by showing you a totally made-up scene in a screen capture from Trail of Robin Hood (1950).  It shows Roy Rogers riding Trigger toward a bridge (probably Corriganville) with Turtle Rocks superimposed behind them.  One thing to remember about the Iverson Ranch is… It's always "all about the rocks."
'Meanwhile back at the ranch' is a continuing series about "rock stars" (landscape features) on the old Iverson Movie Location Ranch in Chatsworth, California.  For more information about the Iverson Movie Ranch see: http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2011/10/iverson-movie-location-ranch-chatsworth.html

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