Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I'm already out of town again. I didn't even get a chance to capture the giantness of The Giant Forest in a proper travel essay. I will finish that on the train to Chicago today. Here is a preview: Big Trees, Big Fun.

In the meany - check out Beth's innovative smores technique. We were stuck on a one lane mountain highway with twenty minutes to spare. At 7,500 feet above sea level and a chipper 89 degree sun smiling down on us, we figured it would take seven minutes to bring the smore to proper melty point. Beth was willing to sacrifice the burnt mallow taste and bit into hers as soon as the chocolate beaded up with sunsweat. We should have used the engine block.


Am and I went to see a special screening of "Brand Upon the Brain" complete with orchestra and narration by a beautiful and famous Italian horror film actress, Barbara Steele.

I had a bonnie time but I might have missed some of the actual film because I was so distracted by the three foley artists in the corner. They were dressed in lab coats and had scads of fascinating props like a tub of water and a giant wind tumbler. My favorite was when they tore a fresh celery stalk to make the sounds of bones crushing.

After the show everyone was standing around discussing how they just love foley. I am not a seasoned foley conversationalist so I just kept saying that I loved when they bit the celery.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I left another pillow at another motel. Some time ago I got the bright idea to take my own pillow with me on road trips. Since then I have left three pillows at various motorlodges across western America. Now, make that a total of four and recognize this as a public declaration of abandoning that travel tactic. The only people that it is making 'more comfortable' are the lucky motel owners that find my awesome polyester pillows covered in super cute pillowcases.

Miss N and I took a jaunt up the 395 this weekend. I found a NPS brochure for Manzanar when I was in New Mexico and was enticed by the indomitable cover photo. I also hadn’t added a stamp to my National Parks Passport in a good while so I figured it was high time to get exploring eastern Cali.

We packed and planned for camping but when we saw the precious motels and storefronts in Lone Pine we knew we had to stay in town.

Lone Pine is known for being a kind of base camp for Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the United States, and for being a popular filming location for westerns, Ridley Scott films, and truck commercials.

They have a new Film History Museum. The museum plays films that were shot in Lone Pine every Thursday and Saturday. N and I got to see Cary Grant in “Gunga Din” with a crowd full of people that probably caught it when it was originally released in ’39.

That’s just the thing about Lone Pine. The multifarious populous is what makes Lone Pine an exceptional place to visit. Besides the cowboy or ATV/four-wheeling locals, you have sport tourists there for fishing and climbing, retirees on their way up to Kings canyon in their RV’s, and film buffs and production people. There just happened to be a massive Corvette caravan bin town when we were there. N noted that most Corvette drivers are tall skinny white guys with receding hairlines. I only observed the group for one evening, but other than a man with a British accent and a full head of hair, she was right.

After the movie we went to the Double L bar and played a game of shuffleboard. Sierra Nevada on tap costs $3.50 and comes in a chilly mug. The shuffleboard is free and so is the competitive advice coming from the locals at the bar. It was a Saturday night and the place had plenty of room to chillax. All in all, it was a fortunate break from Los Angeles.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

At the Pet Cemetery in Manzanar

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.


Just another reason to hang around me.

I have many many skills, ‘knacks’ for stuff. It seems like the circumstances of each week highlight a special attribute of mine.

This week is really turning out to be something special for stubbing my big toe and general flip-flop accidents.
Not only that, but I have been able to get in line at the store, several times already, by people that apparently just came up from their nuclear bomb shelters. These poor people are completely unfamiliar with the ATM and credit card and oftentimes, even cash, payment system. It is so fortunate that someone like me is behind them in line.


Hands On

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Would you believe me if I told you that the Autry lets you dress up like an old fashioned cowboy? And you even get to whip a realistic photo of a horse? Well it's not true. But there are a lot of hands-on activities for kids and parents. Like you can pretend you a eating in a fifties kitchen. Or you can put on cowboy boots.

The museum itself is far more impressive than I anticipated. I expected big things because I love the wild west so much. They are having a pistol exhibit right now and there is a whole wing dedicated to hand card Colt hand guns. Its something to see. I can't imagine people (soldiers, police officers, militia, gangstas) using guns that are covered in intricate hand carvings. These babys were covered with flowers and feathers. I wonder which point they decided to scrap that.

The best parts of the museum are the life size buffalo and the various giant maps. It gives you a sense of territory and prospecting.

The gift shop is solid. The only down side was that out of all of the western music, there wasn't a CD that had "Sounds of the Ranch". In a lot of the museum rooms they would have random ranch sounds playing and they should offer that on a CD so visitors can keep pretending for days, even years after they go home.

I bought a dream catcher.

The Autry Museum

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.