As mentioned in previous posts, one major motivation for this cross-country trip was to shoot a film in the surreal landscape of the Bristlecone Pine National Forest. We have just returned from an exhausting weekend of doing just that. While most people were sanely enjoying fireworks and BBQ over the Fourth, we opted for high altitude desert-like camping mixed with stressful shooting conditions.
The buildup to the weekend started out easy enough with another plush KOA experience in Ely, Nevada; If you've ever looked at a map of the state you'll note that the stretch of I-93 for Idaho to Ely doesn't offer much in the way of scenic camping. The Ely KOA did offer a few exciting surprises for us though. One was this swing, which Maisy adorded...
Behind the swing, and not pictured, were a pair of burros that brayed throughout the night. It was more charming than annoying.
The second surprise was a really delight for Tracy. Apparently, Ely sits right next to a healthy supply of garnets. We took a drive up to the old "Garnet Hill" and did a little amatuer rock-hounding. Tracy gleaned about six specimins! Maisy and I found squat.
Leaving Ely, we took a shortcut over a country road to get on Route 6. It's not a very well marked shortcut at that, and we ended up deep in some copper mine instead. It spawned a discussion over the beauty/disaster of mines.
The area reminded me of the work of Edward Burtynsky.
A friendly security fellow set us back on course and straight to Route 6, which brought us into the world's premier destination for star gazing - or so their signage declared, Tonopah, Nevada. Sadly, we were just there for a brief lunch siesta.
We had passed through this little town in the hills on previous trips and somehow managed to forget about this disturbing sight:
Motels and Clowns. As tempting as that was, we opted to move on to Bishop for a night's lodging before our ascent into the Bristlecone Pines.
Note that the sign toward the top-left corner is a plague warning! The Clown Motel was looking better and better.
It was at the Grandview Campground that we experienced the first of a series of mishaps with our poor little Scamp. Being the greedy types, we circled the area for the premier campsite. A hairpin turn resulted in an hour's setback.
That's what a bottomed out trailer looks like. It's not a fun experience but did confirm that we knew how to use a car jack.
With the Scamp righted, we settled for the first site we saw and proceeded to hold a marathon shooting session with the help of our friends, Heidi and Steve.
Here's some production shots from our little short.
I can't comment much on the shoot itself since the entire three-days was a blur of f-stop calculations and baby-wrangling. We're excited to send the footage out and see what exactly we have!
On a final note, we caught this amusing photo of our "home" on our return to Bishop yesterday:
Could Raptor be compensating for something or am I just jealous?