2015 Lone Pine and Alabama Hills Rally Recap

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2015 Lone Pine and Alabama Hills Rally Recap

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                                                                                  2015 Lone Pine and Alabama Hills Rally Recap

On Wednesday, April 8, the Leap’n Lions group began assembling at the Boulder Creek RV Resort which is situated about 5 miles south of Lone Pine, CA in the Owens Valley on Highway 395. With Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48) in the background, the RV Park is a beautifully maintained high desert facility staffed with very friendly and helpful people. The arrival day weather was a bit "iffy" (chilly and very breezy), but typical April conditions. The high peaks were still covered with the mantle of winter. As each coach arrived, old friends were able to meet and greet, share laughs and catch up with each other. This sanctioned semi-annual rally attracted 18 Born Free coaches, mainly from California, Nevada and Washington state areas. The group delighted in welcoming some new attendees including charming people from New York, Minnesota and a couple who splits time between Iowa and Las Vegas. The Park has a comfortable space where we all gathered early evening for our traditional first night Potluck Dinner. Phyllis Howard, current Vice-President for the Southwest Region, gave a warm welcome to all, a brief overview of the rally agenda and activities and had everyone introduce themselves. The potluck was truly outstanding and after dinner, two members with local experience gave brief talks. Steve Wolfe, who came to Lone Pine as a senior in high school, told some stories of living in the tiny valley town in the 1950's, including Gary Cooper umpiring his school’s baseball games. Don Bedard talked about his 1960’s hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney, and afterwards, we gathered around the traditional campfire, recounting earlier rallies and those for the future.

April 9, 2015

Time to rise and shine and line up the vehicles for a caravan at 9:15 AM for our appointed meeting with the docent of the Manzanar War Relocation Center, Ms. Rose Master. For those unfamiliar with Manzanar, the camp was used as a relocation camp for over 10,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II for about a three and a half year period commencing April 1942. The facility has been named a National Historic Site and the Park Service has done a fabulous job of reconstructing the history and some of the buildings. Overwhelming amounts of information are to be learned and appreciated concerning the issues surrounding the internment of mainly west coast Japanese, the majority of whom were American citizens. The film alone is worth the trip to Manzanar. Much of the information is taken from the oral history of those who were interred during the war, losing all the family possessions including homes, businesses, land and other resources. Although the reasoning was for protection of those Japanese-American families, one can see the questionability of those who lost their constitutional rights during what was a very difficult and fearful time in the history of this country. Later that evening, we had a great chicken dinner prepared and served by the staff of Boulder Creek RV Resort. After dinner, two members, Ken and Beth Giannotti, had agreed to share their extensive experience using their Born Free in nearby Death Valley. The presentation was terrific, and included a handout with their tips as well as a video.

April 10, 2015

Today we all met at the Lone Pine Film History Museum where watched a short film covering the history of the Alabama Hills (just west of Lone Pine and in the foothill of Mt. Whitney) as a location for many of the cowboy films we all enjoyed as kids. Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Gary Cooper, John Wayne and many others came to the area to film those wonderful creations of yesteryear. Recent filming in the area included scenes in "Iron Man 3" with Robert Downey Jr. and "The Gladiator" with Russell Crowe. The film museum is open to the public daily and has a rich array of memorabilia including costumes, stage coaches, saddles, and lots of interesting displays. We left the museum and staged our group in the Alabama Hills. Our guide, Chris Langley, shared a lot of history and showed photographs corresponding to movie film sites. Suggested side trips for today’s free afternoon included the Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery, the Eastern California Museum, the Southern Inyo Museum or a visit to the Visitors Center located on the road that leads to Death Valley. Some drove to the Whitney Portal (9,200 feet) to take in the expanse of the Owens Valley from a "birds’ eye perspective." There are incredible surroundings throughout the area and much to see and do. Certainly worth at least a few days in the area. Many of us spoke about how we had driven through this area for years and never stopped to learn about the history and wealth of information available for those wanting to visit. After dinner, we once again gathered around the campfire for pleasant conversation and a few laughs.

April 11, 2015

We are in Lone Pine just in time for “Alabama Hills Day” to be held today at the convention center where there are natural environment displays to learn about and take advantage of. Special helicopter tours are available for those wishing to get an overall view of the Owens Valley and Mount Whitney. Those hardy enough can do some rock climbing, fat tire biking and horseback riding. The less strenuous events include bird watching and native plant and insect walks. Co-sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, there are over 30 participating booth displays located in the convention center. The Owens Valley has a long and interesting history. Back at the RV Resort, and after dinner, we gathered to take our group picture and then moved on to the nightly campfire to relive the day and share what we each had seen and done.

April 12, 2015

Today we say our goodbyes and look forward to our next rally to be held in the Gold Country at Columbia, California. We all agree that our stay at the Boulder Creek RV Resort was very special and that the staff and facilities are a step above. We would recommend the Resort to anyone and highly recommend group stays where the staff provide complimentary coffee and muffins every morning and can be booked for full on “home cooked” catered meals in the evening.

Leap’n Lions is such a great group. We have built lasting friendships and many of us communicate with each other during our “away” times and look forward to sharing good times and super fun each time we meet for a rally.

Written by Bev Bedard

NOTE: This recap was posted by Website Administrator (bfadmin-2) for the author Bev Bedard.
Group Photo
Group Photo
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Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar National Historic Site.jpg (233.69 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
Inyo County Film Commissioner showing us locations of movie scenes in the Alabama Hills
Inyo County Film Commissioner showing us locations of movie scenes in the Alabama Hills
Inyo County Film Commissioner showing us locations of movie scenes in the Alabama Hills.jpg (194.2 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
Boulder Creek RV Resort
Boulder Creek RV Resort
Boulder Creek RV Resort.jpg (247.76 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
One of our informal gatherings
One of our informal gatherings
One of our informal gatherings.jpg (265.57 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club Website Forum Administrators
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