Recent comments

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Thanks, Random Walker. I've added Forever, Darling to Honorable Mention.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    While I enjoyed "The Long, Long Trailer" very much and it probably showed more park views, my favorite "Lucy" film was "Forever, Darling" with them camping in Yosemite National Park late 50's style.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I had that one in the first go-around, kb, but I scrubbed it when I couldn't determine if there was footage actually shot at White Sands National Monument and not just in the vicinity. I've dug deeper, and you are quite correct. Nice catch.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    This is a great list...but I would also include The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), starring David Bowie, for an honorable mention for the scenes filmed in White Sands national monument.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    LOL! You nailed it Bob, that was the critic's main complaint. When asked about it Howard Hawks said that color film could not show the dirt, the grittiness of life on the american frontier, or something to that effect (I do not remember the exact quote.)

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    OK, Random Walker, you've convinced me. I'm going to invent a new category entitled "Marvelous National Park Films that Were Filmed in Black & White When the Cheapskates Should have Shot the Damn Things in Color (What Were They Thinking, for Crying Out Loud?!)" In all seriousness, it's a great flick, and I do need to promote it to the first rank. Keep 'em coming. I love it.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    @y_p_w: Star Trek V was released in 1989, which puts it outside the purview of this particular listing. I'll be sure to put it in the 1980s and 1990s list, which is next.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    *gasp*
    "The Big Sky" gets only an honorable mention, I am appalled...
    A great film (first not to use stock NPS footage) by one of the greatest directors of all times.
    The black-and-white cinematography (Russell Harlan) received an Oscar nomination.

    "...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
    learning or any other serious thing" -Aldo Leopold-

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Henry Fonda was indeed in that 1973 spaghetti western ("My Name is Nobody"), Owen. He played an aging gunfighter. Must have really needed the money.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Star Trek V starts off with the crew camping at Yosemite and Captain Kirk climbing El Capitan without any equipment. I'd note that the location of Star Fleet Academy would also be right in the Presidio.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Thanks for the info, d-2. Governors Island National Monument is a super filming location (or backdrop, for that matter). BTW, don't forget that Working Girl also had footage shot at Statue of Liberty National Monument.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Bob, I don't recall Henry Fonda having a role in the Spaghetti Western, "My Name is Nobody" with Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer, but it's likely you've gotten this comedy confused with the more serious "Once Upon A Time in the West" which included scenes from Monument Valley, UT (a tribal park but not part of the NPS. There may have been other NPS units included that I'm unaware of).

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Shicks49 is correct, but let's also mention the Caine Mutiny scene shot at the Ahwahnee Hotel. I'm going to give Caine Mutiny an honorable mention listing.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Yes indeed! They had just abandoned their horses in the dead of night, hoping the posse tracking them with torches would follow the trail left by the horses. It almost worked, but only for a few minutes, then the posse begins to double back and head towards the rocks where Butch and Sundance are observing in shock.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think of Lodging Rates in National Parks?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Richard, I just checked Ahwahnee Hotel prices at https://smsworldbeg.dncinc.com/yosemite/BookingEngine.aspx

    Your price quote above is for a specially discounted rate for off-season use. I just queried Deleware North Corporation for a reservation at the Ahwahnee for a standard room for the night of Dcember 30, 2009, and was quoted a price of $469.00, which when tax is added into the room price will exceed $500.00.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Thanks, Owen. As you may have seen, while compiling this new list I have shamelessly stolen ideas from you, MRC, d-2, and others who commented on the last list. I cannot attribute each and every one of the ideas/suggestions because that would take up too much space and also tie my brain into knots. BTW, I do not precisely recall the scene you refer to, although I do recall the lines. Was that where Butch expressed astonishment at the skill of the guys tracking them?

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    A short part of the 1954 film "Caine Mutiny" was filmed in Yosemite National Park and featured the famous firefall from the top of Glacier Point.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    For me, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) gets first place for scenery and backdrops in Zion National Park, as well as outstanding acting and a story very well told on film. That's also the summer when I had the pleasure and priviledge to work in Zion as a park ranger-naturalist.

    Memorable scene: "I can't do that, can you do that?" "Who are those guys?"

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    You've listed some fine movies with scenes shot in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Anon, but I'm afraid that I can't expand this particular list to include any of them unless you can show that they have scenes that were filmed on National Park System property. Although the National Park Service does provide technical assistance and some limited financial assistance to National Heritage Areas, NHAs aren’t part of the National Park System.

    For the benefit of Traveler readers who may not have heard of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (established 1986), here is a capsule description from the current NPS Index appendix:

    This area is composed of 24 cities and towns on 454 square miles of land in the watershed of the Blackstone River. Beginning in the 1700s, the Blackstone Valley provided the setting for a remarkable transformation from farm to factory, a local story that became the model for a national phenomenon— the American Industrial Revolution.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago


    -- Bob, don't forget that when Shane rode away, he was wounded, adding to the ambiguity at the end. Did he die in the Tetons?

    "Men In Black" with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones has several fabulous shots of the Governors Island National Monument, especially the giant pan at the end of the movie. Another great shot has Will Smith sitting next to Castle Clinton National Monument looking across New York Harbor at Governors Island. That Castle Clinton location has been used by numerous movies

    Another Governors Island movie is "Working Girl" by the great Mike Nichols, starring Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford. Sigourney has this great view of Governors Island National Monument right outside her palatial office window.

  • Winter, A Season of Discontent When It Comes to Travel in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Every year, I visit Yellowstone in winter many times. I either access the park from the North Entrance or US 191 by automobile and then ski or snowshow on trails from there. I don't ever see Old Faithful, Canyon, or much of the other interior either by snowcoach or snowmobile because 1) I don't want to and can't really afford to pay the price; 2) I don't like either machine; but most importantly 3) I resent the unfairness of the system where the National Park Service and select private companies control all the money that only the very few can afford to access. It's a reason I won't stay at the expensive hotels inside the park during the summer season.

    I've mentioned this many times over the years that I'm ambivalent about the whole question about snowmobiles in Yellowstone despite my gut hatred for snowmobiles (and snowcoaches) because there's a genuine issue of fairness - not the fairness of allowing snowmobile users into the park but an issue of fairness about access. I doubt there's been a study, but I suspect most people in Gallatin and Park counties in Montana never visit the interior of the park (outside the North Entrance to Northeast Entrance Road) in the winter because they are essentially priced out of it, or can find adequate substitutes in the Gallatin National Forest. Now, Gallatin County isn't exactly a poor county on the whole, and yet I don't meet a lot of people who ever talk about their trips to Old Faithful in the winter.

    I don't know if I'll ever see Old Faithful in winter and then ski over to Lone Star Geyser; that's okay by me if it means continuing to protest this system. I'd rather there be no motorized oversnow access (allow pedestrians and snow bicycles) in winter at all than what exists now. Or, I'd prefer the roads were plowed so that almost everyone one way or the other could get in (I'd prefer the former).

    It's also okay because I'll never exhaust the beauty of the northern section of Yellowstone or the Western boundary region. I'll spend my winter skiing to Tower Fall, near Barronett Peak, and Mammoth Hot Springs and with Buffalo Field Campaign patrolling the boundaries at Sandy Butte (Gneiss Creek Trail) or perhaps the Riverside Trail from West Yellowstone and for fun at Fawn Pass or snowshoeing on the Black Butte Trail. There's also more than enough in Greater Yellowstone in the Gallatin National Forest, especially in the Hyalite Canyon. And yet, and yet, I worry about the collusion of the upper and upper middle class, private industry, and government that allows some people even more access than others to what is supposed to be a public park simply by virtue of their wealth. And, at the same time, thinking of my own privilege (I've known people in Bozeman unable to reach Yellowstone because they themselves didn't own a car) how to help others reach and explore the most beautiful place in the world.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Six films from the Blackstone River Valley NHC:

    "A Civil Action" with John Travolta and Robert Duvall among other good actors, included themes shot in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The theme of the movie, the effort to restore environmental quality in despoiled cultural landscapes, is also a main theme of the very good movie. The other other main theme: 'those big corporations will eat you alive !' is also a theme (sort of) of the NHC.

    "Ah, Wilderness !" the film version of Eugene O'Neill's comic play, with Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney, also was filmed within the boundaries of the Blackstone River Valley NHC, although the area had not been designated way back then. The Folly prominent in the middle of the Town Common was actually built by the film company as a set. However, the people of Grafton, MA liked it so much, they incorporated it into the Common, where it still sits today. Surprisingly, it is not tacky at all, looks great, and fits right in this beautiful and archetypal Town Common.

    In perhaps a less-successful effort, but again consistent with the historic themes of the Valley, the sequel to "Love Story," or "Oliver's Story," with Candice Bergen and Ryan O'Neal, Oiliver goes to the Blackstone Valley to rediscover his lost love Jenny's (Ali MacGraw from the first movie) working-class roots.

    Many films have Providence RI locations within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, among them:

    "Armistad" the famous film about the revolt aboard a slave ship, with Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Stellan Skarsgard and Anthony Hopkins, includes scenes of John Adams shot in the Rhode Island State House.

    "Federal Hill" as a film about Providence RI, has of course numerous places within the Blackstone River Valley NHC, most notably Waterplace Park in downtown Providence.

    "There's Something About Mary," a romp, with of course Cameron Dias, Matt Dillon and Ben Stiller.

  • A New Exhibit at Ellis Island Tells the Story of the Lenape, the People Who Were There First   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Myron, if I receive requests from individuals, I will be happy to send copies of the referenced documents. I'm sorry, but I will not send them to people who have not requested them.

  • A New Exhibit at Ellis Island Tells the Story of the Lenape, the People Who Were There First   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Welcome to the discussion, Cathy. A good discussion results in better understanding for all.
    I am interested to know who your authorities were, what evidence they had, and the logic they used to convince you that Leni Lenape means “original people.”
    My primary authority is Reider T. Sherwin. He grew up on an inland off the coast of Norway. The Island people spoke Old Norse. When he came to America, he was surprised that he could understand the Indian place names on the road and tourist signs.
    For evidence he collected data from 18 translators, who had compiled word lists from 25 Algonquin speaking tribes.
    His logic was that if he could find words from at least two tribes that sounded the same and had similar meanings, then he would try to compare them with an Old Norse phrase. During over 18 years of study, he found over 15,000 comparisons, which he compiled into eight volumes of the Viking and the Red Man. In Volume IV he wrote “the Algonquin Indian Language is Old Norse.”
    When I use Sherwin’s comparisons, I can decipher over 85% of the Algonquin witten words I find, both ancient text and attempts by modern Leni Lenape, who spell phonetically on the Internet.
    In my second comment in this blog I explained how I used Sherwin to discover that Leni Lenape meant the “pure, abiding with the pure” and how their fore fathers were the “Noosh”
    Bob, the moderator, has electronic copies of the pages. I request that he send copies of those pages to you.
    Until someone provides me with evidence that 8000 of Sherwin’s comparisons are not valid, I will continue to believe that the Leni Lenape means “pure, abiding with the pure,” where the “pure” is in the same sense as the Puritans were “pure.”
    When I give my speeches to audiences I use this patter:
    “The Leni Lenape sold land to William Penn, so the Quakers would have a place to live.
    “The two peoples lived together for 40 years without a major violent incident.
    “The Puritans hung Mary Dwyer and many other Quakers.
    “The Leni Lenape was more pure than the Puritans.
    “SOMEBODY should tell that STORY!

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    That was a very nice catch, Connie. Of course Spencer's Mountain belongs on the list, and not as just an honorable mention. Watch for me to fix that omission soon. I expect that other readers will soon be yanking my chain about obvious omissions or honorable mentions that deserve promotion to the top-choices list. I'll wager that the current dozen top choices will increase to around twenty. With the addition of Spencer's Mountain we've already got a baker's dozen.