Mission Bench Dedication


The Tour


Bell/Berry Ranch

August 3, 2003



After we had thoroughly explored The Garden of the Gods, we all piled into the cars and headed toward the area known as the Bell/Berry Ranch.  Unlike The Garden of the Gods, this place is privately owned.  Kathy has to get permission for us to go up there.  It is about a quarter mile to the cabin on mostly easy road, although I wouldn't want to take my van up on that road.  We saw evidence of a great deal of trail riding in this area, at least as far as the cabin.   

Alize- "We hiked up to the cabin, where it had been used for a party and, unfortunately, there was spray painted graffiti inside and out.  It was really sad to see that happen to one of our favorite places.  If they only knew...."

Many of the roof tiles had also been pulled down and the boards for the porch used for firewood. 

Alize continues- "Some of us sat outside the back... of the cabin on the large boulders, while the rest of the group did some reenactments of scenes in the front and side of the cabin.  We trekked on to the edge of the cliff, where the skull rock was.  The view was outstanding, as it had been before.  The calmness of the air gave us an invigorating view of the valley.  You can hardly feel small up on the rocks.  The world seems to be yours as you contemplate where you belong and what you can do about it. 

"We squeezed our way through the rocks where "The Secret of the Sierras" snake was painted."  (Sadly, weather has eroded more of the paint, but we could still see it.)  "We made it to the top of more rocks where "The Luckiest Swordsman" was filmed  It's hard to imagine how those scenes were filmed.  There isn't much room, even if the camera people used long lenses.  We sat together, just chatting and thinking about what the area means to each of us.  I sat facing the sun, with the cooling breeze swirling around us."

Said Julz- "We sat where Guy had been-- who knows, maybe even where he had rested a moment between takes.  There we relaxed and conversation flowed around the group, sometimes one conversation, sometimes splitting into multiple ones.  Finally, reluctantly, it was time to leave.  We walked the long dusty walk back to the cars and drove to a nearby eatery, The Country Deli, and yes, ate and talked some more."





                           The road to the cabin.



                                                        Looking over the valley.



Taken from the rock where 'The Luckiest Swordsman Alive" and "Secret of the Sierras" was shot.




       The poor cabin has deteriorated in the past couple years.



                                         Recognize this scene?  Believe it or not- the skull rock.



Nancy- "{It} was a lot of fun swapping Zorro stories with everyone and going to Bonnie's house and watching all those Guy movies!  That was soooo cool!" 

Julz- "Bonnie had invited us back to her apartment after dinner for videos of Our Guy, and the talk and camaraderie continued.  When we all left and drove back to the Vagabond, we stood outside in the parking lot, talking as if reluctant to say goodnight to each other."




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