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post Tucson Tourist at the Reunion

August 25th, 2009

Filed under: High Chaparral Reunion 2009,Interviews & Articles — admin @ 4:19 pm

San Xavier

The beautiful San Xavier del Bac mission, where Hacienda Montoya was filmed

Location Tours — As Close As You Can Get

By Rusty LaGrange

It’s a good thing I traveled to Tucson with my family nearly ten years ago. It was the first of our HCDG get-togethers in Tucson. There were only six of us then. While we basked under the same sun that The High Chaparral had blistered in 30 years earlier, it gave me a good feeling. I could still share the limelight of outdoor production location shots. I could walk down Old Tucson’s main street and hear the director bark “cut”. I could still smell the black powder hanging in the still air after the stuntmen had blasted each other off the hotel roof.

People, many people, go on vacations to visit movie and TV location sites. Monument Valley is one of the most over-populated pilgrimages for tourists checking out the grandeur of John Wayne’s epic films, thanks to the vision of John Ford and other great producers who chose that specific spot to enhance the film’s image. You can purchase books written on just the outdoor locations across the US of movies and TV series.

Every October, hundreds of fans enjoy the memories of old Westerns filmed all around Lone Pine, CA. It’s where Audie Murphy and Randolph Scott  flew their private planes to do location shots, while the regular actors and staff rode in cars without air conditioning. Several of our HC fans traveled to Melody Ranch and Vasquez Rocks in Southern California to visit locations where numerous TV series gained fame while their actors captured bad guys and sunburns.

Ft Lowell

Visit the Ft. Lowell outdoor museum, just one stop on the Tucson Tour

So, I was eager to take on the assignment this year to design the ultimate tour for The High Chaparral Reunion. This 3-hour event will take us to a few select places that are near and very dear to our passionate  HC hearts. Although I wish we could roam the desert forever, I can show you where the actual filming of Don Sebastian’s great Lion Gate entry is, where the grand fountain and tiled courtyard introduced the opulence of the Montoya Hacienda, where the original downtown of Tucson has been restored to echo the lifeblood of Old Tucson, and, where the isolated lives of cavalry soldiers drummed on in a secluded and protected part of the city most don’t even know exist.

My bus tour plans originally started with me as your tour guide. I coulda done it. But then I came across the character that every tour bus ride should have, a guide that loves the West and is very familiar with The High Chaparral. In fact, he could be a reunion participant if it hadn’t been for me roping him down and hauling him away for the tour. His name is Brent Martin. He’s a lot of fun. He’ll fit right in.

So be sure you get ready for your tour during The High Chaparral Reunion on Sunday, Oct 18th from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. We’ll meet at LaPosada. Take a hat, your bottled water, solid shoes, extra batteries for the camera, and any tip money you might want to toss to Brent, the perfect guide for The High Chaparral Reunion 09. I believe we have room for a few more riders if you wish to add yourself to the tour. There’s limited seating so contact Penny by mail or email to verify. Riders comin’.

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