Thursday, November 15, 2007

How the West was once.

Pioneertown in California is another great place for photographers. The following description was imported from many sites describing Pioneertown. I was there with my faithfull Pentax K10D and took those unique pictures.

Though Pioneertown was built as a real town in 1946, it was also built as a movie set by a group of investors who envisioned an 1870’s frontier town that functioned as a living movie set. Western stars including Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gail Davis (Annie Oakley), Duncan Renaldo (The Cisco Kid), Leo Carrillo (Pancho), Gene Autry, The Sons of the Pioneers (for whom the town was named), Jock Mahoney (The Range Rider), and Russell Hayden, (Hopalong Cassidy movie series) all walked these streets packin’ six guns.

Other movie greats including Barbara Stanwyck, Jackie Coogan, Dick Jones, Edgar Buchanan, Tom Skerritt and Barry Sullivan all made movies here from 1948 to 1998. The atmosphere of the ‘old west’ lives on in the town that has kept most of the original buildings and has its own Pioneertown Posse. It is a treat, for young and old alike, to roam the streets; take photos; visit the Post Office Museum; bowl in the bowling alley where the first strike was bowled by Roy Rogers; ride the Rattlesnake Gulch Railroad Line, a one of a kind miniature steam engine replica that takes passengers around the bowling alley and shooting gallery, and relive an exciting part of Hollywood and Western Film history.

The Pipes Canyon Preserve is a fantastic place for hikers, and horseback riders. It is a 20,000 acre natural wildlife corridor that connects the Joshua Tree National Park with the San Bernardino National Forest. The Preserve’s Canyons offer superb wildlife and natural habitat viewing.

Pioneertown is located five minutes northwest of Yucca Valley on Pioneertown Road and is at an altitude of 4,000 feet in a high desert basin of Joshua Trees. It is, on average, 20 degrees cooler than Palm Springs and makes for a fascinating desert destination.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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