Monday, January 8, 2018

Mentone Beach - Highland California

Today I was looking for an old bridge in the "Inland Empire" area of Southern California. This is clearly not desert, but it is certainly not urban, or even suburban either. It is on the fringe of a town. The fringes are where the most interesting places and people are usually found. 

For a few reasons, this might be my favorite finds. Those of you have been following my articles for a while know that I've been to a ton of odd and/or interesting places, so saying that this might be my favorite, is no small thing.

The bridge I was looking for is somewhere in the distance on the left side of the photo. When I saw this though, I immediately pulled over to take a couple of photos. I was just about to climb back into the jeep, when the gate opened and a guy walked out. We said hello, and I told him that I love places like this. He introduced himself and invited me in! I was so happy!


A giant chicken, the Statue of Liberty, and some very old outboard boat motors.  


Muffler Man! This version is of course Paul Bunyan. To show you how big this guy is, look at the door between his legs. 


On each side of Paul Bunyan is an ornate ship smokestack. I didn't think much of that fact until the owner (Pete) told me they were from a "paddle wheeler" that used to be moored in Newport Harbor. It was refitted to be a floating restaurant, and served in that capacity for many years. I live maybe 20 miles from there, and ate in there a couple of times. The name of the ship was the Ruben E. Lee.


There is an airplane on the roof of his house. It isn't just any airplane though. It was used in the movie 1941, starring John Belushi.


Just look at all the stuff in this photo! It looks like something you might see on the TV show American Pickers. Guess what? You will see it on American Pickers, because they were recently there filming!






You are looking into the back of a 1956 Ford F100 pickup. This model was only produced for four years. I have a 1953 F100. Very few of these trucks have this large rear window. They were built in 1956. I have to admit, that I was a little jealous. 


 Nice legs...

The owner and resident artist!  


So much to love in this photo. A 1937 Plymouth pickup truck, vintage trailers, and an airplane! Oh yeah, don't miss the porthole utilized as a rear window in the truck. 



 Art Deco meets Steam Punk


An outdoor water bed. I wish I had more photos of the amazing deck areas that are under a giant California Pepper tree, that Pete planted about 35 years ago. It is so shady and comfortable there. This is where you'd find me on a hot "inland empire" day. (not necessarily in the bed, but under the tree).



 Folk art dragon

 I think this lady had been on the horse awhile, because she looked very tired.

Pete showing me the inside of a really large tee-pee. It had a large fire ring inside of it, with plenty of flat rocks to sit on. A nice spot to spend a cold evening.

Nice sunroof! 


 Another plane!

 Piano guts

 Hybrid




 An old Harley Davidson that burned in a wildfire.



-----------------------------------------------------------------
It's no secret that I love this stuff, and this kind of place. Further, I really connected with the owner. Pete and I are just about the same age, from the same generation, both Vietnam Vets, and from the same area. I enjoyed our conversation just as much as I did his place. I spend quite a bit of time in this area, and for sure I'm going to be going back.


.

59 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks more exiting than the bridge. I'll have to see if I can catch the place on American Pickers. I bet they went nuts there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Alex! I'll try to find out when it will be televised.

      Delete
  2. ...funky, quirky junk, I'm in heaven! I invite your to link these treasures tomorrow at Tuesday's Treasures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom! I agree. I linked it up, thanks for the invite (I fouled up the title though)

      Delete
  3. I think this is fantastic. I have recently moved house and have got rid of a lot of my 'stuff' because I hit on the idea that I would like to be more fleet of foot. But when I see this - not that I had any of these particular things or anything like - I feel a bit miserable that I got rid of so many of my memory connected pieces - bits of wood, copper piping, stones, all sorts of things no-one else values. If you do go back - please pass on to him that one of your English readers admires his place. We'd never see anything like it here.

    https://looseandleafyinhalifax.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Lucy! I'm always conflicted about getting rid of things. I'll pass your message along to him.

      Delete
  4. Very cool. Tell Pete Mac says hey next time you visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mac! I will do that. Do you know him?

      Delete
  5. GADS----that place would not be for me... I'm glad you found it since you like it so much... Each to his/her own I guess... I'd prefer to be out hiking along a raging creek in the mountains...... ha

    Thanks for sharing... I'm sure many of your viewers will enjoy all of this....
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Betsy! I also love hiking along a raging creek, and I also love this stuff.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. I agree William. Strange in a really cool way.

      Delete
  7. This place is unbelievable! It's amazing what one person can collect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is Red. I'm sure it helps to have a lot of room.

      Delete
  8. It's amazing that there is so much cool stuff in one place, we enjoyed seeing it with you Pat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brian! I know, there was one cool thing after another.

      Delete
  9. Pat, I can certainly see why this is your favorite find, it's AWESOME! What an amazing menagerie of such unique things! I love history, so to me this would be like stepping back into time and coming in contact with the past.

    I really like the the porthole utilized as a rear window in the truck, that is sooooooo cool!

    Thanks so much for sharing! Really enjoyed!

    P.S. GREAT photographs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Ron! One of the things I like best about it, is that he has stories relating to almost everything there. It really is a historical place.

      Delete
  10. It's a junk empire! In other news I think he'd probably survive an apocalypse easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey DEZ! Junk, historical items, and rusty gold!

      Delete
  11. So many planes! Ole Pete sure is dedicated to his craft. It must have taken many, many years to collect all that stuff. It’s obvious you had a great time there. A kindred spirit for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rosemary! He really is dedicated. I'm sure that it take some money to accumulate so much also. Some of these items couldn't have come cheaply.

      Delete
  12. I do not know...a little bit weird! However I like the giant chicken...but those "legs"...hum, really weird! LOL
    Great work with your pictures! Thanks so much for sharing.
    hugs and Happy 2018
    Léia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Leia! It is weird, wonderfully weird! My pleasure sharing. Happy New Year to also.

      Delete
  13. Wow what a place. I'm so glad the owner let you look around. I'd love being there myself but I'll settle for your awesome photos. We watch American Pickers, I'll need to keep an eye out for that episode. Thanks for sharing. So different, so unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ida! I was so happy that he showed me around. Sharing is my pleasure, thank you for always commenting.

      Delete
  14. Wow, what a LOT of stuff...some of it I love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, a LOT of stuff!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rose. Hope to see you here again.

      Delete
  15. What a nice surprise to greet us with, beautiful exhibition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bob! It was a great surprise to see it in person as well.

      Delete
  16. That is so cool. What rambling place of stuff, stuff, and more stuff. All of it with its own wild history. Lovely that you and Pete connected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin! Yep, I was there quite a while, and I'm sure I didn't see but a fraction of it all.

      Delete
  17. Oh my gosh Pat!!! So much treasure and quite a lot of junk 😀😊 I can see why you enjoyed this so much and I'm betting Pete was a joy to converse with, especially as you had a lot in common! Yes, I can totally see why you got sidetracked for a while 😀

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's a fascinating collection of stuff - nice shots!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, my head is spinning!!! This place is incredible, Pat! So much cool stuff. I remember the Ruben E. Lee in Newport Harbor. Never had a chance to eat there. Wonder how Pete managed to accumulate all this stuff? What an interesting guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Pete! Yep, it was pretty cool. He used to be a boat captain and knew about the Ruben E. Lee's demise. He is very interesting. Looking forward to our hike!

      Delete
  20. What an interesting place! A photographer's paradise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure was Marleen. Some of my photos didn't come out very well. Middle of the day, and because I was following him around, I didn't want him to have to wait around while I was setting up shots. .

      Delete
  21. What a great collection, I could spend hours day (Or maybe days if I had dibs on that waterbed)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Jeff! The huge California pepper tree was amazing in it's own right, what all was under it was even better.

      Delete
    2. I forgot to say that just a short walk from where the bed is, he has a couple of kayaks in one of the large ponds in the area.

      Delete
  22. I absolutely LOVE places like this. You took some wonderful photographs. And Pete the owner looks just the part of the eccentric "junque" collector. Keep an eye on my blog, I went to a place rather like this last October but haven't published the photos yet, now you have prompted me to get on with it. Love the plane on the roof. And the porthole window. That next to last pic of the horse looks as though Pete's collection is quite near a main road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Oh yeah, he fits right in. He has a ton of background stories relating to many of the items he has. It is right on a road but it's a back road and not very busy.

      Delete
  23. What a great place. Beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Polly! I appreciate it.

      Delete
  24. Hello, what a fun place to explore. I would love to check out this place and all the cool stuff. Looks like an awesome collection. I am glad you were invited in. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eileen! I had a blast following him around. I hope you have a great week also.

      Delete
  25. If I would get into place like this I would consider myself in heaven. The giant chicken, the Muffler man, the old Harley Davidson; what the great treasures you found. And you created wonderful photographs as memories of this fantastic place.

    My warmest wishes to you, Pat for 2018.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kaya! I'm sure that you would love the place. I hope you have a great 2018 also.

      Delete
  26. Great post! I have a bit of a soft spot for places like this as well (they remind me of my study!)

    Always good to connect with somebody who has been through the same kind of thing as you. Looking forward to more posts!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stewart! It kind of reminds me of my garage. Unfortunately, most of what I've gathered really is just junk.

      Delete
  27. ouch! That is just toooooo much! I always get a feeling of overwhelming at places like that, I want to escape. But great if things are used for filming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would feel overwhelmed if it was all mine, but in this context I loved it!

      Delete
  28. What a find! This place is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure was James! I hope to get back there soon.

      Delete
  29. Oh my gosh we would love this (visiting not owning ).....I'd forgotten about American Pickers -- we used to watch it and now I want to look for it again. (We don't watch much but Netflix nowadays). We always have enjoyed meeting quirky people (and consider that word a compliment)..... For some unknown reason, because it wasn't the same thing at all, this all kind of reminds me of Salvation Mountain near the Salton Sea. Did you ever visit there while the creator was alive?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very cool place with lots of interesting things to see and photograph. What a great find.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my! Talk about a "special place" this one tops them all!....:)

    ReplyDelete

This blog is word verification free.
IS YOURS?
I love your comments and will do my best to respond to each and every one.