Friday, December 10, 2010

Rainbow Ridge, March 1961

Rainbow Ridge gleams gleamily under the bright early-spring sun. There are more puffy clouds than you can shake a stick at. I don't think I've ever seen a photo of Rainbow Ridge at night, but I imagine that it was beautiful.

The bright sunlight has been partially obscured by a plague of locusts, but that won't stop these guests from riding the li'l Mine Train. Just as the train leaves, a flock of pack mules returns from the wilderness.

I just added this closeup of a sign on the reddish building to the left; reader Chiana was curious about it, as it seems to show Cascade Peak. It looks like a mashup of two scenes from the attraction poster. If anybody has a better photo of this sign, Chiana and I would love to see it!


Chiana_Chat said...

The pack mules aren't alone at Rainbow Ridge - the mine train is packing them in too. Was that sign - illustration, really, on the "false front" of the reddish building, 2nd pic - always there? And is there a close pic of it or does anyone have it or a reproduction? It looks like it features Cascade Peak.

(Doing some catching up again Maj, but no problem, because your posts stay fresh nicely and like a good chili are just as good reheated)

Nancy said...

i wanted to ride the train and the mules :(

gorgeous sunny photos to start a snowy day here back East.... thanks :D

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, welcome back...

I didn't even notice that sign, but you're right, it does look like it features Cascade Peak. In fact, it sort of looks like to vignettes from the NW poster combined into one picture, more or less. Good catch!

Nancy, I'm glad these photos help to warm you up!

Anonymous said...

The scene at night was low key and quiet. No bright lights because there was no electricity back in those days...only kerosene/oil lamps. So Disney kept that theme. Was a great place to work and daytimes, spending breaks on the hill behind RR was a great way to while away the time.

JG said...

Hello Chiana. Good to hear from you again. Hope all is well.

Major, I love the photos of rainbow ridge. I was always sad that i couldn't walk on those boardwalks after getting out of the train. Thank you for sharing these photos.

An interesting sign to be sure.

@Anonymous, thanks for the recollections, sounds like you are former cast. I appreciate your memories. I remember noticing in my youth how Disney had the "perfect" theming, while Magic Mountain would have exposed conduit and obviously electric lighting etc. Attention to detail is so important, people can feel it, even if they can't articulate it.


Chiana_Chat said...

Hi back JG! I'm good, besides wishing I had more dough to buy more presents for people this season. On that front this Christmas looks a bust.

That's a great point. People do. I hear that about things like picture or sound quality, where people say oh, nobody cares or notices. No, but people can feel it even when they aren't conscious of technicalities. It's all about "putting it over" as Walt said. Taste, restraint, simplicity all can be as effective as obvious and bold.

keeline said...

That is the Blacksmith's Shop. It appears to have been made for the 1960 NWRR version of the attraction. From it you could occasionally hear the sounds of a blacksmith hammering a horse shoe on an anvil.

While it is usually represented in a deep red in most photos, some show it in lighter shades. This could easily be an issue with the photo print and slide dyes fading over time.

The lettering on the false front changes over the photos I have seen or collected. Sometimes this square or rectangular sign is included and other times it is not. It does depict Cascade Peak, a bear scratching his back on a tree, and two beavers with a light blue background.

Many of these elements were used in the shield-shaped signs which were silkscreen printed on heavy cardboard by the outfit that made the attraction posters. We bought a set of the four at auction a couple years ago and they are large and impressive, often with gold printing. One of these, Cascade Peak with an Elk or Deer, was created as a collectible six months or so ago by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. This version was a small metal sign with painted features, including gold which is a good representation of the original.

Only 3 or 4 of my photos of the blacksmith's shop show this extra sign. Most are too small to be very useful. The one that is almost large enough seems faded. I fixed the perspective and made it square though the sign itself may have been rectangular.

Blacksmith's Shop Sign Detail

I note also that the long rectangular sign on the left of the building ("Fast Freight Contracted") moves around and is sometimes not present on the Blacksmith's Shop. The same applies to the "Office" sign which is sometimes at different places on the awning or on the door itself.

James Keeline

Chiana_Chat said...

Thank you very much for the informative post James. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am indeed a former CM. Spent many a day or night in the Adventure/Frontierland ops department. Great memories.