Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lost 2014: Day 7

Although the LOST 2014 event officially ended on Monday, September 22nd, many of us stayed in Hawaii a few days longer to squeeze in a bit more fun.  For Paul, Chris, MJ and myself, Tuesday morning found us high in the air enjoying a spectacular helicopter ride, a 45-minute tour that took us in a counter-clockwise loop around Oahu.

Next we said good-bye to Paul (who was off to ride ATVs at Kualoa Ranch with Jo and Erika, I believe) and dropped into the Enterprise car rental facility at the airport.  We picked up a car and started our adventure (as all adventures should start) with food -- breakfast at the Liliha Bakery.  Afterward we made a few stops at LOST locations along the Pali Highway.  At the Nuuanu Pali Lookout we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the sweeping vistas.

View from Nuuanu Pali Lookout
View from Nuuanu Pali Lookout
View from Nuuanu Pali Lookout
View from Nuuanu Pali Lookout

We then looped back towards the North Shore to visit Police Beach.  Again, first things first -- we stopped at Jameson's by the Sea in the town of Hale'iwa for snacks and refreshments.  We were met there by Ian and Fiona (who had been adventuring separately that morning) and then the five of us proceeded to the beach.  After exploring Police Beach we made a quick to jaunt through Puaena Point Beach Park, which is a little further west, closer to Hale'iwa.

Exploring Puaena Point Beach Park
Exploring Puaena Point Beach Park
Exploring Puaena Point Beach Park 
Exploring Puaena Point Beach Park

By this point in the late afternoon MJ and Chris had reached their adventure threshold, so they set off to Haleiwa Joe's to book a table for dinner.  Ian, Fiona and I went back to Police Beach to watch (and photograph) the sunset.

Ian & Fiona walking along Police Beach.

As the sun finally dipped below the horizon, we made our way to Haleiwa Joe's to join up with Chris and MJ, and to have a final dinner together in Hawaii.  After dinner we drove caravan-style back to Honolulu, and before calling it a night we made quick stops at a few LOST locations -- the Academy of the Sacred Hearts, the Rainbow Drive-In, and the Hale Hana apartments which appeared in LOST as the Flightline Hotel.  As MJ dropped me off at my hotel I waved good-bye, secure in the knowledge that I still had one last LOSTastic adventure to come.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lost 2014 Tour: Anthony Cooper's Home

On the way back to Honolulu from the Byodo-In Temple we spotted the location used for Anthony Cooper's home in the memorable season one episode "Deus Ex Machina".

Anthony Cooper's home.  (from "Deus Ex Machina")
Oahu residence, 2014
Wider shot of Oahu residence.

Lost 2014 Tour: Shirtless Sawyer's Bamboo Mast

The second location near Byodo-In Temple that I was completely oblivious to in 2011 is a small bamboo grove at which Sawyer fashioned a mast for the raft in the season one finale, "Exodus".  In addition to the most excellent sight of shirtless, sweaty Sawyer, we are also treated to an unexpected emotional scene between Jack and James, as Sawyer recounts the night he spoke with Jack's Dad at a bar in Sydney.

Sawyer's mast.  (from "Exodus")
Bamboo grove near Byodo-In Temple.
Jack hands Sawyer a gun.  (from "Exodus")
Bamboo grove near Byodo-In Temple
Shirt-off Sawyer gives us a peek at this humanity. (from "Exodus")
Shirt-on me tries to find a screen match.
Bamboo grove, 2014.

For some of the outdoor locations it can be difficult to know exactly where the camera was shooting, particularly in shots with vegetation that may have changed in appearance over the intervening years.  But as far as I can tell, the last 2 photos above showcase the bamboo plant that Sawyer stood in front of in "Exodus".  (I'll assume that the graffiti etched into the bamboo strands started after the filming occurred, or was obscured in some way.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lost 2014 Tour: Mr. Paik's Gazebo

There is a lovely scene in the season one episode "House of the Rising Sun" where Jin and Sun have a clandestine rendezvous in a gazebo behind Mr. Paik's estate.  Although it was dressed up with ribbons, candles, and lamps for the show, the structure does in fact exist and is located a stone's throw from the Byodo-In Temple.

Jin and Sun in love, Mr. Paik's estate in the background.
Gazebo with Byodo-In Temple in the background.
Clearer view of the temple from just in front of the gazebo.
Grounds around the gazebo.
Peaceful nook near the gazebo.
Gazebo ceiling
So happy I was finally able to see this!

Lost 2014 Tour: Revisiting the Byodo-In Temple

The second stop on our half-day LOST tour was the Byodo-In Temple, a reduced-scale replica of the Byodo-In temple in Uji, Japan.  I stopped here with my LOST compatriots in 2011, but missed a couple of key areas on the temple grounds which I (after being alerted by our tour guide Tom) caught up with this time.  I'll cover those in separate posts; for now, here are a few more shots of the beautiful main building located within Oahu's Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

The beautiful Byodo-In Temple, front view.
The beautiful Byodo-In Temple, side/back view.
Oppose side/back view.
Koi enjoying the water surrounding the temple.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost 2014 Tour: Kualoa Ranch

For sheer visual splendour the valley within Kualoa Ranch is hard to beat.  The area has attracted many film and television productions including Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and LOST.  In fact, the day of our tour there was a crew shooting in the valley, allegedly for a Shakira music video.  Jurassic Park 4 had also been filming recently.  In terms of LOST there are multiple locations scattered over the property: the Tempest station, Richard Alpert's pre-Island home, the area where Ana-Lucia killed Goodwin, Jughead's tower, the hill down which Hurley drove a Dharma van, the suspension bridge Hurley and Charlie crossed to reach Rousseau, the spot where the Man in Black smashed Jacob's wine bottle, and Hurley's golf course to name a few.

In 2011 I toured Kualoa Ranch in a humvee with 3 of my LOSTie pals.  Our driver and guide was a guy named Greg who was actually an extra on the show; one of his appearances was in the Santa Rosa scenes with Hurley.  After arriving back home from the LOST 2014 gathering, looking through pictures I noticed that he had actually attended the event!

For the 2014 tour we transferred from the buses that had brought us to the ranch from Honolulu to a set of open-window buses owned by the ranch.  We then set off along the dusty dirt roads.  After the bombings at Pearl Harbour the military ramped up their presence on Oahu, and there are many remnants of this on the ranch.

Military bunker.  (Photo: Ian)

Our first stop was at the "Jurassic Park log".  I'm not sure if it's the original, but there is a branch at the location much like the one that appeared in the first Jurassic Park movie in the scene where Sam Neill's character and the two kids must protect themselves from a stampeding herd of dinosaurs.

Running for cover.  (from "Jurassic Park")
Protected behind the log.  (from "Jurassic Park")
Kualoa Ranch, 2014
On the lookout for T. Rex.
I can't help but wonder if this tree...  (from "Jurassic Park")
... is the same as the tree behind the guy in white shorts.
I can't get enough of these mountains.
Kissing gorillas rock formation, 2014.
Partially obscured kissing gorillas in the background.  ("Jurassic Park")

Next we stopped at an old military bunker which has been converted into a mini-museum featuring artifacts from some of the movie and television series that have shot on the ranch grounds.  One of the rooms inside is dedicated to LOST and features the Galaga submarine model.

Making a second stop.
Artifacts from the Journet 2's Atlantis scenes.

There are actually two entrances to the bunker; the right-side entrance was filmed as the exterior of the Tempest station in LOST.

Right-side = entrance to The Tempest.
Remnants of Dharma times.
The left-side bunker entrance.

There are also spectacular views in every direction at this location.

View down the coast.
View of Mokoli'i island.  (a.k.a. Chinaman's Hat)
View down the road, just beyond the bunker entrance.
View out to sea
Heading back to the bus.

At this point our guide was about to head back to the parking lot to drop us off, but for many on the bus the #1 goal of the tour was to see Hurley's golf course.  So, after a bit of convincing and an Austin Powers worthy 15-point turn, we were on our way back into the valley.  Probably due to the aforementioned video shoot, the sign marking Hurley's golf course had been taken down.

Climbing the incline towards Hurley's golf course.
The fairway needs a little trim!
LOSTies survey The Island's only golf course. (Photo: Ian)
Video shoot on the edge of Hurley's golf course. Note kissing gorillas.
Mountain view.
Awesome, right?
Solitary palm.
Returning to the bus. Note Godzilla tracks.  (Photo: Ian)

We then high-tailed it back to the Kualoa Ranch parking lot, half-an-hour late but happy that we'd been able to get an up-close look at one of LOST's most memorable locations.