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rena beth moore
Rena Beth Moore-Smith

Life in Owens Valley!
by Rena "Beth" Moore-Smith

Text and Photos courtesy of Rena "Beth" Moore-Smith

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.


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*Our Hideaway*
By Rena Elizabeth Moore

We followed half-forgotten trails
Through summer scented hills;
And I've forgotten how we went
But can't forget the thrills.
We hiked along a rocky grade
Through ancient, gritty soil,
And marveled at the broken slopes,
Not minding hours of toil.
And then we stopped to rest beside
A willow moss-lined stream,
With a grassy sunlit hideaway
Where we could sit and dream.
We built a fireplace out of rock,
Just had to some wood ....
And planned to slip away and cook
And sit there when we could.
We've christened it the "Rena-Clar"...
And a new found joy was ours
As we hiked beneath a sky of blue
Pinned up by a million stars.


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rena beth
Man at work - circa 1939
Willis Moore
rena beth
Chores all done. - circa 1941
L/R (back row): Bonnie Selander, ?, Wanda Selander, Thelma Roop
L/R: (front row): Rena Beth Moore, Willis Moore, Harlow Selander

rena beth
Dude Payson, Babe Logan, Rena Elizabeth Moore, Jo Caps
Independence circa 1921
Babe's father was Sheriff

rena beth
At Claire's camp.
L/R: Claire Selander, Wanda Selander, Harlow Selander.

Dear Beloved Darling Adorable Claire,

Isn't this fun! We're having hot cocoa, etc., on our oil stove -
now, the question at hand is: Are you having the winnie roast
tonight?

I will bring the desert if you are - if not, I'll cook some corned
beef stew on my little oil stove. What time is it? (please) and
how are you making out?

Your "Confectionate"
Rena
"Flame of Whitney Portals"?

rena beth
Hikers with lunches ready to hit the trail.
L/R: Rena Beth Moore, Wanda Selander, Frankie ?, Barbara ?,
Thelma Roop, Georgie Moore, Claire Selander,
Doreen Selander, Bobby Moore, Harlow Selander, Bonnie Selander

rena beth
L/R (back row): Bonny, Wanda, Lynwood Moore
L/R (front row): Jim Moor, Rena Beth Moore, Willis Moore

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*Life in the High Sierra's...*
By Rena Beth Moore-Smith

*Our Home in the Alabama Hills*
By Rena Beth Moore-Smith

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rena beth
Ted Cook - circa 1941
Ted owned Mt. Whitney Pack Trains Pack Stations located at
Whitney Portal and Carroll Creek
rena beth
L/R: Fred Moore, Slim ? at Carroll Creek Pack Station

rena beth
Packing up two strings of mules at Whitney Portal.

rena beth
Jerry the packer heading out of Whitney Portal pack station.

rena beth
Fred Moore and his string of mules leaving Whitney Portal.

rena beth
Jerry the packer at Whitney Portal.


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*The Pack Train*
Into the High Sierras

By Rena Elizabeth Moore

The sun seemed blurred and weary,
Though the day had just begun,
And the air was tense and sultry,
With a stillness over-run.
The packs were made and ballanced,
Two by two were set about ....
Then the mules were brought and loaded,
Each pack tied on good and stout.

The rider stood beside his mount,
Buckling spurs, adjusting chaps;
Looking at the gathering clouds ...
He'd need a slicker too, perhaps.
Then, horse and rider in the lead,
Five pack mules in tow,
The pack train swung onto the trail,
Sandy and steep, they took it slow.

Miles and miles of sandy climb,
Now and then a level stretch ....
Muscles straining, heaves and groans
Coming from each loaded wretch.
Leather creaking, sharp hooves clinking,
Loose rock rolling down the grade ....
Then a rest, each tired beast puffing
In a spot of shade .....

Sultry ... tense ... the sun grew dim,
And far-off thunder roared ...
Pine-birds chirped, wild with fright,
As overhead they soared.
More clouds gather in the sky,
Shutting out the sun ......
Wind came up and lightening flashed
And thunder crackled like a gun .......

The rider doned his slicker
And pulled his big hat low;
He didn't mind the weather's change,
He'd learned to face it long ago.
The heavens seemed to burst with light
As flashes ripped the sky .....
Then came the rain, in torrents,
And the wind became a sigh ......

The water filled each crevice o'er
And down the gullies rushed .....
The pack train swerved along a stream
Where swollen waters gushed .....
The rain beat down about an hour,
And then it came no more ....
With pungent smell of grateful earth,
The thunder storm was o'er .......


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*Monache Tour ... 1925*
By Rena Moore

*The Cattle Drive ... 1920*
By Rena Moore

*Pack Trains ... 1930 *
By Rena Moore


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rena beth
Johnnie the packer.
rena beth
Fred Moore leading a string of mules. - circa 1928
*Mt. Whitney Outpost Camp*
Located in Ibex Park on the trail to the top
of Mt. Whitney, Outpost Camp offers meals
and sleeping accommodations for $7.50 per
person, per day, or $50.00 per week.

This camp has long been a regular stopping
place for those who climb Mt. Whitney, (The
Highest moiuntain in the United States), and
For those who enjoy a quiet place to spend a
Few days during the heat of the summer.

A short horseback ride from Whitney Portal
brings you to Ibex Meadow and Mt. Whitney
Outpost Camp. Here you can fish in nearby
Lone Pine and Mirror Lakes, hike to the top
of Mt. Whitney or just plain rest. You will
find the beds clean and comfortable and
the meals superbly cooked.
ibex meadow
Ibex Meadow on the Mt. Whitney Trail just below Mirror Lake
(Photo courtesy Josh McNair - CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com)

rena beth
Fred Moore packing up in Lone Pine, CA - circa 1940

rena beth
Fred Moore packing up in Lone Pine, CA - circa 1940


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*The Cowboy*
By Rena Elizabeth Moore

He had the walk of a cowboy,
He had a cowboy's drawl,
He had the ways of a cowboy,
That's what he was after all.

He was the happiest in the saddle,
On a cattle drive, or a round-up.
Or leading a mountain packtrain,
Hoping nothing else would interrupt.

This was his life for many years,
And no one else could match him,
Any who tried to out-do him,
Found their chances very slim.

He was an expert packer,
Often using the *Aparejo...
When the load was a bulky one,
And far I had to go.

His roping was always better,
Than any of the rest...
He could ride the meanest broncos,
And outrode the country's best.

He could outride all his buddies,
The champion of his kind...
He wasn't too good at singing,
But, the cattle did not mind.

And yet, his friends were many,
He had relatives galore...
They all thought him the very best,
This Cowboy was "Fred Moore."
rena beth
Fred Moore shoeing. - circa 1920


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rena and fred moore
Rena Elizabeth Roop-Moore and Frederick Moore - circa 1920

rena beth

Fred and Rena in Lone Pine, CA - circa January 5, 1922
Freddie (Bunkie) was born January 23, 1922 in Lone Pine, CA
rena beth
Rena Elizabeth Roop-Moore and Fred Moore - May 8, 1920
Just married and taking the train to Lone Pine, CA.
Then drove to Independence, CA where they lived in
Mary Austin's house from 1920 - 1922

rena beth
Julia and Frank Lasky and son Ernest Franklin Lasky
rena beth
Mary Morgan and baby David at Whitney Portal - circa 1956

rena beth
Valera at Lone Pine Lake - circa 1941
rena beth
5 Majorettes in Western Parade - circa 1945
L/R: Laureen Platt, Betty Jo Lasky, Jan Grey, Rena Beth Moore, Shirley Burrows
(Photo was taken in front of Lone Pine High School)

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*Our New Life*
By Rena Moore


*A Trip to Mt. Whitney ... 1921*
By Rena Moore

*Cloudburst Portals ... 1945*
By Rena Moore

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rena beth
Fred Moore (the holdup man) on his 24th birthday - March 29, 1920
rena beth
Rena and Fred's children at Whitney Portal in 1956
L/R: Bob, Beth, Freddie, Lynwood


rena beth
Lone Pine Station on the Southern Pacific standard gauge railroad line in Owens Valley

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Further Reading

"Life in Owen's Valley!" by Rena "Beth" Moore-Smith



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This page was last updated on 30 September 2018