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Trip to Hope B.C. 2012

- - - - - This is the story of my trip to Hope in October 2012 - - - -

30th Anniversary of First Blood

Airport Frankfurt "Nothing is over!!" This was the slogan of this year's celebration of the filming of "First Blood" in Hope B.C. This time I had to decide very quickly as in Germany lots of difficult tasks and different options for my future were waiting for me. But to make a long story short - I did it again, yes!!! So I booked my tickets and arrived some days later in Vancouver where I spent a short, but great time. On Friday I rented a car and was ready to make my way to Hope on HWY 1! This day was unforgettable in many terms. At first I made a short stop at the infamous "Delmore Barry Property" of the Opening Scene at Pitt River.


The scene in the movie As I stated in my last Report in 2007 I was determined to find that spot and that I was pretty sure where it was! On the last day of the 25th Anniversary in October 2007 Simon & Sharon Birmingham, me & Inge Wilson started a tour to Harrison Lake, Stave Lake, Alouette Lake & Pitt Lake. Topographically only Pitt Lake seemed to be a realistic place where it might have been filmed.So after I returned to Germany and supposing it was filmed at Pitt Lake I sent douzens of e-mails to River Rafting Companies, Tourist Information Centers and Ranger Stations in the Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows area.


My first guess at Pitt River On Oct. 15, I received a mail from a guy who does helicopter tours in that area. He confirmed that it was filmed at Pitt RIVER and that he spent lots of time there. So we have been at the right area. Via Google Earth I supposed that I found the exact spot. 2 weeks later French filmmaker Herve Attia contacted me & also had big interest in finding the Opening Scene Spot which he would use for his first Documentary. After comparing the landscape topography, he expected the spot to be more southwest from my first guess. In May 2008 he went to this location, but it didn't seem to be the right one. Some weeks later Scott Hardy from Richmond contacted me as he was also keen on this spot ;) In Sept. 2008 he finally discovered it, just some miles south of my and Herve's first guesses!! So thanks to all these people we now know where Delmore Barry lived... and that's the story of Finding the Opening Scene Location of First Blood in 2007/08!


Back to 2012 ;)...As I was on my way to the location, a dog "greeted" me. He just looked and me and then he suddenly disappeared. Maybe to warn his owner(s).. When I passed a bend, I met the dog again, but also his owner, Gord. I showed him my Rambo photoalbum and to my surprise this guy took me to his dock and asked me which boat I'd prefer to get to Delmore. Speechless as I was I just pointed on one. Unfortunately the boat didn't start as it wasn't used for a pretty long time.Then another speed board arrived at his dock and 2 guys came out of it. They asked me if they could help me and offered their boat for the ride. 5 Minutes later I was standing on the magical place!

Some pictures from the Delmore Barry Property

The curious dog
Glenn & Rich who gave me the boat ride! TNX!!
Looking down. Rotten Cabin on the left
Standing up the hill
It was a long road..after 5 years finally!
The 'laundry hanging' Tree is still there
Standing in the house that we see on the left
Bye bye Delmore..hello Hope B.C.!



The trail that leads to the Junkyard After we arrived at the dock, the owner of the dog wanted to show me the old junkyard where Rambo finds a piece of canvas in a rotten truck that he used to protect him from the coldness. In 2008 I gave Scott Hardy the hint that it might have been filmed at Mt. Burke. This great guy went on countless hikes to discover it finally in the jungles of Mt. Burke in July 2009.. I really wanted to be up there too, but I also knew that at 8 p.m the "Meeting & Greeting" in Hope will start..so I said to myself "I'll be back".. same thing with the "Basecamp" location at Alouette Lake that Scott also found. Not enough time..


At 6:30 pm I finally entered Hope for the 4th time in my life..it was so unreal after all the time that has passed since 2007. So I turned on the volume in my rental car and listened to the "First Blood" Soundtrack. I checked into my motel and a short time later I walked down Wallace Street to get to the "Blue Moose Cafe" where the "Meet & Greet Event" for all the hardcore fans takes place...


The Meet & Greet Event at the Blue Moose Cafe on Friday the 5th, 2012


Some pictures from the Meet & Greet at the Blue Moose Cafe

Rambo fans enjoy the programme
They sold "First Blood Caesar Salad" & "Rambo Nachos" :)
Riley (on the right) was one of the organizers of the party
Holding a little speech after I received a "Rambo Bridge Sculpture"


Yeah, back again! Inge welcomed me heartly when I opened the door of the "Blue Moose" and then she introduced me to the Rambo fans who came thousands of miles just to be a part of this "30 Years of First Blood Anniversary Celebration". So I met lots of great people again who have already been part of the "25th Anniversary in 2007" - like Simon & Sharon from England, Curt from Vancouver, Damon Shelton, Brian McKinney, Riley and so on. And of course people I haven't seen before like a big Rambo fan with his wife who came all the way from Tokyo, Japan. His net-name is Johnrambo9 and he donated lots of souvenirs from his home! And I finally met Regan from England, who I knew from lots of chatting via E-mail. He's definatelly a Rambo fanatic and been in Hope for his second time.

The next day, we all met at Inge Wilson's Hope Visitor Centre and Museum Complex, where we wanted to start our Walking Tour to all the filming locations which where used in the filming process. I was pretty amazed by the efforts which where put into the promoting of the Celebration. The museum now has its own Rambo exhibition with hundreds of pictures, posters, detailed informations about the filming back in 1981, merchandising articles like t-shirts or banners etc.

I even discovered a small section with some of the wallpapers I created for Rambotown.net ;) It has so much changed! On my first visit in 2004 there was just a poster, a little photo map and small tv with clips of "First Blood". Now it's more or less heaven for the real Rambo fanatics. So, Inge you and your staff have done a great job with this "Rambo Oasis"!!



So the Walking Tour that we also organised in 2007, started at the Tourist Info Center and led to Old Princeton Hwy where the location of the gas station which Rambo blew up, used to be. On this place a special guest joined us. It was Stephen Chang, who played the role of the Vietcong Commander who was part of Rambo's terrible flashbacks as a prisoner! He - accompanied by his manager - was so nice to give autographs to the fans and told some interesting stories of the Rambo filming. Mr Chang would join us later, but first things first..^^



Then we walked to the entrance of Hope, where the "Welcome to Hope - Gateway to Holidayland" sign used to be! Now it's placed at a different location. After that we came back to the center of Hope at the corner of 3rd Avenue/Wallace St. where the former "Sheriff's Office" had its location. After the filming was completed, it was moved to Douglas Street and now serves as a Senior Recreation Center. Of course we also had our obligatory stop there, where we were served some delicious goodies and could listen to the speech of former Hope mayor Bob who shared his experiences that he had during the filming and with Sly Stallone.

During the walking tour I met two nice girls (siblings!) who where born and raised in Hope and now came back for a camping trip and enjoying the Rambo festival! They invited me to their campground and so I also could take a little break from the hurly-burly ;) We exchanged our memories that we had during our stay in Hope and prepared for the big show that would take place this evening!!

PART 2 TO COME!!!!



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