Unknown Source, 1971
When actor Pete Duel wants to get away from it all, he really does. Star of the ABC Television Network’s new western-adventure series, Alias Smith and Jones, jumps into a special four-wheel drive truck with a camping unit attached and heads into California’s High Sierras.
There, in a setting so wild and natural it would even impress his rough and ready character, Pete fishes and enjoys nature in the rough.
“I think the purest form of pleasure is to get out and camp, to discover new country far away from the freeways,” Pete explained recently.
As soon as he was old enough to walk, his father introduced Pete to camping in the woods near their home, back in Penfield, New York. It remains his favorite diversion.
“I didn’t come to Hollywood on a jet plane,” he said proudly. “I drove across the country. I didn’t stop in motels. I had a simple pup tent and put it up whenever I felt tired.”
His first trip across the United States did contain one big disappointment, however.
“I had allowed myself plenty of time to get into the Rockies,” he said. “When I reached the mountains, it was raining. I set up the tent, dug trenches around it in the approved fashion, and decided to wait the [rain] out. After 10 days, with everything I owned soggy, I decided to hell with it, and started on to California. I didn’t even see the Rockies, it was so overcast.”
Because of his fascination with nature, Pete is considering buying land in the High Sierras section, known as mother Lode country, above Sonora, California.
“In a way, it might seem stupid,” he said. “Because it’s so high and gets so much snow, the property is accessible only six months of the year. Last time I looked at it I had to walk the last three miles. But it’s 20 wooded acres at an elevation of 8,500 feet almost surrounded by national forest land. The air and the view and the seclusion are fantastic.”