Lloyd Bridges on the Iverson Movie Ranch in "The Loner" (1965)
Fellow Iverson explorer Cliff Roberts and I stopped by the Siedry-Bert carving on a recent foray into Garden of the Gods, and when Cliff followed up with some Internet research, he came up with a solid lead: His search pointed him to the old Lloyd Bridges TV series "The Loner."
Bridges was already a few years removed from his much more heralded run as Mike Nelson on "Sea Hunt" (1958-61) when he tackled "The Loner." Created by "Twilight Zone" mastermind Rod Serling, the new Western series lasted just one season on CBS, 1965-1966, producing 39 episodes.
Lloyd Bridges, right, on the Upper Iverson with John Ireland in "Little Big Horn" (1951)
But the star of "Sea Hunt" and "The Loner," Lloyd Bridges, was well-acquainted with the Iverson Movie Ranch. By the time he became a big TV star in the late 1950s, he had already been a part of two major Iverson shoots.
Lloyd Bridges on the Iverson Movie Ranch in "Apache Woman" (1955)
After starring as a member of a doomed Cavalry patrol in the 1951 Iverson masterpiece "Little Big Horn," Bridges returned to the location ranch for Roger Corman's 1955 Iverson showcase "Apache Woman." Both movies are on my list of the greatest Iverson productions.
Jeff Bridges, left, and Beau Bridges, right, with their dad, Lloyd Bridges
Even though Lloyd Bridges was a huge TV star in the 1950s and 1960s, these days he's probably more famous for being the father of Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. Jeff's brother Beau is also an accomplished actor.
Lloyd Bridges at Iverson in "Hunt the Man Down" (from the TV show "The Loner")
Bridges' TV Western "The Loner" appears to have shot just a single episode at Iverson: "Hunt the Man Down," which premiered Dec. 11, 1965. But that shoot for "The Loner" quite literally left its mark on the movie ranch.
Burgess Meredith as Siedry in "Hunt the Man Down"
The episode guest-starred Burgess Meredith as Siedry, an eccentric mountain man on the run from the law.
Tom Tully as Bert Shaftoe — the "Bert" in "Siedry-Bert"
A key plot point surrounded Siedry's long friendship with a man named Bert Shaftoe, played by Tom Tully.
Promotional still for "Bullet Code" (1940)
The Sphinx gets its name from a side of the rock that's around the corner from the Siedry-Bert inscription. In this promo still from the RKO Western "Bullet Code," the camera is shooting the rock from the northeast.
How to find the Siedry-Bert inscription
This Bing bird's-eye view may help readers find the inscription, if they're so inclined. From the 118 Freeway, head south on Topanga, turn right on Santa Susana Pass Road and right again on Redmesa. Park just before the condos and you should see the entrance gate for Garden of the Gods on the west side of the road.