Do you remember the asteroid where the Metrons sent Captain Kirk and the Gorn to do battle? Well, I was just there, and I didn't see any Gorns.

Come to think of it, I didn't see Captain Kirk, either. Metrons? None to speak of. You can visit this location, too.

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What Planet Did Waylon Go To?

I had a little vacation time I needed to burn off, so... a road trip seemed to be in order. I hopped in the car last Sunday morning and drove to Vasquez Rocks in California.

You've seen Vasquez Rocks a thousand times in various Westerns and Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. The site was used repeatedly for location shoots for the original Star Trek series from 1966 to 1969. It happened to be the setting for one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, "Arena."

This would be the episode where Kirk and crew do battle with an unknown attacker on planet Cestus III. When the enemy flees, the crew of the Enterprise gives chase. Eventually, the Metrons jump in the middle of everything and exile Kirk and the captain of the Gorn vessel on an asteroid. From there, they are forced to do battle to the death.

As part of a whirlwind road trip lasting little more than 72 hours, I hightailed it from Grand Junction to Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center roughly 30 miles outside of Los Angeles.

Oops... Sorry About That

My visit was deliberately scheduled for Monday, May 17, a day the area would be closed to the public. While "closed," it was still open for visitors to "walk-in."

As luck would have it, on the day of my visit, a production company was on hand filming something. The shooting location was set up on the lower portion of the rock, in the very spot where Kirk battled the Gorn.

Upon entering the area, I managed to walk right through the middle of their shot. Sorry about that.

Get a Few Photos and Come Back the Next Day

With the film crew there, it was impossible to visit the exact sites wanted. So, a return visit was scheduled for Tuesday.

Planet Was Vacant - No Gorns Spotted

I must apologize in advance. I sincerely hoped to encounter a Gorn or two. Sorry, no such luck.

Prior to my visit, I watched the episodes Arena, Shore Leave, and The Alternative Factor, all of which were filmed at Vasquez Rocks. Images were captured from each episode detailing exact points at the site. From there, it was simply a matter of visiting Vasquez Rocks and matching up the locations.

Check out the gallery below. The Star Trek images are from the years 1966 to 1969. The corresponding images are from May 2021. It's amazing how little has changed.

Waylon's Trip to Vasquez Rocks in California - No Gorns Spotted

WORTH THE TRIP: Hiking Liberty Cap Trail in Grand Junction

 

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