Episode 66: On Location - Canyon Portal Motel (The Karate Kid)
11:14PM Jan 17, 2023
oak creek canyon
Welcome to Just curious media. This is let's tap Cobra Kai. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right. So once again, you sound like you're out of the studio. So please share with us where you're at. Exactly, yeah.
Yeah, Jason Exactly. I'm bummed that I'm not in the studio. But I'm in a very exciting place relative to my life and relative to our life. And that is I'm in Sedona, Arizona, specifically at 280, North highway 89. A. And I don't know if that's familiar to our listeners, for the hyper fans, maybe I am indeed right in front of the old Canyon portal motel that Lucile and Daniel stated when they went through Sedona, Arizona in the beginning of Karate Kid, the original film,
wow. Well, you called your shot several episodes ago, saying that when you go to Sedona, you will find this spot and I am so impressed Sal, and I'm a little bit envious and jealous at the same time.
Jason, I'm telling you, I'm very excited. I've got a buzz going on, because there was kind of a lot of high jinks to find this place. I'd like our listeners to consider a map for a moment. You have to visualize where Sedona is in the center, and then to the north, you have Flagstaff, then you have a little town called cottonwood and then you have the village of Oak Creek, which is considered a part of Sedona, but it's kind of more of a southwest of Sedona a few miles. But what happened is if you just go to Google Maps, and you punch in 280, North 89 A, it's going to flip it to 280 89 A and it's going to take you to cottonwood. So when I first tried to find this location, it sent me to cottonwood which is about 30 miles the other way, but the actual location is in what is now called uptown Sedona, right before you hit up into Oak Creek Canyon, which is why that hotel is called the canyon portal because it's right before you get into the Oak Creek Canyon, and you head north of Oak Creek Canyon, you wind up in Flagstaff,
man, this is a geography lesson if I've ever heard one.
Now, here's the most exciting thing for me, Jason, about all this. If you just watch the beginning of the movie, they're in New Jersey, then they're going through Arizona, it looks like they're just passing through Arizona, you know exactly where they don't mention Sedona. Now that if you know Sedona, you know, hey, like I did, I said that Sedona, but I did some detective work. I analyzed the map. And my argument is this. And I would love to speak with the powers that be one day to really clarify this. They didn't just go to Sedona, they went to Sedona. So what that means is, Daniel and his mother were traveling west, I believe on the 40. They then went south, down through Flagstaff, down through the Oak Creek Canyon, they went all the way down to the 179. There's one shot of them driving. Then the next scene, they're at the canyon portal motel they're leaving and remember Daniel has to push Start the car. Oh, yeah. And then they're starting to head up the canyon, which is north. So what that means is that they were coming along in the 40 from New Jersey, dropped into Flagstaff off the 40 went down into Sedona visited Sedona stayed in Sedona then went back up north through Oak Creek came back to Flagstaff back to the 4030 West to Los Angeles. They don't say that in the movie, but I am 99% certain that is what happened. Sedona wasn't just the past through Sedona was an actual destination for Daniel and his mother on the way to Los Angeles from New Jersey.
Wow. Yeah, that's some insight. You're right. Maybe there's relatives there in Sedona, like in the Karate Kid, Part Three. We see Daniel's mother, and her brother Daniels uncle is sick. Where do they say he's located? Could he be in Sedona? I don't know, we should go back and check this out. Because you may be onto something. Maybe it was a destination or or they just liked the look of the canyon portal motel, which I'm looking at right now on screen. It says vacancy restaurant view rooms and lounge. So maybe they just like this old school font, which is really cool. If you go back and watch the opening of the movie. They were looking for this type of backdrop and they just went there and did it. Or maybe there's a bigger meaning or bigger reason, like you just pointed out so maybe this is a question for Robert Mark Kaman. Or anyone else who worked on production at some point in time.
I would love to pick their brain and talk to them about Sedona. But I want to caution our listeners Jason, if you try to find 280 North 89 A there is no address. Maybe there was at one time, maybe maybe four there was but you want to get to this location. Just go to Uptown Sedona and I'm right I'm here in front of a Mara Resort and Spa. Oh, salt rock craft margaritas. And from this view, you can see where the camera was positioned. When Daniel push starts the car and then they head back to Flagstaff back to the 40.
Yeah. So is it safe to say that if the Karate Kid was filmed today, with Daniel Russo and his mother stay at what you're looking at right now, this Margarita resort?
Well, I'm gonna tell you right now, unfortunately, if Daniel and his mother were traveling today, assuming they were on the same budget, they would not be able to stay. Unfortunately. Unfortunately, this place has been a gentrified, if you will, because I realized something in looking at the movie, it was still sort of the remnant of when this was considered like a cowboy town, a western town, they used to come a lot of cowboy movies here, once upon a time, wow. Today, I want to sex it up, you know, they're not really looking for a family. Look, it's sort of an adult contemporary look. And then families come to visit. So I'm telling you what not recognize this. Only with the help of my girlfriend was even able to establish where the camera was. Other landmarks, other roads that are paved today, they were dirt roads back then. So this place looks entirely different. Do not expect to come here and expect it to look the way it looked here when they visited in 84.
Well, as I look at this image from the intro right now, on my screen, there's even a Jeep that says Jeep Tours. And so maybe Daniel Russo and his mother stayed there took an early Jeep tour of the area. And that's what got him off the beaten path.
I love it. I love it. No, there's so much speculation. And I'm telling you, you know, one of the things I always talk about Jason, and I'm proud of our podcast is how much our lives you know, intertwine the franchise. In a situation like this, I first came to Sedona, I think in about the mid 90s, with an old girlfriend, who live in the southwest. And then I happened to catch the beginning of the Karate Kid in recent years where I go, Wait a second, that's the donor. And then now here I am. So you know, I love the way the Karate Kid Cobra universe intersects with my universe. Yeah, I'm really happy and proud of that. And I'm very excited to be here in Sedona, and also sort of to uncover sort of a mystery, if you will, about a missing address. wrong directions with Google, and about the state of Daniel is one of them staying in Sedona and that it being a destination versus just a pass through. I'm very proud to be the person and the podcast to
uncover that breaking news.
I think so I'm really excited. I mean, this is this is so nice for the
hyperfast. This is your next level for sure.
If you're a medical erotica fan of medical Buckeye fan, this is huge and a big time.
But we didn't do this episode to uncover this tale. It just happened. We were actually thinking, hey, you're going to Sedona find the location. So we can even just talk about the Karate Kid.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, we had no plan. I discovered this yesterday, when I realized that Google Maps put me on a wild goose chase. Yeah. Again, not necessarily Google Maps fault, because there indeed was no address. There is no 280. So I don't know what they did. They just retired that address, I guess. So yeah. It's sort of a mystery. I was on a Scooby Doo client yesterday. And excited to bring this breaking news to our listeners and fans.
Wow, wonderful works out. So now you're in Karate Kid fever, which is fantastic. And this is a wonderful opportunity to remind our fans who have either heard it already, or have waited to do so. But to go and listen to what Sal
listen to our podcast where we dissect, analyze and review the Karate Kid. It is the entire motion picture discussed by us. Not necessarily Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. No, no, though. We always like to have humor in our podcast. But it is the entire movie talked about by Salim Jason, I believe it's very special. We also do karate kid too. We also do karate get three and we'll be doing The Next Karate Kid very soon. So we're gonna tease that. But yeah, everybody check out our podcast on the Karate Kid. And it's sort of a nice reset. Also, as we go into season four of Cobra Kai, a wonderful reset to get your mind centered again, get back on the same page. We'll all be on the same page as we prepare for season four of Cobra coming.
Yes, and on that point, so I just want to make it clear that the very first podcast episode that we ever did for just curious media, as well as let's talk Cobra Kai was the Karate Kid episode the special episode so our intros a little different. Our outro is different. It was the first thing we did and if that hadn't been workstyle we may not have even done episode one for Cobra Kai at At that point in time, you hadn't even seen this show.
I was gonna say that I'm a little embarrassed to say that when we recorded the Karate Kid, special episode on the entire motion picture. Yeah, I don't think I'd seen an episode of Cobra Kai yet. So it was all it was all done in trust. Jason, I trusted you, an old friend and old colleague, you are at the helm. I came along for the ride. And yeah, I just said, Let's do this. And I'm excited and happy that we did. So yeah, it's a throwback. If you listen to our episode, and the entire movie, it is sort of a throwback things are a bit different. I'm a little more in the dark on a lot of stuff. And I'm not where I'm at today is I'm not the HyperX fan, then as I am now. So yeah, a very interesting time. So yeah, encouraging all of our listeners, anybody who loves let's talk Cobra Kai, be sure to check out our analysis of the entire Karate Kid movie.
Yes, it's our beat by beat scene by scene forensic breakdown of the entire film. And I should also point out that I didn't release it first. Because what happened was we recorded for, like, I say, two hours at least. And it was our first recording. So I went home. And was this digesting the material thinking, Yeah, we have something here. We really do. But then we jumped into Cobra Kai. And it was like, well, once we started going and releasing episodes, I held it back and made it the 11th episode of season one of our show, because once we got sequentially going, I wanted to release Cobra Kai one through 10. You know, without that in between, so I made it the 11th episode. So it came out later, but it is in fact the first thing we've ever recorded.
Yeah, it is our 11th episode, which some may think oh, that must have meant that they recorded it after the first season. But yeah, we recorded it before the entire first season of Cobra Kai. So don't be misled. Don't be misled, like Google Maps. If I'm not mistaken, were we even? Let's talk COBRA COBRA yet at that moment.
Yes, we were because I had plans to do the show. I was already a big fan of Cobra Kai. I had already seen season one, season two. I was floored by it. So I was gonna move forward on said show. It was almost like our dress rehearsal to see if you would be the co host. And although I want to do I had no number two in mind. So had you not enjoyed the experience of going down the rabbit hole of the Karate Kid? Well, you would have tapped out and I would have probably found someone else. So yeah, we were let's talk Cobra Kai, but I know the intro is different and everything.
I know one thing we did different you mentioned the intro was this is when we used to qualify because you would say Jason Connell, documentary filmmaker turn podcast. And I would say Sal Rodriguez, comedian and twinklin. So we did sort of a qualifying qualifying season, when I talked about it. We don't have to do that anymore. That's right.
Well, great stuff sounds I can imagine that it's warm. They didn't even ask you what is the current temperature in Sedona, Arizona,
right now sitting here in a parked car in a loading zone and looking for any parking enforcement. It's about I think, 94 degrees right now, in Uptown Sedona
with no AC on so we can do this recording.
I feel like one of those dogs that needs to be rescued. You know, somebody's got to come along and break this window. I'm sweating up a storm here,
save this podcaster Well, I won't hold you anymore. But thank you so much for finding that putting this to an end or starting a whole new discussion with it la Russo's seeking Sedona for a destination you say absolutely. Or was it just the production they like the look and the visuals, ours or something we just don't know. A lot of
movies are probably like that. If you know the geography, you can kind of figure out some what would be called bloopers or inconsistencies or editing errors or not errors at all. If you don't know the area. If you don't know the region, you'll never know. So I happen to catch this and I'm very proud of
that. Very good. So thank you sound stay safe. And at some point in time in the near future, my next trip to New Jersey. I'll be doing this in reverse and I'll be the guy on the street. Where that LORUSSO say goodbye to friends and family.
I can't wait I can't wait for that. That's gonna be very interesting. Right now you're the anchor and on the on the spot reporter and then I'll be the anchor and you'll you'll be
I'm gonna flip the script Hochstein.
Nice, right. Thanks, Jason, and thanks for everybody listening.