Deadwood Gulch, Dakota Territory


Well, my time came, there in the gulch of rotting gold mines, smoke and dead wood i turned the ripened age of twenty eight. I don’t feel any older. I dont’ feel aged at all. I reckon  i’ll stop recognising my birthday as time goes on, feels a little like i’m living on a timer. It’s not an attempt to escape the daunting journey of old age and perspiring into the casket — more a case of saving my brain from feeling like its got so much to accomplish and far too little time to do it in. I don’t expect to grow old much anyhow.

This year my birthday was something out of this world, something more fitting of the old world we all left behind — a world most of us choose to forget because we’re too scared to face how cruel we could be. Jack surprised me with a trip to Deadwood, South Dakota, a place i’d always wanted to see. I wanted to walk to the badlands, sculk around Chinatown and stay at the Bullock Hotel on Mainstreet with its ghosts and windows looking into the old thoroughfare. All of which we did. Together the best way i know how to be.


We rode the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stagecoach around town and made fast friends with the drivers. They asked us to move into the house down the street and start working the town with them. And that was only the first hours of our first full day, my birthday.  We found a new favourite haunt in the Wild Bill Bar, the original number 10 lot on discovery where Wild Bill Hickok was shot by Jack McCall, with a buckboard full of dead animals nailed to the wall and red lantern lights hanging from the embellished bar frame; we couldn’t resist the place. I hope to make it there often even though it’ll soon be nine to twelve hours away. I shall never forget my life, though brief, when it was in South Dakota.

We visited Mount Moriah where Hickok, Calamity Jane and many other familiar names rest in peace, at least for the most part. Seth Bullock and his wife rest on top of the hill (its actually a god damn mini mountain haha), forever looking over Teddy’s tower somewhere beneath trees on the other side of the gulch. It was murder for me getting up that damn hill but it was worth it, i of course insisted on wearing my finery, to see my sweet Calamity and pay my respects to her and her supposed lover of time gone by, all of which consisted of boots, linen shirt with long sleeves, my good felt hat and my best jeans.

I see a lot of myself in Martha Canary. I suppose all my years i always had been a little different. I cut off my hair and i dressed as boy for most of my youth, and even once my hair grew back, and to this day, im still largely mistaken for a man. The cussing and such dont much help on that account. All this while i was dreaming of living in a place where it always felt free and everything else was unnecessary. It was a dream i didn’t believe would come true. The difference between her and i, is that my choice of self neglect is not juicing the corn, i have long since made the decision not to drink but that didn’t hold up all that long in Deadwood. No. Its a place where the folks are good, the nights are something to aware of but the Black Hills are scared land and i have never in my life seen anything as beautiful. There were fresh water creeks laced with wild bank flowers of all colours. Red deer danced and pranced through life all safe and fine. A little ways away you’ll even see mountains and hills full of buffalo. Right now their babies are all red, small and unsteady but perfect. Anyway, Calamity to me is who i am by day, all cussing and unladylike.  However when my depressive state  and sad sad suicidal ideations take over i believe i become more like Joanie Stubbs. Thats what i’ve named the dark side of my life. Joanie and Jane. I don’t mean that in some weird fan obsession in regards to the show or movie, i mean that as a survivor and that is something that helps me keep on.


Deadwood for me was always going to be a game changer, i just had that feeling you know? And in my previous blogpost where i mention coming to the end of our travelling days, the end of finding some foreign state to live in being done. Well i don’t know.  I could move yesterday to be amongst the Black Hills. Its holy ground to the Indians, the red nation, whatever they prefer. We’ve caused a lot of harm on that land, any land, but to me that land is a powerful, a spiritual place and something i can never un-feel. It all lives there on those hills. Though we may never move there, its a place to come as often as a wage allows.


Theres something wild and strange about meeting real like minded people who just fit into your life like puzzle pieces created millions of miles apart. The folks doing the street and bar shows took to us quick and fast. They were all like us and they impressed us as i believe we impressed them. I never have had the feeling that i wanted to interact with people, because i always felt that my head and my heart were some place else. Somewhere i’d never find anyone worth talking to who was the same. But i found  folks in Texas, and i sure as shit found some in Deadwood to boot.

For now i believe thats all i have. Im trying to juggle a lot lately. Training LeDoux, working full time, packing house, keeping appointments and writing and reading. Sadly i dont believe i’ll have my photo editing time till im in my new place in Texas. We’ll see.

riding and the bone clinic

Saturday i spent the afternoon at a Bone Clinic with some friends. A lot of the stuff went well over my head but i was glad to be there anyway and got a little leaflet i could take notes in. I was even lucky to meet the local Barefoot trimmer there, whom i’ve hoping to get some trimming experience from in the near future, i hadn’t met her personally yet so over i waltzed and introduced myself. I’m pretty excited as to what possibilities that might have for me — maybe the farrier course wasn’t meant to be because barefoot trimming sounds more my type of deal. In future i’d still love to do some blacksmithing and forging, but that’ll come with time. With any luck.

The hoof

Since i started volunteering at the Equine Revival i’ve really been thrown into the horse industry head first, something i don’t quite dare to believe… ever. There are many times i’d wished to be doing what i am now, and now im too scared to think about it incase it gets taken away from me. I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I’ve been to an Expo, a clinic and been out riding a time or two; not particularly well but i’ll get there. And i only contacted them & gave in my application a little over two or three weeks ago.

This is Sarah’s horse. Her name is Inca and she’s lead mare. She is one of the most beautiful horses i’ve ever seen — im pretty excited to see her without her winter coat — which probably wont be too long now. All the horses are shedding like crazy. Its a privilege to get to ride her though and she’s a good egg for putting up with me — letting me figure everything out. I get it wrong a lot but i’ll find my way. Sarah was kind enough to take a few pictures of me riding her the other night.
My serious concentration faces are not sexy. Big glasses and a double chin doesn’t exactly work with the whole “Western” vibe i have going on… so instead i made myself into some of my TV heros. Gus McCrae and the Stranger from the Big Lebowski.

Transitioning into REAL western riding on a real western horse, with folks who know what they’re talking about and have done it forever, is pretty daunting for me. I come away every time feeling a bit of a fool, but thanks to their support i keep trying. I’m kinda good  with the fact that i can share the journey of learning the cowboy way on my blog this time.
Last time i rode without a saddle as Annie the quarter horse uses the same saddle as Inca, and even that i’m out of practice with. It was a lovely ride though even though i dont neccesarily do a good job — just being able to be horseback makes me happy. When Inca was done riding for the day, away she walked with me — right into Sarahs lap, while she was trying to help someone else. Hahaha. This business is giving me a lot of funny stories and fond memories. Should’ve seen me trying get up on Inca this time, with Sarah giving me a leg up, i must have looked like a little monkey clingy for dear life on a branch unable to jump. Hahahahahaha. As long as they’ll put up with me — i’ll keep trying.

the denver horse expo

Dang, I can’t tell you how busy my weekend was last week. I haven’t had any time to really sit down and think over all the things i’ve been doing lately. I’m glad to keep busy though!
I’ve missed you and i’ve missed my blog. I hope i’ll be able to catch you up on everything as the days go forward.

But last weekend was a weekend full of horses, good old cowboys, road trip talks and good company. Wild good company. I’ve only ever been to one horse event in my life, and that was in merry old England in some mucky field with too many snobs to count. Every other horse was a beautiful Gypsy Vanner with feathers from here to flight. The folks I went with were good people, I walked alongside them as they rode to the event because they didn’t have a trailer. All hundreds of miles if you can believe it. There really isn’t a lot i wont do just to be around horses — even then.

Mr. Van Hargis.

But holy shit, Denver was something totally out of this world different.
I’m not saying I grew up dreaming about going to a horse expo, because that’s false. I just dreamed of cowboying around on the back of a happy broke horse with a good sure foot and only the plains ahead of me or.. you know, monument valley. In England I always felt outside, like some scum from no place that didn’t belong to no one or nowhere. I was just this funny little clown with a stick in her arse. Here i felt a part of something, like i had a place there just as everyone else had. Some right to be there. I learned a lot and saw so many beautiful horses and so many things i want, can’t afford and don’t need.

An arabian tent for an arabian horse adventure.
I can’t remember this trainers name, but he had the personality of a New Orleans Gumbo. I really enjoyed him. “We should go dancing!” I heard him shout.
I really want this outfit… i need a vest.

It was a really amazing experience, and a fun day. I went with Sarah and Daree from the Mountain Shadows Equine Revival, and we ended the day with some Mexican food in Fort Collins on the way home. I’m glad i didn’t bring my huge Nikon. I did not fancy carrying that around all day, i only carried my small vlogging camera, so here is a little video of my time at the Expo. I can’t really get it all down into words because im a little lazy today and a lot has happened since then.

that friday feeling **video**

Happy Friday!

Heres a video of Boone showing you how he feels about the coming weekend. He is in training at MSER.

I’ve been so busily lately. In working full time and doing a few things for MSER, so i haven’t had a lot of time to blog or vlog. I have a few videos waiting to be created and a couple of etsy projects im working on, all the while im writing away. Hopefully i can find some time this weekend to talk about life in general. Until then, happy weekend!

the western imposter

Hello everyone!
It’s another Monday night, and another day closer to the weekend. Boy i started counting down Sunday night. You bet i did.
Tonight i was supposed to go to the horse rescue but it showed to be far too cold to do anything, so only the feeders went out there this evening. I really wanted to go out there to get to know everyone more and to get over my anxiety a little. The more often i go the quicker that feeling subsides and i can feel like i can get more deeply involved. When i get anxious i stand in my own way, for example i wont go ahead and do something i know how to do unless i’m told. I’ll let someone show me how to do something even if i already know how to do it. See what i’m saying? Then later that’ll piss me off that i didn’t just go ahead and do it in the first place.
Nevertheless I’ll be going back on Wednesday to film some riding and lunging for an adoption video, maybe take a few pictures too. I haven’t brought the big camera out there yet but i look forward to the results. Hopefully i’ll be doing some lunging with Isabella Bird (27 year old thoroughbred who is the sweetest). I’d love to adopt her myself but i have no place to keep her — same with Prada the Arabian Princess. They are such sweethearts.
But if we’re moving again, which we most likely will, it’s just not possible for me to get a horse right now.
Bummer Ted.
It sucks that UW ruined Wyoming, because Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states i’ve ever seen in my life. Christ. The stuff of a little 6 years olds dreams of cowboys and campfires and wild horses.

Isabella Bird, named after the British explorer i believe.

It’s been a good 15 years or more since i lunged a horse, so you can bet your arse im out of practice. I also haven’t worked at barn for a year and a half now. It’s incredibly frustrating to stand in your own way, and i battle and beat my head against it daily. So even though all this socialising stresses me and worries me, i really love the company so far. Easy people to get a long with and they really want the best for the equines they care for. Not to mention that they seem more than happy to let me “in.” I kinda already feel like part of the group though i’m not as educated in the nature of horses as they are. I’m an actor after all, not an equestrian. But what more could you want from new experiences?  I think i’m pretty bad ass for going against my own insecurities and telling them to go to hell. I might be a lone bear who likes the company of crickets, but this time i found folks i like.

Barn cat black with no boundaries.

I had my first real “shift” so to speak on Saturday, and it was a great day with good company. I felt a little unsteady at first but i think given some time i’ll soon get back into the swing. Because we keep moving, as soon as i get settled in a place, it all goes down the drain then i have to start over again. And thanks to UW i’m sure it’ll happen at least one more time. However, i will say when we go out on adventures or i go to this place — it makes it easier to deal with the mundane weekdays that drain life outta me, not completely —– but some. Also — i love this damn cat. Holy crap.

Happy Jack Road

Sometimes i feel like an imposter walking around in boots & cowboy hats, with a laconic state of mind, being so foreign and trying to hustle in with the real cowkids and western girls on horse back, but they really make me feel welcome at this new place, which is totally new to me. Exciting stuff.
Anyway i filmed a few clips and will be making a video of my first day there which i can’t wait to share with you. Yesterday we also took a trip to Cheyenne where i filmed all day for the fun of it. I think it’ll be “A day in Wyoming” type of video but we’ll see how that goes with time and all.

The Western Imposter

My dad might not be from Tennessee, my step father doesn’t sing the ballads in a dive bar and my mother isn’t some Southern woman who taught me to be the perfect pioneer wife. I’m just a lost little kid walking around this big world trying everything life has to give me. Missing all those i left behind in sad and bad and pretty home places. Finding my way through fields and mountains and plains and state to state to state. I get a little closer as it goes, but i know the feeling of being an imposter may haunt me a good long year or two yet. If you look at me now though, sitting on this here rock and thinking over all the places i’ve seen and the one guy that showed me what love was like?

I don’t have that much to complain about.
Happy Monday — see you again soon.

side tracked

I haven’t been side tracked, but the blog has been put on the proverbial burner — something you probably figured considering i neglected to write for over a month.
As of late everything has been slowly falling into place. Most of my days i spend writing. Last week i managed to get through the parts of my novel that were a mystery to me for so long and had proven bothersome —  now i’m on the home stretch.  I can see the end and i’m full of beans, high as a kite, bright eyed and bushy tailed, whatever it is positive people spout when life gives them a break in the dark.
When i haven’t been writing and working 8 to 5, we’ve been enjoying having our evenings + weekends back now that i finished drivers ed. Thus far we’ve been knocking things off our to-do list consistently since we’ve arrived in Wyoming.  This weekend we’ve been out mustang chasing, photographing and caring for a wounded bird that curled up by our back door Saturday morning.  The bird issue was NOT on my list however– surprisingly  when we took it to the vet they refused to help us and animal control/wildlife centers are closed during weekends. Thus it fell to us to put the birds leg into a splint with antibiotics, and it seems to be much better this morning. With any luck it’ll have wind beneath its wings as soon as possible. Hopefully we can keep it comfortable as possible without stressing the shit out of it.
Anyway I guess you can assume that life is pretty great, or gone to all kinds of hell, when i’m not blogging. Nevertheless  i should attempt to remember to write when things go well, and not just when i’m in the mood for an unmerciful diatribe at the expense of some ignorant fool who was brave enough to cross me.

But i digress and this blogpost is finished.

Adieu.

In a desert amongst the American mustangs with my books on my mind, and food.