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.

where the wild horses go

A few Sundays ago i went out with Sarah. We took a trip out to the bottom of Sheep Mountain and sat amongst the wild horses that live there. We pointed and picked out the ones we thought were prettiest, we talked and we took picture after picture. It was supposed to snow and at the lull of that mountain we saw it brewing like an ugly pot of tea with too much old milk.
Suddenly we found ourselves in a curdled barrel of wind and sleet and snow.

I think i did pretty well considering i didn’t actually own a Zoom lens then, so had to make do with the equipment i did have. The zoom lens i want is around $1200, however — i had my eye on a cheap one to use until i can afford to spend a random $1200 from a single paycheck. Well — last week Jack jsut went ahead and surprised me with a little zoom lens and it works great! It does the job it needs too even though its not “top of the range” so to speak, not that that matters of course.


I’m looking forward to giving it a try out there one of these days. Photographing these animals is genuinely a dream come true for me, and i can’t really believe i get to do it on weekends now, and go to the barn and ride during week — working with good folks and learning to train horses. I feel pretty lucky.


It gives me the same feeling when i go sailing, this great surge of passionate inspiration rushing through me, desperately wondering if i wrote it all down and if i remember.
And i do. I always always always remember.
Anyway, It’s Sunday night now — i’m ready to go to bed soon and wake up to do the whole spiel of a work week all over again. I hope you enjoyed some of my wild horse photos from my first trip out to see them in Laramie. Over time i’m hoping to share a little more about my life at home with writing and whatever else. Its something i don’t really do much of because my house doesn’t look how i want it to, so i prefer not to take pictures inside. If that makes any sense? Bad lighting and dark corners and a lot of  wooden boards that whole deal. Also, when i’m home i don’t really do much. I’ll knit a sweater or work on a logo for the rescue — maybe take a quick 30 minute yoga session, but nothing really worth pulling out the camera for and snapping a picture of. I thought of perhaps taking pictures of my work station where i do my editing, videos and write. I guess if i fixed it up some it might be worth seeing.

 

our first month

We’ve officially been here a month as of last week, and it’s already been one hell of a ride.
It’s been wonderful. Scary. Stressful x 10. Hard. Exhausting. But we’re here and we’re making it work. Many things have  happened already.
So in it’s honour — the anniversary of yet another big adventure —  here is a minefield of pictures from our first month back in the West.















old bow leg

Well, as you can see I found a home in Wyoming. A place that is enough to possibly persuade me to stop running one day. If Wyoming were an ocean I would spend my life trying to drink it, whether the salt would burn and poison me would be trivial. Though even New England where the sea was close — I found myself missing the sea because it was so cramp and full of tourists. It was never like those cold nights alone on Sand Bay beach. Thousands of miles from me now and years of memories past.
Here there is no ocean or tall ships, there is only waves and waves of empty prairie. And for now I shall have to get my oceanic fix when I fly home to Denmark or you know.. if I ever get lucky enough to take a holiday to Saint Vincent where the sea is blue and the sand is whiter than I am.

I could never choose what I loved most or what I wanted to do. And so I told the world to go fuck itself.
I’ll do it all.
And I have.

I’ve sailed with pirates and commodores. Ive ridden horses on the Texas front and I’ve been the clown I was born to be. These days I find myself in a strange state of mind. A happiness wrapped in dark melancholy that is oddly comforting.
I have a job that pays me and will fund every dream from now. I have the west and I find my dreams coming true even weekly. But when you are a part of so many things that make your heart pump a million, there is always something missing.
Today is not a day that I will sail. Nor is tomorrow. But there will be a day when I see the sea and we’ll kiss like we always do.

I don’t know what kind of believer I am, but I know things do happen. And one thing that happened most recently, something that shook me to my core, was that I met a horse.. a horse that captured me like a sail from a mast holding the wind. An old man whom I call Old Bowleg. Im sure local photographers have an actual name for him, but I gave him this one.
A majestic horse that has seen war with half his ear chewed from its cartilage and a leg bent all out of shape. Yet still he stands as tall as the trees at the bottom of a valley. Still he knows the favorable wind and it flows through his mane. If there was a god — he walks this earth with a bowleg. Now that is something I can believe in.
He was a painting. He was an old chieftain without his tribe. I believe that he had been run off from his mares by a younger suitor. So out there on top of the mountain I found him. Between the reeds and the straw. This beautiful animal, stronger than any man I’ve ever seen, and his faith never wavered in all his years regardless of the fact that his leg struggled beneath him. It didn’t matter because he could fly.


If I had had the time to sit and talk with him a while I would have, but alas it was not be this time. If he Is still alive when the summer comes I shall look for him and maybe I am destined to look for him for an eternity. If that is the way, so be it. But how grateful I am to have seen him even for a moment, it seemed but a second. He was what I always dreamed a true American mustang must be. What America was and can be again. Thats unfair. America is a wonderful place, but the politics — the never fucking ending political bullshit is nonsense. And so I don’t think about it. I think about what I see and what I feel.

And that horse, that day — he took something from me and since I saw him I haven’t been able to stop feeling like I wanted to run back. I don’t relate to people. Thats not my business. Animals, its always the animals. They have me in a vice. Bowleg gave me something… a vision. I will remember him as my spirit horse — the one who taught me that though I have been pained and wounded it doesn’t have to stop me. It doesn’t have to define me. As long as I remember.
Remember. Remember. Remember.
To as true to you as you can be.
It doesn’t matter what Agatha did or what Johnson said. Riley can go fuck himself. What matters today and tomorrow is what you are.

No one can take that from me. And no one can take it from you.
Wopila!

All Trails Lead to Laramie **vlog**

It took me forever and I’m glad its over so I can get a million of my other things done.. like writing my books.
I hope you all enjoy the fruits of my efforts. Feel free to ask and comment below!
Tell me what would be on your bucket list and where you would go.

a little update

I realise its been a long time since i’ve posted, and i’m sure most of you have figured out why by now. Three days ago we arrived in Wyoming to start a new life in the west where we belong. And so i haven’t written or post much at all. We travelled across country from New England to the Mid West and onwards to the true West. When we go — we go big.
I have a couple of blog posts i’m currently working on and a youtube video of our trip.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Happy weekend!