Thursday, April 11, 2013

Madrono Ranch or bust.

Bison, 24"x18", 2013

I am about to embark on my favorite kind of adventure - one that takes place off the grid.  The luggage is loaded and I'm headed towards a herd of bison cruisin' the wildflowered fields of the Texas Hill Country for a two week artist residency at Madrono Ranch in Medina, Texas.

Besides the actual experience, the best part of a journey is daydreaming about it before you even leave. Now, I've never stepped foot on a bison ranch but I have a pretty solid idea of how I think shit will go down upon my arrival.  It goes something like this...

I am greeted at the front gate by a medicine man.

Medicine Man:  "Welcome."
me:  "Hi and thank you."
Medicine Man:  "Before your epic journey begins you must first change into this."
me:  "Um...are these coyote skins?"
Medicine Man:  "Yes."
me:  "Sweet."

The Medicine Man informs me that before entering the threshold of the ranch, a bison blood ceremony must be performed.  He produces a small bowl filled with the thick, rich red blood of a bison.  He offers it.  I accept.  "Bottoms up", I think, "my life is so mundane that I welcome this weird kind of shit" and down the hatch it went.  I drank every last dang drop.

Medicine Man:  "That was not intended to be ingested.  I was just going to put a small mark of blood on your forehead for protection."
me:  "Oh boy."

While the peyote induced Dances with Wolves scenario that plays in my mind will most likely remain a fantasy, there is still genuine hope for some real badass adventures to take place.  I plan on writing about them and depending on the wifi situation, will post them here - so stayed tuned.  Until then, you can always visit www. to get your bison ranch fix.

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