My name is
and this is My Journey
This site is dedicated to My Son
Who gave me an unforgetable birthday present,
a trip to Lonesome Dove.
Its been twentyfive long years since the award winning western was first aired. For me Lonesome Dove changed my life and made me realize some fundamental truths about myself and the things that I held important at that time. I learned that things are either right or wrong, and learned to take a stand when I felt I was right and dig in whether my stand was popular or not. I learned that humor is an effective way to stand up to resistance and to aid in promoting healing. Lonesome Dove was that for me and with that in mind I wanted to walk the streets of where the movie was filmed.
I had heard rumors for years that the set was destroyed in a flood but always wondered how that could be because the set sat well above what a flood could reach. I used Google earth to scan the area I believed the set to be and an earlier showed a complete town. I was thrilled to think it was still intact but much to my sorrow when an updated Google earth was unveiled a few years later the sad reality sank in, the set was for the most part gone.
The years passed by and after watching the movie for the 60th time (just ask my wife Joy, who after 60 times watching it, still loves it because I do) I got my oldest son (Ed) interested in the popular western. One day in July shortly before my birthday he showed up at the house and announced that he was taking me to Lonesome Dove.
The trip to Texas from Illinois was 1200 miles by car and we had no idea of who to contact or where it specifically was when we got there. We knew the obvious, it was near the city of Del Rio Texas on the U.S border but we figured getting there was the quest and spending quality time with my son and granddaughters would be worth it even if we didn't get to actually walk the streets of Lonesome Dove.
I had only been to Texas one time in my life and that was driving thru the panhandle on my way to Oklahoma and having driven non stop from California I was to tired and ill tempered to take in the beauty that surrounded me. This time would be different. Early on I was amazed at the vastness of the great state and its natural beauty. I didn't realize why Texans were so proud of their state until I got there and within a few hours I felt a pride I couldn't understand coming from Illinois as we have little to be proud of. Everyone was so friendly and helpful to a poor bunch of pilgrims on their way to the Mecca on the border. If you have never been to Texas you cannot understand what it is like, it is truly God's country and I believe its where the garden of Eden must of been.
We arrived early on a Sunday morning in Del Rio and started to find our way about and hoped the locals would still remember the location after so many years. We needed gas and stopped at a gas station on the strip, my son asked if the clerk knew the location, He didn't but a man standing in line came to our rescue. He was a Border Patrol pilot who flew over the set routinely as a part of his duties. He told us that it was on property owned by the Moody ranch. he confirmed our fears that not much was left but some buildings were still standing. He took the time to call for us and tell us how to get to the Foreman's house to make our dream come true. It was like God was guiding us the whole way but it made you think what a coincidence this fine man was just standing in line at a time when we needed him most and then went to the trouble to tell us the story, location, and where we needed to go.
After a brief lunch and securing a motel for the night we headed to our destination it was now noon on a Sunday afternoon and we worried about how we might me received and would we have come 1200 miles for nothing.
We reached the turn off to the Moody Ranch but had no idea how long the drive was to the main compound (everything is bigger in Texas) upon arriving we became a little apprehensive about just driving into such an important mans property and bothering him on a Sunday when there were ballgames to watch and steaks to grill. Sunday for a hard working man such as Mr. Kincaid was I am sure not a time for a bunch a strangers (and tourists yet).
He ushered us in out of the Texas midday sun and the stone house felt cool and welcome. Not only did he offer us cold drinks but introduced his wife and gave us a tour of his beautiful house and some remarkable stories of the filming of Lonesome Dove and other films made there including one that had just been filmed Comanche Moon.
The film "Texas" was also filmed there as was Return to Lonesome Dove.
Mr. Kincaid answered all of our questions with gentle good humor (for a bunch of tourists 20 years late). He and his wife didn't seem like strangers but more like family you hadn't seen in years and were getting reacquainted with.
His stories were exciting and informative but time was short and we were drifting from our purpose so we asked how we could get there from here and he said the rains the previous day would make it almost impossible to get there. It looked like we had come a long way for nothing but at the last moment he said " you can't get there with a car, but we can go in my truck". We stood there stunned at this revelation, this kind man was going to give up his day off to escort us to the set to a place he knew for the most part no longer existed. He warned us that we would be disappointed ahead of time but there was turning back now and I knew that even if every building was gone I would have the honor of walking the streets where the great ones tread.