Back in the Saddle at Jawbone Ranch

(it appears that there is no end to the cheesy titles i can come up with...)

so we went to the most amazing place to do some filming on saturday.
darin and stan had told me all about it the first time they met the owners and scoped it out, but i just had no idea it was going to be THAT RAD. 
we spent the day, i could have stayed forever.

please enter through these sweet swively old-timey saloon doors...

it is a place called jawbone ranch, like an old encampment of rustic wooden buildings made of 100 year old timber, scattered on a green hillock just a couple miles out of town overlooking the red leaf and pinetree valley.

 this is the cowboy bunkhouse, well cowgirl i think i should say. the proprietess does all her own decorating and antiquing and is absolutely obsessed with the wild west.

she collects all these antique quilts, teddy bears, long underwear, bed frames, saddles, candles, sheepskin rugs, furs, mirrors, bloomers, pitchers, tincture bottles...everything a little lady would need to keep a tiny charming rural home in the 1800s.
and then she deposits them lovingly into cozy corners of the bunkhouses and saloon and invites all her friends to come drink and dance and talk and sleep there.

i was enchanted by all the victorian ladythings like this little black velvet cap.

the loft bed, up a sturdy wooden ladder and overlooking dusty wooden rafters hung with coon skins.

the old miner's cabin, off by itself on a green knoll, is mrs. teie's favorite nook in all her magical land.
no electricity, cozy woodstove, rain on the tin roof, rusty aluminum coffee pots and gold pans.
another life, a rowdy time, a stretch of country rough and wild.
a place where plants could still speak, grizzly bears danced, and the moon illumined wolf tracks on mountaintops.

i found an ancient top hat crudely stitched of handfashioned black leather and cord.
it seemed to tell stories of harried wizard preachers on runaway mounts across ice fields in december.

meanwhile the friends were hard at work.
the feet were flying, the ideas were flowing, they thought up camera angles and lighting tricks galore.
this is how rogue artists must work, free, quick and crazily enlightened.

behind the scenes:

adam murphy:

jorden mingle:

lesley macdonald:

darin coelho spring:

wesley and jamie and banjos:

nick savino with bone (john mcdonald) in the foreground:

tim yancey getting ready with help from his lady kelly:

darin and stan and jamie in action:

even yours truly did a bit of acting. (i'm terrible, but i don't mind being an extra)

i was proud to go pick up lunch goods for re-fueling on the saloon deck (built up encircling around a perfect pine tree) as the skies turned gray.

magically it rained on the tin roof as darin did his crazy dance (it's a melodramatic silent film-style western in which darin stars). it is a scene inspired (fictionally) by a vicious thunder and lighting.
we like to think he danced in that rain.

then this, the crazed man after the storm and a misty rainbow.

some friends of the proprieters were hanging out working on a building project and putting up christmas lights.
they built a rustic bonfire that crackled as sunset time crept through the clouds.

all this has me dreaming of sleigh rides drawn by big prancing horses, whiskey spiked coffee, patchwork quilts and wool blankets wrapping like clouds, twinkly lanterns guiding us home over a winterland dark and quiet.


Bee said…
holy shit, i want to LIVE THERE. everything was awesome, every picture i scrolled down to was like OMG OMG OMG. i love the old west and i love wood and feathers and yellowed old night gowns. do we ever get to see all these projects you guys do? what a great day.
Oh, man. There are so many things I want to say.

First, Darin's middle name must be after Paul Coehlo, right? If so, that is rad.
Second, I want to love at Jawbone Ranch. Or at least spend a week there.
Third, The picture of you demonstrating your acting made me giggle. You are really cute.
Fourth, You and Darin have such a creative fire burning in you, I love being able to witness it's light.
Fifth, You have seen Deadwood, right?
Sixth, You are awesome.
Seventh, that is all.
Milla said…
You know I love this. Oh my goodness. The top hat, the banjos, the jig. You're living in my dreamworld. I can't wait to see how it's all gonna play out. How close is this amazing spot to Placerville (just planning my itenerary)?
Amy Beatty said…
Wow! You guys couldn't have dreamed up a better place. I can't believe I have never seen it or heard about it. Everything was perfect. I SOOOOOOOOO can't wait to see this movie. I love all the raw/rad talent!!! You and Darin look great in your make-up :)
Cel said…
That looks amazing, like a dream land! A part of me is always going to wish I was around for those times. I realize they were hard times, bare times, difficult and dangerous... but it just seems so much more REAL than what a lot of folks call living today.
anne said…
wow!!! i wish i lived there! this seriously looks like an amazing place.
i love the shot of you in the top's so stevie nicks :D
whoa! love, love, love. I have always said there is a mountain man living under this lady skin of mine. Next time I am up the hill, Im going!
mooncowboy said…
heather how did you find this place? two miles outside town? I just can't believe we'd never heard of it before. so so cool. I would love to check it out. I hope you guys made friends with the proprietor. that day really sounds quite spectacular and amazing. are the mud springs real (5 miles away)?
Missa said…
This place is INSANE, I mean for reals?! I can't even imagine a more perfect filming location. Unbelievably cool, and how adorable are you in that top hat?!?!

Can't wait to see this movie, especially looking forward to the crazy dance :)
Nicky said…
WOW! What a fantastic little hide away!!! I'd love to see the film, will it be available to watch soon? :D Also, you hair is stunning as is the wonderful top hat you found :D
Love it! I hope we will get to see the finished film...

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