Some time back I was driving through a neighborhood in New Mexico when I noticed a pretty trashed out looking Ford Bronco sitting on a front lawn with a for sale sign in the window. I’ve always been a fan of the old Broncs and so I pulled in to have a look. As first impressions go let’s just say that I assumed it didn’t run, was probably held together with buckets full of bondo and more than likely needed a new transmission if it even had a transmission at all. I was quite surprised when the owner curiously looked at me and said, “of course it runs.” I took it around the block and the factory automatic transmission went smoothly through all three gears. The power steering was quiet and I could see little evidence of bondo. And on top of that the wheel wells hadn’t even been cut making it “original” which is rare to find in the old Broncos. I promptly pulled back up onto the lawn and wrote the guy a check for $2500 not really even being totally sure I had $2500. The check did clear and I was the proud owner of my new 1974 Ford Bronco. I’m Stacy Dean Campbell and I’ve since covered a lot of ground in that little Bronco putting together the series BRONCO ROADS. I read a book called Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck and he talked about not really knowing his own country and a need to venture out and try and rediscover his own America. This monster of a land as he called it. He wanted to really connect with the subjects he had been so successful writing about. Really experience the textures, tastes and grit of what really holds this great country together. Get to the heart of things. Reading this, it dawned on me that I don’t really know this country either. Not really. I don’t even really know my own state. It’s history, cultures and stories that are so vast and really inspiring. So I decided to take Steinbeck’s lead and venture out on my own quest. Driving backroads, digging for characters, folklore maybe a really good local red wine or a fresh brewed beer. The People, places and experiences that make up our rich and diverse cultural landscape. I think I’m finding it in spades from the depths of Carlsbad Caverns to the top of the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak and with my passion for filmmaking I started documenting it and wound up with a television series called BRONCO ROADS…life in the west. It’s already been a great ride and only getting better.
Walt Whitman said, “You road I enter upon and look around. I believe that you are not all that is here, I believe that much unseen is also here…”
Old Walt was sure right about that! So far we’ve Discovered some really great little hideaways like Marfa, TX. Marfa has become quite a legendary location for filmmakers through the years. With George Stevens Epic film “Giant” starring James Dean being filmed on these wide open southwest plains to Daniel Day Lewis’ Oscar winning performance in “There Will Be Blood” and the Coen Brothers film adaptation of the great Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country For Old Men”. Stay at the El Paisano hotel. Enjoy a flank steak at Jett’s Grill and kick back with a cigar around a chiminea full of mesquite. I wanna go back right now just thinking about it.
The Adventures so far seem endless. I caught up with guide Chris Jackson of Action Anglers in Gruene, TX and within about 45 minutes of being in the Guadalupe River he had me onto a beautiful 19 inch rainbow trout that I’m proud to say not only made into my net but also made it onto film!
Travel/Leisure is always a great part of any trip. Getting to the end of the day and being able to sit back and soak it all in. The food and fellowship. Maybe learning to tie a fly or two or maybe just finding the solitude to finish a good book. And I’m realizing that there’s not much that beats a big fireplace in a great lodge and maybe a little live music like that of some of my favorites and friends such as Kevin Welch and Radney Foster.
I think that the journey is just beginning and I’m looking forward to sharing all the stories right here on the East Texas Outdoors / Bronco Roads Travelogue.
See you on the road less traveled.
Stacy Dean Campbell
BRONCO ROADS HOST