Ace Lone Wolf rides again!

Drum roll please…

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present a sneak peek at the next installment of the Lone Wolf Howls series. It begins, predictably enough, with Ace getting himself into trouble yet again. (Trouble does seem to follow him, doesn’t it?)

The story picks up a few days after The Black Pearl Treasure leaves off. I’m revising the tale now and it should be out in January…


As Coyote and I ride down the street, I’m thinking that San Diego doesn’t look like such a bad town. I’ve only passed one saloon so far and I didn’t hear any gunshots coming from it at all. They even have a brick building, a hotel, and it’s two stories tall. The people I pass don’t reach for their guns—shoot, some of them aren’t even carrying guns—and one lady stepping out of a carriage nods when I tip my hat to her.

Unfortunately, that nod turns into a look of fear when my long black hair, which I’d tucked up under my hat before entering town—I don’t look so Apache that way—falls out. But she doesn’t scream or anything so it all works out okay.

All in all, I have a good feeling about San Diego. Once I find someone to buy these black pearls Beckwourth gave me, I’ll have money again. Maybe I’ll stick around for a few days, sleep in a bed and eat someone else’s cooking. Buy some new duds. Mine are looking a little tattered after all I’ve been through lately. Continue reading “Ace Lone Wolf rides again!”

Ace Lone Wolf and the Lost Temple of Totec – Chapter 1

ace-lone-wolfd5-v2Sometimes I hate it when I’m right.

Like now, for instance. I knew these boys were going to be trouble when I joined up, I just knew it. And sure enough, I’m right.

I start thinking about drawing my other Colt .44. If there’s one thing my useless pa taught me, it’s that two guns are always better than one.

Here’s what’s going on.

Boyce is standing over by the safe, his face slowly turning red. Just inside the door of the train car is Timmons. He’s soaking wet. Head to toe.

And so’s the bundle of dynamite in his left hand. Our only dynamite.

Continue reading “Ace Lone Wolf and the Lost Temple of Totec – Chapter 1”

Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Water, water nowhere…

Date Creek wooden diversion 2
Date Creek itself

Back in college I used to do a lot of backpacking with one of my friends. One time he and I were headed out to backpack in the Chiricahua Mountains and as we were pulling our packs out of the car I noticed that he had a milk jug full of water in the back seat. When I asked him what it was for, he told me it was so we’d have something to drink on the way home.

But it’s in a milk jug, I said.

It’s okay, he replied. I cleaned it really well.

I just smiled and shook my head. Trust me, you aren’t going to want to drink that.

He argued with me, but I knew I was right. How did I know this? Because I’d long ago made a similar mistake… Continue reading “Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Water, water nowhere…”

Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Gymkhanas, part 2

This is the big truck, after the wooden racks were replaced by a water tank.

I’m not quite sure why I wasn’t riding Cortez, my horse, on that fateful day. I have some vague recollection that she had a limp. I’m not even sure how the decision was made that Dinah should be her replacement either. Maybe it was just the universe having a little fun at my expense.

However it happened, one fine day we loaded Dinah and Kim’s horse, Suzy, into the Big Truck, piled into the cab and headed for the tiny town of Bagdad and my date with infamy.

You know, I’m going to go off on a side rant here, triggered by my traumatic memories of the Big Truck.

One of the things that I really hated when I was a kid was how we were always different. All I wanted to do was fit in and just be like everyone else. But it was not to be. Even around other people who were different, we were still more different than them.

Case in point: the Big Truck. When we went to gymkhanas or any sort of gathering where people brought horses or livestock, everyone else had horse trailers. Why? Because they’re low to the ground and it’s easy to load and unload your livestock from them.

(find part one of this story here) Continue reading “Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Gymkhanas, part 2”

Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Time for a real horse, part 2

My lovely wife, Claudia, at the ranch. On her first roundup years ago, she got to go on foot! Why ever did she stick around?

So the first horse I tried out turned out to be a lemon. There was nothing for it but to keep on trying. The right horse just had to be out there.

The next horse that arrived at the ranch was a friendly-looking mare. The initial stages of saddling and mounting all went well enough. I was feeling pretty positive.

As luck would have it, once again I was going to be riding down the creek. I don’t remember the details, but I imagine we’d missed some cattle and we were just checking the pasture again. The difference was that this time Scott would be riding with me. Continue reading “Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Time for a real horse, part 2”

Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Time for a real horse

My younger son, Daniel, at the ranch a few years ago.

Okay, money in hand, I was ready to buy a horse that didn’t suck! How hard could this be?

The first horse we got at the ranch for me to try out looked pretty good. At least he wasn’t swaybacked or 200 years old. I saddled him up and got on. Not once did he try to bite me, which put him way ahead of Lady already. In my book, any horse that resists the urge to bite me gets a gold star right off the top.

I clapped the spurs to him and he moved into a trot, then a lope, without too much trouble. He turned when I pulled on the reins. As an added bonus, he stopped when I wanted him too. Not once did I come close to being crippled for life, which put him ahead of Misty.

A person could get used to this, I thought.

I looked in the horse’s eyes. There was no dull glaze. No incipient madness lurking. He was beating out Beauty, the zombie horse, too! Continue reading “Tales from Date Creek Ranch – Time for a real horse”

Tales from Date Creek Ranch – horrible nags part 2

My older son, Dylan, a few years ago in the creek at the ranch. He’s about twice as big now.

To round out the triumvirate of Date Creek Ranch nags I was stuck riding as a kid, there was Beauty. Beauty was all black, just like the Black Beauty of movie fame (read part 1 here).

And right there all comparisons between Beauty and her namesake ended.

There was nothing majestic or glamorous about Beauty. In fact, there was something terribly wrong with that horse. She never spooked the way the other horses did when something unexpected or scary happened. She was never playful or grumpy or had any discernible moods at all. She didn’t interact with the other horses. Most of the time when I saw her out in the pasture, she was just standing there with her head down, unmoving. She basically plodded along through life with her head down. It was like she was like some kind of zombie horse. She only barely responded to the reins. Spurring her or swatting her with a riding crop produced hardly any effect.

Continue reading “Tales from Date Creek Ranch – horrible nags part 2”