I had the opportunity to visit the set of the TV show Dry Creek over the weekend. Les McDowell, the owner of the property was kind enough to pose for some pictures.
Dry Creek is a TV set — storefronts propped up with 2×4’s — and there’s no guarantee how long the show will last.
In January 2010, McDowell started by holding a camera to tape himself reading cowboy poetry.
Friends soon joined him around the campfire to act out small scenes in which McDowell would break out into poetry. He’d already published his first book of poems called Tales From the Trail, but his fans wanted more, he said, so he kept building.
Over the next 14 months, McDowell and cast members constructed a general store, saloon and blacksmith shop. Along with a church he had built for a friend’s Western-themed wedding 10 years before, McDowell had created a town.
Antiques lined the shelves of the general store and the saloon. Horses stood hitched to the wagons and stagecoaches he built.
When McDowell ran out of money for wood, the cast found people and businesses to donate scraps. If he runs out of money, he said he’ll go back to filming with the $100 camera he used for his cowboy poetry videos. McDowell will do whatever it takes to keep alive a town that never was.