City Slickers. Who hasn’t watched that Billy Crystal movie and dreamed about saddling up for a great horseback adventure, in the spectacular beauty of the American West? Did you know you can actually do that?! And the new documentary style TV show, Today’s Wild West will show you how.
Whether it’s a cattle drive, a wagon train, a wilderness adventure, or really learning to ride a horse, there’s all kinds of cool stuff happening out West that many people have never even heard of.
But Today’s Wild West is about much more than living out your fantasy. There are so many fascinating aspects to the American West – the land, the culture, its art and history. Imagine riding where Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Custer once rode; walking the wooden sidewalks of Tombstone, Arizona, scene of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday’s legendary Gunfight at the OK Corral; exploring the Cochise Stronghold, home of Geronimo and his fellow Apaches; stepping into the historic Minnesota bank where Jesse James and his gang met their match; or riding the trail of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians, as they fled the U.S. Army for freedom in to Canada. And in the unspoiled West, the locations where many of those historic events took place look much the same as they did back in the 1800’s.
Along with its history, is the unique culture of the American West. Today’s Wild West will introduce you to Native American artists and artisans keeping their ancient traditions alive and thriving. You’ll meet saddle makers, see the fine art crafted from braids of rawhide, watch how fire helps craft a custom cowboy hat, and visit the shop where craftsmen build authentic stage coaches, just like they did back in the day.
There’s no end to the fascinating stories, people and places of the American West. And there’s no better tour guide than Mark Bedor, the creator and host of Today’s Wild West. For more than fifteen years, Mark has had hundreds of articles, illustrated with his photography, published in dozens of magazines. He’s also the author of two Western coffee table photography books from Skyhorse Publishing of New York, including the brand new Great Rides of Today’s Wild West. He’s chased buffalo horseback in South Dakota, ridden a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, been horseback deep in the back country of Yellowstone National Park, ridden the Chief Joseph Trail Ride in Montana, and participated in the reenactment of Custer’s Battle of the Little Bighorn. And he’s visited dozens of dude ranches, and seen first hand how the magic of the West and its horses can cast its spell on those experiencing it for the first time. It’s a life experience he’d like everyone to get the chance to share.
Mark’s also spent a career in Television News, working around the country as an anchor, reporter, writer and producer, most recently as a news writer at KCBS TV in Los Angeles.
His passion for the West, his years traveling and writing about its many aspects, plus his background in television gives Mark Bedor a unique and perfect skill set to tell this story. And there’s nothing like it on television!
Perhaps best of all, Today’s Wild West is not a concept. It’s a reality. Mark has spent the last year shooting, writing and editing a show that’s finally on the air! Some compelling segments already complete include:
- Jesse James Bank Museum in Northfield, Minnesota. Learn the dramatic and true story of the townspeople who fought back against the infamous outlaw and won!
- Geronimo and the Cochise Stronghold follow the footsteps of the famous warrior, while learning about Apache culture.
- Tombstone, Arizona. This most legendary town of the Old West looks much the same as it did when Wyatt and Doc were here. Ride the desert outside town at nearby Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch.
- Connect with Wild Mustangs in their natural environment. Visit one of the last truly free bands of mustangs in the country, on an easy horseback trip into the remote high desert of the California-Nevada border, and learn the story and issues surrounding this symbol of the Wild West.
- The historic Western movie locations at the Lone Pine California Film Festival. Today’s Wild West takes you to the unspoiled Alabama Hills near Mount Whitney, where hundreds of Western films have been shot since the 1920’s, still an active movie site today.
- Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive & Wagon Train. It’s like your very own City Slickers. Drive a herd of cattle across the rugged Nevada sagebrush, accompanied by an authentic wagon train with wagons dating to the 1800’s. Get a taste of what life in the saddle was really like back in the day.
- Ghost Train of Ely, Nevada. It’s a dream of train fans! The best preserved historic railroad in the country features two century old steam engines with a complete rail yard, and is run largely by volunteers.
- Pipestone National Monument. Meet the Native Americans carving peace pipes at the quarry where Indian tribes have mined the sacred red stone they’ve used for centuries.
- Stagecoach builders of Hansen Wheel & Wagon. Meet the craftsmen who recreate the stagecoaches made exactly as they were back in the 1800’s that were once state of the art transportation in the American West.
- Saddle up at one of America’s historic Dude Ranches. Dude Ranching began when the Wild West came to a close, and today provide unique opportunities for anyone to learn not just to ride, but truly communicate with a horse. And every ranch has its own unique history, some dating back to the1860’s.
That’s a tiny sample. There’s so much more. You can see highlights right here on the Today’s Wild West promo video – and now – watch entire episodes on Wyoming PBS or streaming right here on the website.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from. The romance, beauty, history, and horses of the American West still captures the imagination of Americans, and people all over the world, like nothing else. Best of all, watching Today’s Wild West will inspire you to experience the West – and live the dream.! And there’s no one who’s more passionate to share this unique story, than television writer, producer and host – Mark Bedor. Today’s Wild West – truly television worth watching.