Zapata Ranch Daily Journal

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch
September 13, 2014


A few weeks back I wrote about getting a bison out of the lake.  The reason she had so much trouble is because of the design of her feet.  It’s not that it’s a bad design.  The hoof was simply doing what it was designed to do: penetrate the soil, that is.  It’s a great design out in a pasture where it was meant to be used.  Cattle and bison hooves do a great job of penetrating and aerating the

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September 12, 2014


We’ve recently had an exciting edition to the Zapata crew. Executive chef Robbie Douglas joined us two weeks ago and has already made a brilliant impact. Robbie’s passions are local produce, seasonal goods and  cooking outdoors. He has already cooked a number of early morning breakfasts over the fire at the corrals while the guests and crew saddle horses before sunrise. Robbie’s wonderful family have moved to the ranch and settling in fast with plans of chickens, ducks, gardens and hoop houses

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September 4, 2014

Medano Creek

Medano Creek flows through the Great Sand Dunes National Park each spring and summer with runoff.

August 15, 2014

Simple Pleasures

Today we had a friend visit with her twin granddaughters from Switzerland. One of the highlights for the twins was riding in the back of the truck to the corrals. It’s fun getting to do the things you don’t get to do everyday and some of those things like riding in the back of trucks are always fun.  It feels like you’re going somewhere on a mission, somewhere special, all loaded up to go, exposed to the elements. I think this is

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July 30, 2014


There is water in places I have never seen before. Micro ponds are popping up all over the prairie. The standing water and rain has been very peaceful and reminds me of the Colorado I knew growing up, where every summer afternoon the clouds would roll in right on time, shoot some lightning, sound some thunder, and leave a dusting of rain.

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July 23, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam

My job is never boring.  Last Friday night proved that.

After a long Friday I got a call that there was a bison stuck in a lake.  I’ve pulled plenty of cattle out of dried up ponds and even some that fell through the ice, but never a bison out of a dried up lake.

Apparently a young bison cow wandered into a local park.  She knew the way back home and apparently had enough of the park, but unfortunately the way

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July 8, 2014

Grazing Games

Cattle are a tool.  Used properly they are an asset.  Used improperly, they are a liability.  Bottom line is, if you use a screwdriver to hammer nails, it’s not the screwdriver’s fault.

Through proper management, grass that is grazed by cattle and then given adequate rest, sequestrates carbon into the soil by collecting solar energy, growing roots that aerate the soil, trapping water and preventing topsoil runoff.

Left unused it simply seeds out and dies.  Because it’s not grazed there is no

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July 4, 2014

Ding Dong

Zapata seems to be inspiring Romance more than ever! This year we’ve had a number of guests renew their vows amongst the cottonwoods of Zapata often on horseback and toasting with a glass of champagne. This weekend we are going all out with a 3 day wedding! Dooma and Kathia chose Zapata after Dooma had visited on a boys weekend last year. Prep has been happening for months now and finally the big day is just around the corner. These guys all

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