February 6, 2015


Jessie lives on Zapata Ranch where she runs Ranchlands social media accounts.

My 8-5 is nearly always spent answering calls, taking reservations, assisting with marketing strategies, updating our social media, preparing for the guest season and anything else that may come up at the lodge. During the winter we have a fairly small crew, so I am sometimes asked to assist with larger-scale livestock moves. Yesterday was one of those days.

We trailered our horses down Lane 6 to the “Idaho-Utah” pasture– two pastures that when combined by an open gate expand eight miles long. We anticipated the move would take at least the entire morning, 1pm at the latest. Brett, Kate and I split off to sweep the width of the pasture for cows as we rode the length. Sure enough, the bulk of the cows were at the furthest end of the pasture, which made for a fairly high-mileage roundtrip. The plan was to move the cows out the way we entered and onto Lane 6 to head to new pasture a few miles down the road. By the time we reached the lane, it was already past 2pm and the cows were ready for a break and we were ready for anything edible. While Brett and I rested for a minute, Kate drove the truck and trailer back to the lodge to grab some food and water. After the greatest ten minutes I’ve ever spent lying on the ground, Brett and I woke up the sleepy herd and pushed them out onto the lane.

We had pushed the cows about a mile down the lane when I spotted the truck and trailer approaching. Kate handed Brett and I each a bagel before parking the trailer on the roadside to join us. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a bagel faster or enjoyed a bagel more in my entire life. We still had a few miles to go and it was getting late, so we all agreed it would make sense for me to drive the truck and trailer to the final destination to avoid riding all of the way back. It was about 5pm when the herd finally reached water, and I looked up just in time to see Kate and Brett racing each other back to the gate. The sun was just starting to set as we loaded the horses up and headed home. As we headed down Lane 6, we watched the Sangre de Cristo’s turn pink as a giant flock of Sandhill Cranes flew overhead–the first to arrive for their spring migration; and as tired as I was, it was still the most incredible 8-5 I’ve had in a while.