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Ranching is not only a job, it’s a way of life that connects people to the land, both physically and spiritually.

July 30, 2010

Moving Yearlings

Last Monday, we took the 1000 head of yearlings from the Break Tree Pasture to the lakes.  It was an all day drive across many miles of sand hills and finally arrived at the lush, green, wet pasture which was our destination.  Along the way the cattle were stretched out sometimes close to a mile long, a line of walking animals that went up and down hills with riders along each side.  Five guests were there to help including Scott

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July 28, 2010

Goodbye Jack

Today we said goodbye to our 5-month intern and friend, Jack. During his time here, he contributed greatly to the ranch in all areas; he fenced with the best of us, rode (and trained if you ask him) horses to the far corners of the ranch, became a solid contributor at both Zapata and Chico Basin brandings– something that takes most people years, and won us all over as close friends.  Regardless of his daily direction, Jack headed out with

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July 23, 2010

A Good Night

Last weekend Matthias and Paula from Germany and the Reiss family from New York spent a lot of time in the high prairie with us moving cattle. They were all great guests and Matthias and I got to talking about the wonders of whiskey. He is a connoisseur and thinking of starting up his own distillery in Germany.

Everyone had fun and after a big meal we all sat around and Duke and I had our first public “concert”. We played

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July 21, 2010


Yesterday afternoon, the clouds rolled in, opened up, and dumped a full inch of rain on the Zapata side of the ranch. We have been waiting for this storm for months now so that we can have the cattle grazing on it into the fall.  Over the next couple weeks, we’ll almost be able to watch the grass grow, especially if we get another storm soon.

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July 16, 2010

The Ed Center

Yesterday we had meetings in the Ed Room, which is a big restored barn right next to the lodge.

The meetings always seem to be productive here because one side of the barn is completely made up of windows that look out over a pasture and in the room are plenty of helpful meeting tools. The room is stocked with a huge projection screen, projector, speakers, giant writing pads and easels, conference tables, 50 plus chairs and wireless internet. So if

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July 2, 2010

Artists Working Together

If you are an artist or have ever been a part of a live model session you may already know this, but I found it amazing that all of the different artists, and all truly skilled and seasoned at what they do, were able to agree on one position for the live session we had on the last afternoon.

There are countless positions the horse could have been in, the rider could have been in, where they stood and on and

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June 30, 2010

11th Annual Artist Gathering

We’ve just finished up our 11th annual artist gathering at the Zapata and are beaming with anticipation for September’s show. This year we had 29 artists from Colorado and Wyoming, the largest group yet. The weather cooperated well and blue skies and 80-degrees gave way to thunder and lightening storms on two separate occasions which will surely make for some great work!

Perhaps our favorite part of the event are the nightly shows. After dinner, each person brings out three or

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June 24, 2010

The First Ranchlands Music Series

Two weeks ago the Chico opened up the beautiful Bell Park with its first ever concert and camping and with the concert being a hit, they’ve decided to open up the park for all types of events and more concerts. Tess and I actually had our wedding at the Bell Park and even though I’m bias, it was a really, really beautiful setting. The park is in a huge cottonwood grove with a view of Pikes Peak, a lodge pole

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June 15, 2010

Big Crowd

The bison have been gathering in big, impressive herds lately, which has been fun to see. It seems like the individual characteristics and mannerisms become magnified in these big herds because of all the wallowing in the dirt, playing around etc. is being seen on such a larger scale. The whole herd kind of brings the field to life with some eating and swooshing their tails, some playing and some wallowing pushing big dust clouds into the air. So you

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June 7, 2010

Summer is around the corner…

One of the coolest thing about the living on the ranch is watching the seasons change. Spring brings color and birth for plants and animals alike and Summer enhances this color and fosters growth. Fall tints the landscape golden, closes out the peak of our guest season and gives way to Winter, which offers moisture and rest. It’s a healthy cycle. I took this picture last week while out with a tour.  The bison are shedding their winter coats, revealing

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