Zapata Ranch Ahhhh!

sangre de cristo range, rocky mountain bee plant

Bee Plant and Crestones : Prints Available

 A wet July leads to a breakout in the Rocky Mountain bee plant bloom on Zapata Ranch. The high peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Range form a rugged backdrop.

Part 2 of 3 – Sangre De Cristos

Needing a shower, chef-prepared meals, and a comfy bed, we naturally headed for Zapata Ranch, just down the road a piece from Crestone. It was great to see friends from previous visits while teaching at Zapata and view the ranch in a green summer season, with everything in bloom. After a month and a half of 90+ degree days on the Front Range, low 80’s with an afternoon shower felt great! We enjoyed Chef Mike’s gourmet creations and met nice folks from all over the country – even a group from Ireland. Zapata is a Nature Conservancy working ranch managed holistically by the Phillips family. They were running a woman’s horsemanship clinic led by Cam Schryver. The clinic is one of many special events on the year-round calendar at Z-ranch. I’m fortunate to be able to teach a sandhill crane photo workshop with Michael Forsberg in the spring, another Z-ranch special event. I was hoping to get Marla on a horse – she loves to ride and it’s been too long – what I didn’t know was that I’d be riding too… on a cattle drive.

zapata ranch, the nature conservancy

Drivin' Doggies : Prints Available

 Danielle drives cattle to a new pasture on the Medano side of Zapata Ranch. The Nature Conservancy owns Zapata Ranch and the Phillips family manages the ranch holistically, with bison on the Zapata side and cattle on the Medano (south) side. Marla and I were on a cattle drive, one of the great guest experiences offered at the ranch.

Marla’s turn to keep those doggies movin’. My horse, named Joe Buffalo is in the foreground.

Marla stylin’ on Monte.

Riders before we reached the cattle.

The bison are very active going into August, about the middle of the annual rut.This time of year the “babies” are looking pretty big.

Marla made this photo of me while getting lost in a patch of bee plant.

The front door to Zapata Ranch all decked out in summer flowers.

Check in here and enjoy your stay, pard!

7 thoughts on “Zapata Ranch Ahhhh!

  1. And enjoy we did! Thanks for introducing me to the Z-Ranch and all the great folks there including Mr. Monte, my ride for the cattle drive. I sure had a ball there with you, the best pard in the West! well….the world really. πŸ™‚

    1. OK, you got me. Rest and vacation are an oxymoron for us, but we did sleep in a bed and Chef Mike fed us well. And boy, am I glad that we didn’t stay on the horses any longer! πŸ™‚

  2. Well, we know Marla’s horse was going to be a winner with a name like Monte. πŸ™‚ That last image sure gives the place an inviting feel. Haven’t been on a cattle drive since my high school years so that sounds like it would be a blast. Not only that but riding around in nature would be the needed therapy.

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