Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Buffalo Horn Ranch - III

Buffalo Horn Ranch Diaries

A New York Chef at Home on the "Range"

These letters were written to my friends in NYC in the Fall of 2000, when I worked as Head Chef at a hunting lodge in Meeker, Colorado.

So for those of you who are current on the events around here...The evil bartender was fired last week (thanks for asking, Indigo). As they say in The Green Mile, (excellent movie, by the way) "his cheese had slid off his cracker."

And thanks to those of you who offered to send moisturizer. A trip to Kmart a few days back in the exciting town of Craig, Colorado solved that little problem. I FINALLY had a day off, and spent it shopping in thrift stores. I found a brand new Pendleton wool jacket for $6 and some groovy 60's and 70's ski parkas. Can't have too many of those...

Craig is home to the only radio station we can get out in these parts, KRAI, which plays the most unbelievable mix of music, from Metallica to Marky Mark, Classic Rock, lots of 80s metal bands and pop music, and all of the bubble gum stuff of today, like N*SYNC and Britney Spears. And they have theme days. Like the other day they played songs from 1977 across genres. That was cool...until a few days later, they did it again. Songs from 1977. I've never heard them choose any other year, just every few days...1977.

My excitement this week has been learning to "rope". (That's lasso to you). I've been practicing on a garbage can...and let me tell you, I make sure it doesn't escape. Shiloh, the young rodeo star (complete with big belt buckle) from Texas, has been teaching me, and says I handle the rope well, but my release is sloppy. It's hard to swing it just right over your head and get the loop to open up just at the moment you extend your arm and release it at your target. But I'm getting better. Shiloh has been promoted to "horse manager" :-) for next year and he's been all excited about that this week. He's a very talented roper and can do all kinds of tricks. I wish I had a video camera--I doubt still photos will capture how amazing it is!

Yesterday marked an important day in the history of Sara B. -- my first pair of Wranglers. They're a must around here. But I didn't have to buy them. All I had to do was express the wish, and the cowboys have given me about 5 pair.

I also went on a hunt for the first time yesterday morning. (This involved getting into an old Jeep Wagoneer and driving across the range to the foot of the mountains, spotting elk through the binocs, then driving over to them as close as possible before the hunters got out to stalk them on foot.) I waited in the Jeep and watched the beautiful morning sunlight turn the dew into mist that was rising off the frozen brambles. The light is very dramatic here...a few days ago I saw the most amazing rainbow--a complete arch over the mountains behind the lodge that lasted for a good 15 minutes.

Oh, there's so much to tell about this place, I could go on and on. My favorite moment in the day is my walk down to the corral where I feed the goats, calves, foals and horses some carrots and I guess I'll go do that now, before making lunch for the crew.

Kisses to you all,


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