Guitar's Dell City Ranch

                                      Guitar’s Dell City Ranch 


                                               Paige Baize 

I guess it must have been about 1971 that was the first time that I got to the Guitar Ranch out at Dell City, Texas.   Dell City is in far west Texas, just west of the Guadalupe Mountains. It is kind of a desert like country and it has those big, dry salt lakes that are on it.

We were going to gather that old East Pasture and I don’t know how many acres are in that pasture, but it is a great big pasture. It runs from that Salt Flat Highway that turns and goes  down to Dell City and back to the east toward the Guadalupes. There is not a fence on the east side of that pasture and there is not a fence on the north end of it. I guess there is one somewhere between there and the Guadalupes, but none of us know where it is. Somewhere up in New Mexico, there is a fence, but none of us know where it is.  The outside man when we gather in this pasture just throws a circle until he quits hitting cow tracks, then when he gets the circle around, everybody falls in like they need to and comes on around.

I was scared to death that I was going to get lost.  I am pretty bad abut getting turned around and getting lost.  They had dropped me on the inside.  I got all my bearings and got my landmarks.  The Guadalupes were right back there in the east and there were other hills and mountains around me.  I had all my bearings right and the drive had been going on for an hour or an hour and a half.  I thought it was getting real cloudy, but then all of my landmarks started disappearing.  Then all of a sudden it started snowing and there wasn’t any wind whatsoever.  It wasn’t very cold, I guess it was just right at freezing.  It just got to snowing harder and harder.  One of the boys said he couldn’t even see his horse’s ears.  I could see my horses ears, but I couldn’t see any farther.

Just before that snow had hit, I had hit a little bunch of cows and there was an old bull with them.  They had sold off some of that country way back yonder, I don’t know when.  People had lived there a while and then moved away.  Things were falling down and I had hit one of their old drift fences, I guess that is what you would call it.  It was around some of that that they had sold off.  It was on my right hand side.  I couldn’t see it, but I could bump it with my stirrup every once in a while.  I would just ease my horse over there and bump it.  I just kept on going and kept it right on my right.  I could hear those cows and that bull ahead of me up there walking along slow.  I didn’t know what I was going to do, it was one of those snows with great big flakes and it was just building up on my saddle horn.  I just kept following those cattle.  

I was riding Dusty.  I heard Mr. Guitar hollering and I hollered and he came to me.  He said, “Boy, you’re going the wrong way.”  I said, “Mr. Guitar, I don’t think I am.  This fence is still right here on my right and I don’t think I‘m going the wrong way.”  He said, “I own this ranch.” I said, “Yes Sir, I know it but I don’t think I’m going to the wrong way.  I think I’m going right.”  He said, “You’re going the wrong way and you’re going to fall off in Carlsbad Caverns is what’s going to happen to you and you’ll die.”  I said, “I’m not going to turn around.”  He said, “ Well, I’ll come to your funeral,” and he rode off.  I was still questioning myself, but I could still bump that fence with my right stirrup, so I just kept on riding.

In just a little while, I heard Mr. Guitar holler again and I hollered back to him.  He came to me and rode right up against me.  He was riding old Molly and stayed right against me.  I said, “Did you decide that I was right?”  He said, “Oh, my lands, no.  Boy, you’re just as wrong as you can be, but in a storm like this, I’m scared to be right by myself.”  We just rode along there together until the snow stopped.




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