This will be Chase Claburn’s fourth summer working at Cherokee Park Ranch. He is currently in the process of writing his first novel, “Among the Trembling Pines.” Chase has been working on a small farm up the road from the ranch, immersed in Colorado’s beautiful western spirit. This is a piece he wrote after spending a wintery day out on the trails helping to train one of our colts, Ruby.
“It Aint Dead”
By: Chase Claburn
Many historians say the Old West and the “Age of the Cowboy” died out long ago. They say it lasted about thirty years and petered out with the advent of “modern” technology: barbwire, railroads, refrigeration, automobiles, etc. The days of the great cattle drives from Texas to Kansas, the closing of the open ranges, and the corporatization of the industry all changed the landscape of the West. There is no denying that. However, the traditions, the ethic, and the soul of that culture has adapted and still endures. It lives in the people whose days aren’t regulated by a time sheet. The people who brave blizzards to bring in a newborn calf and nurse it carry it in them. It endures in ranchers, hatters, saddle makers, and leather workers; it’s known to anyone who longs for the feeling of wild, wide open spaces and and pursues it above themselves, because going without it is like living without air. See it in the eyes of folks pushing cows. Hear it in the singing of a lariat running through a dally. Smell it in the freshness of the mountain air. It’s heat, wind, rain, snow, lightning, fire, and flood. It’s stillness, beauty, life, and love. Life’s full cycle played out before you in a matter of hours; picking up, going out and doing it again; laughter, joy, and reverie; tears, sadness, and pain. The spirit engulfs every sense and fiber of their existence, and though time may shift its gaze and evolution may change some of the aesthetics and the tools, the unconquered, immutable flame that burns within will never die. It’s like Monte Walsh said, “As long as there’s one cowboy tending one cow, It ain’t dead,”