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Ode To Autumn And Ranch Delights



5th Wheel Experiences in Oklahoma,

Arkansas and Texas!    


Texas Chili from Terlingua          

R&R Wine Tour and Tasting Experience   Tour Guide…October 15th!       

Vol. 1 Issue No.10

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Editor-in-Chief, Spring Sault


Contributors: Ashlie Dove John Fifer Tiffany Harelik Ranch & Reserve Magazine 20 Crandell Ave. Brantford, ON N3S 1C9 (519) 754-7687 E: Submissions: Editorial submissions should be sent to Ranch & Reserve Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited materials.

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Welcome to the Ranch




Ranch Feature-

Ode to Autumn and Ranch Delights  

19 Travel

The Garden, The Mountain, The Abbey  

29 Food

Texas Chili Direct From Terlingua  



Publisher’s Note

By Spring J. Sault, Editor-In-Chief

In this month’s issue we focus on time: Time with family and friends, traveling, relaxing, or simply enjoying all there is to be grateful for. Our ‘Travel’ contributor, John Fifer has a few things to say about Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, while Ranchseeker brings us some great fall specials from a selection of handpicked guest ranches to pass the time away at. And everyone knows that Autumn is a time for perfecting your chili recipe, and in that respect, ‘Food’ contributor, Tiffany Harelik, brings us the details on the Terlingua chili cook-off! Add to that the opportunities that fall offers for the weekend wine trail warrior to enjoy some of North America’s best autumnal flavors in reserve offerings and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. So welcome October, and all of your changes, from all of us here at Ranch & Reserve Magazine.





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Ranch & Reserve Magazine 20 Crandell Ave. Brantford, ON N3S 1C9 (519) 754-7687 E:


Photo Credit: Southern Cross Guest Ranch


As Keats wrote, “Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, and depending on where you live, the onset of autumn can represent different things to different people.


Written By Ashlie Dove

It can herald the end of long, lazy, hot days of summer as leaves on the trees change from crisp green to vibrant shades of red and yellow or it can simply reflect a much-awaited drop in temperature and humidity in much warmer climes. Regardless of where you are located on the map, autumn is often considered a favourite season by many of us. As days become shorter and winter approaches, we can bathe in sunlight yet enjoy more temperate weather making it an ideal time for planning various types of outdoor activities. For families it signifies the beginning of a new school year, but for others it is a great opportunity to travel since plenty of vacation destinations offer tempting packages to suit a variety of budgets once the busy summer season is over. With so many attractive deals “out there” with or without children, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. If spending time in the saddle, participating in diverse outdoor activities, and being surrounded by spectacular scenery appeal, then a guest ranch vacation would be an ideal choice. Check out these four enticing Fall Ranch Specials in Wyoming, Georgia, California and Mexico and start thinking about the great outdoors and what to pack! 8  

Photo Credit: Spotted Horse Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

Spotted Horse Ranch Located near Jackson Hole this Wyoming dude ranch will have you feeling like you have returned to a simpler time similar to the old west. The pace although laid back is never boring!

Fall Special Details: October 1st to Oct. 15: Late Season 15% discount Children under 6 years of age are half price and children under 3 years are free. Rates are based upon the American plan, which includes the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Newly decorated cabins, complete with goose down comforters and private baths. All meals, served family style in our dining room Horseback riding Fly-casting lessons on Monday afternoon Fly fishing in our private pond as well as in the Hoback River Barbeque cookouts with live entertainment, weather permitting on Thursdays A choice of a scenic or whitewater float on the Snake River (only on Thursdays) Swimming in Granite Hot Springs (only on Thursdays) Beer and wine are complimentary at happy hour, 5-7pm each evening, along with appetizers A Children’s Activity Director, Sunday afternoon through Friday Sauna located adjacent to the Hoback River 9

12. Guest Laundry facility, detergent included 13. Shampoo, conditioner and hair dryers in every cabin

Photo Credit: Spotted Horse Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

For a chance to explore the Hoback Mountain Range in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the ranch offers you the opportunity of a true Western experience by enjoying an overnight pack-trip into one of their backcountry camps. This is a great opportunity for photo taking and/or fishing!

Photo Credit: Spotted Horse Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

Photo Credit: Spotted Horse Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook


Photo Credit: Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Southern Cross Guest Ranch Experience Southern hospitality at its finest at this easy to reach ranch located just an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. Delicious home-cooked food, over 150 horses and unguided riding opportunities are the highlights at this a bona fide horse lover’s paradise. Fall Special Details: Take advantage of “FREE NIGHTS IN GEORGIA” Sept 29 – Oct 6 or *Oct 30 - Nov 18 Midweeks - Mon-Thurs nights. The longer you stay the better the deal: 3-nights: 3rd night FREE 4-nights: 4th night FREE + room upgrade for all nights Weekend Rates 4-nights: 4th night FREE 7-nights: 2 nights FREE when booking their 5-night package rate ($780 & up) Discounted night must be a night of equal or lesser value.


Photo Credits: Southern Cross Guest Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

Promo Code: FALLFREE Expires: October 31/2016 All-Inclusive Plan with 2x daily horseback riding – just $88/night per person! Take advantage of the lowest rates of the year - Valid Nov 27 – Dec 18, 2016 on stays of 4 nights or longer, double occupancy (singles just $98/night). Promo Code: FALL88 Expires: November 30, 2016 ***Specials above may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Reservations required, limited availability, new reservations only.


Coffee Creek Ranch There are many new modern ranches but if you are seeking an authentic dude ranch experience, look no further than Coffee Creek Ranch. This guest ranch was founded in 1900 and lies across 367 acres in Northern California. It’s surrounded by the National Forest and Trinity Alps and is adjacent to Coffee Creek of course.

Fall Special Details:

Photo Credit: Coffee Creek Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

September 24th-30th Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week: Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295! October 15th-21st Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week: Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295!


These specials include cooking classes according to guest’s wishes, game nights, fall bonfires, special hot cocoa, homemade ice cream and great fall-themed food to enjoy while staying at the ranch accompanied by the recipes to take home. It also includes two rides a day into a picturesque forest and if everyone is in agreement an allday ride to one of the lakes nearby. Photo Credit: Coffee Creek Ranch via Ranchseeker/Facebook

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Photo Credit: Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch or Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures as it is also known by is a genuine Mexican cattle ranch and wilderness preserve located a mere 55 miles south from the southeast Arizona town of Douglas. With over 30, 000 acres, exotic scenery and otherworldly landscapes you will be reminded of a National Park. Fall Special Details: 175-185/night Especial de las Vaqueras [Cowgirls Special] Calling all female friends or family members, sisters and mothers! Take part in the “Cowgirl’s Special” which applies to two or more cowgirls, for five or more nights, at a discounted rate of $175/night/ 14  

Photo Credit: Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures

“vaquera” (until the end of October) or $185/night during November and December, based on double occupancy. A savings of $70/ night off of their standard rates. Round-trip shuttle from Tucson is included. Enjoy short rides, long rides, trail rides and back country riding at its finest. Ride through ravines, hills, mesas, down canyons and up into the high sierra and make new memories that will last forever. November Mexican Roundup [Corrida] Experience an authentic Mexican Roundup [Nov 6-13], or “Corrida,” with “vaqueros” (cowboys), horses, cattle, great food and ideal weather for lots of riding, cattle drives, and cattle work. Only $1,400 per guest, double occupancy, $1,550 per guest, single occupancy for this 7-night stay. Thanksgiving Week at the Rancho [Kids 10 and under stay free; free nightly wine tasting from Latin America] This Thanksgiving choose a different way to celebrate. Visit Tierra Chamahua towards the end of November and spend Thanksgiving Week from Nov. 20-26, for a 6-night stay, starting at $1,300 per guest, double occupancy, all-inclusive, with shuttle transfer from Tucson. Your Thanksgiving package includes wine tasting from Latin American wineries, a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal, plus children aged 10 and under stay for free! Exceptional riding and hiking opportunities as well as moderate temperatures and incredible scenery round-out this holiday special. With fantastic Fall and Thanksgiving Specials like these what are you waiting for?


Photo Credit: Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures

Don’t Wish Away Your Days For Better Ones Ahead


Wine Trail & Tasting Experiences Tour Guide                                     15   

Uncork Your Enthusiasm


Photo Credit: John Fifer



Written By John Fifer

The Garden, The Mountain, The Abbey… 20  

…Wine, Flowers and Oil Salad When my wife and I went RVing through Europe during the summers of 2006 and 2007, we gained an appreciation for the beautiful gardens, especially those designed in the United Kingdom. They seemed to offer both extremes: complete organization of the formal English garden, and the seemingly disorganized (more my style as opposed to the wife’s) version that offers up perennial foliage and flowers - one variety following another, all clustered together helter-skelter, each variety offering up its own splendor throughout the growing season. Another of our repeated haunts were the historic churches, cathedrals, basilicas, abbeys and monasteries that pepper the European landscape.


Photo Credit: John Fifer

The two hours we spent at Garvan flew by, and then we were on to Mount Ida, the selfproclaimed quartz crystal capitol of the world, where my crystal-bitten better half planned to obtain some symmetrical and magical shafts of nature! Two problems ensued. One site we wanted to try was inaccessible with the 5th wheel, and the other was closed. She declined stopping at one of the myriad of small roadside stands selling the very same. I tried honey!

Fast forward to the USA and the present. Yes, there are many very beautiful and diverse structures here, as well as wonderful gardens one can enjoy and relax in at your leisure. One such place is in Hot Springs, as part of the University of Arkansas system. Garvan Woodland Gardens, a botanical garden nestled in the pines of Southwest Arkansas, is designed to remind visitors of the surrounding Quachita Mountains. The Japanese garden was especially enjoyable, given my Japan experience. During our walk through this well maintained and beautiful site, we also visited the Anthony Chapel and carillon, a visual and auditory delight, as it rests among the tall pines. The wood and glass structure is open for public examination, unless there is a special event such as a wedding taking place.

Following a restful night at Mt. Magazine State Park, we were off with the truck alone to descend the mountain and enjoy the wayside overlook views, all the while keeping a cautious eye out for black bears!


True to our history of church-hopping, we stopped at the quite attractive abbey of Subiaco. The boys school, Subiaco Academy, is also located near the town of Subiaco. We had the pleasure of meeting the priory, Fr. David, and a Brother who was tending the attractive flower gardens of this beautiful setting. Ranch and Reserve Magazine, if you haven’t already noticed, is dedicated to the art of the reserve. Wine! (The good stuff of course!) Personally, I go for the boxed version and an occasional beer! But Arkansas, as do many states, produces its own varieties and we were not going to miss the opportunity for a tasting. Our first stop (taste and taste again!) was at the Post Familee vineyards in Altus, Arkansas. We seem to be blessed to cross paths with some of the most interesting and fun characters in whatever neighborhood we are visiting. This stop was no exception! Here we met Jim and Darlene. These folks were rural farmers who raised cattle called Brangus, which we learned was a cross of 1/3 Brahma and 2/3 Angus. Although they were going to retire from that business, they were making their periodic trek to

Familee from the back-country farm in order to restock their cellars. Jim was another character, a wild and crazy down-to-earth guy, and as we outsiders learned of the Familee varieties of wines, we all shared a multitude of laughs. Familee even had a wine made from Delaware grapes (which made us feel right at home) from plants that were more than 100 years old. We tasted, bought, laughed, and reluctantly left our newfound friends, moving down the road to the Wiederheln Winery where we admired their beautiful bar and succumbed to a couple more bottles of the fruit of the vine! Alma was the location of our respite for the night.

Photo Credits This Page: John Fifer


History was our agenda for the next day. It was on to Fort Smith; a location we had visited many years earlier. We toured the National Cemetery and visited Judge Isaac Parker’s courthouse and courtroom. You might recall that he was known as the ‘Hanging Judge’, only being appropriately merciful on occasion! This was where we were introduced to and bought our $10 National Park for-life pass. What a deal!! We walked the fort’s grounds and buildings, as well as the historic district, where we saw some of the homes of many of the historical figures about whom we had just learned. It was an interesting town and site. The next day saw us traveling even further back in time. We stopped at the Spiro Mounds site near Spiro, Oklahoma. Millions of artifacts have been found and it is thought that the leader’s tentacles may have reached out and affected as many as three million Indigenous people. This is a major Native American historic site in the United States that has seen human activity for at least 8,000 years! Photo Credits: John Fifer



Photo Credit: Larry and Teddy Page/Flickr via CC

Continuing along the extreme eastern border of Oklahoma we traveled toward the proximity of the town of Heavener, where we (with some trepidation) drove the hill with the 5th wheel to the Heavener Rune Stone, purported to be evidence that Vikings were in this area in the pre-Columbian era. The huge stone, with authentic rune carvings, is situated high up in a mountain gully. It is supposed that the Vikings boated down the east coast of the US, into the Gulf of Mexico, and ultimately up the Arkansas River which would have placed them approximately three miles from this site. There are proponents and detractors, but only a visit to the site will begin to answer the question for the visitor. Caution: the parking lot is on quite an incline. However you go, with or without the rig, be sure to set the parking brake! We decided to relax a spell and spent a couple of nights at the Talimena State Park, which marks the entrance to the Talimena National Scenic Byway. We drove the byway on the perfectly clear and sunny day through the Winding Stair Mountains, enjoying the scenery. The park can be found about 6 miles north of Talihina, Oklahoma.


Photo Credit:


TEXAS! In caps of course, because isn’t everything bigger there?! We entered Texas and stayed the first night in Omaha, then moved on to Marshall the next day where we found a place for the night, unhooked, and drove to the historic downtown of Jefferson. The 19th century Excelsior Hotel still sports 85% of its original furnishings. Step inside and take a look around while simultaneously stepping back in time. Across the street is one of Jay Gould’s (1836-1892) private train cars from 1888. Jay was a heavy weight railroad developer, financier, and builder who was widely considered to be an unscrupulous, greedy robber baron! Whew! What a guy! A lot of folks didn’t seem to care for old Jay. Being the 5th oldest town in Texas, we were able to walk around and view many old homes and commercial structures. Texas tea and Kilgore, Texas are synonymous. Kilgore was once able to claim the richest acre in the world, as voluminous barrels of oil were pumped from the ground from the greatest concentration of oil wells, which stood immediately downtown. The derricks still stand as a memorial to what can also occur when the wells run dry.

The East Texas Oil Museum is a donot-miss stop, unless you actually worked in the oil business in the 1930’s! (Which excludes almost everybody.) It is an outstanding display of the oil boom days in Kilgore and the surrounding area and is an education in itself. Fully sheltered, there are reconstructed period buildings, shops, old machinery, and appropriate antiquities to the time and site. One feels transported back in time as we meandered through the fine display of history. Photo Credits: John Fifer


That same afternoon we experienced our first truck breakdown, with a failed alternator. Remember to consider the towing and extended warranty insurance when setting out for a longhaul. Free tow of the 5th wheel to our campground space, the truck to the mechanic, and me back to the RV, was all included in our package. Although unfortunate as regards to the machinery, we did meet some really nice Tyler, Texas folks who had traveled the 26 miles to spend a few days relaxing away from home. The great thing about travel is just that: the nice folks one meets. They introduced us to the City of Tyler on a side trip while our truck was being repaired. We visited the Tyler Rose Garden, and although we missed the blooming roses, we did enjoy the other flowers that were in season, the greenery, and the trees. And there is nothing like dinner with locals, at a local establishment, in any locale! What a treat and friends for life! It’s now time for us to take a travel break, and how fortuitous! Cousins in the Desoto, Texas area (just outside of Dallas) will host us. So while I’ll be visiting and doing some area siteseeing, you check out the route we just covered, and see some of the details of the spots we have visited this month on Wikipedia. History, Americana, and National Byways…there’s nothing like travel and seeing our great nation! Hope the kids are awake and off their phones long enough to appreciate the authentic travel, entertainment and education!

Photo Credits This Page: John Fifer

Before I run, for many people it is time, maybe even past time, to winterize the rig or take a seasonal break. I’m not about to list all that is required, but, don’t forget to check the anode in the water heater and drain all of the holding tanks, including the fresh water. Learn how to properly stow the batteries for the season and keep the tires properly (maybe they should even have most of the weight lifted from them.) Ensure that your cover is secure against that late winter hurricane or nor’easter, and as we all know, the list continues. Enjoy, as the Admiral sips some steaming marshmallow’d cocoa!! Have fun, and above all, be safe folks. Happy trails!  


“Balance Is Key” -Author Unknown                                                      

Photo Credit: Tiffany Harelik

Terlingua, Texas: population 52. The former miningtown-turned-ghost-town is home to an international brawl in the desert where the best chili-makers have brought their recipes for a shot at bragging rights every first Saturday of November since 1967. Over ten thousand “chiliheads” from around the world descend upon the small town to partake in the annual contest, but outside of the cook-off weekend, Terlingua proper is a small community that is home to less than one hundred. It is hot, desolate, and prickly. One false step could land you in a cactus patch, and one wrong turn could lead you into the forgotten quicksilver mines of the past. It takes a particular kind to live there year-round, but those who do wouldn’t trade it for any other spot on the globe.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Harelik

The Terlingua chili cook-off is an event pulsing with a lifeblood as thick and rich as the chili the competitors turn out year after year. I wrote The Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili’s Last Frontier to celebrate the competition’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016. Books are available online through www.tiffanyharelik.comwhere you can also find dates listed for special chili tasting and book signing opportunities. During the research of this book, I sat down to taste local Terlinguan and acclaimed chili cook Deanna Castillo her award-winning recipe for Ghostown Chili. “The cook-off put Terlingua on the map,” says Deanna. A woman of distinction in the chili community, Deanna credits learning the art of chili making from two championship cooks: Roger Foltz and Tom Dozier. Having placed well at multiple chili competitions, she hosts her own chili cook-off in January each year as a fundraising event for Ghost Town Charities.

Front Cover, Terlingua Chili Cookbook, Tiffany Harelik

Her chili is to die for. “I start with two pounds of meat and roll it into little balls, like big meatballs. I’ll get maybe eight big huge meatballs, Deanna says. “Then once you cook the meat, add your liquids. Competition chili, it has to look the same: it’s how you grind up your spices that make the flavors change. Mine is a basic recipe. You can add and take away.”

Deanna works her recipe based on the turn-in time. “If I’m cooking chili today to be judged at 5 p.m., I know I have a lot of beer drinkers, so I’m going to put in a lot of salt. If the judging takes place earlier in the day Deanna decreases the amount of heat and salt. “If the judging is at noon, I pull my heat and my salt [back] a little,” she says “because you’re going to have judges judging it that don’t want a lot of heat early in the day. Her recipe is below.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Harelik

Only two men to date have placed at the CASI cook-off and the Tolbert’s cook-off on the same day: Roger Foltz and John Billy Murray. So I got on the phone with Roger Foltz to get another perspective on the chili lore. “There are three chili religions,” he tells me, “(1) Tolbert’s, (2) CASI, and (3) ICS. All of us started at the same place at the same time,” Roger says, referring to that first cook-off in 1967. In the early days, all three groups operated under one event. But eventually, Carroll Shelby broke away to form

Photo Credit: Tiffany Harelik

ICS and took his group to California. “In court, ICS has the right to call their cook-off the world championship,” Roger denotes. “CASI calls theirs the International Chili Championship and Tolbert’s calls theirs the Original International Chili Championship.” Each of the “religions” has their own point system by which competitors must accrue points at various cook-offs throughout the year. When the appropriate number of points is reached, they are invited to cook in their group’s world championship. If ever you were planning to make the trek to Terlingua, the 2016 event is one that is going down in the record books. There are two cook-offs to choose from: Tolbert’s and CASI. My recommendation is to do both. Plan your camping or hotel accommodations with the anticipation of driving to a very desolate area with limited supplies. Be self-sufficient and come ready to taste some of the best chili of your life. If you can’t make the event, I’ve written all about it in The Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili’s Last Frontier available at

Deanna Castillo and her award-winning Ghostown Chili. Photo Credit: Tiffany Harelik

Ghostown Chili Courtesy of Deanna Castillo as featured in The Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili’s Last Frontier – available online at

Deanna credits Roger Foltz and Tom Dozier for helping her develop this award-winning recipe, which she also serves at High Sierra Bar and Grill in Terlingua, Texas. Makes 4-6 servings

2 pounds of beef chili grind

Spice Dump #1

1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth

1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s Cowtown light chili powder

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth

1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s San Antonio original chili powder

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s Dixon medium hot chili powder

2 serrano peppers, whole

2 teaspoons Mild Bill’s onion granules

Salt as needed

2 teaspoons Wyler’s beef granules 2 teaspoons Wyler’s chicken granules

Spice Dump #2

1 1/2 teaspoons Mild Bill’s garlic granules

1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s cumin

1/4 teaspoon Mild Bill’s cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s San Antonio original chili powder

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon Mexene chili powder (available from Mild Bill’s) 1 tablespoon Mild Bill’s Cowtown light chili powder 1/2 teaspoon Gunpowder Foods Hot Stuff (available from Mild Bill’s) 1/8 teaspoon Mild Bill’s cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar 1 package Sazón Goya (available from Mild Bill’s) Brown the beef in a large pot; drain the grease and remove the meat from the pot. Add the beef broth, chicken broth, and tomato sauce in the same pot used for the meat; bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the serrano peppers and Spice Dump #1. Add the meat back into the pot. Boil on medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until meat is done. Squeeze the juice of the peppers into the chili and discard the peppers. Forty-five minutes before serving, bring the chili to a boil. Add Spice Dump #2, and cook for 30 minutes over medium-low to medium heat. Check for salt, and adjust, if necessary. Enjoy!





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Ranch & Reserve Magazine Vol 1 Issue 10  

Features October guest ranch specials, RVing and travel trailer touring through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas...and speaking of Texas, Terlin...

Ranch & Reserve Magazine Vol 1 Issue 10  

Features October guest ranch specials, RVing and travel trailer touring through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas...and speaking of Texas, Terlin...