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RANCH Autumn is the Season


of Change



RESERVE Red Wine Hot Chocolate


The Great Florida Cattle Drive


Keyshawn Whitehorse   Navajo Bull Rider With  a Bright Future          


Genealogy & Astrology

Vol. 2 Issue No.6, Fall 2017

Free Issue!

TRAVEL Wonders of Kentucky

FOOD Chorizo Potato Hash: Your New Favorite Fall Breakfast


Business & Editorial

Editor-in-Chief, Spring Sault


Contributors: John Fifer Sheilan Dove Tiffany Harelik Tom Darin Liskey


Ranch & Reserve Magazine P.O. Box 14 Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0 (519) 754-7687 E: Submissions: Editorial submissions should be sent to Ranch & Reserve Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited materials. Advertising: Call (519) 754-7687 Email Subscription Inquiries & Customer Service Ph: (519) 754-7687 E:

Room to Breathe…



Welcome to the Ranch Things We Like



Ranch FeatureAutumn is the Season of Change



Red Wine Hot Chocolate





Wonders of Kentucky


Drive: Unbroken Circles

Keyshawn Whitehorse



Hanging Onto the Past While Looking to the



Navajo Bull Rider


The Great Florida Cattle

FoodChorizo Potato Hash

Your New Favorite Fall


Genealogy Astrology

Publisher’s Note

Welcome to the RANCH Spring J. Sault, Editor-in-Chief

For those that weren’t aware, Ranch & Reserve Magazine has undergone some changes within this past publishing year. Like a new season being ushered in, such as this time of year brings about, our magazine has changed to seasonal publishing, being issued four times per year. With that, changes will also be taking shape on our website, including a new landing page, and full-page links to our main focuses as well as the various features we’re able to include. In the process, we appreciate your continued readership, and welcome any feedback. Growth is always an ongoing process and we won’t stop growing and changing until we’re sure our readership is receiving the very best of Ranch & Reserve. Speaking of the very best, this Fall 2017 issue includes some fantastic road trip tips and scenery from our travel contributor, John Fifer, as he and his wife take their fifth wheel through the state of Kentucky! And, Tiffany Harelik once again wows us with a great food article with a fall breakfast recipe we’re sure you’ll want to save and use at any time of year. We also have some wonderful features in this edition, such as Tom Darin Liskey’s article on young Navajo bull rider, Keyshawn Whitehorse, who presently makes his home in the great state of Texas. As well, the review of “The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles” will have you tuning into PBS stations later this fall (check your

local listings) to journey with Florida cow hunters on a contemporary cattle drive organized by the Florida Cow Culture Preservation Committee in 2016. Father/son filmmakers Elam & Nic Stoltzfus take the journey alongside riders, capturing the events in the documentary and companion book. If you like what you see, there’s a reunion drive planned for early 2018, as well as a follow-up in 2021! Our ranch focus this season rests on two wonderful properties offering a variety of riding and nonriding activities. Sedona Ranch in Arizona, and Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch in Sonora, Mexico both offer beautiful, peaceful surroundings, stress-relieving activities, and time to learn what life at a guest ranch can be all about. And finally, our Reserve feature for this season is a wonderful creation that’s more than just a fad food blogging trend. Red Wine Hot Chocolate is an inspired pairing of two great things we love – wine and hot chocolate! Read all about when and how it was created and where you too can get the recipe! In between, we’ve sprinkled this issue with some great products, recipe links, and sites for you to visit that might make your fall time just that much more fun and fulfilling, and we hope you enjoy everything within the pages of this season’s release. All the best to you, and welcome back to Ranch & Reserve Magazine! 5

Pendleton Towels available at All Good Flagship – Sacremento, CA On Facebook @allgxxd and online at

Things We Like With the leaves changing colors, the air turning cooler, and flannels becoming the go‐to lounge wear at home, here are a few things we like which you might appreciate, to enhance your fall time experience. 7  

Arrow Revival Getaway Bag Available at Dreamer’s Cove Boutique On Facebook @Manitoulin On Instagram @dreamerscoveboutique

K.C. Sweets Homemade Baked Goods Made-to-Order On Facebook @kcsweets Online at

49 Design Women’s or Men’s Slip-Ons Turquoise/Black Design On Facebook @49dzine Online at

Fall Flowers Fresh, Organically Grown Produce, & Local Food Education/ Live Event Venue Green Door Gourmet Nashville, TN On Facebook @GreenDoorGourmet Online at


McIntire Saddlery has released a new westerninspired line of clothing and accessories, including leather-adorned trucker caps, authentic, hand-tooled leather belts, and unique leather jewelry items. Click here for available merchants.

Full-Size Cotton Medicine Wheel Quilt 3 Feathers Star Quilts Many quilts available to order online and their company also takes special orders. On Facebook @3FeathersStarQuilts Online at


Ranch & Reserve Magazine Your source for authenticity! Follow us on Issuu!

Kingman Turquoise jewelry set by Terry Martinez. Available at Perry Null Trading Company On Facebook @PerryNullTrading

Jalapeño Cheddar Beer Soup Recipe & directions available at Three Peas {and a Goat} Adventures in Love, Life, and Homesteading


Online at

Autu is the




HANGE Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch

Ranch Written by Sheilan Dove

“Autumn is the season of change,” says an old Taoist proverb and often the onset of fall feels a little melancholy as summer winds down, the kids go back to school, adults get restless and leaves change colour! What better way to embrace this seasonal change by planning an exhilarating guest ranch fall vacation; a chance to get away from the daily routine and embark on activities wonderfully different and challenging. A fall vacation at a guest ranch can deliver all this and more in that most pleasant interlude between hot summer days and cold winter nights. A fall vacation in southern climes means warmer daytime weather, less crowded venues, and more affordable rates, particularly true of a guest ranch as it settles into a slower paced itinerary after its busy summer season. Fall can also be the perfect time to try out all the non-riding activities a guest ranch provides, in addition to the sheer joy and freedom of riding outdoors across wide, open country.

Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch

The following two ranches offer near-perfect fall temperatures in outstanding down south locales, and unique non-riding activities which perfectly complement their distinctive horse riding programs. Whether a guest ranch regular or not, it will come as an added bonus to participate in new, exciting adventures, as changing autumn casts its mellowing influence on these one-of-a-kind guest ranch vacations. “Mi Casa es su Casa,” is a traditional Mexican greeting to visitors, especially so at Rancho Los Baños; a spectacular 30,000-acre eco-adventure guest and authentic working cattle ranch situated in the foothills of the Sierra Madres in safe, secure Sonora, Mexico, just 55 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. Guests can be picked up at Tucson airport and driven across the Mexican border to the ranch to be warmly welcomed by owner/host Manuel Valenzuela. Set in a vast, protected, pristine wilderness area, the ranch is a diverse otherworldly National Park-type habitat of rugged mountains, ravines, box canyons and unfettered riding trails over the serene and remote high Sonoran Desert landscape.


Photo Credit: Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Other non-riding adventures include kayaking on the lake, hiking through stunning sculptured box canyons, trekking, geo-caching, bouldering and climbing through Canyon country, as well as camping, birdwatching, boat tours, fly-fishing, jeep tours, soaking in thermal baths, and mountain biking.

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch is a wonderful opportunity for enthusiastic history buffs to get acquainted with its many local attractions such as El Cajon Canyon, home to 2,000-year-old petroglyph caves and dwellings or the abandoned 17th century San Jose Jesuit goldmine. A short distance from the ranch lies the secluded, scenic 20-mile long Lake Angostura and dam (built by the Hoover Dam architects) surrounded by towering mountains, such as El Tigre, which houses the last stronghold of Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apache. Another interesting spot is Cat’s Claw cliffs, thought to be the hiding place of outlaws and a long-lost gold cache.

For more tranquil moments to properly absorb all the natural wonders of this unspoiled and longhidden Sonoran jewel, the ranch organizes nighttime safaris, wildlife spotting, campfires, and stargazing under dark, unpolluted skies. The ranch is a remote and off-the-grid, noise-free environment; a welcome respite from the nonstop bustle of urban life. 14

Photo Credit: Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Accommodation at Rancho Los Baños consists of lodge rooms and well-appointed private casitas of one, two, or three bedrooms, each with lots of natural light, a private bath, hot water showers, and all powered by solar energy. The casitas are spacious, comfortable, and are located at the main Rancho Hacienda with separate communal dining and socializing areas. All-inclusive and dining packages provide three gourmet home-cooked meals a day, featuring fresh, mesquite fire international and Mexican cuisine. Snacks and drinks are provided. Guests can buy their alcohol beverages and favourite snacks at a large grocery store en route to the ranch. Rancho Los Baños is an opportunity to experience genuine Mexican hospitality, local culture and history plus incredible riding adventures at this amazing ranch, such as the annual week-long corrida held in early November. This legendary cowboy rite of passage is suitable for intermediate to advanced guest riders and involves being part of a team with several hours spent daily in the saddle. Guests get to shadow an assigned skilled ranch vaquero to ensure safety during the adrenalin-charged cattle round-up. Other ranch guests can observe the cattle being driven home to be treated and housed in the various pens. This is the thrilling stuff of never-to-beforgotten memories! Another fall highlight is Thanksgiving Week, November 19-26, 2017, which includes a gourmet turkey meal and nightly Latin American wine tasting. Kids under 10 can stay for free. Photo Credit: Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch


“I want my mind to grow,” wrote famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sedona Ranch, a Health Retreat Center and riding facility, is just the place to experience a beneficial, mind-expanding fall ranch vacation to open and “grow” the mind. Set among a 2.8-acre beautiful oasis in an Arizona desert filled with breath-taking vistas of sun-lit red rocks, mountains, star-filled nights and Indian heritage sites, Sedona Ranch has mild fall temperatures during the day and cool at night. Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch Surrounded by a National Forest of several hundred acres, the ranch is 15 miles from the town of Sedona and just one and two hours away from Flagstaff and Phoenix airports, respectively. Sedona Ranch is an easily accessible guest ranch sanctuary that offers personalized healing, holistic retreats, acupuncture, yoga, a medicine wheel, and an abundance of natural riding trails. Sedona Ranch is not your typical guest ranch and has a unique approach to ranch vacations, including many original and intriguing non-riding programs to challenge your curiosity and ultimately open up a new path toward a more meaningful life. If you have been searching to achieve a better understanding of the yin and yang of your existence and a healthy balance between your daily needs and responsibilities, then come to Sedona Ranch for help at this increasingly popular and glowingly recommended ranch wellness center. Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch


Sedona Ranch organizes Holistic Healing Retreats for up to eight women guests run by owner/operator, life guide, and trained practitioner, Fernanda Durlene. The retreat will assist guests to get in shape spiritually and physically by means of acupuncture, meditation, and breath-work, Acu-yoga, hikes and nutrition. Meals are organic, as well as dairy and gluten-free. The Equine Therapy sessions teach women the groundwork of horse-riding and self-empowerment. In addition, other specialized clinics are held throughout the year. During regular ranch activities, Fernanda is available for personal counselling, self-awareness and other wellness therapies such as acupressure, cupping, and Reiki energy healing.

Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch

Individual riding programs consist of one-on-one sessions with Fernanda or a group session. Equestrian Therapy is a specially designed program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) victims to help improve riding skills, mental stability, and general well-being. 17  

BYOH is an innovative amenity for guests who bring their own horse(s) with them on vacation. Sedona Ranch horse camp facilities include arenas, round pens, a mare motel, and outdoor fire pit. Starry night-skies and incredible views come with the territory! The ranch also has rental space for personal R.V.s and trailers, and can accommodate up to eight guests in its comfortable, fully-equipped, self-catering cabins/trailers. Fresh eggs and vegetables can be had from the ranch kitchen garden. Rental A.T.V.s are available for guests to explore the surrounding terrain and local Indian heritage sites such as the mysterious Shaman cave. Numerous riding and hiking trails are open to guests as Photo Credit: Sedona Ranch well as horse shoe and bocce games. World Heritage must-be-seen archeological sites, Palatki and Honanki, are 30 minutes from the town of Sedona, showing cliff dwellings and rock art by Hopi ancestors. Rancho Los Baños and Sedona Ranch offer fantastic fall ranch vacations among panoramic desert and mountainous backdrops and temperate climates. Invigorating riding opportunities and an unusual array of life-altering activities are sure to refresh, recharge and renew the senses in response to a primeval shift of nature, which invokes a timeless inner yearning for change. What’s not to love? Happy Trails! Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch today.




Red Wine Hot Chocolate Written by Spring Sault

The opportunity to enjoy wine slushies as well as your neighbor’s unique alcoholic concoctions they’re convinced will refresh you as much as leave you laid out on the back porch has now passed. Fall time is here and it’s time for some more reserved, grown-up-type blends of warm drinks and something that will make you feel even warmer and fuzzier. But, instead of the standard mixture of hot coffee and coffee liqueur, why not look to something that made all the blog pages jealous last winter and now, may have set the standard for wine and chocolate lovers everywhere? Red Wine Hot Chocolate is truly a drink, and it was created and blogged in 2014 by a writer at

It appeared to take some time to hit the high notes with readers as well as those that consider themselves connoisseurs of both chocolate and wine. The initial reaction may have been something like, “Ew!” followed by a little wince, perhaps. But the nay-sayers apparently took it upon themselves to secretly go into their kitchens and follow the recipe, because in a matter of two years’ time, Red Wine Hot Chocolate became the “it” drink for the winter of 2016.


Touted as a niche drink of sorts for those that love wine but often abhor mixing it with anything, online media companies, traditional print flagships, and T.V. current affairs moguls raved about the beverage and its unique pairing of two things we already knew to be a match, yet this time in one unique blend., Martha Stewart, and Cosmopolitan all had stellar reviews of the drink, using such words as, “must-sip,” “spectacular,” and “the best of both worlds, respectively. What’s all the buzz about? Once you try it, you’ll quite possibly see the draw. Explaining that the creation was considerably rich (based on the quality of hot chocolate that was used in the process), the original recipe post explained it was “…more fit for sipping out of a small glass than gulping from a mug.” That’s because the maker used the best of ingredients in this mix, which is most definitely what you’ll want to try. We could all very easily find $6 red wine at the supermarket and a cheap packet of hot chocolate mix, quickly combining the two and indifferently pronounce the recipe to be a failure, but why would we do that?! We love wine! And, most definitely half of us mutually love chocolate. If we call ourselves aficionados of either, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy the best of both and follow the recipe step by step. Only then can we pass true judgement.


up with it before most of us, and we’re all doing a bit of a face-palm as a result! Regardless, there’s without a doubt no reason that Red Wine Hot Chocolate shouldn’t become a standard fall time recipe in your home…tucked away in the box up in the cupboard with the rest of the great ones you keep hidden from the kids.

When you consider that we regularly consume straight pieces of chocolate with our wine, or we prepare it in a fondue-style mix or fountain form in order to dip actual fruit into it, the mixture of wine (created solely with grapes…a fruit), with chocolate in liquid form isn’t entirely a stretch of the imagination. It could simply be that someone had the moment of brilliance in which they came

If you’re interested in trying this creation out for your autumn get-togethers, or simply to sip alone in front of the T.V. at home, the key ingredients include a great bottle of red wine and an equally exceptional form of hot chocolate. Marshmallows are of course optional, but not integral to your enjoyment of this mixture. For all blending instructions, temperatures, and proper preparation, visit the link provided here for and get ready to enjoy this amazingly rich and delicious fall drink. Cheers! 22  

Wonders OF




Photo Credit: John Fifer

s people who enjoy history, we were not about to miss what is arguably the largest Shaker settlement in the west at South Union, Kentucky. This complex sported 6,000 acres and 225 buildings and was actively occupied and operated from 1807 until 1922. It was difficult for the Shakers to continue this and other sites around the country largely because they shunned procreation and relied solely upon new recruits/converts into their strenuous society. The group nationwide basically petered out, but their sites are widely visited and are interesting for their concept as well as their celebrated furnishings and what are now considered folk art pieces that they created for their own practical use.

Photo Credit: John Fifer

On departing, we retrieved our R.V. and were on our way to Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home at Knob Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky. The Memorial Building was having work performed, thus was inaccessible while we were there. That was a mite disappointing since this was the main attraction of the site, for us anyway. The next day, we toured what is one of Kentucky’s major exports, aside from Corvettes that is! Jim Beam is still going strong as, on a daily basis, production persists and tours are offered to thirsty tourists who continue the hospitality room tradition of bending the old elbow to swig a sampling of Beam’s famous bourbon: gee, should I have maybe capitalized BOURBON?! Now I personally am a beer guy, but there seemed a lot of love going around for the drink of the, and on, the house!

Photo Credit: John Fifer

We learned a valuable lesson as we searched out our next R.V. park. We just didn’t learn it until we arrived, some many miles and a significant amount of time later. Our plan was to visit the Kentucky Horse Park the next day. Unfortunately for us, there was an event and R.V. spots were at a premium. We ended up at a quaint, clean, friendly, more-like-a-fishing-camp park, apparently located at the end of the world - well, at least at the end of Kentucky! We motored until the narrowing and pretty, tree-shrouded road just about ran out, twisted our rig with a hard right through the gate, obtained our site location, passed groups of festive folks who obviously knew exactly where they were (unlike us), and we were guided by a smiling fellow camper as we backed onto our site. Whew! We really didn’t require his guidance, but who could turn down his smiling friendliness and country-style welcoming attitude. I then inquired if we were still within driving 25  

distance of Lexington (the Horse Park’s location), or to anywhere for that matter? I was assured I was, but that if I wanted to fish (I call it wishing, not fishing) in the adjoining river, all I had to do was walk there. Thank you anyway, but my fishing poles are at home and even if I was lucky enough to catch something, I’m not sure the wife would be up to frying something that was still twitching! So, after all of that, we settled in to what was probably the quietest, most secluded, and darkest location we have ever had the occasion on which to lite. We probably could have seen the space station at high noon!

to, too many slide repairs to count, and it has always been done, by my insurer at least, with a smile, courtesy, in a timely manner, and with no threat of cancellation of my contract. Well, they are renewing my contract, and for a very competitive figure! I need to say here that I am not one to jump at the opportunity to actually use the insurance coverage I’ve purchased. My best example is that for 18 years I had towing insurance for our sailboat, that I never once used. Oh, we had several breakdowns and naturally ran aground, and hard, a few times. I tend to like a “needs fixing” challenge so that mechanically we were always able to get under way with what turned out to be permanent repairs, and not those of the Rube Goldberg variety. So, I only use the insurance when absolutely necessary, but I must

Now I digress from our sight-seeing (actually keeping you in suspense for a spell with regards to the Horse Park) and we’ll talk an R.V. issue or two. I’ve talked about roadside assistance/major repair contracts before, but it never hurts to reiterate and/or add a couple of new findings. After all, who really listened the first time to what I said, so maybe someone will tune in this time to a subject that can be a maze to negotiate. After you’ve paid a small fortune for a tow to some dealership, or have had to replace that “reliable” but aged refrigerator or suspension, you might be thinking that the bad luck is behind you. I am about to renew our plan, and frankly, I’m so happy with what I have that we are going with the same company. We’ve had numerous tows (one of more than 100 miles), multiple flats attended 26  

what would have long since dropped me for my usages, and in the middle of a contract period at that. I didn’t know they could do that. Isn’t the potential or necessity of using the insurance why we purchase it in the first place? Be sure to check out references, not just pricing or promises that may or may not be kept. There are great companies out there who actually exist to serve you, not the opposite.

admit that the necessity of relying upon oneself is not as critical on land as it is on the water. Back to the contracts. Be sure they cover what you need, and maybe what you want as well. Don’t be oversold: insurance coverage is not always cheap. I seem to be inundated with offers for this sort of insurance without ever making a request for same. My company never sends out “offers”. And I’m told that there are better-known companies

Photo Credit: John Fifer

Now to the Kentucky Horse Park. (Hey, not bad for an old guy with an occasional slippery memory!) We departed our R.V. site sans 5th wheel early enough so we could spend a terrific day doing whatever it is that the Horse Park had to offer, which prior to arriving we had no clue. Guess we could have accessed their web site! We did a lot of walking, but are in pretty good shape, for the shape we are in. Famous thoroughbred winners were paraded from their stalls to show off their fine breeding to us gawking tourists. It was impressive to have these famous champions with household names almost within arm’s reach. And we are far from being horse people. We do however appreciate the horse’s athleticism, beauty, obvious intelligence, and “harnessed” energy as they passed us by, one famous thoroughbred after another, obviously proud to have the adoring audience. We also toured the main museum and walked the grounds viewing a variety of sites including the horse cemetery. Impressive too were the Man-O-War and Secretariat shrines/monuments dedicated to two of the absolute greatest race horses to ever have wagers placed on 27  

them. We also stopped by the performance ring to watch young and old alike astride their mounts perform entertaining maneuvers for the audience. Whether you are a horse aficionado or folks like us who appreciate the beauty of the equestrian and the animal itself but know little-to-nothing of it, this is a great stop for a day. We departed the Park with our heads crammed with wonderful “horsey” stuff: my technical assessment! It was a 50-minute drive back to our rig, but I must say it was mostly country driving and pleasant.

Photo Credit: John Fifer

considering something satellite. I’m not sure because of the reading thing. But, my first mate likes T.V. and reading, so compromise ensues. Finally, speaking about the first mate, I’ve all too often observed captains shouting, sometimes obscenities, at their first mate/wife/S.O./ partner/whatever. Not good. Would you want to be on the receiving end of that sort of treatment? Do you really believe they are making mistakes or moving slower than you think they should because they like annoying you and want to get yelled at? Your first mate is your help mate, not your slave or whipping person. Respect them and appreciate what they do for you. Never forget, they have the option of “jumping ship”.

A little about the R.V. lifestyle: my bride and I lived for several years aboard a 744-cubic-foot sailboat, 38-feet-long and 12 feet, 6 inches at the widest. Now fill that space with the necessities and there is a little space remaining for the folks! The bottomline is, we learned that personal space was important, necessary, and doable. We each had our preferred places and we knew when to leave one another alone, and when to bask in one another’s presence. R.V.s are no different, save the living area is generally on a more spacious scale, and you typically don’t refer to your partner as the first mate. Giving “space” discussed, we then do what we want. I prefer traveling because, for me, there is more opportunity to read. We have a T.V. in the R.V. that is viewable most of the time, and we are

I hope your summer of travel is going well. As you read this we will have just recently wrapped up a twomonth exploration of New England, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. As always, have fun and play it safe as you travel. And give that first mate a big hug, just because! Photo Credit: Flickr/John Fowler


Photo Credit: Elam Stoltzfus


Highlighting a Dying Breed of Man and Beast Also featured on

history. From atop a horse, the week-long ride from historic Whaley Ranch (south of St. Cloud) to Silver Spurs Arena in Kenansville (south of Kissimmee,) looks like a cattleman’s dream. The film makers manage to glean the best of humanity out of conditions many would shy away from. The riders travelled through the flatwoods in parts of Florida the average resident and tourist will never see, in sunshine and monsoon-like rains, through alligator and snake-infested swamps, all the time laughing, learning, and growing close together while they drove 500 head of Florida Cracker cattle over 50 miles.

Father/son filmmakers Elam & Nic Stoltzfus take America on the journey of a lifetime in the companion book and documentary called “The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles.” The story of a contemporary cattle drive organized by the Florida Cow Culture Preservation Committee in 2016, the documentary (which has been featured on PBS, and will be national distribution on their channels this October and November – check local listings) covers the passion of its riders, the pleasures and pitfalls of the organizers, and the amazing reenactment of a cattle drive of yesteryear, celebrating Florida’s rich ranching


Along with cattle drive stories, the documentary and coffee table book teach you about Florida’s ranching history in how it was the first American state to have cattle approximately half a century ago, which originated from Spain and Puerto Rico, shipped over by Columbus and Ponce de León. Once the largest American exporter of cows, Florida coined the term "cow hunter," referencing settlers that combed palmettos, cypress swamps, and piney woods searching for the remains of unclaimed cattle herds following the forced removal of the Seminole – one of the first Native American nations to populate the area and maintain the cattle herds after failed Spanish colonization attempts. The term “cracker” in reference to the cow itself, is unclear in its derivation. Based on research by the writer and documentarists it could pertain to the Scot-Irish homesteaders that became the first cow hunters, or it could be in regard to the sound of the whips cracking, which Spanish vaqueros used to help herd the cattle. However it developed, it became the name of the type of cow or cattle which were originally ranched in Florida.


The amazing details that this documentary and companion book highlight on the history of this breed, its management, and the traditional cow hunter within the state, are extensive and quite enthralling for anyone with an interest in this lifestyle. Over time, the state of Texas and the nation of Venezuela were able to offer a larger, beefier cattle breed to the market. To compete, Florida ranchers began trying to “improve” their cattle, importing the zebu from India and eventually developing the first American Brahman. This, combined with the arrival of the Texas fever tick and the screwworm, proved to be the practical undoing of the Florida Cracker cow. Not only that, but the enormous influx of new settlement in the state resulting from development meant the essential “closure,” if you will, of what was once the Florida frontier, and thousands of acres of traditional ranch lands. By the late 1960s, there were only a handful of the pure Cracker cattle remaining. Thankfully, forethought by a handful of concerned Floridians together with some well-timed agricultural developments made for the saving grace of this animal, the centuries of history it carries with it, and ranching as a whole in the state. In the early ‘70s, the Department of Agriculture formed the Florida Cracker Cattle Foundation herd in the Florida state capital of Tallahassee. By the late ‘80s, the Florida Cracker Cattle Association was developed, and the Livestock Conservancy established an official registry of the animal. Following that, a yearly “Gatherin’” was coordinated by the FCCF at the Withlacoochee Forest for the sale of this specific breed. Herds were placed in locations such as Lake Kissimmee State Park, Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park, and the Withlacoochee State Forest (their traditional territory,) and now number approximately 6,000. 33  

The sixth of these annual events was where the original Great Florida Cattle Drive got its beginnings. To honor 150 years of Florida statehood, an historically-minded cattle drive was planned for 1995, recognizing the preservation of Florida’s cow culture. This spurred the creation of The Florida Cow Culture Preservation Committee,

who assisted in this undertaking, repeating the event again in 2006, and 2016, for which the documentary was filmed and its companion book written. The 132-page, full color coffee table book, together with the fascinating documentary is a great addition to any selfrespecting collector’s cache of ranching and cattle culture lifestyle paraphernalia. But more than that, it captures Florida's forgotten history in an old-fashioned adventure including riders, walkers, wagon drivers, Native Americans, veterans, and young people from the Florida Sherriff’s Youth Ranches, celebrating previous drives, and saluting the importance of this breed and lifestyle for future generations to experience and learn from.

Over seven days of riding the trail, driving the herd, sleeping on the ground in historical encampments, and re-living the life of Florida’s ranching ancestors, these “cow hunters” managed 500 head of Cracker cattle donated by the Florida Cattlemen. Experiencing Florida’s Seminole, Timucuan, Spanish, and Civil War era history along the way, and navigating the state’s terrain and often tumultuous weather, the ride wrapped up on Saturday, January 30, 2016. At the trail’s end, a gathering of historians, Seminole elders, dancers and singers, artists of various genres, and re-enactors greeted the group, together with a color guard of veteran motorcyclists saluting the veterans, youth, and other riders that took part in the drive. The motto for the event (which can be found on its website,) reads: “It ain’t for sissies!” The riders will tell you that no truer words have been spoken about this undertaking in what’s known as “the Sunshine State.” There’s a lot that can be learned when you take a chance and step outside of your comfort zone, braving the elements (which can be anything but all sunshine,) as a true Florida cow hunter.


From January 24 through January 30, the drive followed a trail through both state and private lands, approximately 50 miles in length, and skirting Lake Kissimmee in the process. Seeing Florida’s untamed countryside along the way, they learned how to set up and take down a camp, manage a herd, be thankful for the sun, and appreciate the little things like stars in the night sky, and a good, hot cup of coffee. With the help of hundreds of volunteers from throughout Florida’s horse and cattle industry, this historical event included over 400 riders for the purpose of re-enacting a 19th century cattle drive, connecting with the land, their mounts, and their fellow riders along the way. The full documentary premiered on Florida PBS stations in February of this year. Florida’s wilderness and ranch lands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, and yet today, close to 2 million head of cattle coexist with wildlife species (some threatened or endangered,) on almost 8 million acres of rangeland. Embodying the pioneer spirit, this drive echoed a rancher’s mindset: If the going gets tough, deal. If one of your co-riders or an animal gets into trouble, help them out. As the urgency increases to preserve not only the wilderness but also the ranching legacy that Florida is steeped in, planning is already underway for a reunion of this 2016 group as well as a fourth Great Florida Cattle Drive. The reunion will happen in January of 2018, and further information can be had at, or the event Facebook page. The next ride will be held in 2021, marking a full 500 years of the Florida Cracker tradition. To purchase the documentary “The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles”, or its companion coffee table book, visit or follow their Facebook page for video excerpts, soundtrack music, product releases and updates.


Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn



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Keyshaw Whitehor

wn rse Navajo Bull Rider Hanging onto the Past While Looking To the Future Article & Photo Credits: Tom Darin Liskey

Feature You’d be surprised what Navajo-born Keyshawn Whitehorse has in mind when he slips his slim, 5' 8" frame into a cramped chute holding a 2,000-pound bull that’s already mad as hell. “It used to be adrenaline, but not anymore,” the up-andcoming bull rider says as he runs his fingertips across the tabletop of a restaurant in the Woodlands, Texas where I’m interviewing him and his family after they finished volunteering for post-hurricane relief work in south-east Texas. Hurricane Harvey plowed into the Texas coast in late August, dumping nearly 19

trillion gallons of rain on the state, causing devastating flooding. Whitehorse’s statement has me scratching my head. I’ve seen enough bull riding competitions to see the rush in a rider’s face when a bull shoots out of the chute. I ask Whitehorse to explain what he means. “I get this sense of calm when I get on the bull,” he adds thoughtfully. “The chute is a place where I find peace.” It may be difficult for some to understand in the modern sense, but that peace, he believes, is intertwined with his Diné (Navajo) identity.

“Hózhó,” explains his mother Del Whitehorse. “It’s a Navajo word, meaning when you’re truly at peace with yourself and one with your surroundings, finding that balance and harmony. Hózhó is what we strive for in our daily living, as for my son it’s in his passion to ride bulls.” Keyshawn Whitehorse nods his head in agreement. “Everything around me slows down when I’m in the chute. I can center my attention on one thing: the moment,” he says.


The 20-year old bull rider may call Texas home these days, but Whitehorse was born into a tightknit, traditional Navajo family hailing from a remote section of Diné Bikéyah, or Navajoland. His roots run deep in that high desert land. The area, known as Dááwoozhí bikó, lies east of McCracken Mesa on the Navajo Reservation in southern Utah. Any mention of the place and you can see his eyes brighten. To be honest, it’s easy to understand why he gets homesick for Utah. This stark, yet beautiful landscape inspired famed filmmaker John Ford to use the neighboring Monument Valley as a backdrop for his iconic Western. The Utah section of Navajoland also hosts Hovenweep—a national park preserving Puebloan-era villages. “My parents always stressed how crucial it is for me to be proud of my Native American heritage, language, and culture,” Whitehorse explains. The four Navajo clans, he adds, identify who he is.

“I am of the Kinliichíi’nii (Red House People Clan), born for the Bít’ahnii (Folded Arms People Clan), the Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan) are my maternal grandfather's clan and the Tábaahí (Water's Edge Clan) are my paternal grandfather's clan,” he recounts.

Born A Bull Rider

But there’s something else that identifies Whitehorse. The boy has always loved bulls. By his family’s reckoning, Whitehorse has wanted to ride bulls since he was three. For his part, Keyshawn remembers the first time he saw a bull rider. “I was supposed to be sleeping, but my dad was watching TV. For some reason, I woke up and bull riding was on. I remember sitting next to him, realizing that this was something I wanted to do.”


Whitehorse’s father could tell his son’s interest was taking root early on, and the elder Whitehorse found some bull riding gear for his son, and eventually built a bull-barrel for him to practice on. “I was just a Rez kid,” he says. “For exercise, I’d pick up big rocks and run up hill.” He honed those early riding skills at a bull riding school in Ignacio, Colorado. Whitehorse fondly remembers the time he spent with his grandparents and extended family in Navajoland. But the high desert idyll was interrupted by a move to Texas.

Whitehorse’s parents, Norbert and Del, settled in the Woodlands, Texas, an affluent township north of Houston. Leaving Utah, his mother concedes, was hard on her extended family as well. “The move here was a leap of faith,” remembers Del Whitehorse. “We are a traditional family, and we’ve always wanted to remain so. But we also wanted to give our children this opportunity by living here. We decided, however, to keep our traditions and language alive in the household while allowing our kids to learn how to be successful in the modern world.”

You might think that bull riding-obsessed Whitehorse would be excited by the move to rodeo-loving Texas. But he was anything but pleased about his family’s relocation. “It felt like I was being taking away from everything I knew. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, everything I loved. It was tough.” Despite this, Whitehorse says he took his grandparents’ and parents’ advice to heart. “They always told me: ‘Tááho’ájit’éégóó.’ That’s Navajo for ‘It’s up to you. You decide what will happen,” says Whitehorse. “I wanted to ride bulls.”

The stay in Texas was temporary—at least the first time. Whitehorse returned to Utah and the family fold. His parents, however, grappled with yet another move to Texas where the oil industry promised steady work. “Back in Utah, we were always together as a family. And I mean, all the time. In Texas, we didn’t know anyone,” Whitehorse remembers. “Things were tough. You went to school and went home.” Bull riding, however, became an area where he could thrive. “My mom and dad really supported me in this. They knew this is what I wanted to do,” he says. “We saw he had a gift, and we wanted to support him. Early on, we thought something might come out of this,” remembers his mother.

Putting Down New Roots in Texas Despite frequent visits back to Utah, Texas became Whitehorse’s HQ. “By my junior year High School, I’d finally accepted that this is where we’d be,” says Whitehorse. “I’m grateful that I’ve lived in Texas half of my life away from my familiar surroundings, sounds and food, but my Dine’ teachings instilled in me are what shaped me of who I am today,” says Whitehorse. “My way of life, my language and ceremonies that were passed down through generations has taught me endurance and how to push through tough times,” he says.


His dreams to go pro took root. Whitehorse’s father would put VHS tapes on so that they could see other riders in action and learn the lingo. “My dad and I would sit and listen, trying to understand bull riding [jargon]. It was like boot camp,” says Whitehorse. Keyshawn chalked up success while competing in high school rodeo, where he won two region finals. He also represented Texas at the national level three times.

After High School, he joined the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), a dominant association of bull riders who compete for millions of dollars in prize money each year, making his debut in early in 2016. In all, he’s been in around 100 competitions since then. “You must get past the pain, be stronghearted, generous, faithful, and try to have an uplifting spirit…to be a proud, young Dine’ man,” he says.

Mark Grimes, a former bull rider himself who pastors a Cowboy-style church about 40-minute drive from Houston in eastern Montgomery County, Texas, has known Whitehorse for years. Grimes opens the church’s rodeo arena to riders who want to practice each Saturday. “This kid is the real deal,” says Grimes. “He’s got talent when it comes to riding bulls.” While Native Americans and Alaskan natives barely make up one percent of America’s total population, which according to the National Congress of American Indians stood at 2.9 million, the country’s Indigenous population faces daunting challenges: poverty, limited economic horizons and higher than average suicide and infant mortality rates.

Yet Keyshawn embodies that belief that no matter who you are and where you come from, anything is possible. “Dream big, set goals, work hard and remember your roots,” he says. The reality is that bull riding can be a punishing sport, both on the body and soul. Keyshawn is striving to beat the odds in and out of the arena. That means clinging to his upbringing and keeping his traditions alive one bull ride at a time. And he hopes that he can translate any success in following his dreams in the arena into something more positive for Native peoples like himself. “It isn’t just about the prize money,” he says after some thought. “My hope is that this will be positive for my people.” 42


Chorizo Potato Hash Photo Credit: Kristen Yates

Your new favorite fall breakfast  

From the Southwest, to the Northwest to the Midwest, The Best of Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook from Spellbound Publishers features all the best culinary stories and recipes from food trucks across the U.S.A. From Hawaiian Style Ahi Limu Poke to Cardamom Chai Chicken and Marinated Beets with Black Walnuts to Fried Hazelnuts, this unprecedented literary food truck tour has something for everyone, at every table. Culinary travel author Renee Casteel Cook takes you on the road trip of a life time where you can learn to make things like the Chorizo Potato Hash. Here's an excerpt from the book, which you can buy online at


Chorizo Potato Hash Courtesy of Joshua Di Bari, Sunnyside Tacos Use your favorite potato—Russet, red, or sweet, or a combination of all three—to build a hash as beautiful as it is flavorful. Serves 4

2 pounds potatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon bacon or pork fat (optional) Salt and pepper 12 ounces of chorizo 1 medium onion, diced 2 jalapeños or 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (optional) 4 eggs 1 bunch parsley, to garnish 1 ounce herbs (chives recommended), to garnish 4 ounces queso fresco, for garnish Begin hash by dicing potatoes and blanching them in water until they are halfway cooked, approximately 710 minutes or until a fork inserts easily. Let them cool and air dry. In the meantime, heat the olive oil and pork fat in a heavy frying pan. Place the potatoes in the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. As they start to brown and become crispy, place them on one side of the pan and turn the heat to medium. On the other side of the pan, add the ground chorizo and cook until finished, then add the onions and peppers.

Photo Credit: Kristen Yates

Mix the potatoes and chorizo together and cook for another one to two minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavor from the chorizo. In a separate pan, poach an egg or cook it in whatever manner suits you. Put the potato, chorizo, onion, and pepper mixture on a separate plate. Garnish with parsley, fresh herbs, and queso fresco, then place the egg on top of the hash. Photo Credit: Kristen Yates


The finished product… Chorizo Potato Hash Photo Credit: Kristen Yates

Sunnyside Tacos

Joshua Di Bari

A staff meal at a Michelin-rated Chicago restaurant was where Joshua Di Bari first found inspiration for what would become Sunnyside Tacos. As his affinity for Mexican food - specifically authentic street tacos - developed so did his intrigue with charcuterie, specifically pork. Learning to use every part of the animal, he discovered the versatility of sausage and how it can be prepared and used in so many different cuisines. Taking note of the evolution of the restaurant industry back in his hometown of Columbus, Di Bari decided to move back and partner with Richard Rieth, a friend since elementary school, to unite their skill sets and launch Sunnyside Tacos in 2015. Di Bari specifically appreciates Columbus because the “culinary and consumer scene is very much focused on local produce and meat in large part due to the fact that there are great farms within an easy drive.” His personal favorites, the torta and the Mexican beans, use both meat and local produce. The torta features a custom torta roll made specifically for Sunnyside by Matt Swint of Matija Breads, bean purée, smoked ham, braised crispy pork belly, queso Chihuahua, onions, cilantro, lettuce, mayo, and salsa verde. The Mexican beans, which Di Bari says are the Mexican version of French cassoulet, have every part of the pig - ham, carnitas, pork belly, skin, chorizo - plus loads of vegetables and herbs, cooked in a flavorful brazing liquid and served with chips. Di Bari hopes these signature dishes showcase the flavor, texture, and skill that is the basis of Sunnyside Tacos. A current customer favorite, the smoked chicken taco, contains cured chicken thighs that are smoked over a blend of fruitwood chips with poblano peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and jalapeños. “Columbus is a big city that is experiencing tremendous growth but still has a Midwest feel,” Di Bari says, happy to be back home. “Everyone is nice, helpful. And the four seasons and long grow season give us a diverse and abundant crop which is always key to supporting local farmers. Along with the large art, music, and craft beer following, there are always opportunities for food trucks and carts to feed people.” 47   

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ‐ Marcel Proust

Who do you think you are?

Searching Your Family Tree Genealogy

“Rathaus” Written by John Fifer

There are often precious few documents on these shores that contain information about our European ancestors. I’ve been fortunate to have found one: a marriage certificate that provides the names of the towns from which my maternal great grandparents emigrated, as well as the names of their parents, my greatgreat grandparents. This time I’m going to send you on an extended path to the foreign country of your choice/ancestry. Now, unlike professional genealogists who might either travel to or have like contacts in their country of study, I have to rely on common sense, the USPS, luck, and the assistance of an office clerk who I do not know and who does not share my native tongue, but who I hope has the interest and time to help me.

entity with its own rathaus. I wrote a concise letter to send to the respective rathauses and had it translated by a German friend. One can also try the “translate” feature associated with your word processing package, but be careful what you end up with! In my case I received responses from both communities. The freestanding village rathaus could offer no family material, but informed me that there was another village of the same name in Baden-Wurttenburg, to which I have also written. The village that was combined with others provided me a “hit”. The rathaus clerk acquired from church records he had scoured (again, a wonderful source!) my great grandmother’s family and information on the emigration of she and her siblings and where they went. It is useful research information to know, as was explained to me by my translating friend, that in Germany any change of status or location made by a resident must be registered at the local rathaus: birth, death, marriage, moves to else-

First, I Googled my ancestral towns in question to learn a little about them. I determined that one had been assimilated along with other villages and given a central courthouse location (“rathaus” in German). The other village was still a freestanding 49  

where, and so on. Any change of status or venue must be documented. She told me it is a real pain sometimes for them, but it can be a boon for genealogy researchers. Germany can be difficult however, and my German friend was quite surprised that I had located the material I received. You see, although there are ancient records to be had, documents have been destroyed by the many fires that occurred from approximately 1941 through 1945, as well as back in the late 19-teens! This church documentation was therefore yet another opportunity for obtaining family information from records that are “faith based” so-to-speak, but available to the public. On a slightly different path, a recent fairly successful project I undertook as our family’s historian was to identify the almost 100 nameless faces in a 1952 family reunion picture taken in Virginia. As I’ve stated previously, a picture without associated names is pretty much useless unless one merely wishes to see what people wore whenever the photo was snapped, often the date also unknown. Obvious contenders for identifying would be those present in the picture, keeping in mind that the youngest pictured were about five at the time, therefore being 70-plus years of age now. Other even older folks were able to assist, but do not exclude those not-yet family members/in-laws at the time of the picture, for assisting with the I.D. project. These people often knew their neighbors and would also recognize a face or two in the photo. Fortunately, we have been able to identify about two-thirds of those in the photo. Let’s face it, before long, such a picture would remain totally nameless as those with the memories pass on. Well, we’ve appealed to an outside source - the rathaus and again have uncovered “churchy” information. We’ve also determined one manner as to how one might go about accurately assigning names to those unknown faces in the pictures. Just ask before it’s too late! So long ‘till next time! All Photo Credits: John Fifer


Astrology for Fall 2017 By Tiffany Harelik

Our approach at Wise Skies Astrology is different than the horoscope columns you’re probably used to seeing. We’re not breaking it down sign by sign. Instead, we look at the positions of the planets and the relationships between them each week and translate that energy into practical advice to help you map your schedule for optimal living. Think of our column as a tool to help you plan your day-to-day. Be sure to read the complete forecast including Full Moon and New Moon reports at You’ll also find recipes, skylore, and advice to help you live in sync with the skies. September Skies 2017: Moving Forward with Virgo Medicine The Sun moved into Virgo on August 22, igniting practicality, grounding, and order. Mars and Mercury also support these themes as they both moved into Virgo this month. We also get a New Moon in Virgo on the 20th. What do you need to get in order? What yearns for organization? What details do you need to iron out? September is the month to make it happen. October Skies 2017: Depth and Intensity On October 3, Venus and Pluto add great intensity, beauty, and depth to anything you are passionate about. A spirited Full Moon in Aries along with Venus and Mars in the skies can bring love magic to relationships on the 5th of the month. Saturn and the Sun on National Boss Day (16th in the U.S.) offers great energy to get the job done. By the 26th, the Sun next to Jupiter means that enthusiasm and optimism will resurface. November Skies 2017: Incentive and Motivation In the beginning of the month, the Sun and Neptune trine means we might feel a wave of internal incentive and motivation. The Full Moon in Taurus on November 3rd sends us into a new lunar cycle: old patterns die hard. The New Moon in Scorpio on the 18th offers regeneration. Near the end of the month, anticipate communication problems with those around you as Mercury squaring Chiron can cause misunderstandings. You might get a surprise at the Thanksgiving table as the conversation is guided by an Aquarian Moon.


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