My great-grandpa, Leprelet Esplin, homesteaded a ranch out on the Arizona Strip. Three of his sons worked it with him, and after him, and still do to this day (although on a smaller scale) – they are all in their 70s. This fact makes me ridiculously proud, even though I have absolutely nothing to do with it…. Well Grandpa did take me on a cattle drive once, but only once. Apparently I wasn’t super cheerful after the novelty wore off.
Every time we go out there I feel the pull of history.
This house was built after I was all grown up. When I was a kid, I got to sleep on one of a row of mattresses lined up outside a tiny cabin, under the stars, with a salt lick under my pillow. After Christmas we snuck out there for the day.
The cousins had a blast on the new row of mattresses, now they’re inside. We had a Crazy 8s lesson. And found some snow. Snow mixed with red dirt is delicious. This little Californian was not a fan of the snow and tried to build a sand castle instead. Some even tried sledding on an old sled someone had left out there.
This place makes me feel a part of something bigger. I can almost see great-grandpa out there, silhouetted against the cliffs.