Happy Trails and God Bless

Well, dear friends, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Grapevine Canyon Ranch. It hardly seems possible that the place where I spent the last 30 years of my life will no longer be my first waking thought of every morning, and the last sleepy thought at night.

I have come to this decision with a lot of thought, and, of course, a lot of regret – but also a feeling of a new life and, I must say, of a new found freedom.

We are very busy throughout the month of April – traditionally a busy month with the cattle round up and spring break, but this year also with the many guests who want to come to Grapevine for that last visit. So we will have a busy, fun time. At the end of April I am closing the ranch – we will take another two weeks to clean up and close up, and then I am mothballing the place and putting it up for sale.

Naturally I am retaining staff to live on the ranch and maintain it until it is sold, which may take a while. I certainly do not wish to sell it as a guest ranch – I think it will make a lovely corporate retreat, a meditation center, a health center – who knows – but the days of Grapevine as a guest ranch are coming to a close.

Some of you may wonder about the horses. I am keeping all the oldies, and plan to retire them- they have earned it! For some of the younger ones I am finding good homes, and some I will keep for a personal string for my friends who I hope will come and ride the trails with me.

I wish to thank all of you who have made the place the success it has been, all who contributed with your friendship and laughter to the happy ambience of Grapevine, and also to the current staff who are the best staff I ever had, and who have made this last year so pleasant.

And now I am looking forward to a few years of a good life with my personal horses, Comanche, Tequila, Scotty, Chikala and Waylon (do you think I have enough?) dog Tuffy, pet cows Clementine and Twiggy, and the many range cows – what fun to be able to spend days on horseback, riding through the herd, checking fences, working in the yard, feeding horses, without a worry about sales, invoices, accounts payable, budgets, staff vacations, menus, maintenance ….. you get the picture! It’s me for the lazy life!

Again, I wish to thank you all for some unforgettable years, for the laughter, for the friendship, for the many wonderful letters and e-mails I have received and am receiving still, and I hope you will keep in touch with me on this web page which I intend to keep going, albeit with some changes and editing.

Happy trails and God bless,

Eve

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43 Responses to Happy Trails and God Bless

  1. Marilyn says:

    Tears to my eyes again when I read you blog and bringing back as you say many happy times over the years. ” days and I will be with you and I dont know what it will be like to leave for me so what it will be like for you when you close the gate for the last time waving the last guest on their way I can’t begin to imagine.
    It must also be difficult each horse leaves and I can only wish them happiness in their new homes and hope they are treated with as much warmth, care and respect as they have had since being with you. I know you will be very selective about their new homes and owners.
    Lots of love see you Saturday,
    Marilyn

  2. Suzie & Steve Fry says:

    Hi Eve,

    So sorry to learn that you are closing the ranch but you deserve to spend your life so that it
    makes you happy. Won’t it be nice to awake each morning and do as you wish, taking a ride
    on my pal Tequila, sleeping in, reading, visiting friends. Enjoy, you certainly deserve it.

    If we get out to your area we will give you a heads’ up and see what you are up to. If all goes
    well we should have a new puppy by the end of June.

    We will always have pleasant memories of our visits to your ranch.

    Love,

    Suzie & Steve

  3. Ruth and Graeme Ross says:

    So sorry to hear that magical place will be no more, and we are sad to think we will never get the chance to return

  4. Chris Derrick says:

    Stunned, is the only word I can think of.
    I thought the setting of Grapevine was a totally magical place.
    I could have spent my whole life sat on the balconey of Sierra Bonita, especially at night!
    I’m sure gonna miss it!
    I would like to wish you a long and very happy retirement.
    Enjoy yourself!
    Cheers,
    Chris and Ewa

  5. Laura Jackson says:

    Hi Eve ,

    I was crying by the end of the 1st sentence, i am so sad to hear this news, but wish you all the best. I wish i had the chance to come back before you closed, was planning my next trip for next year so completly gutted i now won’t see you or the horses again, especially Sugar, Mouse and Sabino.
    I will treasure the memories i have of my two trips to grapevine, they where both wonderful and beautiful experiences that i will never forget.
    All the best for the future and i would like to thank you and all the staff (and horses of course) for your wonderful hospitality and friendship i recieved when staying with you. xx

  6. Robin and Sandra Evans says:

    Dear Eve,
    So sorry to hear of the closure of Grapevine, but life will go on for you and your animal friends in that lovely corner of Arizona.
    When we spent time at the ranch, it was almost like visiting family again, so best regards to Bonnie and Danny and the rest of the team.
    We always felt that we were riding in the footsteps/hoofmarks of history in the Stronghold, or on the ridge above Fort Bowie. These were wonderful times, and we felt very privileged.

    Enjoy and best wishes

    Robin and Sandra

  7. Bob McCormick says:

    Having had the priv to spend quite a few weeks at Grapevine through the years (especially back in the 80’s and early 90’s) I only wish I had more of an opportunity to have visited more in the recent past … as Grapevine is a special kind of place and one the likes of I have not found elsewhere in my travels. It goes beyond the location, the facilities, and the horses – but also the people – both the staff who made us feel more than at home and welcome as well as other guests we shared a ride, a dinner table and even out and about excursions with.

    To Eve and everyone else at Grapevine – all the best in your retirement and future endevours!

    Bob

    NB
    Hopefully you’ll leave a web presence up for us to visit and remember some of how the west was once!

  8. Greg & Jayne says:

    Eve,

    Stunned and tears… both happening here at this news. Of course, we wish you all the best and know that you indeed did put a lot of thought in this decision. We can’t even begin to tell you of our wonderful memories from our visits throughout the years. Grapevine is truly a special place. Sending our love and best wishes to you. All the best to Bonnie and Danny too.

    Love,
    Greg & Jayne

  9. Diana Edeline says:

    Eve,
    It is, of course, sad to think of closing your wonderful guest ranch, I am sure. You and your husband created an amazing place that has brought comfort and laughter, wonderful experiences, and memories to so many people. For you it must mean the end of a rich and rewarding passage in your life and the close to a chapter of shared dreams with your husband. The only thing I can say of comfort is the old adage: When one door closes, another opens. I know you will step bravely into the next arena of life and it will be rich and rewarding. You are a wonderful person who gives so much and I know it will all come back to you in many good ways. As another saying goes, “This ain’t no ordinary cowgirl you’re dealin with!” My best to you, Diana

  10. Gary Mlodzik and family says:

    Your retirement is well deserved and we wish you happy trails and godspeed. We had the pleasure of staying at the Grapevine twice. We enjoyed the pleasure of trail riding with Rusty. I especially enjoyed when the band allowed my youngest daughter Kody to sit in with them on her violin to play Milk Cow Blues-good times! Thanks for the happy memories and for sharing your love and life with all the guests of the Grapevine. Gary, Tina, Kayla & Kody

  11. Jerry Van Sant says:

    I still can’t believe it…just so glad we’ll be hitting the trail one last time in a few weeks…Cindy and I will miss you all…but you know that already…

  12. Hi Eve,

    Why? Why are you closing? I was hoping to visit you sometime this year! You just rebuild the cook-shack after the fire and now you’re ylosing… I can’t believe it.
    Still I wish you all the best.
    Katharine

  13. All the very best to you Eve & we wish you all the happiness in the world. We feel very fortunate to have met you last December 1rst & will always remember the tour you gave us of the Ranch……. Kelly & Al from The Bayfield Bunch:))

  14. Steve & Debbie Duke says:

    It’s been a few years since we were able to visit, but Grapevine was always a magical place for us. You, Gerry and the entire staff made the place feel like home-away-from home. All good — no, in this case great — things eventually come to an end. Hope you enjoy your more relaxed life.

  15. Kim and Sandi Graves says:

    We are totally bummed hearing this news, but wish you all the best in the next phase of your adventure. We are so thankful that we got to experience Grapevine a few weeks ago and were planning to return. For what it’s worth, none of us had the slightest thought of ever riding a horse or anything of the sort until our daughter-in-law (Kristina) came across your ranch a few months ago (we won’t mention the details). Now Davis wants to obtain his cowboy certification (I guess he does that with the FFA and not the FAA) and we have a new found appreciation of horses.

    We will forever cherish the memories of our four days at Grapevine Canyon Ranch. Again, thanks so much to you and your wonderful staff.

    Best wishes,

    Kim and Sandi

  16. Peter and Alison Dukes says:

    Alison and I have very fond memories of our two stays at the Grapevine and are sad not to have made it back more recently. I guess there come a time when we all have to retire, however reluctantly. Make sure you enjoy it, Eve. I am sure you will, being in such a lovely location, having so many friends around you and by keeping the blog running.

    Our best wishes to you, Bonnie and the team, who made our visits so memorable.

    Peter and Alison Dukes,
    Kilmarnock, Scotland

  17. Charlene S Armitage says:

    Dear Eve, It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I respond to your news of the closing of the ranch. I will never forget you and those that made our stays so memorable. My sister Cathy and I loved the times we spent riding, relaxing, eating and enjoying the thur.nite get togethers.
    I want to personally thank you for the book you wrote. It touched my heart and reminded me again how much for which we have to be grateful in this country, I pray for greater gratitude from Americans. You are a very special lady and I consider it a great privilage to have known you. May the Lord keep you safe and well in your future endeavors. God Bless, Charlene Armitage

  18. Jenny Childs says:

    Eve,
    I was saddened to hear that you are calling it a day. Rachel and I had the best holiday ever at Grapevine. The memories will stay with us. I’m pleased to see that you are keeping Waylon in his retirement, I so enjoyed rounding up the cattle on him!
    I do hope that you will enjoy your next adventure in life. As I have found you never know what is round the corner.
    Jenny

  19. Chris & Kristina Renny says:

    Eve:

    We are very saddened to hear the news of the Grapevine closing, but certainly understand the reasoning behind the decision. I now very much regret that we did not have the time to make one last trip to the Grapevine in 2010 as we had for the years previous. I almost want to hook up my four horse & bring back some fine Arizona horses to Canada for Kristina & the girls!!
    Eve , we truly want to thank you for the many pleasant memories you have provided over the years. I am truly going to miss “round-up”, riding with you, hearing your stories of the CL and the history of the region and above all your friendship. We will not be strangers, for Arizona is one of our favourite spots on earth, and will always wish to see our many friends who live in the shadows of the Dragoons.
    Take care & God Bless

    Chris & Kristina

  20. Jackie & Lez says:

    God bless to you too Eve – we really hope you have a wonderful happy retirement.
    Our thoughts are with your wonderfult staff too – may their new trails prove as happy.
    We had two ‘best ever’ holidays with you and Grapevine, its horses and people will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

  21. Dennis and Lizzi Townsend says:

    Stunned is the only reaction, but having retired myself last year, I feel nobody deserves a long and happy retirement more than you, Eve. We will remember our two visits for the rest of our lives, and the wonderful people, and horses. The next time we visit the USA we will struggle to find a vacation as good. We wish you all, all the best for the future’
    with love from Dennis and Lizzi

  22. Frederic (Fred) Debulois says:

    Eve,
    I’m sure you have some very nice years ahead with a lot of 4 legs and 2 legs friends around you …
    Thanks to all of you who have been working hard to make Grapevine such a wonderful place and a special thank you to Eve who allowed me to share some very nice moments earlier this week ….

  23. Philip says:

    Hi Eve,
    I wanted to wish you many happy years of well deserved retirement. (I do not quite see you ”retired”)
    Thank you so much for keeping in touch with us for all these years. Honor for sure will miss your communications.
    Honor, Lisa and I have so many happy memories of our stay with you.
    Good luck and God bless
    Philip
    Malta

  24. Anja and Wolfgang Karp says:

    We have been your guests in 1993 on our marriage tour. A year before it took us 2 days to find the ranch, because there was a wrong discribtion in a tour guide. In 1992 when we saw this beautiful place I decided to come back as a married couple. It was the time when peaches (the dog) and of course Gerry were still alive.
    At our stay on the ranch I was the only one, who didn’t ride. But I helped the cook to get a good meal for the “working” guest riders. Gerry said a few times: “Wolfi, I get you on the horse!” But he felt!
    Eve you told us, when we would come back with – may be – kids, they have to be 12 years old – minimum. O.k., we got two sons and the plan to come back one day to GCR never slept.
    Last week we decided to fulfill this plan with our boys, in 2013. Then our sons would be 13 and 17 ! And not only Anja also our sons are riders since many years!
    But now I red this blog and feel very sad, that we can’t fix our plan! But I think, Eve, your plan of closing the ranch is fixed and we can’t try to reach that you close just a few years later???
    So, we wish you all the best for your future!
    Best wishes also for the staff
    Anja and Wolfgang from Germany

  25. ron sweet says:

    hi eve,it does not suprise me really,as you have worked so hard there,but the ranch will be really missed
    cannot believe it I lose karen and then the place we loved so much in the space of 3 months
    take care eve.
    ron sweet

  26. Linda (the lady with the raisins) says:

    I again want to thank you and your staff for the wonderful time I had in February — my first time riding. I absolutely loved the scenery and the time riding was unforgettable. I came mainly for the ride into the Cochise Stronghold and it was more than I had imagined. I still find it hard to believe that my firstr time on a horse and all my riding was without any discomfort — I so wanted to return to see Ft Bowie. You deserve to slow down and smell the flowers (as I am enjoying my retirement) and spend time with your favorite animals. Hope to see you in the future. Many thanks again to your wonderful staff and best wishes to you on this new chapter in your life.

  27. Marilyn says:

    This for those who have missed to opportunity of a visit to GC. or like me unable to enjoy many of the rides on offer.

    There is nothing so sad as the sadness that comes when we think of the chances we’ve lost the things we have let slip by and discovered too late to our cost.
    We might have done this or we might have done that lidle words for they have not the power to bring back again opportunities lost or restore to us one precious hour.

    I know this does not relate to Eve, who I feel has made the very best out of a rather difficult life over the years. I feel very proude to call you my friend or better still, part of my family. It was with great sadness that Dai and I left the ranch on Friday morning to return to the UK, having enjoyed the last round up party at Grapevine. However I am sure it will not be the last round up as I am sure when help is needed at Cobra Loma your many friend will wlecome the opportunity to come visit – even if we have to do our OWN COOKING!

    Best wishes always,
    Marilyn & Dai

    Best wishes to Eve and all her staff for the future where ever it may take you.

  28. Chris & Mike Maskell says:

    We will miss the wonderful times we have had at the Ranch Eve – a heavenly place! Wish you all the very best for the future and hope to catch up with you on our next visit to Arizona. Good luck, you deserve it! xx

  29. Jean Darcy says:

    I am right there in line with everyone else, lump in the throat, hearing this news. There is nowhere else on earth like GCR, the beauty, the incredible staff, the amazing horses, a true place of healing and renewal. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and wish you all the best.

    Love, Jean

  30. Ginny and Jim Cosbey says:

    Dear Eve,
    As former ranch managers of the Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia, we enjoyed our times together at the AzDRA meetings over the last 5 years. You always had wonderful stories and insights to share. Our hearts broke for you when you had to close for the fire…something that all guest ranchers dread.
    We wish you a wonderful, restful retirement. enjoy all your animals and renew yourself with the peace of nature that surrounds you. You certainly have earned your retirement.
    With all our best wishes and love, Ginny & Jim Cosbey (from Sonoita)

  31. Mike Franke says:

    It is with sadness yet wry smiles of our 6 times we had the pleasure of visting Grapevine. You have worked long and hard and deserve to stop and smell the roses. We will always have great memorys that will last a lifetime. We will always have great friends in Bonnie, Rusty all all the others too numerous to mention. We look forward to visitng the area in the future and will call and possibly drop in, Mike and Jackie Franke.

  32. Des Millar says:

    Hi Eve
    Just opened your blog and was shocked and saddened to learn that Grapevine is closing.
    I was planning to visit you all for a longer stay in the not too distant future ,but alas,it is not to be.I look back on our brief sojourn at Grapevine with great fondness,and gratitude for the kindness and friendship we received from everyone.Give my best regards to Danny,Bonnie and RJ and all the rest of the folk,and I must not forget Dakota.I wish you all the best for the future and I am so glad we made it to Grapevine before it closed.
    All the best and God bless.
    Des and Gladys

  33. Lin says:

    Hi Eve,
    I was telling my grandson about the ranch and showed him pictures from when Katie and I were there, I told him I would take him when he turned 12, ( next January) . I am sad over the closing, but I understand. Thank you for your wonderful ranch, and the memories I will keep forever. I will take Christopher to see the Chiricahua’s, and stop by to say hello.
    Take care my friend, Hugs Lin ( Jersey :)

  34. brig larson says:

    My husband and I spent time at the ranch in 2000 and so loved it we came back the next year and got married in Tombstone. We had wanted to spend an anniversary out there again, You and your staff made it the best ever most memorable time….be well and happy trails

  35. Michael Edwards says:

    Dear Eve,
    After six visits and making it onto The Sixshooter List of Grapevine fans. I couldn’t make it back the past two years due to a old back problem returning to haunt me; in fact, I couldn’t get my right leg over the saddle to dismount on my last all day ride with Russ (who made every rock on every ride come alive with his local history knowledge). But dear lady, do enjoy your change of direction. I wish you the best of health in your (semi) retirement.
    Michael Edwards in England.

  36. Gene Joy says:

    GCR is a significant portion of my long term memory bank. It saddens me to know the ranch is closed, but I’m sure a new owner will be in place soon. Your dream will live on; it has too much going for it not to remain a sanctuary for gentle souls. God bless and god speed on your new direction.

  37. Elaine Walters says:

    June 22, 2011
    Dear Eve, We just read your post about Grapevine Canyon Ranch. The week that we spent at GCR was one of the most fun and rich in experiences trip that our family has ever taken. Our children just thrived in the environment of the ranch, and quite frankly, I think would have stayed forever if Norman and I had let them. Thank you Eve for giving us such a wonderful gift to treasure-the staff, the horses, the ranch and you. It feels as if an amazing friend who you love and cherish is moving away. We send our love to you Eve and all the animals that you have taken with you-aren’t they lucky?!
    May God Bless and keep you on Happy Trails.
    Elaine and Norman, Cooley, Jonathan, and Lindsey Walters

  38. Chris Greco says:

    I am beyond sad to just now hear this news. I learned just a week or so ago that Price Canyon is also closing down. I have just concluded a 6 year journey in which more than anything I wanted to become a part of a guest ranch operation… Beyond spending every minute I could learning horsemanship, paying for training and working for free… I also spent something between a few days, weeks or even months as a guest at Grapevine, Double EE, Price Canyon, Rancho De La Osa, Montana Horses and Elkhorn. You can see a trend there… except for Montana, I love the southwest.

    I have a picture of you and my wife Susan on a bench outside the dinning room that is perfect. Two smiling happy ladies. Wow, Grapevine always impressed me as perhaps the best managed guest ranch on the planet.

    There is a empty space in my heart… but I’m sure as can be that the end of one adventure for you will lead to wonderful new ones on the trails ahead. Thank you for creating Grapevine. It is a wonderful place.

  39. Julie Watson says:

    So sad that you have closed, we were due to come out in September but had to cancel for personal reasons. This morning I received a letter from Eve telling us that Grapevine was to close. I know I have not been there but I was so sad. We promised ourselves that we would come to Grapevine next year as its something I had always wanted to do from being a little girl. I am sorry to hear about the fires out there, we had no idea what was going on over there, our thoughts and prayers go out to you all and I’m so glad you have found good homes for the horses. After reading the reviews on Grapevine we knew that was the place for us, now we have to try and find somewhere else, it will be hard to look at other ranches. I envy all of those who had the chance to be a part of Grapevine. Good bye Grapevine.

  40. Debi MacKay says:

    Dear Eve,

    I am a latecomer to the news that GC is now closed. I am so sad. Scott and I only made it once, last Sept. I have told so many people about this fabulous place, its people and its horses. Thank you so much for creating this, and I am thankful that I got the one chance to experience and enjoy it. Scott was/is all for learning “that lope thing” so he could do more than a walk ride (I thank you for that too!). We are the Canadian couple that also knows the Hays that you know well. I wonder if I will find another place to ride that is as “real” — I am not the resort rider type. I was just looking up to see what was on for Nov or for Feb. for a little break. A place I could go comfortably on my own.. Anyhow Eve, all the best and I certainly do understand the constant concerns and responsibilities of running an operation of the size and scope the guest ranch was. Yes, you have earned your change of focus and, I expect, kept going far longer than most would have! Blessings and health to you in your active “retirement”. Hugs, Debi and Scott MacKay

  41. Just as I finally decided to could stay in one place for more than a few weeks you closed down!
    I recall some yrs ago riding with Annie, listening to her stories and comparing them to the books I’ve read. I wondered if I could do as she did and give up a big career to spend all my time at Grapevine with the horses and the history. I decided I wasn’t ready and would get restless…..but I dreamed of working to make enough money to buy it when you were ready to step back…..well……the time has come and I have resigned from my corporate travels and bought some beautiful horses to begin my breeding program and a little piece of land from which to grow some great babies. I even have my cowboy that I ve always wanted to help me. What I don’t have yet is the $2 mil ! ……

    Iam happy that you are enjoying your time to yourself and sad that I can’t return to get my mug or see my tile and dream of riding in the footsteps of Cochise and Lozen. I will be out that way to stay someday, but I will have to find my own Grapevine…..

    All the best to you Eve and to all your staff and animal friends (Peanut!) I will miss knowing you are all there for me to come back to…l

    Gina

  42. Ernst luethi, says:

    Hallo Eve, june 2010 sabine and myself enjoyed verry nice days on your ranch. Wish you all the best for 2013!

  43. Debra Gonsher Vinik says:

    I think of the ranch often.

    We were only there once, but it made such an impression…from the horse who leaned against me due to a knotted up inside, to Tiki, a horse who I only had the opportunity to ride the last two days, and who was like the wind.

    Everyone’s comments are spot on. You and the ranch created indelible memories for all of us. You deserve the very best and to go on with this new chapter– however all of us truly recognize our loss.

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