The Final Days Are Here

The final days are here– and I thank Bud Anderson, who shared some of them with us, for this photograph.

The final days are here– and I thank Bud Anderson, who shared some of them with us, for this photograph.

I have been touched beyond your imagining by your many blog comments, e-mails, phone calls and letters. I had no idea that so many of you felt this way about Grapevine, the way I feel about it myself, and I thank you for the lovely things you have said.

It would be tempting for me to succumb to your questioning of my closing Grapevine and stay open – but consider. I have no heir – my only younger relative, my niece, is firmly entrenched in her life in Vermont, and has no interest in guest ranch management. At one time, not too long ago, I had thought seriously about leaving it to the staff here at the time. However, changing circumstances, plus also the consideration that someone has to keep the place running, and, if necessary, funded, made me reconsider this.

So our last day with guests came and went. It was, as you can imagine, bittersweet. I liked the idea that soon I would not have to worry about the office and all the things that accompany the running of a business, but it was sad to think that the last guest left, and the ranch, as we knew it, would be no more. Luckily, almost all of the guests of the final days were repeats and good friends come to say goodbye, and the last man standing was an often repeat guest from Phoenix, whom we may hope to see again, so that eased things a little.

Now we are in the midst of the last act you might say. Bonnie is emptying file cabinets and shredding papers, not that they are secret, but that they may provide the packing material for the return guest cups, which will be stored in boxes, hopefully awaiting the day when a new owner may re-open the ranch and once again hang them on their hooks. I am closing up the books, refunding deposits to disappointed would-be-guests, and hoping that they don’t think too badly of us – Sarah is taking horses here and there, to their new homes, where we hope they will be happy.

She has put a great deal of thought into this. Quite a few horses went to ex staff of the ranch, where we know they will be taken care of – and quite a few came home with me. So that you know if “your” special horse is with me, here is the list of the ones who have stayed:
Boots, Sabino (whose leg has almost healed), Joey, Hank, Gus, Sassy, Lady, Tango, Lil’Bit, Mouse, Bertie, Snip and Yukie. Given that I already have Chikala, Scotty, Waylon – and of course, Comanche and Tequila, and the other retirees, Peanut, Dakota, …… and Gerry’s mare Bonnie – that makes a nice round 22 – ooof! A lot to feed – but also a lot of horsy love.

A little note about Peanut – I know that a lot of you out there liked him. He is, without a doubt, the ugliest horse I have ever seen – his conformation is a perfect textbook example of what a horse should not be – but he has always been hardworking, honest, responsive and kind, in spite of having a back that I know must have hurt at even the thought of a saddle. After many years here, he began to show his age – he grew very thin and appeared tired, and so, as I had always promised him, he was retired. He came to live at the Cobre Loma – and he got a new lease on life. Together with the donkeys, Miss Katie and Miss Sarah, he is let out of the corral during the day and turned free to terrorize the world, and he quickly adapted to this new, fun routine. He also ate and put on weight, he blossomed and grew sleek, and the other day I watched a new Peanut come boiling out of his gate, head high, tail flying, galloping across the yard, giving a good buck or two en route, finally disappearing down the hill to the pasture. My good old viejo! He was always, to me, a poor little Mexican horse, who probably did not have a good life until he came to us – but he was always faithful, honest, hardworking and true – what more can you ask of anyone! So he is here with me, happy, I hope, to the end – which could be 20 years from now, to look at him today!

And so my horses are housed in varying areas, according to temperament. Scotty and Chikala have long been the only occupants of what we call the Trap, a pretty large pasture opposite the house. A few others were added, and the other day I was entertained with the spectacle of Lil’Bit pinning his ears back at ….Scotty! who, amazingly, backed off. I never thought I would see the day when Scotty would back away from anybody, but apparently Lil’Bit has a lot of moxie. Scotty left, somewhat grumpily, and Lil’Bit tucked into the hay.

Another source of endless entertainment to me are – you would not believe this – birds! I have made a nice sitting area of my glassed in porch and installed a collection of hummingbird feeders and finch feeders, and other bird feeders, including an old, two tiered fountain which makes a dandy double storey grain holder, and I can sit for hours, entranced, watching the busy squabbling, squawking life out there, not two feet away from me! Inevitably, of course, I am also learning their various names, thanks to Danny, who is quite a birder, and, sitting so close, being nearsighted is no obstacle – so a collection of cardinals, finches, grosbeaks, pigeons, orioles, and hummingbirds all come to me and offer an endless vision of another, secret life.

So, you see – there is another life after Grapevine! Again I thank you all for caring, for writing, for keeping in touch – and if you would like to check this page now and again, I will keep it going for a while anyway, until things settle down and the home page itself is changed to its new incarnation.

Until then, vaya con Dios, amigos!

And I will end with another Bud Anderson quote –
“Grapevine Canyon Ranch, where hearts are healed and horses are the doctors.”

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25 Responses to The Final Days Are Here

  1. Vicki Starin says:

    Dear Eve, Danny, Bonnie,Jimmie, and entire staff,

    I am so sad to see the Grapvine end, for 6 years Jan and I enjoyed our time there. We had great fun and great rides, I know we will never forget them. The way we always felt when we drove through the gate, and how sad we would feel when we drove out the gate. Thank you all so much for the memories.
    Best wishes to all of you,
    Vicki Starin

  2. Jerry Van Sant says:

    We will NEVER forget our visits to all of our friends at Grapevine…It’s sad to see it come to an end, but life goes on…good to hear the horses are being well taken care of (I”ll miss my “Bubba”) and Eve can finally RELAX! Cindy and I wish everyone the best of luck and please keep in touch if you can…I’m on Facebook, “Jerry Van Sant”…we both have become TOTAL horse people ever since our first Grapevine visit. We had very little interest in horses, but now have been taking lessons for almost a year, just returned from a trail ride in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and are going to many local horse events including the National Barrel Racing Championships in Las Vegas next month… we love you all…Cindy & Jerry…

  3. Selfishly, I am so happy that we were able to stay with you this spring and got to know the Ranch and the folks and horses a bit before the retirement of all.
    Thank you so much for sharing your world with Carole, Ben and myself and we only wish that we had found you sooner. We have great memories of our stay and the kindness that was shown to us. AND I now know how to play spoons!!!

  4. Carole Hanson says:

    I, too, would like to say what a wonderful time I had at the ranch. Being from the City, London, I didn’t think I would like being a “cowgirl” for three days – I had never been on a horse. But I was given Boots to ride and he was very gentle and patient with me and made my rides a complete joy., so I am very happy to hear that you are keeping him. The staff made my visit to the ranch a complete joy and I have told everyone about Grapevine. Good luck and God Bless. Carole

  5. Claudia says:

    Hey Eve,
    I’m sad sad as you all know, but happy to know that many of “my” horses are staying with you, like Lady, Sassy, Boots and I know Gaucho enjoyed his retirement.
    Wonder what happened to “ears pinned back” Buckshot? You know what I also will relly miss? The store, you guys were my T-shirt supplier (and sweatshirts and Jewelry) for the past years! I hope see my little paradise again! Until then
    Vaya con dios

  6. Dennis and Lizzi Townsend says:

    Thank goodness we managed to make our return visit last year, we would have been devastated to hear of the end without returning. These are the best holidays we have ever had, and will be remembered, with affection, for ever. We wish you all the best for your future to all the staff, and especially Eve

  7. John Hobson says:

    I am glad you keep Joey and Lady you know I am partial to those Appys. I still have all of mine and always will. Enjoy your new life if you ever need anything you know where I am.

  8. Marina Brown UK says:

    Hi Eve, this is so sad, the closing of Grapevine but things never stay the same and life moves on. I was so wanting to spend my 3rd visit there but who knows it may open again (I’m hoping and wishing). When I came on my first visit and you came and sat with Fran and myself, we spoke about our lives here in England and I happen to say how nervous I was, because of having both hip replaced and you turned round and said “huh that’s nothing, I’ve had both mine replaced” well you gave me such inspiration and my nerves were gone.. this I’ll always thank you for. I understand Lady is with you, she is amazing, carried me over the stronghold, rode the round up, she was always so loyal, give her a special hug from me and a little blow up her nose. Wishing you health and happiness for the future, much love.

  9. Marilyn says:

    Well Eve the gate is closed, but may be only temporarily, its such a beautiful place someone is bound to come along and listen to the murmuring amoungst the trees of those of us that have past that way. The stories we have shared infront of the fire on cold winter nights, The laughter in the pool and hot tub.The quiet walk on horse amoungst the hills, The bird song and call of the cyote. We all have our memories and we have all left part of ourselves behind.
    None of this would have been possible if not for you and Gerry. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a true friend means after all.
    Love and fond memories always, (keep tweeting!)
    Marilyn & Dai

  10. Eve says:

    Again, thank you so much everyone! I’m glad that Grapevine meant as much to you as it did to Gerry and me. I remember my first sight of it, in about 1981, when I first drove up the narrow front drive – only a trail, really – to the little house that later became much larger as the office – then past a meadow – nothing was fenced within the Grapevine at that time – and up to the top gate, where the Chaparral Casita stands now – and I thought I had never seen anything as beautiful. Thank you for having shared our dream.

    And Marilyn, every time I sit on my porch at home and watch the birds, I think of you and Dai and our bird watching day last time you were here. I have to thank Dai for having ignited my interest in those little busybodies. This morning I saw a Cardinal take a seed, and carefully put it into the beak of Mrs. Cardinal – I had no idea birds were so loving to each other!

    I have learnt so much from all of you – about so many different things – and I will be forever grateful for the times we shared.

  11. Carole, Mike & Louise says:

    Our one and only stay on a ranch was at Grapevine over 10 years ago, we had the most fabulous time and loved every minute of our stay. Thank you so much to you and the Grapevine staff for making our time with you the stuff that dreams are made of.

    With best wishes for the future to you and all your staff
    Carole, Mike & Louise

  12. Greg Gentry & Cynthia Stanley says:

    We stayed at GVR 3 times and loved each and everytime. When we saw that it was the last of vacations there, we were very sad and wondered where we were going to find our horse family. Hope you are well Eve and all is well with the rest of the GVR family. You will be missed.

    Cynthis and Greg

  13. Barb & Kate from Czech says:

    Dear Eve,
    me and my sister have never forgot on your ranch. Like everybody who were there. Its very sad that you have to close Grapevine canynon ranch. Ale duvody jsou jasne a ty si konecne odpocines a nebudes mit tolik starosti. Prosim napis mi adresu rance, kde bydlis. Rady bychom ti neco poslaly. We wish you the best and lot of luck. Dont be sad. You made for lot lot of people and horses life better and happyer! You made great work to build as a such amazing place for people from all over the world. We thank you for ours beautifle time and memories. I hope you will understand my english [ I am sorry for mistakes].

  14. Helen Baines says:

    Eve, I am very shocked to learn that you will no longer be a guest ranch, but I do understand… I am also very sad that I shall not be able to bring my young daughter to your lovely heaven on earth. I had my daughter at 40 (life really did begin at 40 for me) after the doc’s said I probably wouldn’t have children and I am now being a Mum, a career woman and everything in between. My husband and I are passionate about horses, he’s a Farrier and we own Thoroughbreds and we really appreciate the special little pleasures that horses bring – it has also been a dream of ours to have a ranch (money is currently the obstacle…) in the US… Our daughter, even at just two years old, loves horses and tries to ride the dogs around the house !!! She loves horses and horses love her…. Again, I can’t quite believe that she will never experience Grapevine as we did :(

  15. Susan Bies says:

    I purchased a certificate to come to grapevine in December or January. I had no idea that it was closing. I am saddened as I was so looking forward to it for I have a brain tumor and it was going to be a trip for my husband and I . I do not know what to do now. Can you please tell me who you advertised with as a special last winter so I can gwet my money back? It was either groupon or Living Social. Thank you and good luck with your life and I hope you get more love and touch more hearts as you have for so long.

  16. Jenny Childs says:

    Eve. I can see how hard it is for you to finally close the gate on the ranch but, as you are finding, there are many new interests out there that you are discovering. It is time to sit back and enjoy your leisure. I think that you can see from all the comments what high regard we all hold you and the staff in. To stay at Grapevine was an experience second to none, a privilege and pure pleasure. This was made possible by the care of you and your staff, we were made welcome and part of the “family”. God bless you Eve, I hope that we may meet again one day.

  17. Rob and Susan Dunham (Guzzetta) says:

    Eve –
    Just stopped by the site to see what was new only to be greatly saddened by the news of the ranch’s closing. Having previously visited, Susan & I chose the ranch as the location of our marraige last December. Our collective three daughters came with us and the ceramony Marilyn & Dai were visiting at the same time and we really enjoyed meeting and getting to know them. For Sue & I, the ranch had become something of a home-away-from-home. A place to forget our normal lives and think of nothing but the beauty, the horses, and the frendships of the ranch. You, Bonnie, Danny and the staff will be dearly missed. We have grown to love you all.

    Rob & Susan Dunham (Guzzetta)

  18. Rick & Nancy Higginson says:

    We very much enjoyed our weekend at GCR, and had hoped to return for another visit someday. Instead, we wish all the staff of the ranch (two and four-legged) all the best in whatever the future holds for them. Thank you for a memorable weekend. Vayan con Dios, todos.

  19. Sara & Jon Millburn says:


    It saddens me so much to hear that our special place has gone but we understand completely….Jon and I loved our 3 visits with you and the memories will always remain vivid of the staff, the horses and most of all Grapevine itself……wishing you much happiness.

    Sara & Jon Millburn

  20. Linda Borg says:


    I read your parting comments and felt so blesse to be part of the Grapevine family. I will never forget waking up in the faraway cabin and feeling like I was the only one in the world –a great feeling.

    You always made a home for all of us wanderers and your staff always felt like family.

    May the next chapter be as fulflling as the last.

    Love, Linda from Rhode Island

  21. Gene Joy says:

    To have touched so many lives of people from all parts of the globe must make those moments of peaceful bird-watching all the more pleasant. You may not be able to fully appreciate the significance of GCR, being so close to it, but it was not just another guest ranch. It was unique and special in so many ways that it truly was in a class of its own. It was a reflection of what you, and Gerry, felt about your fellow man. It was love and compassion on horseback. I sit here with tears in my eyes knowing I will never ride into the Stronghold again or sit on the porch of Faraway and listen to the desert. But it’s a saddness because I DO know those feelings and for that I will always be thankful to you, Eve. GCR is not a Kodak moment. It’s a building block of my life.

  22. Heidi Stucki DVM & Phil Larson- Michigan says:

    Eve, You may not remember us from visits in 2002 & 2003, but I want you to know of the very concrete & lasting legacy of your ways at GCR affected Phil & me. Because of you, Phil bought a grulla PMU filly from North Dakota (he tried to buy Mouse when we were @GCR – he was one of the first guests to ride her); because of you & the priviledge we had to enjoy a goat walk, we now raise Spanish goats (have almost 100 now)- & move them 1/2 mile from winter to summer pastures – during these trekks & when I sit & my favorites come round for conversation- I ALWAYS think of you. Because of you, we have 5 livestock guardian dogs (Sasha, the Anatolian Shepherd was just a pup when we were there). We have 1 Anatolian cross & 4 Kangals (also Turkish LGDs). So maybe while GCR is no longer in the guestranch business, it has spread it’s seeds to so many places in the world, both in the guests’ memories & new behaviors & life choices. When you watch & listen to the birds, Eve, know that you & Gerry & GCR made the positive difference in so many lives. And you may enjoy your home and KNOW that all your work & what you poured your strength, smiles, tears & soul into – GCR – was worth it to all of us fortunate enough to be at GCR, for even a brief time. THANK YOU.

  23. Trish and John -Wales UK says:

    I had not checked the Grapevine site for a while, life here not being too easy of late but I went on today as we were planning to come back Spring 2012. We stayed in September 2010. I was shocked and deeply saddened at the news although of course understand your need to retire. We will both never forget Grapevine and the one time we spent there. We will treasure our memories of the land, the staff and the horses. John still speaks of Bubba and Tango was my rock as I was not very good! We want to wish the best of everything to you and everyone else – I still can’t really believe it. So very sad – love to all – Trish and John

  24. Charlie Mingus says:

    This news makes me very sad. My parents Chuck and Dianne worked at grapevine for a couple of years. I never got to come and visit them, but with just the stories and pictures the staff and ranch are just like family to me. God Bless, love The Mingus family.

  25. Jackie Sheppard says:

    I stayed at Grapevine in August of 2008…or was is 2009…heck, I’m getting old…anyway it was a week I will never forget. Such beautiful scenery, horses, and people. Was very sad to hear it is closed. Enjoy your retirement Eve, you deserve it. I’ve been to another ranch in AZ, but the fast ride I had at Grapevine with Russ was the most thrilling ride I’ve ever had! I feel very fortunate that I got to spend that special week there.
    Love and hugs

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