Going for rides in the truck with our boys napping in the back seat, lends time to Jason and I to talk about dreams (it’s a rare occasion that quiet happens around here because our sons are seven, five, and two). We were driving from up to Nutrioso one afternoon to get out of the summer heat in the valley, when the subject of Eagle Creek came up. Jason was reminiscing about a hunting trip he took with his father when he was about eleven. They stayed in Eagle Creek over night in an old bunkhouse on the Double Circle Ranch. Even though they slumbered with smelly pigs that night, it left an impression on Jason’s young mind. His big dream from then on was to be a rancher on the Double Circle.
Fast forward twenty years and the opportunity presented itself. Jason mentioned that the Double Circle was for sale in passing to his dad. Now we are not quite sure what wild hair prompted Scott to buy the Double Circle, but we are sure glad he did. Jason has been so excited about this new adventure. He and the boys have taken a few trips this winter to fix fence, haul cattle, check on things, and anything other excuse to get up there.
Last week my middle son told me, “Mom, I’m so lucky.”
“Why is that Keaton?” I asked intrigued. I thought he might have found a quarter on the ground or something of that sort, but he surprised me with his answer.
“Because I get to go to the ranch with dad today,” Keaton said as skipped out to the truck.
Now, Jason’s dreams have changed a bit from when he was eleven. He has his boys he can share it with and watch them grow into honest hardworking young men. He gets to work in partnership with his Dad, gleaning his valuable knowledge of ranching to pass on to his sons. His mother, Wendy, will be a presence there too. She plans on tackling the NO Bar house. There is always some project she is working on and most of the time it involves painting.
Although, Scott has been primarily a cotton farmer in the Gila Valley, he does run cattle in addition to farming. Scott’s father, Melvin, grew up milking cows getting massive forearms on a dairy. So when he and his wife, Norma Lou, were farming they saw a lot of potential feed leftover after harvest, they decided to get cattle to maximize the farming. Norma Lou has some of the best-looking Brangus we have ever seen. It has spoiled us into thinking all Brangus should look like hers. Grandmother is very particular how her cattle are handled and it shows in the quality Brangus she produces every year. The four generations of experience will undoubtedly come in handy in this new adventure.
Sometimes, life throws us some crazy balls. I never thought that I would be a rancher’s wife and I’m still trying to figure out how I will fit into the picture because I grew up “citified.” I’m not use to the working outside, all day, thirteen months of the year. But I’m excited to cook hardy meals for my cute little ranch hands and a few extras up on the Double Circle. Maybe, I’ll even learn how to ride a horse. Most likely I will be chasing naughty boys and being the Eagle Creek Beauty Shop.
With all change, especially as big as this one, I expect growing pains that will undoubtedly come with the territory of being ranchers. I suspect, as anything Jason does, he will strive for perfection as he irons out all the kinks. (That’s what makes him a good pilot and there is even an airstrip on the Double Circle!) Who knows what the future holds for the Bryce family up on the Double Circle. But one thing is for sure; we are going to work hard to raise quality grass-fed beef and enjoying every moment we can as a family.