Tanque Verde Ranch rounds up Cool Car Club

Dennis Giannakakis discovers he’s bow-legged at the end of the day.

The CC Riders gathered early in December for a fun drive to a local treasure, Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude ranch that includes a 60,000-acre cattle operation.
The ranch has an interesting history. Don Emilio Carrillo began ranching in the Tanque Verde Valley in 1868. His success brought the attention of bandits who, in 1904, raided the ranch demanding money. They hung him over the beam in the current-day card room. Ownership of the ranch passed to son, Rafael Carrillo, then to cattleman Jim Converse in the 1920s. In 1957 it was acquired by Brownie Cote and remains in the Cote family today.
Our December 3 expedition mounted 32 lunch specialists, ten of which joined the post-lunch Cool Car Club cavalry for an afternoon horseback ride through the desert. The “Walk-Ride” was billed as suitable for everyone “regardless of skill level.” More than one of our riders fit in the “regardless of skill level” category. Our ride leader from the ranch was most helpful and accommodating and ensured everyone was properly saddled up and comfortable. I found myself aboard a most agreeable mount, albeit one with “personality” who accepted my inputs with the reins as suggestions only. Where my inputs differed with his agenda, I became a passenger while we tended to horse business. Horse business was all encompassing: smelling other horses, detours to dine on the best trail weeds and grasses, leisurely relief breaks and a brief high-speed lope that signaled we were getting close to home at the end of the ride.
It was a day well spent. The lunch was great, the horses friendly, the skies were blue and our friends were smiling.
If you’d like to join our ranks contact Jerry Bryant at 520-829-7071 or [email protected] Requirement for joining is a big smile, cool car optional.