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Category Archives: Zapata Ranch

In Pursuit of Radical Joy

Time stopped, we say, in moments of great joy or sorrow, but don’t we really mean that a moment of time imprinted itself on us, left its mark on us in such a way that the call of the Osprey as the sun fell into the Pacific, or the slosh of the green waves against the orange walls of the sand caves, or the rhythm of Raj’s hooves as we floated above a hundred thousand flowers, those things are not just part of my memory bank but part of my body as well.

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Zapata’s Orchestra

In southern Colorado, there are two canyons in the Sangre De Cristo mountains where the wind pushes sand beneath them in such an intense and persistent manner that great dunes are formed. All year long, they’re eroded and maintained in an endless cycle of air and mineral, forming a stunning and unique ecotone. It’s part alpine, part desert, part grassland, and its name is Zapata Ranch.

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The History of Zapata Ranch

Archaeological investigations have documented that the San Luis Valley was utilized by various Native American cultures for thousands of years. The earliest time period, the Paleo-Indian stage (approximately 11,500 B.P. to 7,800 B.P.), was characterized by highly mobile, specialized big-game hunters whose sites are sometimes associated with the remains of extinct megafauna such as mammoth, bison, camel, and ground sloths.

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