Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Rememberance of a good friend, Jeff Lane.

I learned today that a great friend Jeff Lane passed away. Jeff was owner of Bell Ranch which is located East of Santa Fe in Harding and San Miguel Counties. It borders Conchas Lake and includes 290,000 Acres, 250,000 of which was for sale for 115, Million Dollars. The ranch includes over 3,000 herd of cattle and over 50 ranch horses, an airstrip, several homes and campgrounds as well as a corporate headquarters.

Those of you who read my blog in May of this year read about the trail ride and camp out I had after Jeff invited me to his yearly event. It was described in a two part post.

Riding the Bell Ranch

Riding the Bell Ranch Part 2

I took a few pictures and I went back and looked through them and found that other than his back I had neglected to take any of Jeff. I do have pics from other rides that he attended and I may go through those but in the meantime I borrowed the one above from In the picture above Jeff had just taken his horse through the hole in the canyon and was taking a bow. Jeff truly loved the ranch and was a great steward of the land. He enjoyed flying his own plane and had an airstrip on the ranch. Unfortunately his love of flying led to his untimely death. 57-year-old Jeff Lane, and 34-year-old Ryan Hartley died when Jeff's small plane went down on State Road 419 between the towns of Mosquero and Trementina.

I was looking forward to next years trip to Bell Ranch and I will never forget the few days I spent there in Jeff's hospitality. I met Jeff a couple of years ago on a trail ride at Gerald Peters Ranch and he instantly treated me like we had been friends for years. He played the wash Bucket Bass which was always fun to hear after a long day of trail riding. Its hard to imagine going on a trail ride and not hearing him picking on it at the end of the day.

That's Jeff playing the wash bucket bass cut off on the left hand side of the picture.

I am going to miss Jeff and I wish his family and ranch hands find solitude knowing that such a great man is bound to be riding into heavens sunset on a horse with wings.


JT- said...

Jeff has been working with me to get his water rights in order. Both Jeff and Bert have made numerous trips to Santa Fe to work on paperwork. His imposing size and vivacious character made him larger than life itself. He was always kind and treated everyone with such respect. My tears are for this world that has lost a champion, a steward of the land, a caretaker of New Mexico. I'll miss him greatly.

Anonymous said...

You have my Deepest Sympathies Sheriff, and may they be extended to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Anonymous said...


I was on the trailride with you this past May. I have a great picture I took of Jeff. I just can't figure out how to email you directly and attach it. If you'll send that infomation to me, I'll pass the picture on to you.

Tim Kimmel

Sheriff Greg Solano said...

I did not get your email address Tim, mine is email me the photo and I will add it to the blog. If you need help on how to attach a photo email me and I can help.

Ranchgirl said...

My dad worked on the Bell's for about 27 years and died while he was still working there. Jeff was so good to my Mom and my family. He was a great man and a good friend. My heart goes out to Jan and the kids.

Kevin said...

Greg -

My wife ran across your site while doing legal research and directed me to your post on Jeff and the Bell Ranch. I've been on several rides through the years and was lucky enough to bring my wife out last May to show her how amazing the Bell is and to judge firsthand the many tall tales claimed by the Chowdingo TrailGuides.

Learning of his loss last year really just sucked all the air out of the room. The man was larger than life. He lived like he had just walked off the page of a comic book. I think about him quite a lot actually, and it's comforting to know that others probably do too.

Godspeed Jeff

Anonymous said...

I did a search for Jeff tonight only to learn of his passing. Back in the early 80s, Jeff let this young, dumb guy work at the Bell. I have a pretty good photograph of Jeff roping a bull on the Bell. How Jeff put up with me during those early years of my life I will never know. He was an educated and kind man. If anyone wants the picture of Jeff that I have, please email me at: My thoughts go out to the Lane family. Dennis