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 Seanblackburn.com. 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.