You lose the structure of time out here on the ranch. The horses don’t recognize 6 a.m. as time for breakfast, nor do the owls start hunting at 8 p.m.
Time is replaced with a more intimate feeling, one that requires you to listen intently to your body, and your soul if you believe in such existential things.
The morning after my first night at Rancho De La Osa finds me ready to go exploring the surrounding hills in a UTV. The ranch hand leading the tour looks at me intently, then makes the comment “You look like you know what you are doing….mind driving one of the UTV’s?”
Hell yeah! is the expression on my face as I saddle into the drivers seat. I quickly apologize to the other passengers if things go wrong, then hit the gas and tear up the mountain.
We find abandoned settlements deep in the back hills, as well as Native American Indian pictographs. The Tohono O’odham people have lived here since time began. It’s a remembrance of the perfect blend of cultures and civilizations, a lesson that needs to be re-educated into people today.
In the afternoon I ride Dusty again, this time out to the border wall. Compared to the rhetoric you hear about our country’s border wall, seeing it in person can have a startling effect.
As the afternoon sun starts its slow descent, I ride my bike to the Hilltop bar in Sasabe. The local bar is only open for a short period time, but it’s almost a requirement to get a drink out here.
I willingly oblige, enter the dark and dusty room and order a cerveza, then head outside to enjoy my beer in the warm Arizona sun of wintertime.
I find a small cemetery that holds the pioneer settlers of this land. Mexican-Americans that proudly loved this region. I think about the names scrawled into wooden crosses, and how their lives must have been out here a century ago.
Sasabe, Rancho De La Osa and the land along our borders. Remove the politics and you’ll find hidden gems of beautiful history and the glory of self sufficiency.