The Last Roundup

Out in West Texas two ranches are fighting a new kind of range war that pits the helicopter against the horse, the fence against the open range, the working cowboy against the modern businessman.

  1. Everyone had prayed for rain, but this was ridiculous. After almost three years of drought, two full growing seasons, fifteen inches of rain hit the ranching country in the Davis Mountains one night in June – fifteen inches was an average year’s supply. The rain hit with the force of a runaway train, washing out nearly every bridge across Limpia Creek and stranding families in the high country around Alpine and Fort Davis. The normally placid little creek raged like a river at flood tide, a hundred yards wide and sixteen feet deep in places, gobbling huge chunks of its bank, uprooting ancient cottonwood trees and utility poles and sections of Texas Highway 17.

    Chris Lacy, the boss of the Kokernot 06, was awakened about three in the morning by thunder and rumbling so terrible that he thought it was a tornado. From the front porch of his ranch house he could see a tree as large as a bull elephant being dragged under and thrashed about like a toothpick. A lesser rain several days earlier...

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