back at belle starr’s silverado ranch

I was due to be interviewed on 4/2 for membership in the Benson Elks lodge.  So after leaving Deming I went back to Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch to help her out as I had promised.  I was the only RV staying there.  She has also got a new caretaker that will help with the animals and cleanup.  She does not live on the property but Belle told me that she will be moving onto the ranch shortly.  It will be good once she begins living here as Belle is now all by herself.

When I arrived I had a nice long talk with Belle.  She mentioned that she had worked out arrangements for a “real” cowboy to move onto the ranch and take over the care of the horses and mules.  He was to be moving on to the property on Thursday and I would be able to meet him.  Unfortunately he never called or showed up.  She was very disappointed to say the least.

While there I helped reinforce the chicken coop because the baby chicks kept getting out.  They need to gain a little more weight so they couldn’t get through the tiny openings.

I also walked around the stables and petted the horses and mules.  They are lonely for people and they are so friendly.  Here is a pic of one of the miniature horses.  They are so cute and really small.  They only come up to my waist.  This one was very stand-offish and wouldn’t come near the fence.

Her is one of the miniature mules.  They are so cute and really friendly.  They just loved to be petted.

Belle also had many dogs and cats.  This guy was a big shaggy dog that is so loving.  He would lay under my RV to get out of the hot sun.

I also got a fountain going for Belle.  A family of 7 kids had constructed it for Belle when they were visiting the ranch last year.

The night before I left I had to take a pic of the beautiful sunset.

The next day I left to drive to Benson to join the Elks Lodge.  Before I left I snapped this pic of some of the horses.  As I was driving away they all came over to see me off.  They are so dear.

If any of you are in the Bisbee, AZ or Douglas, AZ area please stop in and say hi to Belle Starr and maybe give her a hand in any way that you can.  She does not expect much but is so thankful for anything that you might do to help.  It will give you a most wonderful feeling knowing that you helped her.  It is also a great place for the kids who would like to see the ranch animals.  You can find her blog at It is an experience that you will never forget.

Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch

On advice from my friends Ed and Carol, I dropped in at Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch for a few days.  She has a 40 acre ranch located only 10 miles from Bisbee with lots of mules, horses, chickens, geese, roosters, a peacock and lots of historic buildings.  She offered free dry camping if you were willing to help around the ranch.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

I pulled in and told Belle that I was there to work and let me know what she needed done.  I started off by removing about 100′ of chicken wire from the top of her fence in the front of the yard.  While doing that I felt a slight nudge and turned around and the miniature mules were all around me.

I finished that project the first day I was there.  The next day Peter and Bea arrived and camped near me.  Peter is a carpenter which Belle needed badly.  The same day Chuck and LeaRae arrived.  Peter Chuck and myself worked on a old house where the roof was sagging.  Here is a pic of Chuck and Peter carrying wood to prop up the roof.  This pic was taken by LeaRea, Chuck’s wife.  You can also see their blog here.  You can see that the roof was sagging on the left front corner.

It took 2 days to complete that project but it came out looking pretty good.  In the meantime Merrill had been rebuilding a mail box and both he and I had to move a Clydesdale horse from its corral where it was all by itself to the corral with the miniature mules.  We had to move the fencing all around and Merrill moved the horse.  It was huge but he said he had grown up on a ranch and he knew what he was doing.  I was glad he moved it and not me.  That was a really big horse.

Chuck, LeaRae and I moved the baby chicks and the mother hen from Belle’s back porch to a pen where they would be safe from any hawks that might want to have them for lunch.

Here is some pics of the birds, chickens, roosters, and geese Belle has adopted.

There is a house on Belle’s property that is modeled just like the house the “Original Belle Starr” lived in back in the 1800’s.  The pics didn’t come out great but you can get the idea.

Later that evening we all got together with Belle and had a potluck.  It was a great time and we all shared a lot of good information about places we had been and things we’ve seen.

I left the next day but told Belle that I will be back sometime after the 1st of April.  I have to be in Benson to be initiated into the Elks club so I will fit it into my schedule to visit and work a few more days.  You get a lot of satisfaction when working for someone like Belle and it is great fun too.