The end of the year always seems to be so hectic.  Once you flip the calendar and see Thanksgiving, it’s like everything hits warp speed until December 26th.  That might be why New Years is such a fun time.  Things slow down a little bit, you catch your breath, and reflect on the past year.  For a moment you get nostalgic and sentimental.  Then you realize you’re already a week behind and wonder if the pain in your chest is just indigestion or something more like a heart attack!  Tums or 911?  Or maybe that’s just me?  For your sake I hope so!  Lets go back to thinking about 2013 shall we?  It was a blessed year for the Chessers and Burnt Well.  I’m sure I’ll use the word blessing a lot throughout this post, but it really is the best word to describe how we feel.

2013 started off with an amazing family vacation to Florida and just when we thought the trip couldn’t get any better, Ruben proposed to Haley!

Enjoying our time on North Captiva Island


The Spring Cattle Drive, was a fun one for sure (although a little cold), and it’s been labeled the Men’s Drive, because Patricia and Deborah were the only ladies on the trail.  Not that they minded!

The Waterin' Hole


Ruben and Haley tied the knot in May and it was such a fun and beautiful wedding.  Haley was stunning!  Ruben made us all cry and Teagan made us laugh.  Haley and Ruben are both doing well, loving life as newlyweds, and the life they are building in Lubbock. 

Haley Wedding Fam


A definite highlight of our year was getting to meet the Harrell family who came to Burnt Well on Brock’s Make-A-Wish trip in July.  It was such an honor, but most of all a lot of fun!  We are happy to report that Brock is doing well!  As of last week, his counts are up and he’s got rosy cheeks.  He still has a long fight and isn’t out of the woods, but they have hope, and sometimes that’s the best medicine!

Brock in his new duds!


The summer months started out hot and dry like years past, but we were incredibly thankful for the RAIN that finally came.  We continued to receive rain on and off throughout the fall.  Our yearly rainfall total was around 9.5 inches, which is more rain than we’ve had in the last 3 years combined!

June - dry, dusty, and desperate for moisture

June – dry, dusty, and desperate for moisture

July - grassy, green, and blessed

July – grassy, green, and blessed

Teagan loved swimming in the dirt tank and so did the dogs!

Teagan loved swimming in the dirt tank and so did the dogs!


The fall was busy with two cattle drives in October.  The Chisum Challenge Drive and the Fall Cattle Drive.  We especially enjoyed the company on these drives.  Given the level of giddy laughter around the campfire you would have thought the Girl Scouts had set up camp too.

Hanging out at camp on the Fall Drive


The months of November and December were partially blocked out to work on a new pipeline and prepping for the remodel.  The casita has stayed pretty booked during those months though, which has been a blessing in more than one way. December also brought us two beautiful ice storms, which is a rarity!



In between the cattle drives, rains, and life events of 2013, one of the greatest blessings was the new friendships we developed with our guests, traveling from 16 different states and 8 different countries.  It’s easy to focus on and write about the cattle drives, but the guests who come throughout the year are truly the ones who keep Burnt Well up and going.  We have met some truly incredible people, and find ourselves inspired by aspects of each one of you.

Right now Patricia is buzzing with excitement about her new kitchen!  2014 promises to be a busy year with the remodel, number of bookings, specialty weeks, and the possible addition of a third cattle drive in October.  We are excited to see what 2014 holds for us!  We are looking forward to seeing quite a few of you again, and getting to meet many of you for the first time.

Here’s to the bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; 
Here’s to the things that are yet to come and to the memories we hold.

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