Orejana Outfit Arizona's Historic O RO Ranch 1993-2013 By Kathy McCraine
“The O RO Ranch was always a cowboy outfit and a horseback outfit. Except for replacing the mule-drawn wagon, little changed in 100 years.” — Kathy McCraine in Orejana Outfit
The Spanish word orejana translates to an unbranded bovine like the wild, maverick cattle tucked in the canyons and brushy slopes of Arizona’s O RO Ranch. Once a Spanish land grant, the outfit spans 257,000 steep, rough, remote acres in northern Arizona. According to ranch manager Wayne Word, “It had a different feel.” The horses, cattle and cowboys are still as tough and wild as the range they roam.
Though the ranch is closed to public visitation, writer and photographer Kathy McCraine has had access not only to the headquarters, but also secluded areas only traveled to by horseback for more than 20 years. Images she captured from 1993–2013 are authentically presented in this coffee-table book depicting the lives of the horses, cowboys and cooks who left tracks on this fabled outfit. Simply designed, the black-and-white photographs shine on each page with informational captions.
McCraine introduces each of the book’s seven sections with her written commentary gleaned not only from visiting the ranch on several occasions, but also her own experiences as an Arizona rancher. Western photographer Jay Dusard, also from Arizona, wrote the forward.
“I do know that she insists on truth-telling authenticity in her craft and its portrayal,” he wrote about McCraine. “Nevertheless, her imagery is quite often exceedingly artful.”
Full of written and photographic story telling, this book takes readers on a ride through time on the ranch and intimately captures the timeless feel and mystique of one of the last big cow outfits in the Southwest.