Every once in a while fate brings you to a location that you’ve lived by, but have never visited.  We had the occasion to visit a local ranch that markets itself as a working ranch and event center. The ranch, which will go unnamed, sits in the Little Thompson River valley along the Colorado Front Range. It is one of the very few river valleys that does not have a public road in it.

The ranch defies easy description. The rancher has dedicated the property to open space, so McMansion construction will not fill the valley with subdivisions of tedious, look-alike housing with black Escalades parked out front. He wants to keep the property, well, not wild exactly, but early 20th century ranch style.

Tar Paper Tee-Pee

The ranch has a campground with unimproved space for campers and tents as well as a half dozen pentagonal pyramidal structures referred to as Tee-Pees. These Tee-Pees are covered with rolled tar paper roofing and festooned with images of native American artwork. I’d say it’s pretty kitschy.

Campers Powder Room

The restroom facilities are nearby, festive, and unmistakable.

Don't Fence Me in

The ranch is quite large and sits on the north side of Rabbit Mountain, sometimes known as rattlesnake mountain. This is rattlesnake country and you need to be wary when charging through the grass to get that great photo.

Folk Art of the Little Thompson Valley

There are plenty of places to sit over yonder at the dance hall. This bit of folk art is there for you to rest your weary feet.

Of course, if you give an arc welder to a rancher, there is no telling what he’ll come up with.

Lucky Horseshoe Chair

There is much to be learned from a day on the ranch. For the keen observer, metaphors abound. While a rolling stone gathers no moss, a standing wheel gathers a tree.

What happens to all of us when you quit moving