I grew up on my families ranch in the middle of nowhere. As a kid I couldn’t believe that my Great Grandfather decided to homestead so far from town. Now, in my early 40’s, I have come to the realization that it is just about right. There is really no other place in the world that can keep me at peace than the ranch. Thankfully that same feeling has passed on to my kids. They see the ranch as a holy place, one that holds dreams, secrets, passions and memories close. A place that when you hit the auto gate, you feel the ranch smile and whisper “welcome home”.
The ranch was homesteaded in the late 1800’s. I have tried for years to pin point the exact year, but have found that alot of people weren’t into writing things down then.. hmm wonder why? lol.. Anyway.. As the story goes..My Great Grandmother was a single school teacher from Omaha. She had left the luxuries of ‘city life’ to go west into the wilds of Wyoming to homestead and to teach. She homesteaded on a little bit of ground and found a teaching job. While proving up on her homestead she met a man riding round up for a large cattle operation in the area. As all good love stories of the wild west go..they fell in love, got married and started to create their ranch together. She kept teaching as their own family started to grow. During the school year she would gather her 3 kids and live at the school where she taught. Great Grandpa would stay home tending to his horses, sheep and cattle. Great Grandpa had started raising horses for the Calvary for a local fort. Horse thieves were a constant battle, that will be a story for another time. One year Great Grandma was at her school chopping wood to keep everyone warm inside. Sadly, while she was chopping wood, she accidentally hit her leg with the axe. Locals took her to the closest hospital hoping to be able to save her leg. Gangrene set into her leg. They kept taking her leg off in hopes of saving her life, but needless to say they were unable to. The accident took her life and left her husband with 3 small children and a massive ranch to tend to. And that is where the story really begins.. From my Great Grandma pushing her dreams to me leaning on mine. The same DNA swirls..proudly..