The entrance, past two locked gates, lies at one end of the Lower Piedra Campground in the San Juan National Forest.
Kathy’s family has owned an interest in the ranch for many years, along with two other families. We think of it as a 330-acre timeshare and finally got around to spending several nights there.
The accommodations are somewhat rustic.
The setting is spectacularly beautiful.
The 40-mile long Piedra River runs through the ranch.
Kathy’s nephew gave us a tour of the property on his ATV, a Yamaha Rhino. Chris was brave enough to let Brian drive part of the way.
Chris kindly lent us the key for the rest of our stay. We did enjoy driving ourselves around the property to explore in our final two days of just-the-two-of-us solitude.
Ben, the ranch caretaker, mows hay every year and was busy with that project during our visit. We’d heard he was reclusive, but we chatted with him frequently. He told us he’s learned to enjoy talking to people. An EMT, business owner, and avid outdoorsman for many years, he’s a very interesting individual.
Other than the occasional sound of tractor and ATV engines, it was a relaxing week of solitude, with no TV or internet. We played cards, read books, and enjoyed the scenery in every direction.
A truly recreational time. And, thanks to Kathy’s brother Tom, we dined exceedingly well, as did the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, when he visited the ranch in 2001.
That’s roughing it in style.