Updated: Mar 14
Spring in Colorado is reliably unreliable… or at least that was my memory, having spent the better part of my early twenties on a ranch outside Colorado Springs. It was on that ranch where I was encouraged and inspired to put together my first series of images.
Reflecting on a path heavily influenced by horses and photography, it was hard to ignore the impact that Rainbow Trout Ranch had on me…my parents took me as a high school graduation present. I got hooked - and ended up I spending years working on ranches.
With guest season around the corner, I knew the 140-horse herd would be returning to summer pasture and hoped my trip might coincide with the annual homecoming… but spring in Colorado is reliably unreliable…
The drive to Antonito came with the occasional white-out. Winter was still holding on strong in the San Juans. Snow piles lined the dirt road leading to the ranch. The temperature wasn’t giving in to the suggestion of the coming season either; I found myself layered under a down parka as Roni and I surveyed the main lodge's roof renovation project. My mind hadn’t exaggerated the scale of the giant structure. It was massive, and impressively constructed nearly a century ago without metal nails, but using wood pegs.
The evening was spent swapping ranch stories with Jane, Arden, and Lauren; and teasing Derek about the impressive number of prom dates he received. Guest season was gearing up, and I couldn’t help but get excited for the staff and guests to come for the 2019 season. This lodge, the ranch, and the land is constantly being tended. Renovations and improvements have ensured the ranch's success in an ever-changing world. If spending a week with family, disconnecting + reconnecting, and exploring the mountains on horseback sounds like yes, this is the place.
Wishing you many happy trails, until we meet again!
Former human to horses, Blue & Sampson,