I have a collection of photos from the past few months that I still haven’t shown you (you know, like that one time I went to Italy and Poland for three weeks?). I think it’s about time I introduced you to The Ranch. The Ranch is owned by my father’s parents, and I consider it to be one of the most magical places in the world. They’ve owned several different properties, all with different names and memories attached, but for me it wasn’t ever the location or the acreage that was important. I loved visiting grandpa and grandpa at The Ranch because it meant cowboys, horses, outhouses, and wiener roasts. No matter what part of the Northwest they own land in, I’ve been able to find those things and I want The Ranch to be around forever so my kids can grow up visiting it too.
Can you see the A on the barn door? That’s the Andersen brand.
We drove a few miles east to a little campground with an outhouse that I happily didn’t have to test out. Grandma broke out the campfire standards: potato salad, chips, hot dogs, buns, pop, marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.
After our lunch we decided to do some exploring. The property is filled with old buildings used for various things over time.
We walked around in this old barn used for shearing sheep, and I admit I was surprised my grandma let us go inside considering how dilapidated it is.
Whenever we see these old buildings I enjoy peeking in the windows and thinking about what life must have been like for the people who lived there.
As a kid, I always liked visiting the junk yard best. Over time the residents of these ranches dump things in a pile, and if you have a thick pair of gloves on you can get lucky and find some really interesting treasures. This skirt? It’s made from a larger skirt that my grandma dug up from the junk yard!
Sadly, right before we came the cowboys had gathered up all the junk into a big pile and burned it, so we didn’t come home with much of anything this time around.
Right before we went home, we ran into a real cowboy! It was a slow time when we visited, no rounding up or branding going on, so there weren’t many people around.
He let me take his picture before we left. This, my friends, is what a real cowboy looks like. A man who lives for the open air, the horses, everything good and bad that comes with the ranching lifestyle.
I love The Ranch so much that I made a documentary about it for one of my Folklore classes at BYU. They liked my documentary so much that they gave me a certificate and a cash prize! Someday I will upload it and show it to you.
Grandma and Grandpa I feel so lucky to have the ranch be part of my childhood. Thank you for making it such a wonderful place, and allowing me to visit. I hope the photos I took did its magnificence justice in some small way.