After Becky Casselberryâ€™s wedding, Gail and I had the chance to take the family to Yampa, Colorado, to spend a few days in the mountains in the snow. Our accommodations in Yampa were provided through a ministry called En Gedi Retreat. En Gediâ€™s mission is to provide a place where pastors, missionaries, and church workers around the country can take a little time off, a little time to reconnect with God, and a little time reconnect with their families. Currently En Gedi has no facilities of its own, though they are in the process of completing a cabin as the first step toward their own retreat center.
But in the meantime they use, as available, a wonderful lodge on the Fish and Cross Ranch just outside of Yampa. This 4000 acre ranch is owned by a believer and is used for hunting and raising cattle. The lodge is used by both secular and Christian groups for hunting trips, ranch experience trips, business planning conferences and get-aways. Because we booked early and came during a relatively slow part of the season, â€˜Fish and Crossâ€™ was able to offer the lodge to En Gedi (and to us) for the week at no cost. What a blessing!
We had a grand time:
(click on any image for a full-size, 1600×1200, version)
This is the view east from the lodge at Fish and Cross Ranch at sunrise. This was the view Gail and I saw from our bedroom windows.
This is the view south, from just below the lodge. The red barn is classic. The horses remain in the pasture all year, even through the worst storms of winter.
This is the view west (or south-west) from the deck of the lodge. The high flat mountain is one of the Flattops, the unique mountain range in this part of Colorado.
This is the Lodge at Fish and Cross. It is a beautiful Western themed building with seven bedrooms. Gail and I stayed in the corner top floor bedroom, the closest room in the picture, with large windows facing east and south.
We did a lot of sledding during our four day stay. Hannah and Ruth especially enjoyed getting out in the snow. This is the view from the hill ‘behind the barn’ down at the ranch complex.
Fish and Cross is a working ranch and they have to feed the horses every day. During the winter they hook the draft horses up to the sled and haul hay out into the pasture. The family (including Caroline Casselberry, who joined us on Tuesday) went on the sled early one morning. Michael loved it and went again the next day.
The Ranch graciously supplied snow shoes, and Nick, the son-in-law of the ranch owner, took us on a wonderful three hour trek into the aspen forest.
Another feature of the Ranch is the cowboy hot tub. While drilling for oil some years back, they discovered a hot spring over 1000 feet down. It is 105 degrees F all year. They have dug and lined a small pool where you can sit in the warm water (then cool your feet in the snow). They recommended going at night, but we opted for a daytime visit.
But the things that captured and blessed the eyes while we were there were the snow-enhanced views. We’ve been to Colorado in the summer, but never while there was snow, and it was wonderfully beautiful.