A SMALL PIECE OF PARADISE
Memorial To The Home I Loved


Looking for a wilderness hideaway in 1975 was easy using the H&R Block catalog; finding one that I could afford was more difficult. But it showed up and I purchased a quarter section of land near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta in February 1976. The reason: the stream was open and running, a very rare sight in Alberta in late winter. Summer camping in a trailer was all that was contemplated. But by 1978, I started building a log house, cleared and fnced some pasture land and bought some young Horned Hereford stock in 1979. Now I was a rancher as well as consulting petrophysicist.

As time passed, development continued with more cultivated pastures, a hay barn, corrals, and bunkhouse for calving season. Tractors and machinery came and went as the ranch operation grew.

The cozy solar-powered home featured 2200 sq ft on 160 acres, surrounded by Crown Land, with a year-round spring-fed stream, creek-side patio, landscaped yard, and beautiful native trees. Some very large glacial eratics were formed into a rock garden with a detailed garden railway. Wildlife of all kinds visited daily. The Great Pyranees dogs kept the house and cattle safe from predatoes.

Forty years after the initial purchase, my eyesight had deteriorated enough to tell me I had to move to a place that required less effort. I retired from ranching and from the consulting business in June 2016 and moved to a condo in Calgary. Jt's nice but I really miss the ranch!!

These webpages about my ranching days are meant as a memory jogger as I creep slow;y toward the final quarter of my life. Join me in reviewing this beautiful Piece of Paradise.

 

THE RANCH HOUSE
The modern, energy-efficient open-beam home (1300 sq ft), built in 2002, is finished in pine log siding over structural insulated panel walls and roof. An attached two car garage, constructed from milled logs in 1980, has an immaculate one-bedroom guest suite above (730 sq ft), with full bath, kitchenette, and large living room. Both overlook pristine woods and pasture land in front and the stream behind. In addition, a 330 sq ft screened porch "summer kitchen" with BBQ augments the recreational space.



Ranch house with our cow herd in the front pasture

Solar panels and a natural-gas-powered generator with inverter and batteries provide reliable "off-the-grid" independence. Ample clear water comes easily from a 90 foot drilled well.

Green grass lawns and  a rock garden, complete with garden railway, complement the finish of the ranch house. Massive spruce, pine, and aspen trees shelter the home from the weather on three sides, giving an unobstructed view to the south.


View of rock garden, garden railway,  and large screened porch on west side of ranch house.


THE LAND
There are 160 acres deeded, 120 of which are tame pasture, all accessible by high grade roads. Extensive cross-fencing, with high-grade galvanized steel gates, affords excellent control for rotational grazing. Carrying capacity is 50 cow-calf pairs summer grazing (winter feed purchased).


Aerial view of deeded quarter and a portion of adjacemt grazing lease (foreground) looking a little
 east of north, North Saskatchewan River in background, Cowtown at center of photo.

Surrounded on all sides by government land, this property is an oasis in the wilderness. A year-round stream, 80 foot pine, spruce and aspen shelterbelts, and ample tame pastures make this a practical working cattle or horse ranch, personal retreat, rural residence, private hunting lodge, or all of these.

The ranch sits just 1/2 mile from the North Saskatchewan River and two miles from the largest Forest Reserve in North America. Hunting, fishing, hiking, and recreational travel are only yards from the front door. World-famous Banff and Jasper National Parks are 110 miles from Rocky Mountain House, offering skiing, hiking, and the spectacular Canadian Rockies scenery. Calgary and Edmonton, bothe 1 million plus population centers, offer everything in shopping and entertainment that might be desired, and Red Deer is only an hour away with most big city amenities.


Aerial photo of NE 24-39-9W5 showing internal roads, creek, drainage, buildings, and pastures.
 


THE CATTLE FACILITIES
Cattle handling facilities are modern and in good repair, consisting of a large hay barn with attached calving pens, heated maternity barn with bunkhouse, kitchen and office, plus numerous smaller outbuildings and corrals. A covered shelter over the working chute, weigh scales, and squeeze keeps the cowboys dry while processing cows or calves. This area, known as Cowtown, is the envy of the community and praised by all the vets who have used it to treat a sick animal.


Cowtown buildings looking West.

ACCESS ROAD
The access road to the property is covered by a License of Occupation issued by the Provincial Government. It connects the end of Range Road 9-0 through Crown Land to the southeast corner of the deeded property. The License has been in existance since sometime in the 1960's. The road is maintained by the land owner. A portion of the road is used by commercial operators under Road Use Agreeements wuth the License Holder. The License is conveyed with the deeded property when the propwerty is sold or transferred so that access cannot be denied.

It is a high grade gravel road with ditches and culverts, and  cattle gusrds with gates, except on the portion used by commercial operatoes.

The land traversed by the road is a Crown Grazing Lease so cattle may be present from April through September each year.

Map of Access Road showing the route from the Municipal road (bottom right) to the deeded land (top right). Commercial operators who use the road continue westbound (top left of map) and do not come anywhere near the deeded property. 

 


LOCATION MAP         Printer Friendly Version       GPS 52.37409 N  115.15982 W


Road Map from Rocky Mountain House (RMH) to Rocking "Are" Ranch (Ross).
GPS coordinates: 52.37409N 115.15982W    ALS Survey: NE24-39-9W5