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
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
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
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 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.
There are 160 acres deeded, 120 of which
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.
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
buildings looking West.
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
It is a high grade gravel road with ditches and culverts, and
cattle gusrds with gates, except on the portion used by commercial
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.
Printer Friendly Version
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