Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ensign Ranch

The summer before I graduated from college, I worked here:


Ensign Ranch is a little-known jewel tucked into the lush green trees and mountains of central Washington. It's an LDS-owned property where guests can camp, rent a cabin, swim, canoe, and explore the forest on horseback. I had the privilege of working there one summer as a wrangler. Which meant that, some days, I was on horseback from sunup to sundown, six days a week.

It was a hard job, but somebody had to do it.

I worked with five amazing service missionaries, one fellow wrangler I'll call Na, and the coolest old cowboy I've ever met, whose advice still rings in my ears every time I ride a horse.

It was a summer full of adventure and life lessons, one of the best summers of my life.

But in the midst of life--you know, graduating from college, getting married, becoming a mother--years had passed since I had thought very deeply about my experiences at Ensign Ranch. Until a week or so ago, when I happened upon my journal from that summer. Reading one or two entries led to reading all of them, snuggled in my bed, unable to tear myself away. I had forgotten the fun I had, the things I learned, the people I met. Remembering made me ache with sadness that I'll never have those days again.

In an effort to relive those memories, I will probably be posting about Ensign Ranch here fairly frequently. In fact, someday, I just might attempt to write a novel about that summer. It was that awesome.

Until then, I hope you enjoy my reminiscing.

And if you ever find yourself in Cle Elum, Washington, you should definitely stop by.

Former wrangler,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

1 comment:

Brenda Anderson said...

An entire summer on a ranch...sounds like something from a story! Just reading this makes me wish I could've done it too!