Everyday Adventure // Elk Mountain Ranch

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Because it’s Wednesday + if you’re like me you need some pictures of pretty places to help you get through the mid-week slump. And this is one of the prettiest places I know.

My family has been going to Elk Mountain Ranch for years (and if you want to see some embarrassing photos of my unfortunate awkward-teen-stage, just go back far enough in their photo albums – everyone totally has an unfortunate awkward-teen-stage, right?). We debate about this every time we’re back there: has it been 4 visits, or 5? Maybe more? But essentially, this little ranch near Buena Vista was my home-away-from-home in Colorado long before Colorado was my for-real-I-live-here-pinch-me home.

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I think everyone should have a secret place they can escape to, where the cell reception is spotty + the internet is too. Bonus points if you can get there in less than a three hour drive. Reception has actually improved there over the years but I almost wish it wouldn’t. As a person who is professionally shackled to the internet (although I’m not complaining), those kinds of retreats beyond the reach of the world wide web are increasingly rare.

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There is nothing like the wind through the aspens + no other sound to be heard for miles. Or a completely dark night after the generator is turned off when you can see stars and stars and stars and stars. Or homemade Oreo ice cream – because how could this be one of my favorite places on earth without Oreo ice cream?

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It’s funny how as you grow up, the things you cherish about a place grow up too. After my first visit, it was the food, the awesome staff, the super friendly horses, boundless activities + Oreo ice cream that endeared Elk Mountain Ranch to my heart. All those things are still true. But these 14(ish) years later, what I hold on to is the quiet, the choice to do nothing, the way time passes slowly, the sitting + talking.

And of course, always + forever, the homemade Oreo ice cream. Because I guess there are some places in the world where I’m still a kid.

Side note: I’ve migrated everything over from annabellemintz.com to annabelleneedles.com – if you subscribe by email or through WordPress, everything should have switched automatically. If you follow via Bloglovin, I’m working with them to get everything switched over so that should update automatically as well. If you just have a bookmark in your browser, first of all, I’m flattered; + second of all, you might want to update it. And if you spot any bugs, let me know so I can squish them. Thank you guys so much for following along with me! So much love.