Lodge – A day at Vagabond Ranch | SkyHiNews.com

Lodge – A day at Vagabond Ranch

Kristen Lodge / Outdoors Adventures
Granby CO Colorado

Vagabond Ranch is 20 miles north of Granby just off Stillwater Pass Road. In winter, skiers and snowshoers can access the ranch by skiing and snowshoeing just a few, flat miles; perfect for families and beginner skiers who want a backcountry experience.

Cascade Mountain and the southern boundary of the Never Summer Wilderness is the backdrop for this ranch, and I got a ski tour with its owner, Josh Weinstein, on a beautiful blue sky day.

Josh and his wife, Elizabeth, bought the 108-acre Vagabond Ranch in January 2009. They hope the ranch will soon be a link in the eco-friendly Grand Huts trail system in Grand County.

Josh donates 10 percent of overnight fees at the ranch to the Broome Hut project, which is in the design phase. Broome Hut will replace Second Creek Cabin located off Route 40 near Berthoud Pass and is close to the Vasquez Wilderness area.

Guests can stay overnight at Vagabond Ranch. There are flushing toilets and running water. Sustainability is one aspect of the ranch that Josh is most proud of.

“The pool solar thermal system saved approximately 3,500 gallons of propane this summer and paid for itself in one season,” he said. “With a composting toilet and wood stoves we saved approximately 6,000 gallons of propane this winter, which paid for themselves in half a season.

“I particularly like the wood stove and composting toilet because they are old technologies that will last forever.”

Before Josh bought the ranch, he studied Buddhism and worked in the San Juan hut system. He also taught meditation in prison.

He doesn’t offer mindfulness programming in winter; however, he will talk about it when guests ask.

Whatever we seek in our lives or the world, we already have when we stop and look inside. Learning to connect to what we already are through meditation, mindfulness, or simply being present allows it to manifest externally as well. – http://www.vagabondranch.org website

I’ve never been one to meditate or be still long enough to clear my mind, but a few hours spent at the ranch skiing and talking to Josh made me really believe that mindfulness training is a way to stay in the moment during outdoor activities and stay focused during triathlon training.

Skiing on the spring snow conditions in the quiet backcountry helped me focus on being in the moment; perhaps this is what I need in my training program and in life.

As an endurance athlete I primarily concentrate on the body (can I finish this race) versus mind training (am I enjoying this race).

This year it’s about mental training; and I’m working on the mindfulness training that I learned from Josh. I had a great day at Vagabond Ranch and as I drove home on this perfect winter day, I actually felt more focused on the moment and looked around at the rolling hills and the white peaks in the distance instead of the worrying about all the things I still had to do that afternoon: meetings, work, deadlines, did I exercise the dogs enough?

Now, as I rush to meet friends and drive around town doing errands, I remember that day and ease my mind back into the present moment. It’s amazing how calming it can be living in the moment.


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