Sometimes, living out here on the ranch, I have a deep longing for the city. I want to live in a bustling city somewhere in a little loft and wake up in the morning to the sounds of beeping horns and an occasional siren. I want to own a closet full of cute shoes that have no mud or manure on them. I want to stop and grab a latte at the little coffee shop at the corner while walking to the bus stop on my way to work.

Sometimes, when we have a guest from a big city, part of me secretly hopes they will recognize some quality in me that will inspire them to offer me a job in a skyscraper somewhere. Just for a year, of course, nothing long-term. They’d let me wear cute office clothes. No plaid, flannel, or jeans allowed.

But then, sometimes, I see something here that reminds me why I chose this life. I see beauty like I’ve never known. I see sincere smiles and honest hard work. Then I remember that this little life on a Colorado Dude Ranch is what I love and crave and need.
These photos, by Quinn Wilson, one of DWR’s summer employees, exemplify why we’re here and why we want you to experience this life too. Contact Quinn at if you’d like to see more of his DWR photo project.