Artist in Residence – Caribou Ranch Colorado

Stepping Back in Time at the Old DeLonde Ranch

Setting for the movie StageCoach!

I was fortunate enough to be selected for one of the residencies at the old DeLonde Homestead (in the barn to be exact). When I applied for the position, I explained that I wrote historical fiction, and how I thought the chance to live there for a week was something I really wanted to try!

 

Cloudy first day – atmospheric. Reminded me of Fog Magic

I was given a week in August – and the weather this summer (in Colorado) was uncharacteristically cold and cloudy. It was GREAT. The low-lying clouds enhanced the sense of isolation, blanketing the surrounding mountains.

Beautiful meadow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meadow is what drew me in – from the first light in the morning to the last light in the evening. The theory behind the residency is to provide living accommodations for writers, allowing them to focus on their individual art form. In my case, that would be writing.

The Experience

The first day was constant rain. I worked on my book – but also read books that I had brought, and some that were in the barn. The second day the weather lifted, and I sat watching the meadow drinking coffee. As the day progressed I went hiking up to the BlueBird Mine. The views were lovely, and the old buildings were maintained. The boarding house was in spectacular condition. Apparently it was used in the Stage Coach movie as a setting (which explains its excellent condition to a large extent).

Porch and boardwalk

It is a great site to explore (carefully) – and they even have a place to hitch your horse!

The next day I started settling into work.

Time will tell how the experience will influence my writing. The profound silence interrupted by birdcalls, the sounds of rushing water and of wind blowing. Magical! And very different to what I am used to

Truth be told, however, it was strange leaving the city and the 21st century. The barn had electricity, but I chose not to play music and there wasn’t an internet connection. Time moved at its own pace and while it felt clean and natural, the lack of electronic entertainment was not something easily cast aside.

I spent time outside, watching the shifting light and the aspen leaves danced and sparkled in the wind. Then it came to me –  the land cried out for horses.

And it turned out the DeLonde Homestead was the first Arabian horse ranch in Colorado.

That thought made me smile.