- "In 1967, after the Fourth of July, we went up to Woods Lake for a picnic, all my Aspen friends and us. It was rainy, but we didn't care. In the late afternoon, coming down the canyon, Weezy, my sister, saw this little road and said: 'Let's take that, we've never been up there.' So we started up, got out our map, and saw that it was Elk Creek. As we got up to Charlie's area, the rain quit, the sun came out, and these gorgeous clouds were in the west. The further we went…it was like going to heaven. When we got to the top, we all jumped out and ran to the edge, and that view just left us breathless. It was a painting of nature! You could see that golden Colorado light that comes after a thunderstorm. It covered that big green meadow and all of Wilson Mesa and Diamond Hill. In the background was Telluride in that big black cloud. Holding it all together was the most brilliant double rainbow that I ever saw. That was my first view of Wilson Mesa. Just then a man came up the side on the east meadow. He was carrying a shovel and pretty soon I could see that he was chasing the water, and I was sort of mesmerized, watching him. I jumped up and said, 'Wow, to be an irrigator here for the rest of your life…that would be marvelous! And I guess the Great Spirit was listening, because two-and-a-half years later, I was. And I have been chasing that water ever since! It was a hard deal to put it all together, because it took trading my little Faraway Ranch in Aspen, which I always loved." ~ Loey Ringquist
- Loey's Cabin
- This is a small photo essay of a project at a ranch near Telluride. The current owners are seeking to restore it to it's natural state which includes renovating the original cabins on the property where a remarkable woman, preservationist and adventurer, Loey Rinquist lived.
Loey Ringquist and her twin sister Louise, were born in 1918 Westminster ,Massachusetts. At age 12, her family traveled to Yosemite and soon found work & settled. As a babysitter for Ansel Adams two small children, an interest in photography was fostered, and steered her towards a career in the field. There she also enjoyed mountaineering and became an avid skier.
In 1942 she joined the Woman's Auxillary Army Corps as a photographer, landing assignments that included photographing First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer.
Falling in love with the Rocky Mountains from the view of a train window, Loey moved to Aspen, Colorado where she led horseback rides, jeep tours, did photography and whatever else paid the bills. There she lived on a small ranch in Snowmass. Approached by developers for the ski area wanting her property, she negotiated a trade that would move her near Telluride, Colorado where she was able to purchase a 960 acre ranch at the base of Mt. Wilson that, living in a small cabin, she would call home until her passing in 2006.
- The project included restoring Loey's original one room cabin to a habitable state, using materials that retained the likeness of the period.
- They hired a local craftsman to create the hardware and reuse materials they found to reassemble the cabins.
- They also moved a cabin that sat on another piece of the property to Loey's cabin's location.
- This is the Ross cabin, it is the original trappers cabin from the 1890's.
The Ross family came to check out the restored cabin and brought with them all the old photos of family members that lived on the land and made copies that now adorn the walls of the cabin.
- The owners have a deep interest in maintaining the likeness of the land to recover the character & feeling that Loey had when she first walked on the property.
- They are still using the outhouse that sat on the property, but upgraded with an ecological composting toilet.
- Ross Cabin
- The buildings are all powered by a solar array which is hidden on the back of the Ross Cabin.
- Caretaker's House
- The owners have taken every step to consider view and visual impact when building on the land. This caretaker's home was designed for low impact visually and environmentally.
- Recycled or reclaimed materials were used wherever possible.
- Metal was acid etched to enhance the appearance that the building had been standing for years.
- Special thanks to The Aspen Historical Society & WatchNewspapers.com and to Justin Stratman of Artisan Builders in Ridgeway, Colorado