Season’s Greetings from the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch!
Another year, another 365 days of work and play as we like to say. It’s been a busy year at our Montana dude ranch, full of change and progress here at the ranch. We had a great summer season with our guests, and now it’s 30 below in the Taylor Fork. Never a dull moment for us. We are already making preparations and looking forward to a great season in 2017!
Our biggest accomplishment this year in terms of ranch improvements was finishing up the installation of a 50 kw solar system that will supply ½ of our energy usage in years to come. This was no small job – it has 155 panels, spans 30’ x 200’, and is the biggest system you can build while still being able to tie into the grid. We’re pretty excited to be done with it. Whew!
Kameron and Kelly just returned from a trip to New York City, where they attended the premiere of a multimedia project for Victory Journal coming out soon. Focused around our spring roundup, which we’ve been doing for 70 years, the project includes a feature article structured like a photo essay, as well as a short film that will be released this winter. Kameron and Kelly had a fun time sightseeing in NYC and, as Kameron puts it, “being the cowboy in the big city.”
This year, Kameron moved further into his new role as the head of operations over here at the ranch. He applied for an outfitter license, which will allow him to take over Kim’s position as the lead outfitter. It’s a lengthy process, and after an application review and inspection, he just needs to wait until June to present the case at a board meeting. Meanwhile, he’s keeping busy checking in regularly with the horses in the winter pasture and taking care of little things around the ranch during the winter season.
We lost our Grand Matriarch, Grandma Martha, on December 11th at the wonderful age of 94. We are proud of the wonderful life she led. She lived her young years in Ireland, worked as a nurse in Belfast, Ireland during WWII, and came to Montana in 1960. In 1966 she married Howard Kelsey and together they ran the ranch until she retired in 1985. Martha was a cheerful, happy woman who always had a glass of whiskey in one hand and was famous for saying “Top of the world!” when you asked how she was doing. She will be greatly missed.
As for the rest of us, we’d do well to take a leaf out of Grandma Martha’s book, because we’re doing pretty “top of the world” ourselves. Konnor and Amy’s baby, Shaye Elizabeth, is already crawling and walking. Kyleen is in the middle of her third year studying Linguistic Anthropology with a minor in Gaelic. Kim is planning on using his new knee for skiing, and Kelly is quilting away, as usual. We all look forward to spending the holiday season playing in the snow and getting cozy around the fireplace — even enjoying a small glass of whiskey in honor of Grandma Martha.
Much joy from our family to yours this holiday season. Stay warm out there!