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  • Writer's pictureEllen Bookman

A letter to Elkhorn Ranch.

Dear Linda and KT,

I have no words to express what this last week meant to me. Even for me, it’s hard to verbalize and put the experience into perspective.

I came to Elkhorn Ranch these goals:

  1. Scratch off the number one item on my bucket list.

  2. Utilize my training to ensure that I kept up with the group.

  3. Make some friends.

I met each one of those goals. What I did not expect was the peace and serenity Elkhorn Ranch bestowed upon my life. After the devastating loss of my father, I was able to make peace on top of Monument – a wind blew, and I felt his presence.

I was able to reconcile that my dad was not going to be a part of my birthday. I learned that silence is golden. I learned that even under the most intense circumstances – like a 22 mile; 11 hour ride -- that I have the perseverance and ability to make it to the bottom of the mountain.

Kasin, Hayley, Mariah, and Paul Bunyan (Caleb) took me on this journey five days in a row and each helped me climb over my grief. Michael’s meals. Jim’s quiet and gentle manner. The fire pit. The camaraderie. The serenity – all added to my sense of comfort and tranquility.

Most of all, I recognized that Parkinson’s

will not keep me from doing anything.

I wanted to thank both of you for what was a life changing moment for me. It is because of you that Elkhorn Ranch will always be a part of me. I left a piece of my soul on top of the mountain on a horse named Blackjack – a trust I have never felt in my entire life.

I will never forget what you have given me, and if you ever need anything, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out.

KT, I really am serious about doing a reunion in 2023 with this group. We can each bring a friend.

Warmest regards and happy trails,



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