Thank You Kickstarter!

What a thrill! We’re in our third day of the Cooks House Kickstarter Campaign. Kickstarter has chosen our campaign as a Project We Love, and just today they posted us on their homepage, as part of their Homepage Heroes feature:


And we love that Kickstarter chose Michael Ciaglo’s stunning sunrise shot of the Cooks House, and Mount Silverheels shrouded in mist. Take a sneak peek on a big screen at! The home page takes a few seconds to refresh, then you’ll see Buffalo Peaks ranch in all its early morning glory.

On Day 3 of our 45-day campaign we have raised nearly $25,000 toward our $125,000 goal.

For more on the Cooks House Campaign, read on!


The Rocky Mountain Land Library’s long-awaited Kickstarter Campaign is LIVE! Help bring books, people & programs to Colorado’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch. With your support we will transform a historic high mountain ranch into a residential library devoted to land, community, and the many positive ways we can all move forward together.

But first, CLICK HERE and you’ll find out much more. Learn how you can be an important part of this land-inspired, book-loving grassroots project!



The Future Just Went LIVE… in South Park, Colorado


The Cooks House, in an early morning mist, all ready for Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s next chapter. photo by Jay Halsey


The Rocky Mountain Land Library’s long-awaited Kickstarter Campaign is LIVE! Help bring books, people & programs to Colorado’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch. With your support we will transform a historic high mountain ranch into a residential library devoted to land, community, and the many positive ways we can all move forward together.

But first, CLICK HERE and you’ll find out much more. Learn how you can be an important part of this land-inspired, book-loving grassroots project! 



Riding with Carl



Jay Halsey, Sarah McLaughlin, with Carl Young at the wheel. photo by Carl Young

How lucky are we? Even in the midst of the past two summers of ranch renovation, we’ve had a steady stream of visitors. Not only folks attending our first workshops and field classes, but many who have flocked to Buffalo Peaks Ranch on their own — artists, writers, naturalists of all stripes, college classes, History buffs, book clubs, and even the Boys & Girls Club of South Park!

Two years ago, photographer Carl Young drove out from back east, and spent a day or so at the ranch. He gave us a full folder of amazing images from that trip, including the panoramic view of Buffalo Peaks Ranch that we use in our masthead above.

This past fall Carl took his second road trip to the ranch, this time with fellow photographers Jay Halsey and Sarah McLaughlin. It’s a thrill to see Buffalo Peaks Ranch through their eyes!


photo by Carl Young

a rare angle on the ranch complex, under a river of clouds.

photo by Jay Halsey

 sunrise at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, with Mount Silverheels aglow.

photo by Carl Young

the old horse barn looking brand new!

photo by Carl Young

 many, many views of the ranch we seldom get to see.

photo by Sarah McLaughlin

it’s amazing how much use we’ve put the Main House’s porch to, even if it’s just to sit & watch the clouds go by.

photo by Jay Halsey

and here’s the focus of next week’s KICKSTARTER Campaign!

photo by Jay Halsey

The Cooks House — looking shiny after the past two summers of re-roofing, painting, and rehabilitating the old windows. The Kickstarter Campaign will allow us to complete the interior, giving us a smart new power & water system, along with two lodgings, a new classroom space, a warm & wonderful kitchen, and the ranch’s first library!

photo by Sarah McLaughlin

one of our volunteer-made Leopold Benches, just up valley from the Cooks House.

photo by Sarah McLaughlin

With thanks to Carl, Jay & Sarah — we hope you come back often!

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s launch of the Cooks House Kickstarter Campaign. We’re hard at work on our campaign page. We think it will be fun to see — from our video, to our plans, drawings, and no doubt many, many wonderful photographs of our favorite old ranch!


A Kickstarter Campaign that will Bring Books and People to a High Mountain Ranch


It was just two summers ago when Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s bunkhouse (to the left) and the Cooks House (to the right) were in dire need of repair. Both had been untouched for more than 30 years.

Cook House

Our first summer of volunteer work focused on two very leaky roofs.

great team

Here are HistoriCorps volunteers laying down the last few shingles on the Cooks House.


By summer’s end both buildings had new roofs, just in time for another fierce South Park winter.


Last year we were back to rehabilitate all the windows, and give many fresh coats of paint to some very thirsty boards.

We’re very excited to report that we’ll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign on February 21st to complete the Cooks House. We’ll be working on the interior:


As you can see the interior is in good shape, but we need to bring water back to the Cooks House, along with installing the greenest energy system possible.

In the end, we will have two new lodgings for guests, a warm & wonderful kitchen, a large classroom space, and here’s something exciting, the ranch’s first library!


Someday soon this space will house a dedicated collection of Land Library books (perhaps the Native American Library). But for now, later this summer we’ll be shelving an assortment of great books that suggests the RMLL’s broad range of titles focused on people and the land. Books such as these:


photo by Michael Ciaglo

Stay tuned for much more on our Cooks House Kickstarter campaign, launching on February 21st!

To See the World Anew

“Why do so many of us have bookshelves bending under the weight of yellow-spined copies of the magazine? It’s simple: we cannot bring ourselves to throw away such beautiful things. We know what has gone into their creation.” — Nigel Holmes, National Geographic Infographics.


Here’s the latest addition to the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s always growing collection:  National Geographic Infographics, just published by Taschen.  This beautifully done oversize volume captures the top charts, diagrams, and maps from the National Geographic‘s past 128 years.


What a timeless resource for artists, scientists, naturalists, and lifelong learners of all ages!

8bb9ddebc3fffce8f05fe3d2e32313e2This hefty tome is divided into seven sections: History, The Planet, Being Human, Animal Worlds, World of Plants, Science & Technology, and Space.

And there are many eye-opening surprises along the way:


The recent work of National Geographic artists are well represented, but some of our favorite images come from the oldest, dustiest of the yellow-spined treasures:


From natural history to the daring “futuristic” Mercury space capsule design:


National Geographic has long helped us all see the world anew:


Stay tuned for more Land Library new arrivals in 2017!

Such a great night!

We’re thrilled to announce that October 20th’s Pie Factory Pop-up was an overwhelming success. Over 300 people turned out to explore the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s new urban home. The Puritan Pie Factory is a dream-come-true location for what will likely be the final link in the Land library’s Headwaters to Plains Network of place-based learning centers.

Here’s a slide show that starts with the very first day of clean-up at the Pie Factory. Thanks to Ben Sherrill, Stephen Shoup, and Wendy Campbell for capturing these fun days at the Pie Factory:


So much to clear & organize, followed by many days of clean-up….


Still using the industrial shelving in place, we finally tackled the happy task of unpacking books; putting some favorites on display, but all the while knowing we have more than 1,500 book boxes to go!


Slowly but surely the Pie Factory was transformed,


with wonderful books to enliven the space!


Our thanks goes to all the generous artists and class leaders that made our Silent Auction a success. Such a beautiful corner of this wonderful warehouse space!


Pie is good! We had 150 handheld pies, and over a dozen full-size pies — devoured with gusto by the end of the night. All the pies were kindly donated by wonderful community-minded businesses: Dawn Dennison & Crust, The Long i Pie Shop, and Five Points Pizza


Plus a delicious, over-the-top array of food that everyone sang the praises of — all from the kitchens of Chef Sterling Robinson from Billy’s Inn and North County.  We even had a few kegs of pie-inspired beer thanks to Alex Guest & Hopwares!


People (of all ages!) loved looking through the books!


And then there was the sea-foam Cadillac. You had to be there….


Thanks to everyone for coming out that beautiful autumn night, and to our Pop-up sponsors: Aurora Water, Chelsea Green Publishing, Davis, Graham & Stubbs, Denver Water, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop!

See you on Thursday Night!


The Puritan Pie Factory in autumn, a wonderful photo taken just this past weekend by super volunteer Wendy Campbell. Thanks to Wendy for taking a break from the hard & gritty work, to capture the Pie Factory in transition!

Come join us this Thursday night as we celebrate the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s new inner-city Denver location, the last piece of the Headwaters to Plains Network that includes South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and our Waterton Canyon Library. For the past many weeks, volunteers have been cleaning, and clearing space in Denver’s Puritan Pie Factory for the first few Land Library books to arrive:


The Pie Factory’s major themes will be nature in the city, urban homestead topics, and kids and nature — with plenty of books on the natural and cultural heritage of the American West.


Eventually we’ll erect over 125 bookcases donated to the Land Library by the Tattered Cover Book Store. But on Thursday night you’ll see us display books using whatever is on hand at the Pie Factory:


Water will always be a big theme at all the Land Libraries along the Headwaters to Plains Network. Here’s a few that have found a temporary home in a claw-foot bathtub.


So many great books — it’s hard to pick just one to feature!

Click here for more information on this Thursday’s Pie Factory Pop-up, plus how you can get a ticket ahead of time, or at the door! 


There will be food, drink, music, and of course, lots of books and lots of pie.

Thanks again to Wendy Campbell for her wonderful photos, and to all our amazing event sponsors:  Aurora Water, Billy’s Inn, Chelsea Green Publishing, Davis Graham & Stubbs, Denver Water, Hopwares, and North County restaurant.