Wednesday, September 22, 2021


 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Site of the Flying W Ranch
in 2015 (photo property of the author)

Resilience. What do we mean when we say resilient? Generally it is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult events.

We infer or out right talk about our characters be resilient. It is something to be admired, to strive for. We talk about it in the past, or on special occasions. But in reality we all can and do show this trait. 

It was brought home to me tonight as I spent the evening at the Flying W Ranch, eating their chuckwagon meal on tin plates. I thought about it as I listened to the Flying W Wranglers, the second oldest Western singing group after the Sons of the Pioneers. 

The Flying W today
photo from Wikipedia

What made this special was the story of how this icon came back from the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire ini 2012. That fire, which destroyed 18, 247 acres, and wiped out the Ranch  with the exception of the building housing Marion Wolfe's cookbook collection and a Teepee and the cattle.

Since 1953 the working cattle ranch, owned by Russ and Marion Wolfe, had offered the Western experience to visitors. After the fire many wondered if the family would rebuild. Although Russ passed away in 2019, it was decided the ranch would rebuild. 

Rock formation on the Ranch Site

Eight years later, in the summer of 2021, the ranch reopened to visitors. 

As I sat listening to the music, I thought of all those who had traveled West to rebuild or start their lives anew. They had resilience. They are the legends, the heroes and heroines of both history and the fictional stories writers tell. Sometimes it's good to be reminded of how strong we really are. 

For more on the history, here is the link to the Wikipedia page: Flying W History

A song from one of the early Wrangler interations: Ghost Riders in the Sky

Until the next time, stay strong and resilient.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet


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