If cows could read, a new library ought to do well in rural Park County, just south of Fairplay.
There is a town there, but no one’s going to take out a library card.
Garo is a ghost town.
The nearby Buffalo Peaks Ranch has been rusting away in the high-altitude winds for 30 years, until now.
Jeff Lee, a Tattered Cover employee, gathered some volunteer ranch hands on a recent Saturday for “clean-up” day.
By wrestling heaps of barbed wire, decades old wood, and old cow bones out of the ground, the group has spruced up part of the ranch ahead of the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s big opening next year.
Jeff and his wife, Anne Martin who is also a Tattered Cover employee, were brought together by their love of books.
After a trip to a land library, a sort of bed-and-breakfast like library, in Wales in the 1990s, they’ve been trying to replicate the idea here in Colorado.
They started small, with nature workshops and readings in Denver.
As other idea gained momentum, a friend suggested Park County might have the land. The county set them up with Buffalo Peaks Ranch.
Their lease started four years ago, and the idea has continued to grow.
Since then the library raised $140,000 in a kick-starter campaign this year.
That helped to renovate the first small house on the ranch. They’ll get water and electrical over the winter.
Next year, they plan to welcome guests that hopefully lead to lodging renovations in the other buildings like the main ranch house.
“But in the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can do to advance the mission of helping to reconnect people to nature,” said Jeff.
The Rocky Mountain Land Library also plans to have an "artists in residence" program once they're up and running.
In the meantime, you can camp on the land by reservation by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also keep track of their progress at https://landlibrary.wordpress.com/