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Ranger Creek Ranch

Photographs by Michael Amador.

Randy Walker herds stock on Ranger Creek Ranch with his cowdogs Bubba and Buster. (Photo by Michael Amador)

Texas’ Rolling Plains hold secrets. The vastness draws the eye to the horizon. The dominating sky smoothes and conceals features, giving an impression of sameness, even emptiness. What lies between here and that distant mesa? More gently rolling prairie and mesquite flats, probably.

Ranger Creek is a working cattle ranch, primarily a cow-calf operation. The horses, cattle, cowdogs, pens, and tack aren’t for show. However, in the 1980s, like many Texas ranchers, Randy and Ranell Walker and Ranell’s parents, Gaylon and Joyce Scott, began looking for ways to diversify operations. In 1988, they hosted their first dove hunters.

They soon realized that people would enjoy coming to the ranch just to escape urban bustle for a few days. So the “adventure” side of the Ranger Creek was born. Nowadays, in addition to hunters, the extensive spread hosts hikers, mountain bikers, birders, equestrians, and urban dwellers looking for a few days of prairie wind and birdsong.

In 1998, Ranell, Randy, Joyce, and Gaylon converted an old barn into a 3,500-square-foot lodge with several bunk rooms (25 beds total), a kitchen, dining area, huge stone fireplace, and two spacious sitting areas. I’m bunking in the “Boars” room near the main dining area. Simple, rustic, and comfortable;  just what you’d expect at a well-run ranch.

Visitors who prefer more privacy can stay in one of four nearby ranch houses.

See full article in the May 2009 issue.

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