News & Events

A Rose by Any Other Name

Apple Pie

Face it. For the most part sportsmen, especially fly-fisherman, travel for a multitude of reasons. Some travel to the ends of the Earth to chase some of largest and most exciting fish on the planet. Some travel for the friendship of others. But more often than not, people travel for the total experience, which includes the culture. The culture of any particular destination includes the people, the arts and the history of that given location. Of course, the food and libations are the highlight of every culture.

Personally, I tend to travel to lodges or outfitters that share my vision of a perfect trip. Every once in a while I run into the perfect meal, the perfect camp fire, or, if I’m really lucky, the perfect bottle of bourbon. It’s that one–in-a-million experience that happens so infrequently in today’s jet set – “trout bum” mentality. A type of memory that is so special that it lingers in my heart for years to follow.

Several months ago I was on film shoot in Northwest Colorado when we were asked to shoot some additional footage for the K-T Ranch just outside of Meeker, Colorado. Our hosts at the ranch were Rose and Buzz Cox – just plain good folks and experienced lodge managers. Rose and Buzz have been in the business for what seems like a lifetime. In fact, it would be a lifetime for most. Rose and Buzz hail from the great state of Maine. Maine is, for the most part, the home of the modern day fish camps. Buzz is well versed in hospitality and his expertise in the field is unmatched. As much as I like to fish, and I really did enjoy fishing with Buzz, the real gem at the K-T is his wife Rose.

My God, can the woman cook! We were there for one night and one morning. On the other hand, maybe I should say one dinner and one breakfast. To be perfectly accurate we were there for one outstanding dinner and one superb breakfast. To put it mildly – the woman hurt me. Physically hurt me. The two meals we were treated to were so far over the top (or maybe I should say down to Earth) that if eaten on a daily basis I would be dead within a short month. Truthfully, I was surprised to wake up the next morning. It’s the type of meal you would order if you were about to be hung for stealing someone’s horse. Of course it did not help that we were washing it all down with copious amounts of wine and bourbon.

It started simple enough, with a salad of fresh mixed greens, walnuts and newly picked strawberries slightly bathed in raspberry vinaigrette. Of course, the appropriate wine helped cleanse the pallet and then the world, as I knew it, ended. The main course consisted of a one-inch cut of prime rib – medium rare, of course. Accompanied by a baked potato with sour cream and fresh made bacon bits, corn, and fresh string beans wrapped in more bacon and of course there were fresh homemade rolls that sort of melted in your mouth. The biggest problem I had with the rolls was keeping the butter from running down the side of my face. At this point, I am ashamed to admit I cleaned my plate.

After dinner, we sort of rolled out to the large fire pit and died. It was rather cold, like most spring nights in the Rockies. So one of the guides decided to build what most people would consider a barn fire. It seemed to be a perfect place to be buried. At that point, we snuggled up in our lounge chairs, sitting as close to the fire as humanly possible, grabbed a few bottles of bourbon and started telling war stories. A few hours later, we staggered back into the house to find Rose slicing up homemade pie and dipping up some freshly made homemade ice cream. True story – I didn’t make this up. Who were we to offend Rose?

I won’t get into breakfast but suffice it to say – the homemade biscuits were absolutely wonderful even if it made getting into my waders after breakfast a little difficult.

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The High Lonesome Ranch properties also include the K-T Ranch in Meeker, Colorado.

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The mission statement for the High Lonesome describes a "model of sustainability" that preserves stewardship of a large western landscape, maintains biodiversity and ecological connectivity, enhances the lives of wildlife and fish, and preserves and restores degraded habitat while allowing a mix of uses - primarily ranching, recreation, and research.