Our good friend and neighbor, Rick Williams died in mid December. He worked for OLT for more than ten years. Many of you will remember his big smile and friendly welcome. His daughter, Jamie, sent the following remembrance:
Richard Wayne Williams Senior - July 15, 1959 to December 13, 2018
Rick, Ricky, Ricky Racoon, Rudy, Papaw, Shrek, Papa Bear, Brother, Dad passed peacefully in Denver, CO at the age of 59.
Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on July 15, 1959 to Priscilla Rae and Stanley Williams and raised by his mother and stepfather, Carl Rae. Ricky grew up alongside seven siblings Eddie, Cindy, Bart, David, Greg, Pam and Matt.
He was a loving husband and companion to Cherrye for 29 years with whom he helped raise their three children. As a father he was wonderfully devoted to his three children Jamie, Brandie and Richie.
Papaw was a loving grandfather to his six grandchildren Declan, Talyn, Jaelyne, Peyton, Shane and Jordy.
Ricky was a driven and hard-working man with numerous talents and trades. When his family was young and living in Mt. Ida, Arkansas he held many titles including electrician at Summitts, a janitor at a local shoe factory and a night time security guard at Mountain Harbor. He eventually quit his job as a security guard and started his own cleaning business. His children will never forget the late nights helping him with his jobs which instilled his hard-working mentality into each of them.
In 2001 he fulfilled one of his dreams of living on a ranch in Colorado. He packed up his home in Arkansas and moved to Moffat, CO where he raised his family and continued creating new friendships. He worked for the Orient Land Trust as a maintenance worker and went to school to be a horse farrier which later became his full-time job.
Rick enjoyed coaching his son Richie in football and basketball through all his years of school and continued coaching many years after his children were grown. You could always count on him to be there and support all of his kids' endeavors from Jamie's basketball games to Brandie's football games. He had a passion for coaching and teaching where he touched many hearts.
Papaw was most proud of his grandchildren and they could always count on him to teach them the good from the bad. The kids always thought they were in another world when they were with their Papaw. He afforded them the freedom to explore wherever their hearts desired while still teaching them valuable lessons along the way.
Rick always had a smile on his face no matter what the situation was. He was always forgiving and never judgmental. Always supportive and known for making people laugh. He was always talking to people and making friends wherever he went, he was a man of many "best friends."
Whether it was riding his horses or his Harley he would always have a story to tell about his journey. He will be missed by many, but his spirit and passion will live on through the teaching and coaching he provided to his children, grandchildren, and all others that had the opportunity to learn from him.
Mamaw said it best, you do have the best "home" out of any of us. Fly high and go wherever the road takes you because there are no limits where you are now.
Winter is a beautiful time to visit Valley View Hot Springs. There is nothing like soaking in hot water while the snow is gently falling! We are located at 8,700 feet to 9,100 feet in elevation with great differences in our daily high and low temperatures. Knowing what to expect and a little planning during winter time will make your visit much more enjoyable and safer.
We have eleven pools and ponds spread out over a quarter of a mile with a 400 foot elevation gain. The ponds are connected by foot trails. Expect uneven ground which may be snow packed and icy. Many guests use hiking poles to climb to the top ponds when trails are slick. The six natural ponds have temperatures ranging from 92 degrees to 101. We have a large swimming pool that ranges between 86 and 90 degrees. The Apple Tree Pools are two man made pools where we use our EXTRA hydro electricity to raise the water temperature which ranges from the mid 90's to 106 degrees. The temperature can vary greatly depending on electrical production and use. We cannot guarantee those higher temperatures anytime as the temperature depends on many variables. Winter months, when the temperatures are colder, the pools will likely be less hot.
Day visitors are encouraged to come early while the sun is shining so you can enjoy the natural ponds. Air temperatures drop when the sun sets, so the Apple Tree Pools and Sauna may see more soakers.
Sunset House and Spruce Lodge have in-floor geothermal heat and are usually nice and toasty. The five cabins also have in floor geothermal heat and one small electric wall heater. Keep in mind that if the cabins are warm, leave that electric heater off! Never turn on the electric heater and then open doors and windows to cool down the cabin. Oak house has new geothermal baseboard heat in the living room to help with electrical usage. There are electric heaters in rooms and the living room as well. Use electric heaters as needed and never open the windows to cool down the temperatures while the heaters are on. The more electricity we conserve, the more EXTRA electricity we have to heat the Apple Tree Pools!
Winter camping can be wonderful if you have the right equipment. Our nighttime temperatures often get well below zero, so a four season (-20 degrees) sleeping bag and all season tent are more comfortable. If you are tent camping, you park in the parking lot and hike into a tent sites. We do not maintain our tent sites over the winter, so be prepared to shovel your way in and prepare the site. We do not charge for the tent sites during winter months. If you are vehicle camping, we have limited access during the winter and do not plow the upper RV loop. When snowy, sites I though P are not available. Sites A through H, plus R, S, T, V & W are available with eight of those sites having 20 amp electrical service. You may not run your vehicle for heat or use a generator as it puts emissions into the air and disturbs the peace. The silence of nature is one of our assets and no one wants to hear engines running all night, so be prepared with warm bedding! If you do get cold, keep in mind that the Welcome Center guest area is open all night so you can warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or tea. Also the sauna is a great place for campers to warm up before climbing into their sleeping bags.
County Road GG is eight miles of gravel road and is plowed by the county. OLT staff maintains the half mile long driveway. Windy weather in the valley often causes snow drifts and slick surfaces. A good vehicle with winter tires is very helpful. Bald or summer tires and two wheel drive is not recommended during severe weather.
A little bit of thoughtful preparation will go a long way in making your winter visit to Valley View a pleasant and comfortable experience. Bring warm clothing, good hiking shoes and snow boots, hats, gloves, warm socks, flash lights and very warm bedding if you're camping.
Before you leave home, check out a great website to see road conditions: www.cotrip.org. This website provides up to date information on roads throughout Colorado. There are several great weather pages including Weather Underground and NOAA, the closest town for the most accurate temperatures would be Villa Grove, CO. If you are a cross country skier or like to snowshoe, our hiking trails can be great fun for winter activities. Please feel free to call the office for up to date information, we are happy to answer your questions!
Everyday we have guests who arrive unprepared, who think they will "rough it out" camping or arrive with no understanding about the conditions here. Please plan ahead, be responsible, be proactive in planning your visit for the safety and happiness of all. Thanks and Happy Winter!
The goats are giving birth to their kids. As of December 28, there were six kids with more nannies showing signs of imminent delivery. We had a significant storm on the 28th and the wind blew and the snow drifted. The newborns were tucked into a shelter and are holding up well.
Last year we added two Nubian does to our heard in hopes of starting up a dairy program. We are happy to announce that one of them has given birth to our first nubian kid! The Anglo-Nubian goat, simply known as the Nubian goat, gets its name from a northern, desert region in the African continent. Even though it has its roots in the middle East and Africa, the breed was developed in Britain by crossing English goats with exotic bucks. It was imported in America in the early 1900s.
Often referred to as the Jersey of the dairy-goat world, this goat breed is one of the best-known sources for milk, given to its high butterfat content of between 4 - 5 percent, which is ideal for making yogurt, cheese, and soap.
In addition to the new kids, there have been two baby lambs born! A few months ago we were blessed with the opportunity to adopt a small herd of sheep from a neighbor. The sheep have done well to fit right in to our little melange and we are excited about their unique characteristics that will add to our ranch programs.
Ranch tours are still available in the colder months so come on down and visit the animals and enjoy the winter beauty of the ranch.