How much can one man accomplish in 8 years? If there is a limit, nobody told Mike O'Donal. Since being hired by the Orient Land Trust as the manager of Everson Ranch, Mike's list of accomplishments is practically never-ending. But nothing gold can stay. After this summer Mike will be hanging up his boots and retiring from Everson Ranch. When asked what Mike has done on the ranch since being hired, Doug Bishop, executive director of the Orient Land Trust, just laughs and says, "Practically everything. Mike has been a workhorse from day one," Doug says. He goes on to list some of Mike's many achievements, including everything from building a bathhouse/kitchen, to cleaning up countless deadwood trees and rusty nails. From bringing in the animals and expanding the herds, to working to protect the endangered fish species in the meanders. From fixing up old buildings to helping with the science camps. From building countless yards of fencing to converting a shipping container into a workshop. Installing a methane digester to putting up a front porch. Creating an irrigation system to planting and cutting hay for winter feed. The list goes on and on, and on, and on; to the point where the only question left to ask is, "Who is this guy!?" The answer to that question has so many answers. Mike is a loving husband and proud son. A teacher and mentor who has trained countless volunteers, kids, and staff on the how-tos of running a ranch. A builder who has constructed over a dozen homes as well as the Apple Tree ponds at Valley View Hot Springs. A person who shows up, day after day, and lives his passion. "I have received so many compliments about Mike," says Rosie Rosenberg, Visitor's Service Manager. "Children have been changed forever. Hearts and eyes have been opened by Mike."
Part of preparing your own food instead of eating at a restaurant or just eating ready to eat foods, is the inevitable food waste. There are discarded peels, rinds, cobs, bits that you cut away, and other remnants of the food preparation process. There are also leftovers. Some of the uneaten food can't be realistically saved. What do you do with food scraps - garbage? When you are home, you can do what you like. Use the garbage disposal, compost those scraps, or throw them in the trash bin. However, when you are staying at the hot springs, there are a few considerations that help us. First, there is no garbage disposal. Second, if you throw food in the trash cans you are attracting many woodland and desert creatures. The smell of food in the trash cans attracts animals such as deer, squirrels, insects, and bears. Third, responsible use of our food resource includes recycling food waste. At OLT we use the waste to feed chickens and pigs. They relish the garbage that could become a dangerous nuisance if put in a compost heap or stuffed in a trash bin. Our garbage is fed to the animals. Please don't put plastic bags, paper products, or containers in with the garbage, This only makes unpleasant work for the person feeding the animals. We don't want the chickens to learn to peck eggshells so it helps if you keep those out of the garbage buckets. Thank you for helping us "Keep a Clean Camp."
The bodywork team at OLT welcomes you and understands that arriving can sometimes be the hardest part. Most visitors are travelling far and wide to rejuvenate in our therapeutic waters. Many come to wash away city traffic and buzz others come to deepen their relationship with nature and some come to cleanse themselves from troubles current and past. The talented group of bodyworkers are here to serve you. Located outside either in the rustic therapy tipi or screened in space above the apple tree ponds our services are complemented by the neighboring running creek, beautiful cactus blooms and baby deer. Please call therapists directly to reserve an appointment and leave our hot springs feeling renewed and refreshed.
The 4th Annual Harvest Celebration is Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 3:00 - 6:30 PM at Everson Ranch.
Enjoy a great Chuckwagon Dinner and a wonderful Concert and Dance by The River Arkansas for $25 per person.
Tickets are available by calling the Front Desk at 719-256-4315.