Escape Telluride: Apple Picking At Avalanche Ranch

by Emily Brendler Shoff

There are some things in life that you just have to bow down and give thanks for, even if you’ve never had an interest in praying before. For me, it’s my friend Molly and Avalanche Ranch.

Molly Presses Cider with the Kids Molly and her family’s ranch just outside of Carbondale is one of those places where the stars have aligned, and a river runs through it. It’s right at the base of Mt. Sopris and nestled in the foothills along the Crystal River, has just the right blend of farmland and mountain topography. When I first visited it on a weekend away from Colorado College, I wanted to cry. I missed my family in Baltimore, and my heart felt frozen with pain. But more than anything, I couldn’t believe that Molly had grown up here. My god, to think, she got to see this everyday?!

Molly’s family still lives on their original ranch but they have also bought Avalanche Ranch, the ranch next door, and have started renting cabins to vacationers, who like me, want to walk in the Ogilbys' shoes for a night. They’ve recently developed hot springs there as well so when Molly invited me and my family up there for their annual Apple Fest, we immediately said yes, even though it would mean 4 hours in the car each way with two children under six. You don’t walk away from offers like those.

Apples Avalanche Ranch started Apple Fest as a way to thank their Redstone and Carbondale neighbors. What started as a small party has since grown to a vast conglomeration of friends, family, neighbors, and guests. When we went on Saturday, close to 400 people showed up to gather apples, dance to bluegrass music, drink Flying Dog Beer, and eat Crystal River Meats grass fed beef, raised by none other than Ty Jacober, Molly’s husband who grew up yes, riding a horse to school. (Another studly story for another day.)

Everyone brought potluck dishes to share, and by the end of the night, our bellies were so swollen with food and beer that there was only one thing we could do. Hot springs anyone? This little nirvana just keeps getting better and better…. 
Big Pool

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