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For the past few years, I had been thinking about buying a ranch as my own getaway—a place to rest. I was always looking and at one time was considering a ranch in Montana but didn’t have time to fly up to look at it. Then in the fall of 2014, while hunting elk, I was told about an elk ranch in Tabiona that had been repossessed by the bank and had been sitting empty for about five years.
“I became curious and felt a bit of excitement, and I decided to take a look. Mary and I flew to Duchesne, where we were picked up by the real estate agent. It was beautiful and serene, and the rugged mountain terrain and gentle sloping valleys were so engaging. I felt a peacefulness as if going back in time.
“It seemed strange, but as we came closer, I was amazed at the majestic construction set back against the mountain overlooking the valley. I could see that the lodge had not been taken care of and was in a rather deplorable state. The grounds were full of weeds, and tons of rocks had been pushed up against the windows, completely blocking the natural light.
“It was supposed to be an elk ranch, but the elk were skinny and were all bulls, which presented a slight problem that I would have to solve. The land was wide open and flat—perfect for farming perfect for many things. If this were mine, I would have my safe haven away from people and the cement city, and I could create and build as I desired.
The excitement of the newness reminded me of how I felt when I signed the papers for my section of land in Canada that was part of the homestead act, but the circumstances were very different. “When we walked through the doors into the huge kitchen, we found our eyes following the immense stonework of the fireplace up toward the ceiling.
Around the corner on the other side of the stone wall was yet another huge fireplace, built to warm the spacious living room that had a wonderful, alluring energy. Massive logs spanned the ceiling that was about 25 feet high, and beautiful handcrafted scenes of the great outdoors and the animals that ruled were eloquently carved in the walls.
“The original owners built it as a hunting lodge but never finished it for financial reasons. Drawers were missing handles, tile work was not finished, and many cabinets had not been installed. But the possibilities were enormous for me and for Young Living, and the ideas were spinning in my head.
It was perfect—my sanctuary where I could work and build as I wanted, envelop myself in the spaciousness of the isolation, breathe pure air, and drink unpolluted well water. The realization of my dream was before me, and, of course, true to my nature, I wanted to share my dream with my Young Living family.
“I made the bank an offer that was less than half of what they wanted. Naturally, the bank wanted more than what I was willing to pay, but they also wanted the property off their books. They tried to make a deal with me, but I was unwavering with my offer: “Take it or leave it.” Within 24 hours, they took it, and on March 12, 2015, I purchased the 3,748-acre ranch at my price.
Everyone marveled, but it was meant to be. In that same year, I also purchased several other pieces of property adjacent to the ranch that I could farm, bringing the total to 4,500 acres.
“I looked out over the fields and the majestic mountains that spanned the Duchesne River at 6,500 feet to the mountain tops at 10,000 feet, and I could see all the potential that God’s paradise could bring to our Young Living family, from corporate activities to member retreats.
“In my mind, I could see the new Elk Barn Inn with its gigantic kitchen, sleeping rooms, and big dining and meeting areas on the top floor, with the elk pens below with the baby elk.
I could see that old-fashioned barn dance in the horse barn and my horse saddled to take me to the mountain. I needed a garage for Mary and then a gym on the second floor. “I could see the einkorn swaying in the wind, and the new distillery was busy with members who were there for the harvest of the crops that would eventually be planted.
“It was all mine, mine to create and build as my vision grew. My eyes welled up as my feelings of gratitude went to my Father. This was home, to enjoy my final opportunity where I could fulfill the dreams of my creation, and live a life of peace and happiness, and ride up to God’s living room and feel His presence for whatever time was left that He was going to give me.
D. Gary Young, Young Living Founder
“The ground was an immense field of weeds and rocks, even though it was flat, but I just knew this would be a fabulous place for einkorn to grow.”
“My Dad always made sure and one of the things he always shared was give more than what you take and I feel like Skyrider is the perfect example of that.”
– Jacob Young
“The realization of my dream was before me, and, of course, true to my nature, I wanted to share my dream with my Young Living family” -D. Gary Young,
“This was home, to enjoy my final opportunity where I could fulfill the dreams of my creation’, and live a life of peace and happiness, and ride up to God’s living room and feel His presence for whatever time was left that He was going to give me.”
-D. Gary Young
Young Living is committed to preserving and protecting vital habitat for wildlife, as well as for current and future generations. In Gary Young’s honor, Young Living donated 11,597 Acres to Create a Conservation Easement and the largest conservation easement donation in the history of The Nature Conservancy’s Utah chapter.
With every purchase you make, you are supporting our efforts in the conservation and protection of the the Desert Bighorn Sheep.