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Featured Writer Friday – Cimarron Ranch

April 20, 2018 8 Comments
Cimarron Ranch is an off-grid ranching and homesteading experiment.

Cimarron Ranch is an off-grid ranching and homesteading experiment.

Before I begin I would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to Dan Swords and his blog for giving us the opportunity to share with you our adventure. For those who may not be familiar, Cimarron Ranch is an off-grid ranching and homesteading experiment. Three years ago we moved to a piece of land in the wilderness and started building a tiny house with the hopes of starting an apiary to breed queen bees and ranch sheep. The wilderness in which I speak of is located 2 hours from the nearest paved road and over 8 miles from our nearest neighbor. The Grand Canyon National Park is a very close friend. With this as our backdrop, we slowly began to carve a homestead and way of life from what the land has given us. The experiment part was really nothing more than a look within ourselves to see what we were capable of in the face of hard work, long bouts of solitude, extremely harsh weather and the dangerous predators that call this area home.

1. How long have you been blogging?

The blogging adventure began roughly at the first of the year of 2018. Due to our remoteness, we have trouble receiving internet. The satellite dish internet providers we contacted were very reluctant to come to our ranch for fear of getting lost or stuck. As a result, our only option was a Verizon Hot Spot Jetpack that allows us only 20GB per month and is somewhat expensive. Due to the cost, we kept internet usage to a minimum and as such, blogging was a luxury, to say the least. We’ve since figured out how to adjust our bandwidth usage and can slip in a blog entry now in then or wait until we do our monthly trip to town to upload files.

2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?

At this point, we are ranchers and off-grid homesteaders first. Until technology becomes either more available or less expensive blogging will probably remain a hobby. We kind of like it this way because, in my mind, a good blog requires good content and this content is derived from life experiences. It would be akin to my favorite authors who have done amazing things in their life and brought that experience to the pages of their books.

3. What got you started into blogging?

Our blogging adventure started because of guilt if you will. During the nights when we were first here we lived out of our old sheep wagon during cold weather and slept in the back of our truck under the stars at night. Before we would retire at night I would research how to do the next days tasks or jobs. This information provided the basis to build our house, duck and chicken coops, horse corrals and start our bee apiary. Because of the unselfish time and experience given by others, I felt guilty that I was utilizing the resource and decided that I need to give back to the community and a blog was one of the venues in which we chose to do it.

4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?

Cimarron Ranch is an off-grid ranching and homesteading experiment

Cimarron Ranch

The blog is basically a “How to” blog in that when I have to do a homesteading project I would like to document it so that others may, at least, see how we did it. Perhaps provide another angle on a project that someone else may be tackling or feels overwhelmed by. Through collective minds, a daunting job may be made much easier. If the blog helps others I feel I did my job.

5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?

The thing that works best for us is probably the fact that we may be somewhat of an oddity. There are not a lot of people who want to live such a lifestyle so the curiosity factor may be appealing to some. The blog itself isn’t very flashy and needs to be rearranged. This is one of our upcoming projects. Unfortunately, Mother Nature pretty much dictates the work schedule here so when the days are good it’s usually filled with hours working outside. Last year we were snowed in for 8 days and during our monsoon season, we spent a lot more time indoors so I’m planning to get it sorted then. Hopefully!

6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?

Our hardest issues with blogging are time constraints and content. I’ve heard this from other bloggers as well. Depending on the time of year our workday can lead to some very long hours. On top of this sometimes I feel the content is not worthy. I often am faced with an internal conundrum. Is this subject worth writing about? Does anyone care? or am I just writing because I feel guilty because it’s been a few days?

7. What tools are you using that you can introduce my readers to? 

We use WordPress for the blog. Not because I think it’s the best but it was what we had been most comfortable with in the past. We also use the audio program audacity for our podcasts on iTunes as well as Lightworks and Shotcut for video editing on Youtube. However, due to our bandwidth issues, we have been relegated to uploading videos about once a month when we go to town for supplies.

8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?

Everyone has something to offer. Only through the collection and the dissemination of information can you help make the world a better place for yourself and others. What you may perceive to be mundane and boring others may perceive to be fascinating. Don’t sell yourself short. Blog. Blog not only for others but for yourself as well. When you look back on it in a few months or years you’ll remember and relive the things you’ve done and accomplished. If you tell the world your story they will listen.

9. Where can everyone find you?

It has been a pleasure writing our thoughts and we thank you for the opportunity to do so. If anyone is in the neighborhood on the web and would like to stop by and say “Hi” we can be found on;

Twitter- Cimarron Ranch  https://twitter.com/Cimarron_Ranch
Youtube Channel – Cimarron Ranch  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ndoUP7i1YskFeLQMVX3NQ
iTunes – Cimarron Ranch Off Grid Homestead  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cimarron-ranch-off-grid-homestead-podcasts/id1342976615?mt=2

I hope you enjoyed today’s featured writer!! Next week’s featured writer is… well… Your’s truly, ME.

Are you interested in participating in Featured Writer Friday? Check out the guidelines page for more information.

If you like this post (or if you didn’t like it) or if there is a topic that you’d like me to cover, then drop me a note in the comments section. I reply to every comment.
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Comments (8)

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  1. Thomas says:

    Your ranch sounds incredible! I would love to find a place similar to yours where I could escape to every once in awhile! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Hi Thomas, I hope this post could help you out. Ranching or homesteading property is easy to find. Good ranching or homesteading property is really hard to find. This is the make or break thing that decides success. I have 2 podcasts on the subject on our website cimarronranch.net. I hope they can be useful. Thanks again!

  2. Moss Clement says:

    Hi, Cimarron & Dan,

    Your article is remarkably great. Yes, it is as there are many others out there who are being inspired by this information. I have watch programs about families who left the city and went of into the wilderness to start a new leave, so reading about your experience is amazing and priceless.

    Thanks for publishing the insightful post Dan.

    • Hi Moss, Thanks for taking a moment and reading the article. I’m glad that you were able to find it inspiring. Two important things that allow us to live a remote off grid life are technology and the ability to overcome the fear of the unknown. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where we can make an income through the use of the internet. Also, working out of your comfort zone and focusing on the end goal is crucial. Not knowing what each day will bring is something we had trouble dealing with. It’s gotten much better but the beginning was rough. If people find this somewhat inspiring in their daily lives it makes our decision to do this that much rewarding. Thank you!

  3. Tracy Wilder says:

    Really enjoyed reading about Cimarron Ranch! Wish you well with your endeavor. Thank-you Dan for always providing such interesting FWF posts.

    • Hi Tracy, Thank you for the well wishes. I’m glad you found this interesting. We had an internal struggle sometime back about whether people would find remote living interesting or just weird. Oddly, while talking to another patron at a suburban tire shop while waiting for my Christmas tires to be put on did I realize it may be of interest to others. The look on the couples face as we recounted our life in the wilderness was priceless. So, I’m glad that, in hindsight, we chose to tell others our story. Thanks again

  4. Thank you for taking the time to read Dan’s Words. We certainly are challenged in the internet department due to our remote location. It limits so much what we can do on the net. Once we’ve figured out our usage levels a lot had to change. For bandwidth reasons we can only use Twitter and can occasionally blog on wordpress. I’m happy you found it interesting. Thanks again

  5. I really found your life challenges by managing blogging together interesting .
    And all the answers are so transparent in nature …Glad to know more about you …Thank you Dan Sir for this great feature blogger post …

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