In response to the many readers who asked to visit some of the sites described in my historical novel, we took the first Mariano’s Crossing Tour on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Sylvan Dale Ranch.
Twenty-eight readers joined the tour. More wanted to come, so I’ll be scheduling another tour sometime in September. Stay tuned!
The event began with breakfast in the old ranch building that still houses, behind the current walls, the remains of the original Alexander homestead dugout in the riverbank. The tour ended with a bag lunch on Red Ridge, the novel’s imagined location of John Alexander’s hideout and Lena’s secret grave. In between, we visited the Medina cemetery and the site of Mariano’s Crossing on the Big Thompson River.
8:00 AM. Breakfast in historic Sylvan Dale Dining Room.
8:45 AM. Walking tour of William Alexander Homestead, including the location of the original riverbank dugout inside the ranch kitchen, the original bridge supports, old barn, main ranch grounds, Indian tipi rings, and view of Mt. Alexander.
9:30 AM. Historic photo slide presentation at Wagon Wheel Bunkhouse.
10:00 AM. Depart for driving tour, car caravan to the Old Canyon, Boothroyd Graveyard, Weldon School ruins, Dry Creek, Marianna Butte, Medina Cemetery, and Mariano’s Crossing near Namaqua Park.
11:30 AM. Red Ridge (hikers and 4-wheelers only).
12:00 Lunch on Red Ridge at the “Hideout” overlooking the river valley below, or at Namaqua Park.
1:00 PM Tour ends.
COST: $55.00, paid in advance, plus tax (total $55.81).
Includes full breakfast, sack lunch, meeting facility and tour.
($25 of this amount will be donated to the Loveland Historical Society’s Medina Cemetery Project.)
RESERVATIONS: Call the Sylvan Dale Ranch Front Desk, 970-667-3915, with your credit card number, or send a check to Sylvan Dale Ranch, 2939 N. County Rd. 31D, Loveland, CO 80537. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org