There is no charge for my presentations, but voluntary, tax-deductable donations to the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning at Sylvan Dale Ranch, the sponsor of my talks, are welcome, and reimbursement for travel expenses is appreciated.  Please consider coming to Sylvan Dale Ranch for your retreat, meeting or family learning experience.  If you are interested, please contact, or call 970-481-8342, to schedule your event.

Fact to Fiction

Travel with me back in time to imagine the “whys” of fiction from the facts of history. Hear the story of the real people behind the characters in my historical novels, Mariano’s Crossing and its prequel, Mariano’s Choice. I explain how the “what” of history becomes the “why” of fiction. View historic photos of novel’s characters and learn about the mystery of Lena Medina’s tragic death at age 15.

Eat your Mules, Not Each Other

Mariano Medina, an unsung hero of early Colorado, helped rescue a detachment of the U.S. Army trying to cross the Rockies in the winter of 1857. Learn how Medina, born in Mexico, went on to become the richest man in Colorado’s Big Thompson River valley. This presentation features historic photos of the man, his family and his trading post on the Overland Trail.

Git Along Little Microbes

Is cattle ranching heading back to the future? We started out thinking we were cattle ranchers, then discovered we were really grass ranchers, then soil ranchers, now microbe ranchers. This talk explains how grass-fed beef is good for you, the cattle, and the landscape.


Colorado’s Big Thompson River has had two devastating floods. In July 1976, the flood killed 144 people. Dubbed a 500-year flood, it was believed it couldn’t happen again in our lifetimes. We were wrong. Photos and videos of the flood, its aftermath, and the new techniques of river restoration, flood recovery and resilience in the face of future flood events.

Land Rich and Cash Poor

Colorado’s pioneering law on conservation tax credits, and how farmers and ranchers are preserving open space for future generations. Learn how ranchers and other land stewards can provide ecosystem services to the community as a new “cash crop” through an organization called Colorado Conservation Exchange, a financing mechanism to help land stewards implement conservation practices through a watershed investment fund.

Hey Dude!

Stories from seventy years of growing up on our family’s historic dude ranch, Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.