Read the full story at thedailyzu.com.
I first found Lynn Bonelli on Instagram and we followed each other and commented on each others posts. After several months I finally met her in person at a market at Four Seasons in Dolores. I sought her out and introduced myself – we both claimed to “fan-girl” each other. I had home roasted coffee in the past and made it a point to try her roasted coffee and was not disappointed. There’s nothing better than fresh in my book.
I’d meet her again in the parking lot of City Market in Cortez (a nice in-between point from McElmo) to get more coffee, breads, jams and fresh eggs. She is quite the “maker.” Months later when she posted about her variety of apple trees, I asked if my mom and I could come visit and get some apples as a giveaway for an event I was having (I produce events for a nonprofit). With this visit I learned she had so much more going on with her ranch in McElmo Canyon when I toured her gardens and met her “wayward” animals. Each animal has a story and her story brought her to Montezuma County.
You can find video demonstrations, daily animal musings and see her latest thrift store find on her social media channels. Here’s a sample of what Mutiny Ranch is all about – I sent her a few questions, that she kindly answered. You can see more at talesfromthemutiny.com and learn how to become friends with the animals at The Mutiny Ranch.
What brought you to Southwest Colorado?
We first came here in 2014 while we were still fulltime RVers. We wanted to see the Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park. We had no idea what to expect in terms of the tours or the area. We happened upon a campground called Echo Basin in Mancos. It turned out they were just opening for the season and asked if we would be interested in helping in exchange for an RV spot. We ended up staying for 6 weeks! It was at that point I knew this was where I wanted to live but we still had a lot of the U.S. we wanted to see (including Alaska) so we traveled an additional 2 years before coming back.
What is the Mutiny Ranch and what are your hopes for it?
Mutiny Ranch is, first and foremost, a dream come true. After spending four years traveling the US in an RV looking for a new place to live, this area really spoke to us. Once we obtained a small piece of land it felt natural to open it up to animals in need. My husband, Clark, and I are both huge animal lovers and we felt drawn to do something “good”. And, after four years of full-time travel, the animals offer us some much needed grounding.
Here’s who is living at Mutiny Ranch…
Any other hidden talents? OR What would you like to learn to do?
I’m not sure if these are “talents” but I make a pretty nice sourdough bread and roast my own coffee. So maybe my talent is an ongoing curiosity to learn new things and not worry about failing.
Last question – What brings you joy?
We really believe in paying it forward and, although we rely on donations ourselves to help pay for veterinary, farrier and feed bills, it’s intrinsic to our mission to give back as well. We give back in time and dollars. Right now we are offering our small batch, home roasted coffee for sale at DenKai Animal Sanctuary (helping animals in the Four Corners area) and Three Chicks Bakery (helping women in crisis and recovery). A portion of each sale is given directly to these non-profits. One of the things that brought us to Montezuma County was an intense desire to be part of a community…to have a purpose and a positive impact on others. It’s such a gift to be able provide support to these non-profits that serve our community.
I’m so excited about this stage of my life because somewhere along the way it occurred to me that some of the simplest things bring me the most joy. It can be getting up early and going on a walk-about and seeing the sunrise captured in a dew covered spider web. Or a flock of birds all clinging to a patch of sunflowers in the fading sunlight. Of course, the moment we know an animal is in safe hands brings me joy as well. But I think it’s really the wonder of life itself I love most.