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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Enjoy a Romantic Interlude at Canada'’s Reesor Ranch

Written by Habeeb Salloum
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“You will have to live the life of a cowboy for a while,” an acquaintance I had met in Val Marie commented when I told him that I would be spending the next night at the Historic Reesor Ranch edging the Cypress Hills. Now, after touring those seductive hills, I turned to enter this historic and tourist-friendly ranch, and was impressed. Surrounded by an inviting, wooded and hilly countryside, its location was appealing, especially for those seeking solitude and quiet country life. Tucked away in a valley, with over a hundred cattle roaming on its 1,000 acres, the ranch appeared like a jewel encompassed in greenery – truly an ideal hideaway for honeymooners. Enjoy a Romantic Interlude at Canada’s Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Alberta, guest ranch, romantic cabins, Helen Reesor, Habeeb Salloum

The ranch stands in the forested highlands of Cypress Hills, an area that boasts the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Rising to about 1,468 m (4,816 ft) above sea level, the Cypress Hills in prehistoric times were an extension of the Rockies and one of the few places in Canada that escaped the effects of the last Ice Age some 15,000 years ago. Called Mun-a-tuk-gaw (beautiful highlands) by the Cree, these hills, the First Nations’ hunting and wintering grounds for many centuries, are today one of Saskatchewan's most fascinating provincial parks and a year-round resort.

Before being converted into tourist lodgings, Reesor Ranch had a long history of raising cattle going back to the early settlement of Western Canada. William David Reesor, a descendent of one of Canada’s distinguished families, and his wife Alice Moffatt came from the East to settle on a homestead in the Cypress Hills region on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border.

They built their first hand-hewn log home in 1906 and in 1916 they erected a new modern home that incorporated parts of the original log structure. It was one of the first homes in the area to have electricity and running water. For the Reesors it was a dream come true – a home their fourth generation descendents are still proud of today. The present owners Scott and Theresa never tire of telling their guests the family tradition of a hundred years of ranching.

Enjoy a Romantic Interlude at Canada’s Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Alberta, guest ranch, romantic cabins, Helen Reesor, Habeeb SalloumIn 1997 the Reesors turned their home, which they like to refer to as a “unique treasure,” into a guest ranch where visitors, mostly from Alberta and Saskatchewan, could live in almost urban comfort while taking part in ranching and cowboy history. The ranch house and barn, as well as a number of cabins, have been turned into guest rooms with their own themes relating to the ranching experiences of the family and other pioneers. Visitors will find that the only thing missing is a private bathroom for each room. Almost all the guests must share.


If they wish to experience ranch life in south western Saskatchewan, visitors can join in ranching activities such as guided hiking, roundup on horseback, riding for hours in the hills, and taking part in the daily operation of ranch life before enjoying a meal around a campfire.

Enjoy a Romantic Interlude at Canada’s Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Alberta, guest ranch, romantic cabins, Helen Reesor, Habeeb SalloumStanding by the converted barn and surveying the panorama, I felt elated as I inhaled the incredible, fresh, clean air. Under a deep blue sky there seemed to be endless space – room to breathe freely. Many visitors opt for hiking through the majestic forests of pine and spruce to observe the flowers, animal and bird species. Others might choose to pitch in on the ranch, while honeymooners usually want to spend their time cooing. As for myself, I was content to just rest in the comfortable temperature, glorying in the wilderness around me.

During most evenings, guests sit around a cozy campfire, swap stories or listen to cowboy poetry, usually by Scott, while in the background they can, at times, hear the howl of the coyotes.

This evening there was no campfire but Scott was there to read his own poetry and that of Helen Reesor, his mother. From one of her poems he recited:

“There’s a ranch house on the hillside

Where they lived for many years,

Where they worked and raised a family,

It knew their hopes, their dreams, their fears.

Memories of friends and loved ones,

Good times that were fun for all,

Of picnics, stampedes and camping,

And of dances you can recall.”

With a strong yet gentle voice, Scott repeating his mother’s words seemed to truly draw an image of life on the ranch.


Poetry aside, there is an unexpected romantic aura to the Reesor Ranch. Couples, especially those on their honeymoon, can cuddle and enjoy the invigorating air and the sheer openness of the world around them. After a tasty home-cooked dinner, they can retire to a restful sleep, then in the morning, enticed by the smell of coffee and bacon sizzling over the fire, enjoy a memorable breakfast.

Enjoy a Romantic Interlude at Canada’s Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Alberta, guest ranch, romantic cabins, Helen Reesor, Habeeb Salloum

With ecotourism the Reesors have increased their income and brought happiness to thousands of visitors. Almost everyone who stays awhile at the ranch falls in love with the place. The hosts are very welcoming, the view is fantastic and the atmosphere is seductive – the only thing missing is a bathroom for every room.

In the words of one honeymooning couple on the ranch, “It’s an experience that we will always remember.”

For More Information Contact:

Historic Reesor Ranch

Box 1001 Maple Creek, Saskatchewan S0N 1N0

Tel./Fax: (306) 662-3498

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: http://www.reesorranch.com

© Habeeb Salloum

Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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