Joe Zalenski: S-S Ranch was a special place | SteamboatToday.com

Joe Zalenski: S-S Ranch was a special place

I took to technology the other day and employed Google Earth to attempt to see the S-S Ranch, just west of the big bend in Elk River Road and the old Zulian Homestead off of U.S. Highway 40 west of Milner. To my great dismay, I had difficulty finding these landmarks.

Continuing my search, it was with great sadness that I had read an article in the 2007 Steamboat Pilot regarding the sale of the S-S Ranch off of Elk River Road, and then I found Cynthia May’s thank you letter to the people of Steamboat and Routt County who had been part of her life. 

I should not have been surprised as it is 47 years since I first went out there, but I struggled with letting go. The S-S ranch was a special place. It was homesteaded by Bill May’s father in 1902 and carried on by Bill, Cynthia, Scott, Jay, David and Grace Ann.

Bill was not only a hardworking rancher but a good vet and a true cowboy, full of stories from his “brushpoppin’ cowboy days.” Cynthia May was a special hardworking ranch woman with a big smile and a calmness about her. 

It just seemed like a small piece of history died when the S-S was sold. A small piece of history yielding to our rapidly changing world.  

To Cynthia, Scott, Jay, David and Grace Ann May, thanks for the very special memories. To the Clarence Wheeler clan, Sheriff Gary Kilstrum and the others from the Elk River Valley that I do not remember, thank all of you for being part of my life. 

God Bless All, 

Joe Zalenski, a.k.a. “The Mays Ranch Hand” 

Brunswick, Ohio


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