Right Thing Ranch
|For years, Bob Fanning escaped his pressure-cooker world as the
CEO of an Illinois-based manufacturing-equipment company by big
game hunting on the famed Story Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana.
Each morning, at the start of the day's wilderness adventure, he'd
watch the sun rise behind Emigrant Peak, illuminating some of the
world's most beautiful scenery, and think, "Some day I'm coming
here to stay."
When that day arrived, Fanning looked at
one piece of property and bought it that afternoon. The moral?
When something's right and you know it, do something about it.
What was right about the 41-acre tract, that is
aptly named the Next Right Thing Ranch, is its location in the
heart of one of North America's most awe-inspiring natural areas,
offering immediate access to 250 square miles of the Yellowstone
"Because of its location, the ranch allows you to have the
back country in your backyard without the expense of maintenance
or property taxes that come with a larger spread," Fanning
said. "The businessman in me asked, 'Why buy and maintain
20,000 acres when you can use millions of acres of public wilderness
at no cost?' Plus, the surrounding public wilderness ensures that
you don't have neighbors and development now or ever."
While the Next Right Thing Ranch has been used as the Fanning's
family home, and an occasional corporate retreat, it offers possibilities
limited only by the new owner's imagination. With little effort
it could become a well-appointed, full-time corporate retreat
or an intimate bed and breakfast.
The Next Right Thing Ranch offers seclusion without isolation.
It is 30 minutes from I-90 near Livingston, Montana, and 90 minutes
from the Bozeman Airport, making a weekend commute to the ranch
But more importantly for the outdoor enthusiast, the ranch is
located just 30 minutes from Yellowstone National Park, one of
the world's premier outdoor destinations. Within minutes of leaving
the ranch, fly fishermen can be testing their skills against graylings
or cutthroat, brown, brook and rainbow trout that inhabit the
rushing water of 6 Mile Creek and the Yellowstone River. Anglers
can also pit their wiles against walleyes and lake trout in the
crystalline depths of nearby Dailey's Lake or Yellowstone Lake.
For those who enjoy big game hunting or the solitude
of the back country, the Next Right Thing Ranch is located
¾ of a mile from the 6 Mile Trailhead, the gateway
to the sprawling Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. Imagine
the luxury and convenience of just saddling up instead of
"trailering up" to begin your back country expeditions.
(With its strong wells and plentiful pasture, the ranch
currently accommodates 14 saddle horses. As part of this
sale, Fanning is willing to part with 10 of his trail-tested
saddle horses that have been ridden in the mountains year-round.)
At the Next Right Thing Ranch, wildlife are your closest
neighbors. Moose, big horn sheep, grizzly bears, wolves,
mule and white-tailed deer all share the neighborhood as
do a wide variety of smaller species, such as beaver and
coyotes. One of the most visible wildlife species is elk
that winter on the adjacent Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's
Winter Range. Herds numbering in the thousands are not uncommon.
Of course, Paradise Valley, which some argue should
have been a national park on the scale of Yellowstone, is not
devoid of human convenience and luxuries. In fact, Paradise Valley
is one of the most desirable addresses in the world. High- profile
residents include actors Dennis Quaid, Peter Fonda and Jeff Bridges.
The Next Right Thing Ranch is just minutes from the famed Chico
Hot Springs Resort, offering everything from five-star dining
to indulgent spa treatments and a British links golf course under
construction. A short drive brings you to the Buffalo Jump Skeet
and Trap Range, allowing you to polish up your shooting skills
at a top-notch facility.
But, with the luxury of life on the Next Right Thing Ranch, you
might be tempted just to enjoy the warm Montana sunshine and stunning
views from the privacy of your own cowboy chic home. The 5,000-square-foot
home, built in the tradition of Big Sky ranching headquarters,
has five bedrooms and two baths. The house, which features the
warmth of wood, is simple, symmetric and designed with nature
The picture windows throughout the house frame astonishing views.
On the east, there is Emigrant Peak, Montana's most photographed
mountain. To the west, the Gallatin Mountain Range. To the north,
the Crazy Mountains. To the south, Yellowstone National Park.
The ground floor makes entertaining easy. The open floor
plan allows the great room, dining room and kitchen areas
to flow seamlessly out on to the decks, making it possible
to host parties for up to 100 people. The spacious gourmet
kitchen is equipped to satisfy even the most demanding chefs.
The house radiates Montana ranch ambiance, thanks to the
handiwork of renowned local artisans. The dining room table
and hutch were designed, built and hand-carved by Amber
Jean, who has since opened her own studio and sold pieces
of her artistic furnishings for $75,000 or more. These furnishings,
which boast carvings of Montana's native trout species,
and most of the other furniture (excluding family heirlooms)
will be included in the sale.
The wildlife theme is carried further with one-of-a-kind
tile that feature the state's big game species. The moose antler
chandelier, created by Fish Fischer, illuminates the entrance
hall with breath-taking eagles in flight. The banisters of the
main staircase are covered in saddle leather hand-tooled by Montana's
master saddlemaker Tim Martz, further enhancing the home's aura
of rustic elegance.
In the master suite, a hand-carved cherry headboard showcasing
Emigrant Peak with horses in the foreground, is another stunning
touch. The master suite, which includes an office, library and
sitting room, allows the owner to escape to a haven of privacy
to work or to contemplate the simple, uncomplicated beauty of
life in the Big Sky Country.
And, in the final analysis, it is beauty that sets the Next Right
Thing Ranch apart from all others. Perhaps, the experience of
Fanning's then- nineteen-year-old son expresses the spiritual
effect of nature's beauty best. The first time the young man drove
up to the ranch, the sun was setting behind the Gallatin Mountains,
creating a crimson fireball that appeared to be bouncing along
the shimmering mountain peaks. He was moved to tears -- an uncommonly
strong reaction for an elite Army Ranger.
As Fanning said, "Anyone who buys this ranch won't be disappointed.
It is a one-of-a-kind, end-of-the road ranch, providing one of
the last chances to live in Paradise Valley - a place that is
indeed paradise for anyone who loves wild things and wild places."
Robert T Fanning Jr. -- owner
P.O. Box 7 Pray, Montana 59065
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