The ranch...

In 2001, I quit my stressful job in real estate, packed up everything I owned and moved 3,000 miles across the country from Virginia to Wyoming to work on a dude ranch.

I met Travis and he and I have lived on the historic Laurel Leaf ranch, which is about an hour from any town, for the past 8 years. He is the hired man on this 20,000-acre cattle ranch and is a fifth-generation rancher. His parents still own a sheep and cattle ranch at the foot of Big Horn Mountains near Buffalo.

Travis spends his winter days feeding cows and his summer days checking water and fixing fence. In addition to working here on the ranch, he is the chairman of the board for the conservation district, a professional auctioneer and announcer and he enjoys putting on ranch rodeos.

I spent the first year after we moved out here going to work with Travis every day. But we both decided it that too much togetherness is not always and good thing and that it would be better for the relationship if I would get a job in town... so that's what I did.