The Nature Deck at the Feathered Pipe Ranch
Canceling our summer 2020 programs created profound hardship and an unprecedented opportunity. Without guests to host on the property in the summer, we had the luxury of a little more time to brainstorm. We strolled the property and imagined how we could enhance the guest experience when the friends that we missed so much this summer return.
As we walked the land, we talked about how teachers and workshop attendees have long appreciated the allure of our outdoor grounds. They tell us how much the land, air, and sky of the Feathered Pipe weave an ineffable quality of healing and inspiration into the week.
We agree, of course. The natural world at the Ranch endows us with a bounty of visual, sound, tactile, and olfactory gifts. A sparkling spring-fed lake, expansive Rocky mountain scenery, the melody of birdsong and bubbling creeks, rare wildflowers, and aromatic whispering pines. We asked ourselves, “How can we increase access to and appreciation of all this? Can we bring people in even more direct, unfiltered relationship with the healing elements of the land itself?”
And so, in the summer of 2020, answers came and our newest Ranch improvement project idea came into being.
The Feathered Pipe Ranch ‘Nature Deck.’
Feathered Pipe Ranch’s Nature Deck is an aesthetically and environmentally sensitive, open-air practice space immersed in Nature’s grandeur. It certainly won’t supplant our beautiful Main Lodge practice room, but it offers an appealing alternative for practice and gathering on weather-friendly days. It can also serve as a charming site for impromptu group circles, outdoor meditation, and a variety of other nourishing practices. Who knows? Even perhaps the occasional outdoor concert?
After surveying the property and exploring options, we identified an ideal, relatively flat spot on the western hillside above the lake. It affords an airy, often breezy, dappled shaded area with a 360-degree view of the most captivating features of the Ranch: the lake, the stupa, mountain ridges, and forest. It is accessed via a very short, groomed trail that winds upslope from the creek footbridge.
The Feathered Pipe Nature Deck has a low-to-the ground profile to harmonize with the landscape and incorporate existing rock and tree features that blend with the land. With 1028 sq. ft. of practice space, it offers space for 24 people with appropriate social distancing (up to 40, when social distancing is not required). We are so excited to share our latest communal ‘labor of love’ with you this summer!
With your generous support, we reached our fundraising goal for the Nature Deck! Thank you from the depth of our collective heart for your belief in us. It’s a new day. Feel free to explore and donate to our other ongoing ‘good works’ projects here.
*Special thanks to Jen Daly for all images!