SILT — Relax on the front porch of your log cabin and read as the river runs by just a stone’s throw away, grab a pole and catch a fish for dinner or simply sit by the outdoor fire and watch the sun set over the Rocky Mountains.
Sound like you’re at some sort of fancy resort or vacation spot far away? Well, you’re not. You’re at the Turtle Tracks Riverfront Resort off County Road 311 in Silt that sits along the Colorado River and just moments away from downtown.
Turtle Tracks Riverfront Resort, formerly “Ruby of the River Ranch,” was purchased by Pete and Paula Langegger, owners of Divide Creek Animal Hospital just up the road.
“It was on the market and we decided it was close and something dramatically different than what we do now,” said “Dr. Pete,” the veterinarian at Divide Creek Animal Hospital. “We wanted to bring something to the valley — not an RV park and not a hotel. A resort place with cabins to get away and relax on the weekends and grill out in the mountains.”
“Relax” is the operative word here and is reflected on the welcoming sign which reads, “Where Life Slows Down.”
Turtle Tracks Riverfront Resort offers newly renovated 1,200-square-foot log cabins. Each two-bedroom cabin sleeps six comfortably with two queen-size beds — one downstairs and one in the upstairs loft — and a queen sleeper sofa in the living room, which also has a 50-inch TV. The full kitchen has a refrigerator, gas range, dishwasher and microwave and a dining room table. The bathroom is equipped with a shower and bath. Each cabin also has a washer and dryer.
On the other side of the nine-acre property are spots for 10 tepees that are 18 feet in diameter and equipped for WiFi connection.
“There’s lights but no television. The tepees are sort of camping and sort of not,” Dr. Pete said with a smile. “And there’s a central area with picnic tables and a fire pit. The whole look of the place is different.”
Camping is also allowed on the island in the river.
Rod and reel and fly fishing are available right out of the front door of the cabins and there is a stocked trout and bass pond a short distance away.
Turtle Tracks got its name because Paula is admittedly “obsessed” with turtles and has more than 5,000 turtle knick-knacks in their home.
“It started when I was on a motorcycle ride in California and this little California Desert Turtle stepped into the road and peed,” she said with a laugh. “When they pee, they lose all their water and he was going to die. So I took him home and called Fish and Game to report it.”
And so a lifelong fascination with the shelled reptiles was born.
The Langeggers hope to partner Turtle Tracks Riverfront Resort with other businesses in Silt to help attract visitors to the town.
“We’re hoping to offer sleigh rides and hay rides at Christmas with hot chocolate and outdoor music and concerts in the summer,” Paula said. “We want it to be a community gathering place.”
A grand re-opening is expected in about a month, but reservations are being taken now for the cabins and for events such as reunions, retreats or other day events or as a place for family vacations or to put up out-of-town friends.
“Now is also the time to call for hunting season,” Dr. Pete said.
Pets are allowed at the resort with a deposit, or day care/boarding can be arranged at the animal hospital.
For more information about Turtle Tracks Riverfront Resort, call (970) 876-0503, 1-800-876-0503 or visit www.turtletracksriverfrontresort.com.