Mantle Ranch native writes family history

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After 10 years of research and writing, Queeda Mantle Walker has finished the story of her family's life in the Yampa River Canyon.

"The Mantle Ranch" is based on Walker's memories and 300 letters that her mother, Evelyn Mantle, and her mother's cousin, Eva McCormick Reymore, exchanged during their lifetimes.

"The happiest time in Mom's life is when they got the mail out in the spring," Walker said.

Because they lived on a remote ranch in Yampa River Canyon -- which would become Di--no-saur National Monument -- it wasn't possible for the Walkers to get mail during the winter.

They would make one trek through the snow at Christmas, then wait for the snow to melt before making another trip.

Weighing in at 277 pages, the book begins with the story of when Walkers' parents met.

It chronicles their move to Yampa River Canyon and details the trials and tribulations the family faced.

Describing the hard times was one of the challenges Walker faced while writing.

"Mostly I tried to make it a happy book and a good things book, but I still wanted to make it a real story," Walker said.

The book is packed with photos of Walker's family members' lives.

Last spring, Tim Mantle sold the Mantle Ranch to Jim Carollo of Wyoming for $6 million.

Walker said the sale "devastated" her.

"It was hard for me. I still can't accept it's gone," Walker said.

But Carollo has said he intends to maintain the ranch. Walker sent him a copy of her book, and he has invited her to visit, she said.

Walker will be in Craig on May 6 for a book signing at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

The book will be on sale at the museum in Queen Anne's Book-store.

Assistant Museum Director Jan Gerber said the book recorded valuable history.

"I really wish more people could and would write histories," Gerber said.

"In that respect, I think the book is very valuable."

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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