from the AYH Ranch,
best known as the American Youth Hostel on Vashon Island (as
of 1998 we are no longer referred to as "youth hostel"
but "Hostels for All") Our brand is the AYH Ranch
which we have had for the past 27 years. I bought the
land in 1971 and raised my two boys, Dirk and Jake, many sheep,
goats, horses and one cow named Hamburger. The orchard, gardens
and livestock fed us well.
a United Airlines Flight Attendant, my first goal was to see
the world, but this goal was put on hold while I raised my
family. Then in 1980, I needed to re-examine my goals.
I looked at the idea of showing my boys the world. I
called the American Youth Hostel Association to see if an
"old lady" qualified to use their hostel system
if she had young children. Thats when I discovered that
hostels are for people of all ages, so the boys and I headed
for Holland to bicycle in search of tulips and windmills.
What a healing experience! We never met a hosteller
we didnt like. They were all friendly, caring
or sharing. When we returned home, I had a vision of
what I would do with my land. The wooden shoes on the
hostel wall were worn by my boys throughout their journey
and now hang in the cabin as a symbol of our beginning.
1982, I was chartered with AYH
(American Youth Hostel), now known as Hostelling International.
I chose a theme of my youth for the hostel. As children growing
up in Waitsburg, Washington, we often played Cowboys and Indians.
Roy Roger and Dale Evans as well as Geronimo were my heroes,
I loved them all. One week we played Cowboys and the
next week we were Indians. We spent many lazy summer
days having fun.
German hosteller once commented on my fantasy world, "How
interesting to adopt a Cowboy and Indian theme for a Hostel
when they were enemies. But what better way to show the world
that enemies can coexist in peace just as the Hostel network
has helped promote world peace through knowing your neighbors."
realize we live in the Pacific Northwest where our Indian
tribes were fishermen and lived in bark houses, but this is
my fantasy. So while you are here, you must try to be
a part of my dream world. I sincerely hope it brings
you as much joy and peace as it brought me in my youth.
dedicate my Hostel to those who dare to dream of times when
life was simpler and more fun, and who have the guts and perseverance
to make their dreams reality.