American Patriots Unsung Magazine Issue 6 - Page 62

62 he 130-acre ranch is the only privately held land in the Coronado National Forest. This wild and historic land is located forty-five minutes southeast of Tucson. It’s the last remaining habitat of jaguars in North America and nearby sightings have recently been captured on game cameras. There are signs of other big cats on the property, at night the food chain makes its way to the ranch to drink from the ancient Apache Spring well. The spring feeds several ponds and attracts black bears, mountain lions, deer, javelina, and every other member of the food chain including adventurers and warriors. Thomas Gardner arrived in Sonoita, Arizona in 1859 and homesteaded the original ranch. Gardner raised his family there, along with horses and cattle. He fought off Apache warriors to include Geronimo and Cochise, and in one gunfight he was shot and wounded by Cochise. The ranch has long been home to warriors and a stone pillar not far from the ranch marks the site where the Apache Wars began. Over the last four years the property has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and the entire facility is now home to Boulder Crest Retreat, a place where warriors go to heal. Established in 2013, Boulder Crest Retreat is the product of Ken and Julie Falke, a husband and wife team from Northern Virginia. Ken is a retired US Navy EOD 63 JAY DOBYNS Boulder Crest’s Arizona Retreat offers the beauty and seclusion of nature.