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Mountain Ranch at the End of the Road: horses, cows, guns & grizzlies in the Canadian Wilderness

Newly Released!


By: Tom Hook. Posthumously compiled & arranged by Gary Brumbelow
ISBN: 978-0-88839-056-1 [trade paperback]
ISBN: 978-0-88839-284-8 [epub]
Binding: Trade Paper 
Size: 8.5" X 5.5"
Pages: 166
Photos: 97
Illustrations: 0
Publication Date: 01 March 2019


Click here for Table of Contents

Click here for Sample Chapter

Why would a Colorado rancher sell the home place—the ranch his family had owned and operated for four generations—and move the entire operation to a remote 300,000-acre spread in British Columbia, Canada? For the adventure! And adventure is what Tom and Connie Hook and their sons found.

Two miles above the mighty Fraser River, the Empire Valley Ranch headquarters lay 80 gravel miles beyond the pavement. The range extended another 75 miles further west and higher up into the Coastal Mountains. The Hook’s exploits included punching cows in the high country with colorful cowboys who were mostly Indigenous neighbors or outlaws hiding from the RCMP. The hazards, besides mountain weather, included wolves, grizzly bears, cougars, and eagles.

Mountain Ranch at the End of the Road is the tale of life on a remote ranch: vast distances, long rides, interesting neighbors, colorful cowboys, unlikely horse stories, and hair-raising wildlife encounters. Tom Hook served God, loved his family, and respected his employees and neighbors. He was a gentleman, a leader, adventurer, cattleman, preacher and beloved father and husband and, to people all over the West, and as far north as Alaska, a loyal friend. In the last months of his life Tom was blogging at CattleToday.com.

At over 150,000 hits, his is the top-viewed board. He filed his final post a few days before he died suddenly on February 8, 2011. Many of Tom’s readers asked him to publish his stories in book form. What you hold in your hands is the result.

Author Biography

Tom grew up in Colorado on a ranch of which he became the fourth generation operator. He attended Washington and Lee University and Colorado State University before graduating from Colorado College with a degree in Business Administration/Real Estate Appraisal. Tom did post-graduate master’s level work for one year at Denver University, followed by a five-year stint in the Air Force National Guard. After his time in the service, Tom’s entire adult life was spent owning and operating successful cattle ranches in Colorado, British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho. He was also the recipient of numerous awards. During the summer months of his high school and college years, Tom traveled extensively with an RCMP officer in Canada and Alaska. This is how Tom came to love Canada, and aspire to ranch there some day. His mentor spoke at Knife and Fork Dinner Clubs all over Canada, and often put Tom up front as well. Tom was on the Cattlemen’s Association board everywhere he lived: Colorado, British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho. On some of these, he served as president. Tom was also a founder of The Owyhee Initiative, which brought together the heads from all groups with interest in public lands: congressmen, environmentalists, county commissioners, Indian tribal leaders, etc. It turned out to be a very successful organization. He also started The Owyhee Borderlands Trust, a group of ranchers who raised funds to buy ranches, for cattlemen to run cattle on, if they lost their BLM permits. The Trust is still operating today.

Book Reviews

" I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Mountain Ranch at the end of the road” and the stories related in it. It is a must read, especially for those of us who are of similar vintage and can relate the stories to the adventures and misadventures encountered in our own lives. Each story brings back memories long since forgotten. Old and young alike will find the book an inspiration to look for and pursue opportunity even when it is necessary to discover new ways to achieve success. It has been an honor for me to review this book and learn much more about the life lived by my friend Tom Hook. "
--  Dr. Chad Gibson, PhD, Range Sciences


" Mountain Ranch at the End of the Road, a personal story about a fourth-generation ranching family who leave a “sure-fire” ranch in Colorado, to a not-so-sure ranch in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Praying earnestly for God’s leading, Tom, and Connie Hook and their boys, loaded up all their belongings, including machinery, horses & mounted up for the Empire Ranch. Mountain Ranch is well worth the read for the entire family."
--  Pastor Jack E Miller, author of Tough and Tender, a cowboy poetry book


" The only let down with Tom Hook’s writing was its being cut short by his death. The manuscript was so interesting that I couldn't put it down. I met Tom and his family when they moved to Owyhee county, Idaho, where they immediately became good neighbors. Tom was optimistic, sharing his knowledge and expertise, joining in our struggles dealing with the Bureau of Land Management and so-called conservationists. His disappointment was that many of the bureaucrats had little knowledge of resources they were charged with. Even more so was their apparent desire to disregard science-based management of the same. "
--  Michael Hanley IV, Rancher, historian, and author of seven books including Owyhee Trails, winner of the 1973 Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award



"We were blessed to become friends with Tom and Connie when they moved to Owyhee County, Idaho. Their commitment to God and family, their adventurous spirit, and love of a good challenge that we saw in their lives shine brightly in this book. We always enjoyed Tom's stories of their time in Canada and reading them felt like listening to Tom again."

--  Tim & Rosa Maria Lowry



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