Carol Ann Wetherill left us early Thursday morning, August 3, 2017. Carol Ann was born on June 1, 1931, to Carroll and Ina Wetherill, in Del Norte, Colorado. Living on their remote mountain property at historic Lost Trail Station, Carol Ann was sent to school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at what is now the Inn at Loretto.
Growing up on horseback, she traveled over the many trails of the Upper Rio Grande with her father. They guided tourists, and packed fishermen and hunters into the mountains for many years. After marriage and children, she took over the operation of the dude operation at Lost Trail Station. Quickly becoming the embodiment of westeran hospitality, she welcomed friends and strangers alike. Anyone needing help of any kind could stop by and find succor. Weary travelers, lost hikers, tourists and adventurers of many varieties would receive a warm welcome. Helping the range riders every summer was her specialty, chasing cattle and riding in all types of weather.
As a fourth-generation native of the area, Carol Ann embraced the rich history of the Upper Rio Grande and was an eminent historian. She was active with the San Luis Valley Historical Society, and wrote several articles for them. Carol Ann was also active with the Creede Historical Society and the Hinsdale County Historical Society. She recently authored a book of short stories about her illustrious family and her beloved Upper Rio Grande.
As the years passed, Carol Ann enjoyed living at her mountain hideaway with a procession of adopted dogs. No-one who knew her will forget her walking in the woods with a faithful pack of hounds following behind. One of her bucket list items was to take a dog out of the dog-catcher’s van, which she accomplished while the driver was having his lunch, leading to her best dog—Zorra. She also volunteered her time and energy at various animal shelters, to help those dogs she could not personally take home.
Carol Ann was loved and respected by friends and family alike, and will be sorely missed. In accordance with her wishes, cremation was chosen and her ashes will be buried in the Creede cemetery beside her father in a private family ceremony. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Gazebo at Lost Trail Station at noon on September 4th, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent in her name to the Valley Humane League, 23242 Highway 371, La Jara, Colorado, 81140. http://www.alamosavalleyhumaneleague.org/donate.html