Michael Lares

Rancher – Aspiring Cowboy

A decorated US Navy Deep Sea Diver with a 25 year adrenaline filled underwater construction, salvage and commercial diving career, in which 20 years I was owner/operator of my own firm. It’s a small elite group, and a career I am very proud of. It challenged and stretched me to my very core and called on aspects of my abilities that kept me tuned up. It was also that adrenaline fix that kept me out of trouble, because almost daily it was exciting and at the end of the day, I left nothing on the table.

In hindsight, my career honed me to be able to change skins and take on the every day demand of what my family would endure.

I had never really rode a horse and definitely never ranched prior to stepping foot in Nemiah Valley back in 2009. Although I will say that horses, hard work and homesteading is in my blood from both sides of my family. It wasn’t something I thought I would ever choose to do. I had romanticized about having horses, and even though we lived in the remote North Carolina mountains, we were not set up for this lifestyle, and likely never would be.

So much has transpired in the last 11 years it’s mind boggling. What I’ve learned has been fast tracked under the tutelage of some of the best Cowboys and bushmen in Nemiah Valley. The adage “if you settle in Cowboy country, ya better get on a horse.” holds true.

How does one go from Deep Sea to Cowboy? More out of necessity you could say. We longed for a peaceful environment to heal my beautiful bride, and rear our two young children Lara and Dylan. We were on a pretty tuff ride from an accident involving Nicole (more on that). So when the Xeni Gwet’in first nations Chief asked me to apply for a position with their business development enterprise, inviting us to move to their sacred Valley, the final box was checked. We moved and with the help of some trusted Native Cowboys and friends, the crash course on single handedly running and caring for a horse and hay ranch began.

To all those real Cowboys out there, you have my utmost respect and admiration. For what you do day to day is one of the hardest forms of work and lifestyle on the planet. But also the most grounding and satisfying ways of life one could live. I consider it a honor to be able to participate in this epic journey of maintaining history. Welcome to our story and what we have created thus far…

Email me: michael@flyinglranch.ca

17 thoughts on “Michael Lares”

  1. Very happy to see you and your family are doing so well. Hope someday
    Yolanda and I can come up and see you and your family.
    Take care Mike talk soon
    Kevin Musante.

  2. Hi Cuz! So happy for you all! Maybe one day we can come up and visit! I bet Micah would be in heaven taking photos! I am rarely on FB, but saw your post about the ranch and thought I would say hello! So happy for you all and the thriving life you are living together! What beautiful country you are surrounded by!!! Love and miss you all! Nat

    1. Thanks for the note Nat! Would also love to have you all up sometime hopefully sooner than later. This is indeed a photographers paradise. Much Love and Hugs to you all! . 🙂

  3. Felicity Jane Bream

    What an inspiration you & your family are Michael….so love following you all & the “Wildies” keep up the splendid work!

  4. Wow so cool! Had a good friend that was a MDSU I think an Senior Chief,
    diver in Roosey Roads way back 2000-03. We all called him Rock. I remember his daughters name but not his. He dropped our hurricane mooring out in the harbor for us! Wow..

  5. You are so blessed to have the life you are living. My X Husband left 10 acres to his 3 kids to sell and I am so glad that covid has put a halt to my X brother in law from getting our Son out of the house. The land is very populated with trees over the last 20 yrs and I know that I will most likely be up there if all he’ll breaks loose and we have to live like the Amish. Greenhouses are so expensive so what do you recommend as a way to grow n preserve food??

  6. Hi Michael! Your family is basically the only reason I have IG (other than Steelers football🖤💛🖤) my first love of wild horses began with the Spanish stallions on the OBX in Corolla, NC. When I found your page, it was very interesting to me how any horses adapt for survival, while on the beach, or the mountains of Canada. I learn a lot from your videos and enjoy following your families’ lives.

  7. Would you ever consider allowing me to come visit, bring we never met? I’m just so interested in all of your experiences.

  8. Found the Flying L Ranch on Instagram and fell in love with your family and ranch. You’re living the dream, making the hard work look easy, and letting us tag along with you. Best wishes!

  9. Hi Michael, Cindy here (sufigirl). I’m obsessed with your page, your way of life, beautiful surroundings and amazing family. And of course all of your beautiful horses! I’m so glad you put Squeegee in with Oakley as I think she can gently teach him a lot. I’ve tried to look at your lodging (I know you don’t have any openings left this year) but can’t get the “more” button to work. Is it disabled because there’s no openings?

    Sending peace and live to you and your family. Thanks for taking the time to read this. 😊


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