"Dear Cowgirl". When spoken by western sweetheart Adrian 'Buckaroogirl' Brannan those short and simple words have inspired, empowered and captured the hearts of many across the globe.

Brannan hides many talents beneath her ten-gallon hat, including the role of a songwriter, musical recording artist, The Voice auditioner, artist, published author and reality television star. The "Dear Cowgirl" diaries are perhaps her most beloved and famed creations.

In an Ag Journal exclusive interview, Brannan describes her western lifestyle as a "weird hybrid" that offsets the cowboy lifestyle with classical piano and opera training.

While her dad is a cowboy and reputable saddle maker, her mom is well- versed in the performing arts. A combination that Brannan credits for who she is today.

"While my dad is blaring southern blues at us, and teaching us how to rope, mom's over there going 'have you practiced your piano today? Play some Chopin!'" says Brannan.
In her songs, letters, and heartfelt anecdotes the cowgirl speaks of wisdom, character, and patriotism; but Brannan's off the grid living sets her apart from her age group, and has attracted the respect of many who long for a simplistic way of life.

Extraordinarily, it was a disastrous California wildfire that cleared her path to the Utah wilderness.

When the fire claimed Brannan's family home last year in the town of Bear Valley, she mourned the loss of her home and many earthly possessions; but out of the ashes and devastation, a new desire sparked within Brannan.

Losing nearly everything except a few bits, her chinks, spurs, saddle, and some leftover "Make America Cowboy Again" Buckaroogirl signature caps, Brannan was forced to live like a minimalist, and her outlook started to change.

"After the fire, I began to shut down. I was dealing with smoke inhalation, I couldn't sing, I couldn't talk," says Brannan.

About six days after the fire, thanks to her dad's advice, Brannan grabbed her dog, saddle, and guitar and began her new journey into the wild frontier.  

She pointed her truck 'Big Blue' towards Utah and drove until her cell phone signal disappeared.

Brannan didn't stop until she reached her family's 112-year-old cabin in the Ashley National Forest, which lies southeast of Herber City.
Living off solar power, eating from an antique Majestic wood stove, and drinking and bathing in the water from a nearby stream, the rugged west stole the cowgirl troubadour's heart.

"I'm in a cabin that was built in 1907, and it's surrounded by ghost cabins, petroglyphs, and a country that somebody literally hacked a home out of," says Brannan. "It's so shocking to me to wake up in the morning and look off my porch and think 'huh, another gal went and got water out of that stream,' it's a cool connection to have to history."

Eventually, Brannan introduced her own herd of cattle to the mountainous region and enjoys the thrills and challenges of running cattle in God's country.

"Honestly there are not many challenges to running cattle up there. It's easy country; keep them down in the winter and up in the summer," says Brannan. "The only problem is that fire because it comes down those draws and if you get sucked into those deep draws it's kinda worrisome."

Only one month into her cattle venture her homestead and livestock was threatened, once again, by a ruthless wildfire.

"I went to a show in California, and Utah caught on fire. Everyone was like 'hey, so we hope you have cows when you come home.' I was such a girl about it," says Brannan. "But It's great! I get to cowboy up there, and we are like two hours from the nearest anything."

Her primitive lifestyle has also taught Brannan how to set traps for wild game and use nets for fishing.

"I tried to go two months without buying food at a grocery store at one point, which was really fun. My mom was like 'you're doing what?!' I was like 'I don't believe in buying groceries anymore'....and then I got to town, and I was like 'twinkies woohoo!'" says Brannan with her infectious laugh.

Brannan's creativity thrives in the tranquility of her alpine paradise. While she enjoys her time touring the country, she always looks forward to returning home.

"I'm such an extrovert in so many ways, but such an introvert in so many other ways that when I get home to the cabin, I take off my boots, stick my bare feet in the dirt, dig them in and breathe because there is nothing there except the present" explains Brannan. "I need solitude. I thrive off of people, but being at the cabin is like being plugged into a recharge station."

While in the high country, Brannan keeps herself busy by writing, painting, beading, quilting, singing and playing her guitar. As for the self-satisfaction of off-the-grid living, Brannan says it's a feeling that can never be replaced.

"It doesn't matter what is going on in the rest of the world. I'm self encompassed in this cabin. I have running water from the spring. I have enough wood for two winters if I need it. I reload and have ways to do lead balls for a muzzleloader, so I have protection. I have the ability to hunt, and I have the knowledge to gather food."

One might think the disadvantages of off the grid living outweigh the rewards, but according to Brannan, that's not the case.

"You could call cutting your own wood, hauling your water in 5-gallon buckets, taking a bath in the river that you gotta break ice to get to a disadvantage, but I don't think there are any disadvantages, I think it's just good living," says Brannan.

The cowgirl looks forward to another great year of ranching and making music in the wilderness.

Adrian Buckaroogirl's new album 'Desert Dwelling Mama' will hit the shelves on the 31st of this month. Visit buckaroogirl.com for all things Buckaroogirl.