Vista Verde Ranch, Luxury Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch Luxury Colorado Resort
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Guides
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Guides

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Steven King
Nordic Center Manager
Wilderness First Responder
Hometown: Sugarcreek, Ohio
School: Kent State University
Interests & Hobbies: being active outdoors, camping, dual sport touring, gardening, construction, reading
What was your favorite toy as a kid? My favorite toy as a kid was my bike, go figure. I would have never guessed I would still be as excited and joyful to pedal today as I was 45 years ago. Kelli has great pictures of me at 10 and at 50, both with silver bikes and a big smile.
What’s the strangest talent you have? My strangest talent, aside from talking to the VVR kids like Donald Duck, is hand stand walking. At 55 I can still get after it on a flat surface. In high school, a Japanese exchange student and I would race the length of the basketball court and back (or until we fell over, which often happened).

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Kelli King
Nordic Center Manager
Wilderness Advance First Aid, Certified Yogafit Teacher
Hometown: Gahanna, Ohio
School: Kent State University
Interests & Hobbies: yoga, greenhouse gardening, nutrition, meditation, raising a teenage daughter
Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Yes, my dear husband, Steven wrote words to a Kenny G Ballad and sang them to me on top of Peak 7 in Breckenridge, CO asking me (in the song) to marry him. He almost had to sing it a cappella because the tape player got really cold, the look on his face when he pushed the button and the music played in slow motion, was priceless. Luckily, he put the tape player next to his body and warmed it up enough to get it to play.  It was the best and has been for the last 19 years!
Did you have a nickname in middle school or high school? “Little Shoe”  I have an older brother and with our last name “Schomaker”, he was always called “Shoe” or “Shoey”. When I came along “Little Shoe” seemed to be appropriate, especially since my brother is almost 6′ and I am only 5’2″.

DSC_0052Brandon Martin
Nordic Guide/Fly Fishing Manager
Wilderness Advance First Aid
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
School: Full Sail University
Interests & Hobbies: fly fishing, fly tying, backpacking, wilderness survival
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Fly fish in Kamchatka, Russia, backpacking Borneo, and build a log cabin by hand
If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive) who would you go with and where would you go? I’d take a road trip with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark beginning in St. Louis, MO and ending at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

DSC_0038Shannan Balzer
Guide
Wilderness First Responder
Hometown: Camino, CA
School: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Interests & Hobbies: shredding pow-pow, eating oatmeal, living a life of adventure
What’s the strangest talent you have? Well I have three. I can drink three liters of water at once, gain ten pounds in one meal, and do pull-ups on door frames.
Do you have any strange phobias? I am terrified of being trapped in a small box where I can’t stretch my legs out. I would cramp up!
What was your childhood nickname? Annie Oakley, because I have great aim with a gun.

DSC_0011Mandy Griffey
Guide
Hometown: Oak Grove, MO
School: William Woods University
Interests & Hobbies: hiking, rock climbing, training horses, playing games, being OUTDOORS!
What is your favorite kind of cereal? Fruity pebbles are so delicious!
Can you fake any accents? I can fake a British accent. I have had lots of practice while cleaning out horse pens!
If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive) who would you go with and where would you go? I would go on a road trip with Jesus around the world and hike a mountain in every mountain range! I would keep my ears and eyes wide open. He could teach and show me amazing things I would have never seen before!

DSC_0042Nathan Margason
Guide
Wilderness Advance First Aid
Hometown:  Elgin, TX
School: Colorado Mountain College
Interests & Hobbies:  All sports, horses, leather working, dancing
Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Before Coming to the Ranch I was doing Scottish Country Dancing and someone wrote a dance for me as a going away present.
What are three things still left on your bucket list? Go to Glacier National Park, Australia and Calgary Stampede
What has been your biggest adventure so far? Last Spring I spent a month in the UK.  While there, I went on a road trip from England to Scotland. In Scotland I hiked Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK, while it was covered in snow.  I then went to Whales and took a ferry to Dublin, Ireland and circumvented the southern half of Ireland. I finished out the trip touring castles in Whales and more places in England.