Archive for March, 2009
Date: March 27th, 2009
Knees bent, arms out, holding tightly to the metal bar in front of me, I could feel the slippery wind at my ears and feel the bumps in the road making my arm muscles tense and release over and over again. Who knew that today I’d be riding on the back of a dog-type sled being pulled by a snowmobile headed into the mountain range. I guess it's all part of working at a Cross country ski vacation destination.
I neither expected or planned for this as part of my backcountry Colorado ski adventure. What fun! Twenty minutes later we pulled up beside the Routt Forest Campground, popped on our skis, and trekked down to North Fork of the Elk River with the sun reflecting off everything and begging us to take layers off and enjoy the Spring like day. The creek was piled up with 4 feet snow caps that looked like giant marshmallows stabilized on top of moving water, yet somehow we were able to trek over the top of it without falling into a sticky situation!
It was intriguing to pursue a beautiful stream that weaves itself into landscape full evergreens and aspens. We were each mesmerized by the different shaped portals along the way that displayed clear pools of water gurgled through the underworld we were all standing on. Amazing that it held us up!
On the way back I was offered to be left off the snowmobile near a ski trail so I could get in a longer ski if I so desired. So I ventured out on my own through a lush forest about a mile from the ranch. The extra ski was exactly what I needed and was a perfect work out for a perfect day at this Colorado ski lodge!
Date: March 27th, 2009
A couple of us returned from a little trip to “the big city” (aka Denver) on Tuesday to snow and wind and cold. On Wednesday there was probably a foot of fresh snow on the ground and it continued on Thursday again. Today we finally have blue skies and dripping roofs again. For the past several weeks we’ve been enjoying the spring weather. Everyone around Steamboat has to talk about the weather, and everyone always says, “we know there will still be winter coming, but we’re sure enjoying this nice weather now.” However, even though we all say that, we are still sorely disappointed when it hits again. Not to say we don’t like snow here. We do snow dances all winter. It’s just that once you get spring fever, there’s no going back.
Another storm is on the way over the weekend, so it looks like we’ll be shoveling. It’s a good thing Bill hasn’t taken the plow off his truck yet….he’ll be needing it again.
Date: March 19th, 2009
Knees bent, arms out, holding tightly to the metal bar in front of me, I could feel the slippery wind at my ears and feel the bumps in the road making my arm muscles tense and release over and over again. Who knew that today I’d be riding on the back of a dog-type sled being pulled by a snowmobile headed into the mountain range.
I neither expected or planned for this as part of my backcountry ski adventure. Oh what fun new experiences are! Twenty minutes later we pulled up beside the Route Forest Campground, popped on our skis, and trekked down to North Fork of the Elk creek with the sun reflecting off of everything and begging us to take layers off and enjoy the Spring like day. The creek was piled up with 4 feet snow caps that looked like giant marshmallows stabilized on top of moving water. And somehow we were able to trek right over the top of it!
We followed it as it looped back and forth through the sunlit forest. And we were each mesmerized by the different shaped portals along the way that clearly displayed the flow of water that gurgled through the underworld we were all standing on. Amazing we didn’t fall in!
Date: March 19th, 2009
While the innards of the Dining room, Kitchen and Staff room are being ripped apart and put back together, the construction on the New Lodge and Indoor Arena are chugging along. Closing down for the season along with the beautiful weather have helped the process along. This week, all the windows and doors in the “old” Lodge were pulled out and replaced while walls are being shifted and spaces reinvented. While that is happening, the drywall work was finished in the “new” Lodge and the siding is almost completely up. In addition, the stone work in the breezeway and on the fireplace is almost done as of today. The place is starting to look like a real Lodge. So, although the mud is thick and the sun is melting the snow rapidly, we’re tromping on with our mud boots and keeping our eye on the target so we can get it all done in time!
Date: March 13th, 2009
My birthday started out like any other day except that I found a unexpected surprise awaiting me in the barn stall, beneath my apartment in the Indoor Arena—a cream colored newly born foal! MJ gave birth in the middle of the night two weeks ago and produced a beautiful baby girl, named Bailey, that now shares the same birthday as me. Who knew that a Dude ranch could produce such lovely surprises!
The other day I watched MJ and her baby prance out from their stall and run circles around the arena. Or rather, I watched the gangly little foal run circles around her mom and rear up on her hind legs playfully showing off for us. Talk about spirit! It was incredible to watch Bailey discover what her legs could do. To her it was the first day of the rest of her life and she was delighted to live it.
Then when I got down to her eye level she poked her nose in and out at me like I was the most curious thing she had ever smelled. Her actions invited me in. I got to brush her face and pet her soft darling nose as she continued to sniff me out.
I’ve never been around a baby foal before but it left an impression on me. I may be past my twenties but after watching that foal kick and run I realize I have not reached my limitations yet! I still have a spirit that can kick. And I still have skills and things I’m learning about myself that are like muscles I have yet to try out. So why not go out swinging fearlessly like the newborn did/ Or why not try out who I am all over again, testing what I can do, and how far I can run. I am reminded that there is thrill and adventure in self-discovery.
Many times we forget that the door to our seemingly caged in life is actually wide open. There is freedom there that we forget about, which gives us permission to try new things and get out from the boundaries of familiarity for a little adventure and self-discovery. The first day of the rest of our life happens everyday. So why not embrace our freedom and go out into it swinging and let the thrill of self-discovery once again paint our faces with childlike wonder!
Date: March 13th, 2009
As our last guests checked out yesterday, the demolition party began. While adding on to the Main Lodge, we also are giving the dining room a facelift, and re-arranging the kitchen and office space. So, within hours of the final departure of the season pictures had been removed from walls, wallpaper pulled down, trim removed, doors taken away and everyone had a blast doing it with the country music cranking and lots of laughs. As you can see in the picture Jerry, Bill and Ben seemed to have the most fun doing the demolition- boys will be boys. Tomorrow we’ll move all the tables and chairs to storage for the spring and empty out the kitchen so they can get some major work done in there as well. The carpets come up next week and then we’re off to the races. Dace has relocated his office to his house over by the Sunday pasture. I’ve moved much of the equipment to my home office and Ben is going to stay it out upstairs until his new office is ready in the new Lodge addition.
We followed up the demolition party with a thank you dinner and party for all our staff. It was nice to close off the season giving our appreciation for all that the team brought to the ranch experience. And we got to hear some pretty fun stories in the process. The party closed down with a great slide show put together by Rusty. It really captured how much more there is to working at VVR than just a job. Now many of the crew are heading off to their next adventures in life, and some will be coming back for the summer. We thank this amazing crew and hope you get to cross paths with some of them in the future!
Date: March 3rd, 2009
Birthdays are always a reason to celebrate. I spent mine ice skating with the staff here a Vista Verde. But I also found a lovely surprise awaiting me in the barn stall beneaith
Date: March 3rd, 2009
I posted a picture over the weekend with the question “what’s missing?” to go along with it. Eagle eye Bruce was right on the money with his answer. It was the pole barn where we stored our hay in the winter and often held our barn dance in the summer. This old structure just couldn’t take the enormous snow load we’ve had this winter. We had enough warning the other day as it started to lean so we could remove anything breakable that was stored in there for the winter–namely the antique fire engine. And then it just came crashing down. It’s ironic that this happened as we are working on the Indoor arena with hay storage area right next door! And, because of that we had some quick access to heavy equipment to come in and remove the rubble!