Archive for August, 2013
Date: August 29th, 2013
Recently it struck me that we aren’t very good at letting our guests know about the healthy and/or local products that we mix into our offerings at the ranch. We do make an effort to support local businesses as much as possible, and we do continuously look at what we are serving our guests to try to find healthy options for them. So, I sat down to make a list and decided there is no better time than the present to share that list with you.
- The cabin amenities are all locally made by Steamboat Soap Company. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion. We love this company, and their sister company Ranch Organics!
- All our coffee comes from the Colorado coffee roaster the Steaming Bean.
- Many ranches ship their horse hay in from the cheapest location. We proudly support a fellow ranch family just 10 miles down the road by purchasing from them the 225+ tons of hay that we use to get through the winter.
- Love those eggs? That’s because they are cage free and organic.
- And the dairy products? Yep. Organic (hormone free) milk, butter and yogurts are all out on our buffet.
- The fresh and tasty lettuce and greens are all organic.
- Bacon! It may not be good for you, but at least all our pork product is locally processed heritage breed Berkshire pork.
- Fresh made breads with organically grown wheat flours.
- When in season Colorado peaches, corn and lamb.
- Sustainably sourced, line caught fish and shellfish.
- Of course, we can’t overlook the greens and herbs from Bill’s garden right behind the kitchen!
Date: August 20th, 2013
It was a foggy morning. Melissa had only had 1 cup of coffee so far. She walked into the Lodge. Something was different. Something was wrong. She gasped as she saw the scene of the crime. Laying on the floor of the store was the victim of a gruesome dude ranch prank. The authorities were called. An investigation took place. Suspects stepped up and claimed responsibility. A trial may or may not have happened. Possibly justice was served. Or not.
You never know what you’ll run into on your dude ranch vacation here in the Wild West. But, we can put your worries to rest to let you know that we have taken care of the victim of the crime and have the marmots and the dogs on high alert to keep an eye out for further shenanigans.
Phew. We can all sleep better at night now. But, never let your eyes off of mischievous guests. You don’t know where they may turn next.
Date: August 15th, 2013
Ahhh, the housekeepers. The unsung heroes at a dude ranch. They clean, they deliver special goodies, they launder, they iron, they take out trash…..and they do it all with a smile on their face and laughter in their voices. How many times do they joke among each other about how their parents might feel about them using their college degrees to do this job? It’s probably daily. But, what is so wonderful is that they understand the huge role they play in our guests’ experience. They understand that they have the biggest impact on our guests’ first impression. And, they understand that without them we’d all be a glorious mess.
I love watching the housekeepers find little ways to make their job fun. Whether it’s dance parties in the laundry room after ironing their 100th sheet for the day or having fun with a guest by leaving a ransom note regarding Willie the Moose, they make it a good time. The other day, in the midst of delivering special requests to the cabins it began to rain. Not just a little sprinkle, but a full on downpour. Did that stop them? Nope. As you can see, the crew just found an ingenious way to keep dry and kept on going.
So, today we sing the praises of our wonderful housekeepers. While they work on their perfectly made beds, sparkling chrome, dust-free ledges and streak-free mirrors we all can shout out a big thank you for all they do to make our guests feel like royalty.
Date: August 6th, 2013
I don’t think it’s bragging too much to say we have amazing people come through the gates of Vista Verde to work at the ranch. It’s just true. Each season brings fresh new faces alongside the veterans of Vista Verde. It’s always so much fun to watch our staff grow and develop in this setting. There is so much one can learn from serving others, working and living in a small community and just being in nature. To single out any one staff member is almost unfair. There are so many outstanding people to mention who have been an integral part of the ranch this summer. However, I am going to single out on in particular, who has contributed in so many ways for the past 3 years.
As Reid Morgan moves on to his next chapter in life, it is fitting to send a public farewell. So many of you have enjoyed his laughter, his intellect and his genuine and caring nature over these years at the ranch. From playing his fiddle, leading rides, or taking out a mountain bike adventure, Reid has left his mark on Vista Verde.
So, we send Reid and his dog Dodger down the trail on their way to Boulder, CO where Reid will pursue an MBA with our thank you and best wishes. We’re pretty sure we’ll be seeing him from time to time as he sneaks away from city life to breathe some fresh air and get the smell of horses back on his boots.
Date: August 5th, 2013
Nothing says summertime like S’mores. This summer we have been enjoying a new creation by our chefs that takes the traditional s’mores concept and turns it into a cookie. So, if you don’t have access to an open campfire and long sticks, you can always try out this recipe. Enjoy!
S’mores Cookies (makes 2 dozen cookies)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 ounces butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup, mini marshmallows, left out to stale for 24 hours
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a separate bowl add the buttermilk, molasses, vanilla extract and melted butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients into the wet, when thoroughly mixed (but not over mixed) add the chocolate and marshmallows and mix until just combined.
- Drop by tablespoons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake on middle rack in the oven for 5 minutes, rotate the pan and finish baking for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Enjoy!
Date: August 2nd, 2013
Gayot.com Top 10 Family Resorts in the US
Family Fun from Coast to Coast
Geographically diverse, the U.S. offers an overwhelming range of destinations when it comes to planning family getaways. From Wild West ranches to laid back beaches to urban escapes, this list will help you hone in on a place for every interest. It also takes the adult factor into account. You may be a parent, but this is your vacation too, which means you want more than just water slides and bingo nights. What’s wrong with a great wine list, spa treatments and golf for mom and dad, along with circus activities, scavenger hunts and fire truck rides for the kids? Understanding the needs of adults and children, these properties are not only for staying together, but for playing together — and apart — while on holiday.
You gotta love a place that boasts its own Kid Wranglers. No, these babysitters in boots don’t round ‘em up and rope ‘em in. Instead, they teach horseback riding basics and fill tiny bellies with nutritious food while mom and dad enjoy a wine tasting class or dinner by candlelight. From the welcoming day hayride to the marshmallow roast on the last night, Vista Verde’s all-inclusive getaways are filled with traditional ranch activities and a few unusual extras, such as gold panning and fire truck rides — complete with sirens blaring — into town for hand-cranked ice cream. The ranch has separate programs for younger children and teens, so the older kids can play it cool while mountain biking or embarking on an overnight campout. And if you’d like to come in the winter, kids will find just as much to do, with skiing, snowshoe outings and igloo building. Just outside Steamboat Springs, this all-inclusive working ranch offers lodge accommodations, private cabins, multi-course dining events, hands-on cooking classes and adventure for all ages.