Vista Verde Ranch, Luxury Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch"
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Archive for the ‘This week at the Ranch’ Category

Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

The four-legged staff at our dude ranch

Date: September 12th, 2012

Rosey, guiding a ski trip

Every dude ranch should have a great staff.  But, what some don’t realize is that the staff includes 4 legged critters too.  We love to sing the praise of our crew, and we highlight our wonderful horses regularly, but we often overlook the smaller members of our dude ranch team.

The ranch dogs don’t provide a whole lot of function at the ranch, but do a bang up job in the hospitality department.  From greeting guests to providing comedic relief as they dive into the pond daily, they have their role.

Trooper is Terry’s wanna-be cattle dog.  Typically ranchers have a cattle dog to help herd the cows.  Trooper has disowned his lab background and has claimed a cattle dog pedigree with the way he jumps in and helps Terry move the cows.  Please don’t tell him otherwise, and just buy into his story.  He would be crushed otherwise.

Rosey is Steve and Kelli’s lab, who has grown up as a guide dog.  Not the kind of guide dog you might imagine, but a dog that has been guiding ski trips, hiking trips and other adventures her whole life.  When your mom and dad are ace guides, that’s just how you learn to roll.

Many of our guests this past winter fell in love with Reid’s new puppy, Dodger.  He has now morphed into more of a teenager, testing the system and harassing the older dogs.   But, they do help teach him the ropes, and he is learning the rules and guidelines to being a great guest ranch dog.

Sadly, two of our wonderful friends passed on earlier this summer.  Dakota and Cheyenne were our Great Pyrenees power puffs.   Time and time again, they would sneak out of their pen and wander down the road to visit some neighbors (yes, we do have a couple neighbors out here!).  It was a weekly event that we would get a call at night telling us the “white dogs” were at their house.  With their sweet personalities and kind hearts, they were hard not to love though.  We all miss them, but love that their stories will be with us always.

Over the years, we have had many ranch cats.  They truly are an important part of the team, and have a specific job.  As much as Vista Verde works hard to provide a luxury ranch experience, did you notice that there is one important word that is always a part of us?  Ranch.  And, with that goes wildlife.  And with wildlife goes some that we’d rather not see as much of…..mice.  You can build a very nice cabin, but when you build it on a 600 acre ranch, surrounded by millions of acres of national forest, the mice just don’t care how nice that cabin is, or whether it has granite countertops or not.  They just want in.  So, our cats have played an important guest service role over the years.  When left to their job, they are actually very effective.   More to follow on them tomorrow, as they have their own stories.

The animals come and go in our lives.  We have loved so many pets over the years- Bessie and Bailey, Aspen, Tillie, Slim, Red, Miss Kitty, Whopper, Babe, and the list goes on.  They all have brought stories, laughter, and joy to our lives.   So, go hug your pet today, if you have one.  If not, you can always hug one of ours.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Adventures in Housekeeping

Date: September 5th, 2012

Guest bloggerm, and all-star housekeeper, Lasha shares a fun story from last week’s Adventures in Housekeeping.

Willie finds some interesting places to hide on the ranch.

It was the last week in August at Vista Verde; the first week of “Adults Only” here at the ranch.  For Housekeepers, this generally means that the cabins are not quite as messy, towels don’t have potato chip grease stains on them, and typically, there are just a few less piles of clothes on the floor to maneuver.  One of the biggest changes though is that “Willie” the moose doesn’t get hidden in cabins anymore at evening turn-downs.  Willie (a very cute stuffed animal) is usually cleverly hidden every night, accompanied with a snack, for the kiddos to find.  It’s a fun game for both Housekeepers and the kids.

Willie thought wrong when he assumed he was done hiding every night just because it was an “Adults Only” week.  Monday morning came and much to the Housekeepers surprise, Janie and Nigel had left a note asking where Willie was, and wondered why he wasn’t hidden for them to find the night before.  Naturally, this started a friendly game of hide and seek.  The Housekeepers were all too pleased to come up with even more clever hiding spots for Willie.  Tuesday morning came and the Housekeepers arrived to Janie and Nigel’s cabin to find a note saying that it had taken them an hour and a half to find Willie and just when they were about to drain the hot tub and tear down the fire place, they collapsed with exhaustion onto the living room floor only to find him hiding under the sofa cushion with a snack bag of teddy grahams.

The notes exchanged throughout the week were humorous, at times even poetic, and the hiding places were epic.  At the end of the week Willie left the Vista Verde to continue his journey in life, with a promise from Janie and Nigel that he would be well taken care of.  Needless to say, the Housekeepers were sad to say farewell to their friends but as always looked forward to a new week of adventures in Housekeeping!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Who won?

Date: September 5th, 2012

I am just wondering who won the contest. I was so hoping it would be me!

Name: Teresa Wolf
Company: Soul Discovery on Horseback
City: Acworth
State: Georgia

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Hard work has its rewards

Date: August 28th, 2012

Ben and Holly’s son Jack, learned about the rewards of hard work this summer.  In the spring, he had asked if he could help out at the ranch a bit, and earn some money.  Of course, being the loving father, Ben told him he could help with washing dishes.  As it turns out, Jack was a lifesaver for our staff as he would jump in and help during the day with dishes, and make all of their lives much easier, and a bit more fun.  In between dish duty, he would learn from the chefs, and has gained an appreciation for the culinary arts.

But, the big payoff for Jack was when he cashed in his paychecks and bought himself an Ipad.  He bought it all by himself, with the money he earned helping out around the ranch this summer.

It’s fun to watch staff grow and develop, but I have to say we all took some serious pleasure in watching Jack enjoy the materialistic benefits of hard work on the day his Ipad arrived.   Now, it’s time to get ready to go back to school.  We hope Jack returns to school with some new life skills, pride in himself, and an understanding of what it means to help others.  But, if nothing else, he’ll have a rocking new Ipad to enjoy!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Horse Whispers

Date: August 28th, 2012

While I love all animals, I was never really a horse person — meaning one who rides or owns a horse. Actually they kind of scare me because of their size and that’s why it is so odd that I feel God used horses to save my life. For 25 years I had lived in very lonely and emotionally abusive marriage. Many friends and family had tried to get me to leave but because of my religious up bringing I felt leaving was wrong. But I had gotten to the point where I was no longer living, I was only existing.

About two years ago a friend of mine who is very a much a horse person wanted to do some healing with me…. using horses. That was a little out of the box for me. I nicely explained that if God felt I needed healed, He would heal me on His own.

Then, a strange thing happened. I was called to go check out a horse rescue ranch. I really didn’t know anything about horses so I called my friend Kim. She very willing agreed to go with me.

As we entered the horse rescue we found the owner working hard at cleaning the stables. She took us out to one of the fields where their were about 30 horses roaming around. As she explained her circumstances, I listened while patting a pretty brown horse’s head.
Then out of the blue, this big black mare came out from what seemed to be nowhere. The black mare took his head and hit me hard as though he was trying to knock me over. I grabbed the brown horse’s neck to help me not to fall over.

The black mare turned its head and looked at me as he walked away. I looked at my friend Kim and the ranch owner and asked them, “What was that about?”

Both seemed just as surprised and said they had no idea. Shula, the owner, then continued talking. While she was explaining her situation, I noticed a donkey way out in the field heading right towards me.

I interrupted Shula just for a minute to ask her if she had a donkey. She said, “yes.”

As Shula talked, I watched the donkey get closer. Something told me that this donkey was coming towards me and after what just happened with the big black mare I was getting a little nervous.

“Don’t donkeys kick and bite?” I asked a little nervously interrupting Shula again.

Shula gave me a quirky smile and answered yes and then continued talking.

Once again I interrupted her as my mind was going through all the data memory I had in my brain on donkeys. “Wait don’t donkeys sometimes protect horses from coyotes?” I asked remembering reading something on this at one time.

“Yes,” she said looking at me a little odd not knowing why I was asking all these questions since she was facing me and did not see the donkey coming towards us. Then her eyes lit up as she remembered a story on how her donkey recently had saved a horse from a coyote attack. It was about the time she ended the story that the donkey had its head right next to my arm wanting me to pet him. As we walked around the field looking at all the horses the donkey stayed right by me.

At one point I even whispered to my friend Kim, “why does this donkey keep following me? He is making me nervous.”

Kim smiled and said, “Just go with it. He seems to like you!”

As we were getting ready to leave and the donkey was still standing next to me as I patted the last horse, Shula smiled and said, “Wow I can’t believe how much Jerusalem likes you!”

I was in shock. “Your donkeys name is Jerusalem?” I asked.

When Kim and I got into the car to leave the rescue ranch she looked at me and asked, “Did you feel God talking to you?”

The crazy thing was I did. For 25 years the man I was married to had always tried to knock me down. He actually told me that he felt when we got married that I was better than him and his goal was to tear me down… to take me below his level. The sad thing is that is not love for love builds your partner up. Love does not tear your partner down.

I really feel that God used the horses and Jerusalem the donkey to let me know, He is with me and it was okay to leave this abusive marriage.

And while starting life over is somewhat scary at the age of 50, it’s also been very amazing. I have found myself with others in my same situation. And instead of living in the negative, we are helping to re-build each other. And many of us are smiling and laughing again.

To win a trip to Vista Verde for me in the winter with snow on the ground would be an amazing miracle for me for two reasons. One to be in God’s country with God’s beautiful horses that gave me strength to move forward. And two, bring my friend Cheryl with me who is going through a lot of the same stuff and give her a chance to see her daughter.

Name: Beth Callahan
Company: WC Group LLC
City: Franklin
State: Ohio

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Happy Trails, and come back home real soon

Date: August 22nd, 2012

For those of you who have been at the ranch over the years, you may remember Dace standing in front of the campfire saying, “Around here, we don’t say goodbye.  We say come back home real soon.”  That is his hallmark statement for anyone leaving the ranch.  At this time, it becomes our turn to say that to Dace.

Much to the loss of all of us, it became Dace’s time to move on to a new venture.  After over 6 years at the ranch, and being an integral part of what Vista Verde is today, Dace has hung up his cowboy hat and loaded up his truck to head down the driveway.

Although Dace has been a hugely influential part of molding the ranch into today’s Vista Verde, his biggest contribution has been visioning and piecing together the amazing staff that we have had the joy of working with each season.  This is no small feat to find the talented and service minded folks who he has found over the years, place them in the right spot on the ranch, and build the community that defines the ranch experience.  We have a great template in place now, so moving forward will be easy with what Dace has put in place for all of us to enjoy.

Dace’s impact on the ranch came through in so many different ways as well.  The music, the special events, the daily operations all are what they are because of his love of the guest ranch experience, his care for making each moment just right for all of you, and his joy in celebrating the ways in which we can impact people at the ranch.

In saying goodbye to Dace, we all lose a great friend, a mentor and a partner in our mission at Vista Verde.  But, we rejoice with him as he moves on in life.  Next up?  First, a little time focusing on his family and helping with some big events going on in their lives.  After that, he’s heading back to school to pursue another Masters Degree.  It’s time for Dace to start checking off some items on his bucket list that were hard to do when he had so much energy going toward the ranch.

So, at this time, please join us in saying Happy Trails to Dace.  But, it’s not goodbye.  It’s come back home real soon.  Thanks for being part of this great adventure that is Vista Verde.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Let it snow!

Date: August 22nd, 2012

Vista Verde is fun all year round.

Springtime flowers full of color welcoming new life.

Colorado’s summer sun is so much fun. Fishing, climbing seeing it all. Pine smells all around.

Fall brings leaves in full color with crisp Mt. air.

Winter is here at Vista Verde again, the best season of all. Skiing, sleigh rides and snowshowing galore. Snuggled in our cozy cabin with a fire and hot cholocate in hand.

Come Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter what better spot for vacation than Vista Verde?

Name: Rob Akert
Company:
City: Peoria
State: AZ

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

The Unexpected Guest

Date: August 15th, 2012

The unexpected guest, caught on camera.

Every once in awhile we have a guest show up without a reservation – it’s okay though, because they’re not really looking for a place to stay. Just something to nibble on before they get back on the trail.

I’m talking about our wildlife visitors! Chipmunks and songbirds are ubiquitous. Deer are also common. They sometimes sidle up to the salt lick while the horses are distracted.  I remember a dramatic sight during staff orientation when a moose raced in front of the Great Room windows. We regularly hear the call of the sandhill crane, or the yapping of coyotes. On a walk the other day, I surprised a badger on the trail.

Our unexpected visitor rests in the bushes.

Recently we’ve had an extra exciting visitor come down from the hills: a female black bear!
It’s been so dry up in the hills that the (not so) little one has found her way down to the ranch. In looking for food, she found the motherload – a bunch of spilled bird seed underneath the bird feeders. Footprints and droppings were the first sign of her. Since then we’ve set up a trail camera and have been watching her every move (literally) for the past few days. She comes, eats, rests, and then goes.

It’s pretty clear that she’s timid. She comes only at night. Other than what is captured on the trail camera, no one has actually seen her in the flesh. We have been extra diligent about keeping our trash locked up!

In native Ute mythology, the bear represents strength, wisdom and survival skills. Each spring they come together for the annual Bear Dance – speculated to perhaps be the original line dance. They celebrate the end of the winter and the emergence of the bear out of hibernation. Traditionally, it was a time when the people, too, would come out of hibernation. They would come together once again after a long cold winter to celebrate, play and tell stories.

Another unexpected guest: Mr. Fox.

It may be late summer, but we continue to carry a bit of that spirit in what we do here. All summer long, Vista Verde is a place to come together to adventure, to play, to celebrate and to enjoy one another’s company!

We’ll continue to watch the bear by way of the trail camera. Her stays are already getting shorter as the spilled seed runs out. We are grateful for the excitement and story-telling value of her visit – but for the time being, we’ll continue to keep our trash locked up tight!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Missing VVR

Date: August 15th, 2012

I'll ride Mr. Cool in the Summer
And Quatro in the Winter
'Til Tomorrow
All I get is a splinter

Name: Emily Budd
Company: 
City: San Diego
State: CA

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Bread making success

Date: August 15th, 2012

I received this wonderful email the other day, and it was a great reminder of the little ways people take home pieces of Vista Verde in their hearts, and in their kitchens in this case.

Steph,

It’s a miracle! Thanks to Cholly and his wonderful cooking class on Bread-making. I finally know how to make Sourdough bread.

I tried all of 2011 and gave up finally after trying many recipes.

Well, I began the starter after we returned from the ranch and today made the bread. It is wonderful!

Tell Cholly he made my YEAR!

Love to you all.

Terry

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Vista Verde take me away!

Date: August 15th, 2012

I’m now an empty nester and my husband works out of town a lot! Here it goes. So…one evening I came home from work, it was dark but yet I was able to catch a glimpse of the lil varmint…the huge porcupine that scurried off into the woods! Later on a phone call with my husband he asked if I shot it? Really? Like I’m going to run out into the woods at night with a rifle to chase a porcupine!
Ok, night #2. Came home to find my miniature horse with a muzzle full if quills! Suddenly the thought of chasing porky thru the woods seemed like a great idea! As I held poor Tony in a headlock, I started the painful process of removing quills. I would gather a handful, let go of poor Tony, and put the quills on the ledge. After awhile this became laborious. I had an idea! Hold the pulled quills between your lips! You will save time! I did. Yes, I actually did. Here is your free public service announcement: porcupine quills will reattach themselves! They are barbed like a fish hook! Oh, by the way, they don’t just slide back out either. As I went to take the quills from my mouth, I found that several had hooked inside my lips! When I pulled the quill, my lip was going with it! I had to yank them out! Yee ouch! Oh, did I mention they have venom? They do. I had huge, numb lips. Fortunately for the porcupine…he left dodge! I hope you agree…I need to recover from this porcupine tragedy. What better way?

Name: Kristen Florez
Company: Painted Passion Miniatures
City: Chattaroy
State: WA

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Kids, families and dude ranches

Date: August 8th, 2012

Kids and dude ranch vacations go hand in hand.  Whether it’s the freedom of being able to roam out of mom and dad’s sight without worry, or the genuine love that a horse gives a child, it’s just a great match.  They can get dirty, and nobody minds.  They can spend all day in the fresh air, and sleep hard at night.  And, kids just seem to love horses.  I believe horses love kids too.   And, this is a big reason family dude ranch vacations continue to be a tradition for many folks.

I have had this sweet note sitting on my desk for weeks, and it makes me smile every time I see it.  So, why not share it with all of you?  If nothing else, it will make you smile.  Or, it might remind you of more innocent times or a childhood memory, or a family vacation that made an impact on you.

In case you are wondering, Strawberry did write back.  Our horses do have excellent personal assistants.

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I love him, now he needs to love horses

Date: August 8th, 2012

I have recently fallen for a wonderful guy. We met early in the fall, an introduction by mutual friends and hit it off immediately. Truly, the only hitch in moving our relationship forward is that horses have been a lifelong passion for me and he knows nothing about them. A weekend at Vista Verde would be the perfect solution to our problem. He could learn from Terry Wegener, as would I. We could enjoy the beautiful setting, wonderful food, and other amenities of Vista Verde. He could be brought into my world of horses while having the opportunity to introduce me to his love of back-county skiing. Not only would this be the perfect way to turn him into a rider, but also we could have a romantic get-away that most couples only dream of. Who knows, if the intro to riding goes really well maybe we could plan a wedding at Vista Verde next year…

Name: Julie
Company:
City: Boulder
State: Colorado

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

New Adventures in the Old West

Date: August 7th, 2012

New West: Mountain Biking

When most of us think of a western dude ranch, we think of horses, cowboys, and possibly the cattle. Our minds conjure up images of open vistas, traversing the open-range on horseback.

But what does the west have to offer someone who – gasp – isn’t into horses?

Believe it or not, we do have guests that aren’t interested in riding a horse at all during the week. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s okay. Because the west (and this ranch) have a surprising amount to offer in the non-equine department.

Most of these activities fall into the category that our lead guide Steve enthusiastically refers to as “new west.” This includes adventure activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, yoga, rock-climbing, kayaking and rafting.

New West: Rock Climbing

Each provides an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors –  the fresh air, beautiful vistas and impressive landscapes – while engaged in unique and challenging physical activity.

Just like horseback riding at the ranch, these activities can be tailored for any level of experience or fitness acuity. Which means it’s a great place to start a new hobby – or, if you’re already an experienced athelete in the chosen activity, to take yourself to the next level.

New west provides adventure, athleticism, and appreciation for the natural environment.

The beauty of Vista Verde is that we offer this menu of “new west” activities in harmony with our “traditional” trail-riding and horse training and breeding programs.

With a menu of so many options to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

So, the next time you’re here and need a break from the saddle, trade in your cowboy boots and hop on the back of a mountain bike instead and see what “new west” has to offer.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

submitted via email

Date: August 7th, 2012

Hi, i kept getting an error message so I submitted my poem and picture to steph on her reservations email.the picture is an attachment to the email….please.check there, let me know if you need.anything ….hope you are all doing well…dawn

Name: dawn waterman
Company:
City: la mesa
State: ca

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The power of a photo

Date: August 2nd, 2012

Often times, guests get better photos than any professional photographer can capture at the ranch.  That is the advantage   of staying at a place for an extended period of time- you have more chances of being at the right place at the right time.   We always appreciate it when our guests share a great photo, or several great photos, they took during their stay.

Earlier this summer, we shared on our Facebook page, some great shots taken by John on the 4th of July, that blew me away.  This one of Nicky coming home from our Star Spangled Stampede, was powerful.

Last week, Tammy shared an amazing photo she took during her stay.  It was a very special photo, and I put it up on our Facebook page Sunday morning.  Well, the photo went completely viral, and took off on Facebook.  The marketing geek in me found it fascinating to watch the stats grow through that day, and the following days.  As of this morning, the photo had been seen by almost 15,000 people.  61 people shared that photo on their wall, about 750 people “liked” the photo, and we have had 82 people make comments to us about the photo.  For a little dude ranch in Northwest Colorado, those are significant numbers!

I love the light in this photo, and it is real, for those of you who asked.  We do truly get sunsets like this at Vista Verde!

Another great photo from the summer is this shot taken by Debbie, who shared a group of her photos with us this past week as well.  I think it really captures the magic of the morning round up at Vista Verde.  It’s always a peaceful time, with amazing morning light, until the horses come charging into the corral.  They kick up dust, raise the energy level and stir up the calm that is sitting over the ranch.

Thanks to all our wonderful guests who share photos of their stays with the ranch.  We greatly appreciate having the shots, and love sharing them with all of you too!  Even if you don’t get a chance to visit the ranch, you can enjoy a bit of an armchair voyage through photos.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Dancing with Horses

Date: August 2nd, 2012

I want to see the horse as a part of me.
I will bond with it’s soul and run like a horse.
Making a friend forever.in total synchronicity.

Name: Regina Frost
Company:
City: Budd Lake
State: NJ

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Vista Verde Has Bold Western Style

Date: July 31st, 2012

Nate and the girls pose in their matching shirts.
Can you make out the running horses?

There’s nothing quite like cowboy style. The distinctive hat, the yoke-backed shirt, the big belt buckle, boots, and chaps. Add spurs and a bandana around the neck and you’ve got yourself a western hero.

Whether it’s because of his Texas roots or his handlebar moustache, no one has western style quite like our wrangler Nathan. Nathan is known for wearing incredible graphic shirts with bold western themes. Paired with his hat, boots and chaps,  he represents the real deal.

A few weeks ago, Sarah came across one of his shirts available at a discounted price. She purchased several of them and handed one to each of the servers.

They waited expectantly for Nathan to wear his shirt again, and when he finally did weeks later – they were ready. He showed up to lunch that day to find a gaggle of girls wearing the same bold shirt as he was.

There is no doubt about it: we have fun here at Vista Verde.

Check out the photo of Nathan and the girls. Kind of looks like the album cover for a country-western family band, doesn’t it?

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Riding with my father

Date: July 31st, 2012

I have always cherished the spent time riding wih my father. For his retirment we rounded up cattle in Wyoming, chasing steers through the Aspen groves and team penning and sorting. In the evening we would sit with the other riders in the crisp evening sunshine and talk about our adventures of the day.

Name: Heather Johnson
Company:
City: Haywards Heath
State: West Sussex

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Wild Yoga in the Wild West

Date: July 18th, 2012

Guests blend in with their surroundings as they
hold Tree Pose during Kelli’s ‘Wild Yoga.’

I had the opportunity to join Steph and Kelli last Thursday for Wild Yoga. Where “old west” meets “new west,” this experience truly offers the best of both worlds. Guests have the option of riding horseback or hiking out the the serene outdoor yoga spot.

I opted to hike with Kelli, but many of the guests chose to ride with Steph. (Chaps over yoga pants: now there’s a unique challenge – and a unique look!)

Both routes provide scenic vistas and a serene experience. The destination: a small cluster of outdoor yoga platforms, nestled neatly in a shady aspen grove.

Kelli is trained through YogaFit®, the philosophy of which takes an inclusive approach to yoga. Hers is a mixed-level class accessible to folks at any level of fitness or ability. Though a former dancer, I am not as strong and flexible as I once once. I found the class challenging but encouraging and was easily able to follow the modified poses when needed. (Over my shoulder, I watched the obviously more experienced yogis of the group maximize the movements to match their more advanced capabilities.)
The flowing sequence was a gentle challenge to both my mind and body. Though the bugs were not bad, the occasional buzzing in my ear or tickle on my ankle was as additional challenge – a reminder to stay centered and focused and not give into distractions.

At one point, we had a surprise visitor. A deer circled by our site. He stopped when he noticed us, but eventually moved on. I guess he figured he was safe, us being yogis and all.

Tree pose was my favorite – standing tall and lifted, imagining being rooted into the ground, maintaining center and balance – it really does take on new meaning when you are encircled by a family of aspens.

We finished the class gently, laying on our backs with eyes closed in the rest position. What a treat to relax like that, feeling the dappled kiss of the sun through the canopy.

Afterward, as the riders mounted their horses and we prepared to hike out, I took one last look around. I felt calm, focused and restored. What a great way to begin my day!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Winter Love Story

Date: July 18th, 2012

My fiance and I share a love of horses. It is our dream to be able to visit a dude ranch together. I imagine us riding beautiful horses by day and sitting before the fireplace drinking hot coffee or cocoa every evening discussing our wonderful horse filled day. We love the outdoors and appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer. Colorado happens to be in our bucket list of places to visit someday and a winter vacation filled with snow capped mountains and riding would be PERFECT!

Name: Jessicca Smith
Company: Gastroenterology Associates
City: Spartanburg
State: SC

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What will you do with your next 50 years?

Date: July 10th, 2012

Here is a cute photo to go with the story I submitted . . .

Name: Ann Marie Bachman
Company:
City:
State:

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Why I love our staff

Date: July 10th, 2012

There are so many reasons why I love the ranch staff at Vista Verde.  Overall, they are just fun people, and who doesn’t want to work with people who are fun?  But, I had a reminder of some of the other reasons I think they are all so great this past week.

Our housekeepers are often times overlooked.  Their job isn’t all that prestigious, and they deal with some pretty awkward situations from time to time.  Here are these smart, educated, talented people doing the dirty jobs with a smile on their face.  But, day after day, they show up with a great attitude to care for our guests behind the scenes.

The other day, as the girls were busy doing a deep clean on the Lodge, Sarah came by and asked if I had a rope or a strap. I was trying to figure out why she needed one as I looked around the office.  Finally I gave her the strap to my computer bag, still not sure what was going on.  Next thing, I see her strapping on what we call and edger (small vacuum to get the edges of the room, small corners, etc..).  She looked like she was straight out of Ghostbusters.   A little creativity, a little smarts, a little sense of humor, and suddenly her job of vacuuming around the Great room became fun.

 

So many more reasons to love them, but Sarah deserved a shout out for putting a smile on my face that day.  I’m sure all of you who have been to the ranch have fun stories of how our staff have done the same for you.  Feel free to share them with us!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Vista Verde Staff Glow in the Dark

Date: July 3rd, 2012

Team Blue with Team Red’s Flag.

Once a month during the summer, we try to gather our staff together for some good old-fashioned fun. It’s a chance to kick back, relax and let off some steam together. Last night, we gathered for a late-night game of Capture the Flag out at Homestead cabin – complete with all-black ninja-wear and color-coded glow sticks.

We played two rousing rounds (red versus blue in honor of the upcoming holiday.) The red team took it both times. Even this morning, team members were still talking strategy. We may have to have a re-match later in the summer.

Gathered around the makeshift
(fire-safe) ‘campfire’.

After the game, we settled in around a makeshift campfire to sing songs and eat treats from the kitchen. While we missed the warmth and sweet smell of a real campfire, Colorado has seen too many flames this summer. We were happy to do our part by gathering around a Coleman lamp.

All in all it was a great night. With the moon three-quarters full and the call of the sand-hill crane audible (even over the chaos of the game), it was a gorgeous night to be out, active and spending time with one another.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Home to Me

Date: July 3rd, 2012

I am an country girl aussie now living in the US of A for the past 3 years. One of things that I miss the most is not being able to go and visit my family ranch each weekend like I used to when I lived in Brisbane, Australia – I miss the smell of the country, the clean air, the animals, the gorgeous landscape and more importantly, the fact that you can just be yourself in the country. My partner Bart did not understand what I meant by this until I took him home with me last year to experience it for himself… rounding cattle up and dipping them, motorbikes and horses and just a good old cup of tea and a good nights sleep which you will have because you have spent the day out in the country air… I would love to have the opportunity to join you at Vista Verde… don’t be surprised if i pitch in and help rather than relaxing…. it will be like coming home… (note: the picture I uploaded is of my partner Bart and my brother in law on the ranch back in Oz)

Name: Stefanie Maragna
Company:
City: Burlingame
State: California

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