colorado snow Tag

Bringing Home Cows on a Cattle Drive

Bringing Home Cows On a Cattle Drive Isn’t Like the "City Slickers" Movie – by Dick Friedland
Cattle drive at Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Colorado

Herding cattle back to Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Colorado

© 2011 Dick Friedland

When I tell my friends I just came back from a roundup and cattle drive the inevitable response includes jokes about playing Billy Crystal in the movie City Slickers. In actuality the similarity ends with horses and cows.

I was at Vista Verde Guest Ranch, northwest of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the last week in September for the final week of a month-long cattle drive. I live in Colorado and chose this particular week for three reasons. First, the weather is usually good, with colder nights that quickly turn into warm days. Second, the aspen tree leaves have turned golden and it’s just beautiful. Third, the majority of the 1,000-head herd has been brought in, so we were heading up into the high country to help roundup strays, that didn’t want to be found. We needed to bring cows down from the open range before the deep snow falls and they eventually starve.

While all levels of riders can participate in the drive, my group’s experience made City Slickers seem like a walk in the park.

Thanks to Dick for this great article on his stay at our luxury ranch resort!

Link to full article

The Mountain Bike Park at Colorado’s Vista Verde Dude Ranch

The Mountain Bike Park at Colorado’s Vista Verde Dude Ranch- as seen on About.com by Lois Friedland

Bike Terrain Park at Vista Verde Ranch near Steamboat, Colorado

© 2011 Lois Friedland

A tricky bike terrain park is set up a short bicycle ride from Vista Verde Guest Ranch’s main lodge. In the park, there are obstacles, rails and mini-courses where new mountain bike riders can learn skills, and skilled bicyclists can have a lot of fun.

The terrain park has been set up by Steven King, the biking guide whose skills let him easily balance his bike on a teeter-totter, and weave his way through a narrow rock-lined course then ride a rail at the end. He works with the groups of bicyclists who come to the park to improve their skills.

The course was designed, in part, to occupy the teenagers and other children who visit the ranch and aren’t interested in spending all week on a horse. (The day I was there, a duo of laughing, determined adults were learning to navigate challenges in the park.)

The bike terrain park is also a place to start and learn the skills needed to go on the single-track trails in the surround mountains. Some guests prefer easier routes, like the road that leads to a store where they can get ice-cream cones before riding back to the ranch.

the dude ranch Summer season comes to a close

To update you all on where we are in our summer dude ranch season, we have moved from our dude ranch for families time to adults only, and then adults only cattle round up weeks.  This is our final cattle round up week, and also our final week of the season.  We have had 4 total weeks of rounding up cattle, and have brought in about 250 head so far, so there is still some work to be done this week.  While not all the guests at our Colorado lodge and resort participate in the cattle round up while on their ranch holiday, we have had a lot of folks heading out to ride the back country and find those critters.

The first week was the most successful, as we got the cows who seemed to be the most willing to be rounded up.  The second week was the week of weather, with rain, drizzle, fog, but still some sunshine in there.  That was a hearty and willing group of guests who laughed their way through the weather and brought sunshine to our lives!  Last week it seems like fall officially hit us.  The colors started to change, the air got a bit more crisp and it finally felt like September is suppose to feel around Steamboat Springs.  This week is a continuation of that great weather, and we are gearing up with our cattle clinics today, and will start looking for more cows tomorrow.

Sunday is our official closing day, but we are going to sneak in a quick horsemanship clinic next week for a couple days.  The staff will be heading out for off-season adventures or moving on to their next step in life.  Those of us considered “lifers” will be getting together to reflect on the season, make plans on how to improve our all inclusive resort experience, and look forward to gearing up for the winter season, when we become more of a Colorado ski lodge.  And, of course, even though we live in vacation paradise…we’ll probably be taking a little time to get out of town for some time off.  Oh, and we have a wedding to throw in November…I’ll be posting all sorts of photos of Johanna and Javins’ wedding on November 12, in the Great room!

We hope to see you this winter for some fun in the snow!