hiking Tag

Chef’s Corner: Kelli Balls

This recipe is named after Kelli, our fearless mountain biking and hiking guide. She loves these little snacks and doesn’t ever head out on the trail without them. Before you go out to conquer your next adventure, be sure to take the time to make these little power-packed energy balls. They’re delicious and provide the perfect boost of energy after a long day on the trail!


2 cups oats

½ cup wheat germ

1 cup wheat bran

¾-1 cup peanut butter

1 cup dried fruit (chopped dates or currants are great options)

1-1 ½ cups honey (go on the low side if you want them less sweet, high side if you want more sweet)

1-2 cups chocolate chips (same as above, base your measurement on your preference for sweetness)

1. Combine oats, germ, bran, fruit and peanut butter in mixing bowl
2. Start adding honey in stages until you reach proper consistency, tacky but not too sticky
3. Add chocolate
4. Scoop with small scoop and roll in oat powder
5. Freeze

Spring training faux pas

One of the things many of us love about living in the Colorado Rockies is the seasons. Growing up in California, this was a fairly novel concept to me when I moved here in 1997. Among other things, what I have come to love about the seasons is that we get to shake up our recreational approach at least twice a year. Right now, we are in the transition from winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing to summer activities like biking and running. The hiking trails wont be ready for a while, but I did see that Steve and Kelli had their bikes out the other day now that the roads are clear of snow. But, the challenge with switching activities is that sometimes our bodies rebel a little when we’re thrown into a different type of movement suddenly. Yes, we are sympathetic to what you feel when you come here on vacation…we go through it too. Now, we should be a bit wiser after all these years, but both Kelli and I ran (no pun intended) into the same faux pas this past week. The inaugural run of the year. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it just feels so good to be out running again. So good, in fact, that we both ran just a little too long. And oh boy, the next morning…..it hurt to get out of bed.

So, let this be your warning…don’t make the same mistake we made if you are emerging from hibernation, or just getting out for the first time with the nice spring weather. We’ll beat you up sufficiently when you come to the ranch for vacation. Until then, let your body ease into the activities. And maybe you can even do a little training to get ready for your trip so it doesn’t shock your body so much! I’ll pick Steve and Kelli’s brains for some ideas on how to train for biking, hiking and riding….even when you don’t have a horse at your front door. Maybe Kelli will pay attention to those same tips on her next run. I’ll try to as well.

Happy trails for now!

Steamboat Springs Vacations

Summer has arrived in Steamboat Springs and people are enjoying their vacations all over town.  Just north of Steamboat Springs, at Vista Verde Guest Ranch, we are enjoying having a full house of guests who have chosen a family dude ranch vacation.

Last week was our opening week, and it was a blast.  We had a great group of guests.  Some were families with kids, coming for a great family dude ranch vacation.  Some were younger couples, coming for a romantic all-inclusive resort ranch experience.  In fact, one of the guests chose Vista Verde as the spot to propose to his girlfriend.  She is actually a former staff member, so it was especially special to be able to be a part of their romantic mountain getaway when it turned into a proposal.

Now we are in our second week, and have a great group of people from all over the world.  There is even a family from Tasmania, although they have lived all over the world.  We also have a former state department diplomat who’s stories of his world travels completely entrance both me and Ben at lunch the other day.  It is the best to be at a dude ranch and be able to meet all these amazing people!

We’ll be heading into Steamboat Springs with all our guests for a little pro-rodeo action on Friday night.  There we will meet up with the rest of the folks enjoying a Steamboat Springs vacation.  In the meantime, we’ll stay north of town in our more remote setting, and keep having adventures in the mountains with our guests!