ranch holiday Tag

New Years at the Ranch

A ranch holiday is unlike any other. We do things just a bit differently. No ball gowns, no big city lights, and we don’t even really make it to midnight. It might sound boring, but we all had a blast yesterday. The evening started out at the Kid’s hut for the first course of dinner. Then we strapped on our skis, and some hopped on the sleigh, and headed out to Homestead for course #2. The place was lit up with candles and a crackling fire and Matt was preparing all sorts of goodies to taste. Hot mulled wine and spiced cider warmed everyone up before we jumped back on the trail to go to the Indoor Arena where sparkly lights and nickering horses awaited us along with a wonderful 3rd course. After that we moved down to the dining room for the main entree. The night finished up in the Great room with a plethora of desserts and the place decorated to the nines. Charlie’s boot drop was a spectacular way to finish the night and cheer in the New Year. We hope you all celebrated the night in style. Best of wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Spending the Holidays at a Colorado Resort

sunset at our Colorado resortWow, where did the time go? The holidays seem to be a bit of a vortex of time for all of us at the dude ranch. From the whirlwind of getting the staff back in action, training the newbies, and getting everything in tip top shape to open for the season, to all the festivities of the holidays (more about that in a bit) to shuttling people to and from the airport, getting them out on skis, horses, sleds, sleighs, etc….it seems like December 1 rolls in and next thing we know we’re singing Happy New Year! Hopefully you all had a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by friends, family and much laughter.

Our holiday season seemed to be broken down into 3 pieces. There were the folks who came out prior to Christmas and helped us kick off our winter resort season. This was a smaller group of guests and we really enjoyed sharing some fun with them and gearing up for Santa’s arrival. As they headed home, the Christmas guests rolled in, looking for a great family snow vacation. What a great group of guests. We deocorated gingerbread houses, sang carols around the fire, on the sleigh, and all around the ranch. The Christmas day feast was fantastic, thanks to Chef Matt and his wonderfully hard working crew. Then this group of guests headed home to their realities while another group rolled in to ring in the New Year. Once again, we were surrounded with laughter, great energy and fun folks. Our annual New Year’s progressive dinner started with a sleigh ride and skiers, great food and a beautiful evening. Following several stops and about 6 courses, we finished up in the Great Room with the highly anticipated boot drop. Yes, we are fuddy duddies and this happens long before midnight. But, when you are playing hard in the snow all day, you need your sleep!

One of my highlights of the holidays was getting an “office pass” as Charlie likes to call it, and going out to lead a snowshoe tour up by Hahn’s Peak. It was a beautiful day, and I got to have a ton of fun with Holly, Tim and Ted. Lucky me.

Now we are into our adult only times, and with that comes the many honeymooners, some romantic vacation seekers, some getting away with friends, and some just sneaking away on their own for a bit of R&R in a peaceful cabin in Colorado. We’re enjoying the crew here this week. There are some here for their first time, some back after not being here for a while, and even one gal who just drove up the road from close by to snowshoe and relax. It’s a great way to start the New Year!

Here’s to a great year for all of you! We hope to have you join us in 2012. We’re filling up for the winter season, but there are still spots here and there. Surprisingly, we have room leading up to Valentine’s Day….so get your sweetheart and come out for a memorable Valentine’s Day getaway this year if you are looking fora romantic vacation idea!

Deck the Hall

With the new Great room, we decided to start a new ranch holiday tradition. Instead of going out and picking a single tree for the Lodge, we brought in a live spruce tree for each family. The other night, everyone gathered in the Great Room after dinner to make decorations and decorate their own tree. It got a little bit competitive, and we’re struggling to pick a winner. The trees are all lined up in the hall that leads from the Dining room to the Great room. Our halls have truly been decked!

Today we have the Yule log hunt. Tomorrow we’ll take the sleigh to Homestead for some caroling and roasted chestnuts. Then it’s the big feast on Christmas day and some major sledding.

Ho, ho, ho….Happy Holidays!

Leaving a Dude Ranch is sad

sad to leave the dude ranchI love, love, love this post that we just had on our Facebook page from Ann:

This picture is my daughter who was so sad to leave Vista Verde yesterday. Last Sunday my kiddos headed out for an awesome trail ride while I back-country skied across frozen Hahn’s Peak Lake with one of your amazing guides. Today, I’m in Salt Lake City’s inversion and have yet to see the sun. Thank you Vista Verde!

Followed by a comment from Ann:

Today I unpacked and found that Willy the Moose was kidnapped again. Please advise as to your mailing address and Willy will be returning to this surreal winter wonderland.

Ann- Willy is yours to keep!  You just have to keep hiding him each night or the magic might go away.

Local’s Day Fundraiser

To warm ourselves up for opening day, we decided to open our doors today to the locals. They were invited to come up and ski at the ranch for free and we had a nice group zipping around the trails all day. We did offer that they could leave a donation for the North Routt Charter school where Jack, Annie, Maddie, Lila and Cody all go to school. Kelli is heading down the road to pick up Maddie and hand off an envelope with almost $500 for the school right now! What a nice way to start the season. Tomorrow’s the big day…..I told you I would blog daily until then and I think I only missed 1 or 2 days. I’ll try to keep up with frequent posts during the holidays at the ranch.

September at a Colorado Ranch

fly fishing coloradoI was asked to write a quick blog post for Forbes travel guide today.  Although we’re looking at a lot of snow and winter vacation visitors right now, I was able to remind myself of the wonderful month of September, and those great adult only dude ranch vacation times.  

The cattle round up at Vista Verde gives guests a chance to luxuriate at night, and rough it by day.  During the week-long stay, guests at our all inclusive ranch immerse themselves in clinics early in the week, and then move out on the trail to search out the cows on a 16,000 acre allotment in the National Forest.  The riding is challenging, and the task is real.  Some days the cows outsmart the riders, which leads to a lot of terrain covered in the beautiful fall weather.  Other days, we find a group of them within minutes of leaving the trail, round them up, and are back in time for lunch. 

September is also a great time for fly fishing at Vista Verde Ranch.  With the weather a bit cooler, and the water a bit slower, the fish are eager and hungry.   Fisherman can enjoy casting in small streams, high alpine lakes and large rivers right around this Colorado getaway. 

With the beautiful weather in September, the aspens changing colors and the month being dedicated to adult only vacations, September is a great time for couples to sneak away for a romantic mountain vacation, friends to gather, and singles to retreat to Vista Verde Ranch.