Posts Tagged ‘winter vacation’
Date: May 12th, 2011
With many of us squeezing in vacation time the past couple weeks (yes, you may have noticed an absence of blog posts…that would be me sneaking away for a bit), it’s been pretty quiet around the ranch. This week the long term crew begins to roll back in. Ben is the last one to arrive back, hot off the beaches of Mexico where he and Holly snuck away for a little R&R. Our pre-season kick-off meeting with all the managers will be this Thursday, and then we’ll all go running with our to-do lists. As we race around getting ready for the staff to arrive, and the ensuing orientation weeks, we’re anxiously watching the sun melt the snow. It turns out we have had a blockbuster, off the charts winter. The news is saying that the Steamboat area has set an all-time record for the state of Colorado. In April, we got 27 days of snow. Too bad the Steamboat Ski Area didn’t extend it’s winter vacation season! So, the hiking guides may be doing their training on snowshoes as we wait for the snow pack around our dude ranch to melt away prior to opening day. We’re going to have some fun adventures with snow still up in the high country. It will be like no summer I’ve ever seen. I bet we’ll be able to find snow up at the highest peaks in August…so get ready for snowball fights on your all-day hike!
With the sun shining and the birds singing, we are also enjoying other new life….BABIES! The Elk River Valley is dotted with baby cows, running and frolicking with their friends. And we have had our first foal of the year. Rachel gave us a Cinco de Mayo filly, a little bay with a white star. She is so adorable and so sweet. I believe Charlie won the bet on when that first foal would come. No surprise there.
For those of you coming this summer, we look forward to a full house of interesting and lively guests at our dude ranch. For those still thinking about coming, we are down to the wire with one cabin open in early June, and then a couple spots later in September during our adult only weeks.
Come on sunshine, melt it away!
Date: May 12th, 2011
First… I’d like to begin by stating that I am truly, truly blessed. Please do not let the following statements indicate otherwise. I am a super-busy Wife and Mommy of 3 human children and one 4-legg’ed furry child (Golden Retriever). I’d begin my stay by waking up "late"… Maybe by 6:30 AM or so. I’d enjoy an uninterrupted cup of coffee. …Maybe two cups. I would enjoy a day without the sounds of Spongebob, video games, children fussing or dogs barking. I would avoid stories of the "Down Economy" or the "Fiscal Cliff". I would be able to complete my sentences. I might EVEN be able to complete a single THOUGHT! My husband and I could relive a time when we were just "Us". …If only for a few days.
Name: Victoria LeBlanc
City: Baton Rouge
Date: November 9th, 2010
From the time I can remember I have wanted a ‘ranch’ lifestyle. Not being afraid of hard work and extreme temperatures, I have always wanted a chance to experience a real ranch. My husband and I met in Tucson, AZ and had planned to live a rural lifestyle and perhaps one day have what I would consider a hobby ranch where I could live my dream; not Bonanza exactly, but close enough for two people who grew up in the suburbs back east. However, shortly after we married, we were surprised with the news that we were expecting. And, trying to do what we thought best, we gave up our idea of the ‘ranch experiment’ and continued our ‘normal’ life. Since that time, we have added another son to our family and life goes on. However, there is not a day that I don’t think ‘what if?’. Not that I am discontent at all, but having a visit to a ranch would certainly fulfill a long dream my husband and I shared. In fact, we have never even had a honeymoon but have been married now 16 years just this Dec 28th. I subscribed to "Top 50 Ranches" site on my FB page to keep the ‘dream’ alive and perhaps now we will have a chance to win a lifetime dream trip.
We are not skiing people, but would ride horses, enjoy the culinary classes and wine tastings, walks/hikes, back road tours and just embrace every moment we had together. I would love to surprise my husband with this trip and
thank you for this opportunity!
Name: Laura Hayden
Date: November 9th, 2010
Today’s snow is typical of early or late season snow. Sloppy, wet, mushy. Car tires splash around in it, it makes the ground underneath muddy and messy. The heavy, wet snow weighs down the trees and snaps power lines. It’s a necessary snow as we need it to get our base going, but it’s not the most enjoyable snow.
Then you have quiet snow. The kind that just fluffs under your feet, the car almost makes no noise as you drive over it, and you almost feel like you have earplugs in as the sounds of the valley are muffled when this snow falls.
Closely related to that quiet snow is the famous champagne powder snow. This stuff is often followed by a crystal clear, cold day. Everything is magnified with this snow, and every time you take a step it makes a poof sound and snow puffs up around you. Light, fluffy, ideal for skiing and playing, but not so great for snowman building. The snowflakes are huge and beautiful.
Last up on my sounds of snow is the cold snow. This snow is like diamonds, glittering and shining as it falls out of the sky. It comes on days when it is so cold the snow doesn’t get a chance to make big snowflakes, just freezes in tiny little flakes. The trees sparkle as the sun rises and shines on the snow. The sound is crunchy. Whether you are riding a horse, driving a car or walking around every time you make a move the new snow crunches.
If you’re headed for a beach this winter, you’re going to miss out on experiencing one of these kinds of snow sounds. It’s a magical world out at Vista Verde in the winter. Breathtaking. As long as you have the right gear, playing in whatever kind of snow you get is an amazing winter vacation experience.
Date: January 13th, 2009
Think back to your favorite Western; the romantic mountain getaway, with the mustangs running wild and free across the plains of the west. Built for the rugged terrain of the Colorado Mountains, the cowboys tamed and trained some of these wild mustangs. Many herds of these horses still running free today. In an effort to manage the land and prevent their population from exceeding its carrying capacity, the Bureau of Land Management has begun adopting some of these wild mustangs into the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP).
Since 1971, Colorado has protecting and ensuring the future of our beautiful wild mustangs with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act passed by Congress. In 1986, the WHIP program was created. The Wild Horse Inmate Program was the first of its kind, bringing the horses to corrections facilities to be gentled and trained by inmates before being adopted. Besides an emotional and relationship building outlet with these horses, it has given the inmates the opportunity to learn equine skills to use when they are released.
These mustangs have a distinct feature that makes them stand out right away in a herd: their distinguishing code on the left side of their neck. This code gives three identifying pieces of information: the registering organization or state they came from, the estimated year of their birth, and the horse’s registration number within the BLM system.
Just this past spring, we adopted 3 new horses for our family dude ranch, giving them a new home and a bright future in the mountains of Colorado. Our horse program was introduced to Cuatro, Cheyenne, and Caddy, our new, once wild mustangs. They joined Crow, another mustang who has been here for years. Cuatro has already carried his share of guests as the 4 year old gelding is a joy to ride. Cheyenne, 6, and Caddy, 4, are still perfecting their skills with our wranglers this season. From their time with their wild herd, these horses understand all too well herd dynamics, so when they came to Vista Verde they adapted very quickly to our herd of over 100 horses. We are excited to have them with us and be able to give them a purpose and new life guiding guests who are on ranch holidays, while staying in the mountains of their home state.
If you would like to learn more about the WHIP program you can visit the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/wild_horse_and_burro/Wild_Horse_Inmate_Program_Colorado.html .
Date: January 13th, 2009
Almost two years ago we had a film crew come out to the ranch and follow a family around on their vacation. It all sounded nice and benign when we got the call and put them in touch with a family who was willing to be filmed. It turned out to be a little more “stalking” than anyone expected, but Jill and Ken and their girls were so game and so gracious. After all this time, and many jokes about the whole experience, they are finally going to have their 15 minutes in the spotlight. On January 19 at 6pm EST, their winter adventure will air on the Fine Living Network. We haven’t seen it, so I may regret sharing this with all of you…and Jill may hate me for telling you too! Hopefully it will be a nice piece showing their beautiful family having fun at the ranch in the wintertime.