The Dangers of Dude Ranching

Kelsey, one of our stupendous servers who have rocked the ranch this winter, found out this week that life can be dangerous at a dude ranch in Colorado. Here she recounts her tale:

Winter time at Vista Verde means lots of wonderful outdoor activities for the staff to participate in during their time off. From skiing and sledding, to nighttime snowshoeing, there is always something to do in the great outdoors. But this winter, our evenings have been spent dancing. Country swing dancing has been a very new and exciting experience for me. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do cool spins, dips and the 2-step, but my lack of rhythm and balance have usually prevented me from lasting more than three minutes on the dance floor. But I have had a breakthrough here at the ranch! I can actually follow the steps and spin without getting dizzy most of the time, especially when dancing with Nathan, who is very good and patient.

The other night Sarah, Nathan and I decided to practice some of the aerials and spins we have been working on for the last few weeks in the kid’s hut. We felt confident with the old material so decided to try some new aerials and flips. After Sarah and Nathan perfected the can opener, we decided to finish with a new back-flip move. This involved standing back to back, linking arms, and the girl crunching her knees as the guy pulls her over his head. The first attempt was satisfactory so we decided to try it again. This time, I knew I needed to loosen my arms a little sooner so that we could stand up straight at the end. Unfortunately, I let go a little too early and I landed off balance. My feet instantly slipped out from under me and I landed on the right side of my face and shoulder.

I now understand the cartoon portrayal of stars flying around someone’s head-I must have seen 10 shooting stars by the time Sarah and Nathan got me back on my feet. After making sure I was ok, they led me to a mirror so I could see my face. A very large bump on my right eyebrow left me looking somewhat like Quasimodo. I started laughing so hard! I couldn’t imagine what it was going to look like the next day and was embarrassed thinking about how I was going to serve the guests in the dining room without them thinking I had been in a fight. In the morning, I bravely tried to cover it with my bangs but of course they never stayed in place and everyone ended up noticing anyways. I came up with a couple different stories to try to make it sound like I had this injury due to a heroic action. One such story involved saving Nicky from the horses in the pasture when the feeding sled broke down. Another story involved doing a double back-flip while back country skiing. But alas, none of the stories were as entertaining as the truth- I fell while dancing. I don’t think I will be asked to lead any dance lessons here at the ranch anytime soon.

So if you thought there aren’t any adventures at our luxury dude ranch, you were wrong! But when you come out, how about no black eyes!