You know it’s off-season at a dude ranch when:

By Steph

It’s off-season at Vista Verde right now.  What does that mean?  We’re not open for guests, most of the seasonal staff have headed home, either for a break before the winter season or onto their next adventure in life.  Many of the managers are on vacation as well.  Yesterday I had a chuckle at some of the classic signs that you know it’s off-season:

  1. Beka has worn her running clothes to work every day this week.  I think she has run before work, mid-day, and then gone outside to hike or run at the end of the day as well.
  2. The “Closed for the Season” was up within 24 hours of our last guests leaving the ranch last week.  That’s a Bill ritual.  He never misses it.
  3. We all said, “Have a great weekend” to each other last Friday afternoon, and meant it in the normal sense that people use those words.
  4. Ben’s cowboy boots have been replaced by cozy, soft, slip on shoes.
  5. It takes an hour to find and catch a horse to ride, since they are spread out on about 200 acres, and aren’t getting rounded up each morning and brought into the corral.
  6. We’re being reminded of what the rest of the world goes through with having to pack a lunch each morning.  Novel concept.
  7. I have worn the same pair of ratty jeans every day this week.  Yep, saves on laundry.  Don’t worry, I will be more than happy to bust out my “fancy” jeans when guests return.  We’ve gotta have some standards around here!
  8. Dead flies.  We miss the housekeepers cleaning the Great Room.  Nuff said.
  9. Appointments.  Everyone seems to have an appointment.  Haircuts, oil changes, teeth cleanings.  You name it, we all have time to get things done now.

Some of us here love the off-season as it offers a chance to catch up on projects without distraction, work a more traditional 8-5, Mon-Fri schedule, and of course it’s the time when we all fit in our vacation!  Others dread it as it’s just too lonely and quiet around the ranch with everyone gone.  Either way you slice it, we’re taking advantage of what it has to offer, and getting ready for the staff to arrive early December and the guests to follow a couple weeks later.