Dude Ranch Life: Orientation 2019

It’s that time of year when the staff arrive at the ranch with so much enthusiasm that the ranch buzzes with energy each day.  Even some spring snowstorms haven’t dissuaded the crew’s excitement.  We fill up the days with talks, training, safety demos, practice meals, getting the cabins opened up, fixing fence, and then cap off most days with some sort of social event to build the community of the ranch staff.  It’s wonderful, overwhelming, exhausting, and so exhilarating all at the same time.

In the Lodge Chol’s kitchen crew is busy making sauces and stocks, finalizing menus, and cooking for the staff.  The server’s are learning the ropes of how we do things in our dining room, which is far different than any restaurant any of them have worked in before.  Devyn has the office crew busy getting the pre-arrival arrangements made with the guests, organizing and updating the back of house systems, and fielding questions from guests who are starting to anticipate their stays.

Out in the Adventure Center Ben Simms is working with the barn and kids crew to get all those folks on the same page for what being a VVR guide looks like and all that goes into guiding a trip at the ranch.  There is so much for all of them to absorb and learn!

Next door at the kid hut Mandy has her crew ready to install our new bouldering feature outside the kids hut, as well as making sure the goats show up in time for the season, and teaching the kids crew the ropes of the program.

Mary and Sam have the farriers working daily to get shoes on all the horses in time for opening day while also getting the horses and equipment ready to go and the wranglers dialed in on how to teach the VVR way.  In addition to that work, Sam from Sam’s Saddle Solutions has been back this year to do saddle fits for all the new horses.  We have invested in her program the past couple years and it has been priceless for the comfort of our horses and the safety of our riders.  Our horses are happier, have less injuries, no saddle sores, and are able to be kept in the riding string more consistently with a professional saddle fit.

Michael has the ranch hands fixing fence, moving the lawn and pool furniture back out from storage, building new hammock stands, putting the screen doors back on the cabins, and that’s just the start of the honey-do list.  Down in the housekeeping area Hannah has her crew working diligently to get the cabins opened in time for a photo crew to come and shoot 360 tours of each cabin and Lodge room.  Nothing like a deadline to pick up the pace!

Whew, I’m tired just thinking about all this!  For those of you coming the first week or two of the season, we hope you’re getting excited.  Our staff are counting the days until you arrive, and we hope you are as well.