Dude Ranch Life: Junecember

If you ask an old time rancher around the Steamboat Springs area about snow in the summer, they’ll laugh and tell you that it can snow every month of the year here in the mountains.  It’s one thing to hear that, but it’s another thing to be scraping off the windshield of your car on the summer solstice!  We tell our guests to pack for their vacation with lots of layers and to expect a range of temperatures and weather….but snow during your summer vacation?

Last week, the pattern of precipitation we’ve had so far this spring/summer was in the forecast and we were ready.  What we weren’t quite expecting was to wake up to snow on Friday, and have it keep falling all day long.  It wasn’t just a couple flakes like we’ve seen before.  It was a full on snowstorm!  Snow was piling up on the roofs, the railing, and the meadows.  Our hearty guests did a great job of embracing the fact that on the longest day of the year they were bundling up in whatever clothes we could dig up and going out to play in the snow.  Some of the teens made a snowman, and the ranch hands spent a good part of the day shaking the snow off the trees so we wouldn’t lose too many.  All those aspens are not designed to have leaves on them at the same time as snow so they were leaning over perilously!  The chefs switched gears from light outdoor lunch to a variety of grilled cheese and soups for lunch to warm everyone up, and we kept a fire in the fireplace going all day.  Of course, the horses weren’t too happy about this all as they have long ago shed their winter coats.  So, they all got a little extra alfalfa to keep their bodies firing up their internal heaters.

Here we are just a few days later enjoying summer weather with lunch out on the patio, smearing on the sunscreen as we strip down to short sleeves.  Go figure, and here’s to all those who come out to Vista Verde Ranch for a summer vacation embrace whatever weather shows up for us in these mountains!