vista verde Tag

Chaos, Organized?

We have been trying to keep you all updated with the construction of the Great Room addition to the Main Lodge. But, while that has been going on, we’ve mentioned the indoor arena as well as a few other smaller projects. As I walked around this morning, capturing photos of everything happening around the ranch on this beautiful day, I realized that I should give you all a real feel for the scene. Maybe it’s because it’s all coming together finally and the pieces are falling into place. Or maybe it’s just because the weather is now allowing us to get some of the projects really going. Once you read this list, you’ll understand why Ben and Dace have a glazed look on their faces most days and why I’m working from home as much as possible! Don’t worry, these projects are all nearing completion and are on schedule to be done June 1. Here’s the list:
1) Great Room addition to the Main Lodge– you’ve all heard about this one, but it is looking REALLY good right now.
2) Outdoor kitchen and dining area– brick oven, major grilling space, patio seating right next to the….
3) Enlarged Lake Suzanne– ok, so we needed some dirt to build terrain around the Indoor riding arena (next up) so we decided to make the pond a bit larger so people aren’t hooking each other as they practice their casting.
4) Indoor Riding Arena– you may wonder why I haven’t written much about it. Well, not to knock Californians (I’m one!) but these guys were a little sensitive to working in our winter weather and seemed to take more snow days than work days. But a few pointed words from key people (aka, they guy writing the checks) has gotten them to pick up the pace just a tad, and buy a few pairs of mittens and hats to keep them going. Although it will be enclosed by summer, it wont be ready to use for riding until later in the season, but the point of the arena is really for winter riding more than summer riding and for the summer we’ll have….
5) Outdoor riding arena– this isn’t quite as exciting but the fencing needed to be replaced since we’ve had too many steers jump out during team penning so there is now new fencing and a nice chaparral gate to boot.
6) Staff housing– we needed to finish building out a couple staff rooms in the Parlor. So, since we had NOTHING else going on, we figured we’d that knocked out this spring.
7) Sand bathroom– you may have read about this surprise remodel early in the spring after a water leak ruined the floor. Bill has the tile and granite in, the walls painted and now the plumbing and light fixtures are going in tomorrow.
8 ) Corral space– remember that old hay barn that fell down last winter. Well, we’re taking advantage of that space to expand our holding pen for the horses, so dirt is being moved, rock walls built and fences will go up next.
9) Generator– I know, this really gets you going. But, look at the bright side (pardon the electricity pun) that now if the power goes out we’ll still have lights and water. What can I say, it’s the little details that make this place so great.
10) Revised pathways to cabin– we’ve been eyeballing this for a while and are finally doing it (again, since we have NOTHING else to do). The new pathway system will give each cabin more privacy as the main walkway will be moved to the other side of the stream.
11) Yes, there is a #11. The Dining room, Kitchen and Staff room remodel. Hey, it’s kind of like painting a house. Once you get started, it just seems so easy to add another room, and then another, and then another.

This may seem daunting to you, but with the exception of the Arena, it’s all on track to be done before any of you show up for the summer. The landscapers are coming next week to get the outside areas looking spiffy, lay sod, plant trees, arrange rocks, you name it.

It’s exciting to start seeing all these projects come together and be almost done. But, in the meantime, it’s a bit of a zoo around here!

With all that news of chaos, Kelli and I are going to go out and scout a good spot for our Wild Yoga….details to follow.

Waking Up

This wonderful essay was written by guest Katie after returning to school this fall. I thought it was so beautifully written that I wanted to share it with everyone.

Waking Up
As I doze I slowly become aware that I am no longer in Edinburgh, I know this because the quilt under my fingers is soft but unnecessary; warm air washes over me like an ocean. The tangy scent of wood surrounds me, a prominent smells of horse also wafts through the room. I can hear horses as well, nickering softly in the distance. Grasses sigh and a bird begins to sing. The melody of bird, horse and forest fully awaken me.

I open my eyes and take in my surroundings. The soft quilt I feel is large and old, hanging off the side of the wooden double bed. I roll over and see a large window letting soft sunlight filter through as there are no curtains to obstruct the light. The window is triangular and its frame is made of wood; I notice that wood is a main material in this room, as if every piece of furniture is made from the nearby forest that I can see through the window.

This room is large and has a sloping roof; I bend over as to not bang my head as I get up to inspect the window and what lies beyond more thoroughly. What I see is a sight that stirs excitement and happiness within me, Vista Verde Ranch sprawls out beneath my window. I see a large aspen forest to my left in which deer roam freely, not fearful of hunters or bears. To my right is a large field of glistening horses munching on the rich, green grass that sprouts beneath their feet. A bubbling stream runs alongside the house, a fairytale-style bridge crosses it and a path continues down to a huge, homely, wooden lodge that has too many windows for me to count.

I turn back towards my room, the sun sends hot rays on to my back but cool, blue air makes the temperature perfect for shorts and T-shirts. Other members of my family begin to wake up; my mum and dad stir downstairs in the master bedroom. A quiet giggle comes from the room next to mine; separated by a wooden partition, my brother and sister must already be awake. They are excited as I am for the day ahead.
I notice the cowboy boots on the floor and an old pair of jeans resting on an ancient chair. Memories come flooding back as I remember days of riding and making loads of new friends, I remember a birthday I spent here and evenings spent in the Jacuzzi outside. I grow more and more excited with every memory. I dress quickly, pulling on the old jeans and a shirt that will protect my skin from the burning sun that is now rising above the valley. Just before I pull on some socks I notice the soft and luxuriously deep carpet that covers the floor, it tickles my toes and pampers my feet. I notice the high quality of it; little luxuries like this cover the house and make my stay even better.

I know that today will be filled to the brim with horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, excellent food and crazy friends; today I could go to a horse clinic to bond with my horse or herd cattle, just like a cowboy, I could cycle to the ice cream parlour or go for an all day ride, there are endless possibilities! But that’s just the beauty of this place, everyday is a new adventure.

Name: Katie from Edinburgh