There is no way around it–these are just weird times. Even in our remote setting, far away from the crowds and chaos we are not immune from the strain of the current situation. How do we take care of our staff? When will business resume as normal? How do we feed and shelter our staff who live on the ranch? What do we to in order to take care of our guests coming this summer? How do we protect the most vulnerable of our staff from trips to town and keep them isolated from those who need to go in for supplies?
Through it all, the sun keeps rising and setting, the horses still need to be fed, and the snow is melting away a little bit each day.
We cut off our winter season early despite many families who would have preferred to shelter in place at the ranch rather than go home. They were all very gracious and understanding, but it was a hard day for all involved. We did our best to button up the end of season chores as quickly as possible, and the staff have been heading home to hunker down for the off-season. Of course all off-season plans are on the back burner, so no epic trips and wild travels this Spring. We are all grateful that we get to shelter in a place that allows us to still get outside for fresh air and exercise, and it’s just so peaceful, even with all the mud.
There are a few projects that have been tabled for now, but a few that we are going to manage in-house with the skeleton crew who live on the ranch year-round. Nate is pulling up the dining room carpet to lay conduit for phone lines that were failing and prepare for new carpet to go in. Steph S. and Shannon are alternating covering the office and doing an intense deep clean on the Lodge that is long overdue. Ben Simms is putting away the winter gear and getting out the summer gear with the optimism that we’ll be biking and fishing soon enough. Hannah is shutting down the cabins and getting everything deep cleaned and laundered. Mary and Sam are alternating horse duty to feed, doctor, and get the young colts ridden. Melissa, Tanner, and Chol are taking turns in the kitchen cooking down what food we still have left and offering the VVR version of curbside delivery. The rest of us are working from home or taking some time off and laying low.
In the midst of all this, we have new life to welcome at the ranch. Although none of us have been able to go hold her and squeeze her, Beka and Michael welcomed little Elsa last week. Mom and baby are doing great, and Clara is learning all about being a big sister. We can’t wait to meet Elsa in person and the family can’t wait to come out of their self-imposed quarantine!
Our hearts go out to all of you trying to navigate this new norm with all the uncertainties that go along with it. To the healthcare workers who are gearing up for battle, those who are in the essential services fields, the parents learning to become teachers suddenly, and those who are wondering when their next paycheck will show up we send our love, gratitude, and prayers. Check out our social media channels for little breaks from reality each day–we’re trying to keep the good feels coming your way!