Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall our mountains bring back a sense of child like wonder!
Mountains were John Muir’s inspiration, religion, and heart’s home. The naturalist, author, and early wilderness advocate relished the mountains while he was in them, and pined for them when he wasn’t. Boy, can we relate.
The reasons people are drawn to mountains are as diverse as individual ranges themselves. The sight of mountains awe us, they are full of close-up surprises when we explore them on foot, they are a sanctuary to wildlife, and in them we can experience both peaceful quiet and stirring drama.
Vallecito Lake sitting under the back drop of the Weminuche Wilderness...
and the back yard to Wilderness Trails Ranch!
If the Mountains are calling you join us at the ranch in 2012! For our local friends, who want to visit "our Winter Wonderland" and join the special holiday celebration, please consider joining us this weekend!
*There is nothing quite like Christmas in the mountains and there is definitely nothing quite as spectacular as "Christmas in Vallecito"! The majestic snow draped mountains peeking over our beautiful valley and lake, miles of trails glistening like crystals in the endless rocky mountain sunshine and of course the sounds of the season - from sleigh bells to children's laughter - a winter paradise awaits and we want to share it with you!
Please join us for a weekend of events here in the valley beginning Friday evening, December 16th and ending Sunday evening, December 18th, 2011. For more information on these events, simply comment on this event page and we will answer promptly.
LISTING OF EVENTS - December 16, 17 & 18, 2011
Festival of Trees Tour – 6:00pm to 9:00pm (See 4 local homes open to tour offering refreshments and raffle for seasonal gift basket). Benefiting the Vallecito Service League Community Assistance and Project Merry Christmas. Bring a canned food item for the local food bank. Maps for homes and tickets ($10.00/per person, kids free) sold at local stores and Vallecito Service League
* Community Pancake Breakfast - 8:00am to 11:00am (Event Center)
* Up North Salon Open House – 9:00am to 3:00pm
* Dog Sled Rides - 11:00am to 1:00pm
* Kids Christmas Party and Photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause
2:00pm to 4:00pm (Blue Spruce RV Park Lodge)
* The Polar Express Movie – 5:30pm to 7:00pm (Polished Salon)
* Home lighting Contest – Judging will take place on Saturday Evening
* Poker Run – 5:00pm to 7:00pm (Starting point and registration at the Schank House) Bring a canned food item for the local food bank
* Kirk James Blues Band – 7:00pm to 11:00pm (Schank House)
* Ugly Sweater Contest – Judging at 9:00pm (Schank House)
* Photo Booth – 7:00pm to 11:00pm (Schank House)
* Christmas Comes Alive! – 6:00pm to 8:00pm (Vallecito Church)
a living nativity
* Sunday Brunch – 8:00am to 1:00pm (Schank House)
* Sleigh Rides – 1:00pm to 3:00pm (Behind the Schank House)
* Christmas Carroling – 1:00pm to 3:00pm (In front of Schank House)
* Kids Rides on the Holiday Express Train – 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ongoing - Both Saturday and Sunday:
* The Giving Tree – Tuesday November 29th through Tuesday December 20th (The Vallecito Country Market) Pick a tag off the tree for a child or family in need to make their Christmas a special one
* The Cookie Shack – 8:00am to 4:00pm (Sat), 10:00am to 2:00pm (Sunday) (The Rocky Mountain General Store)
* Craft Fair – Crafters Welcome!
* Ice Sculpting Contest – 10:00am to 4:00pm
(Behind Schank House) Judging at 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday
* Ice Skating – 10:00am to 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday
(Behind the Schank House, no hockey sticks please)
* The Nordic Center Cross Country Ski and Snowshoeing – 10:00am to 2:00pm Cookies and hot chocolate at Madden Corner (where the homes are located, just over the dam about 2 miles ahead
* The Forest Service Xmas Tree Cutting Permits for Middle Mountain - Rocky Mountain General Store
* Campfire, Smores and Hot Chocolate – 1:00pm to 3:00pm
(Behind Schank House)
Join us at the ranch, the week of August 19th, 2012! It's a lot more than spectacular horseback riding, especially this week!
On Monday August 20th we are going to Durango for the start of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge! Wow, how exciting to be part of this international event!
Don't forget we do have incredible mountain biking at and surrounding the ranch too. From mild to wild, come "ride the ridges" with WTR mountain bikes or bring your own!
If you want to ride hard, ride often, ride slow or ride relaxed either on a horse or on a bike, well, "you got it, dude"!
Of course you can always enjoy the same daily incredible horseback riding, from cattle work to incredibly beautiful half or full days rides in the largest wilderness region in the mainland United States!
Durango Selected as Start of Stage 1 for 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge
International cycling race begins August in Southwestern Colorado
– With nearly 40 cities across the state expressing initial interest in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, race officials have selected Durango as one of the 12 host cities that will serve as starts and finishes for the second annual stage race. After drawing more than 1 million spectators in its inaugural year, the 2012 race will return to Colorado from August 20-26, 2012, and will visit Durango as the start of Stage 1 on Monday, August 20.
The host cities and stages of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge include:
- Monday, Aug. 20 Stage 1 Durango – Telluride
- Tuesday, Aug. 21 Stage 2 Montrose – Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte
- Wednesday, Aug. 22 Stage 3 Gunnison – Aspen
- Thursday, Aug. 23 Stage 4 Aspen – Beaver Creek/Vail Valley
- Friday, Aug. 24 Stage 5 Breckenridge – Colorado Springs
- Saturday, Aug. 25 Stage 6 Golden – Boulder
- Sunday, Aug. 26 Stage 7/TT Denver
“The host cities selected for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will enable us to showcase the beauty and hospitality of Colorado to a worldwide audience,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “These cities are valued partners who will work with us, hand in hand, as we continue to raise the bar for professional cycling here in America.”
“Durango is proud to host the overall start of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge,” says Doug Lyon Durango’s Mayor Pro Tem. “From the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic to Fort Lewis College’s 17-time Collegiate National Champion cycling--Durango is home to the finest in cycling and the reason so many professional cyclists call Durango home.” No stranger to high profile races, this quintessential Southwestern Colorado mountain town will provide a breathtaking backdrop of the San Juan Mountains and plenty of summer activities and festivities to make it a perfect destination for race spectators.
“As home to the # 1 ranked Division I collegiate cycling team in the country, Fort Lewis College is excited and proud to be part of a premier US Cycling event that starts right here in Durango,” says Dene Kay Thomas, President of Fort Lewis College. “We look forward to showcasing our campus as part of the Cycling Village along with everything the Durango area has to offer.”
Durango's host city selection celebration will be held in conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge official announcement on Tuesday, December 13 at 5:30 pm at Steamworks Brewing Company, 801 East Second Street, Durango, Colorado! Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration.
Also new in 2012 is the placement of the Individual Time Trial on the final day of racing in Denver, keeping fans holding their breath to the very end to see who will be awarded the overall victory of the seven days of fiercely competitive racing. Fans in Denver will have multiple opportunities to cheer for any given rider, as well as the benefit of both start line access to riders along the traditional team “pit row” and the thrilling finish line excitement.
A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado.
Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.
About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2012 race will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge will take place August 20-26, 2012. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route to see if Levi Leipheimer will defend his title as winner of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, while millions more around the world will watch the race on television and online through Tour Tracker.
More information can be found on the website www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com,
and Twitter page @USAProChallenge
OMGoodness! Our very own Tim Craig of Wild Country Band has done it! He is singing our song, that is if you are a fan of the Denver Bronco's! Tim's "sage" advise is heard through playing his guitar, singing and making a video!
"Tebow" as most everyone knows is the Denver Bronco's Football Team Quarter Back and there is just "a bit" of talk about him! Ha, ha!
As many of you remember Wild Country Band played every Thursday night for our gourmet dinner and dance.
You can always tell who are "Us Colorado Cowboys", we love our Denver Bronco's! Thank's Tim!
Check out this video - we understand the full track will be available for sale tomorrow!
Thanks Tim, we love you! Go man, go!
We would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for the wonderful friends we have made & memories that we have shared for over 43 years at Wilderness Trails.
This past summer, one of Chef Jake's most memorable culinary creations were his Scallop Potatoes.
We had requests for not only seconds, but third and fourth(!) servings - even from the gals - who kept saying, "I should not have any more but these are SO good!"
We are thankful for Chef Jake and his willingness to share his special recipes, especially to those of us who are still trying to decide what to make for our splendid side dish on this day of Thanks. Scallop Potatoes
Courtesy of WTR Chef Jake Asmussen
Servings = 6
Suggested Pan Size = 8x8x2
- 1.5 pounds Russet or large Baby Red potatoes, sliced as thin as possible (a mandoline or food processor is recommended)
- 1 pint heavy table cream
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups shredded cheese of your choice, Chef Jake recommends cheddar and asiago
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Soak potatoes in salt water for 20 minutes. Note: 1 gallon of water per 2 teaspoons salt
Brush the pan with butter
Build layers (4-5) with potatoes, cream, S&P and minced garlic (fill cream to potatoes level only)
Top with shredded cheese and fill edges and pan with rest of cream.
Add S&P to taste
Wrap top in foil
Bake at 350 degrees, check after 45 minutes
Casserole is finished when the toothpick will slide easily to the bottom of the pan
Do not overcook
Leave foil on casserole and let sit for 15 minutes
Score, serve, & enjoy when hot! Happy Thanksgiving from the Roberts family
& our Posse at Wilderness Trails Ranch
As many of you remember we collected suggestions to name our filly (baby girl horse).
She was such a cutie running around the front pasture, getting all the attention and hanging out with Pepper, Piper, Chica and her mom!
By the way to clarify a foal is a baby horse, a filly is a girl and a colt is a boy!
Anyway we had such a darn hard time trying to pick a name for this cutie! So, we came up with a plan!
We thought to ourselves, what can we do? Oh cool, we'll get our friends and guests involved!
We narrowed it down to "children's entries only" (our WTR kiddos) and then put them in a hat and pulled out 14 names.
Here is where we need your help. Now until November 30th, we would like for you to email, facebook or call with your vote on the name to choose from the list below. That name with the most votes will win and we will crown our little girl (now not so little) with her new name.
We will announce the name the foal on December 2nd, 2012!
Names pulled from the hat (Gene's hat of course!) are:
Cora Gaelic, Wild Flower, Chica, Raven, Moonbeam, Shadow, Pina (pronounced pine-a), Cocoa, Kitten, Sunshine, Lae-Lee, Maddie, Chloe and Dixie Doodle
So there you have it. Please email, fax, phone or facebook and let us know your vote!
Of course children are encouraged to participate in this event! So what shall her name be?
Now that's the way you round em up, dear! You think the kids are having fun too?
Today is Halloween, and as everyone knows it's the day when the kids dress up as Cowboys and Cowgirls, Super Heroes, Ghosts, Goblins and everything in between and it's really "their day"! Well, at WTR it's kids day (and even kids at heart) every day during family weeks. As we look at photos of this past 2011 summer season we think back on just how much the kiddos add to our ranch days with joy and laughter and how at WTR we don't need Halloween to dress up!
Take a peek at a couple kids having fun at WTR!
Kids and horses- they sure make you smile!
Happy Halloween to all you WTR kids! Have a Fun and Safe time!
Join WTR and clinician Katherine Barbarite for a week of exploring the "gentle approach" techniques to horsemanship and more. This incredible week is offered June 3rd through the 9th, 2012. The cost is $2,495 per person and is limited to 20 participants!
See why this is more than just your average horsemanship clinic!
Don't miss out on this rare opportunity! Men, women, couples, singles and adults over 16 are invited to participate in this exclusive event. Day rates and horse boarding available for locals.
It snowed - but didn't stick. Now we have gorgeous sunshine throughout the days with cold nights! We await the first big snowstorm of the year, but not too soon we still have a lot to do, to get ready for winter!
Want a "Peak" at the top of Middle Mountain?