Warm fires in runlet room keep you warm, but we miss our friends as we close for the season and yes start removing snow!
Soon we will be showing you pictures of snow covered peaks on Middle and Runlett mountains.
We can't wait to open again in 2012 when we get more warm hugs, friends, new smiling faces and no freezing tempertures!
Stay tuned for more to come!
September at Wilderness Trails Ranch, located at the base of the largest wilderness region in the mainland USA and in the San Juan portion of the Rocky Mountains of SW Colorado.
Well, we started out a bit rainier than usual, but now we have our Indian Summer which brings lots of sunshine! Woo-hoo! Our days are in the 70's and evenings in the high 40's/low 50's. For this mountain girl it is just about perfect!!!
We are just about to close for the season (October 1) Boo-hoo! For those of you lucky enough to be here now, send us your fall color changing photos. For those who missed your chance at riding through the brilliant red and gold forest, or what some of us call "enchanted forest", we are sorry.
Book early so you too can see (a year from now) the stunning gold and red sparking through the sunlight! Please send your fall color changing photos! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to see who has captured the best fall picture!
This dude ranch week was for the girls! Cowgirl camp is specifically geared towards our lady guests, and a good time was had by all. We had a jewelery party, fantastic rides, riding clinics with our own Erika Roberts, karaoke at Viriginia's Steak House, massages, margarita night, a wine pairing dinner, and ziplining. There was no shortage of activities or fun to be had.
Erika is a riding expert and sure does know her way around a horse. She conducted round pen clinics and taught the ladies some of the natural horsemanship techniques she employs- including ground work and going bridleless.
Thank you to 1881 Western Photography for the amazing pictures!
The ladies also got to learn how to direct our draft team, Rick & Red. They are the horses that pull our hay wagon... do you get the feeling they forgot something in these pictures?
Like, I don't know, the wagon?
Karaoke was also a big hit. Here we all are singing "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor style!
The cowgirls also did some cattle work.
Rachel the wrangler is trying to point the cow in the right direction, but I don't think he is listening.
Erika also gave the girls a demonstration on roping from horseback.
Afterwards, the cowgirls pushed the cattle back out into the pasture, encapsulated by the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.
A few cowgirls fed the little daredevil on their shoulder when they went to Full Blast Adventure Center and went zip lining!
ZIP ON Linda & Becky!
Overall, just a great bunch of women, and a really wonderful week. I know I had a blast getting to know all of you, and getting to share some tall tales and trails with you. Hope to see ya'll again next year!
There is no shortage of fun to be had for kids visiting the ranch. It was a wonderful week full of all sorts of exciting adventures for our pint sized guests.
Emily & Jack mounting up for the excitement to begin...
Sisters Scout & Alli were spectacular cowgirls & even gave love to each other's horse.
Cowgirl Emily loved horseback riding on her horse Cody, and was very knowledgable about animals.
Riding is one of the biggest attractions at our ranch, because it gives the kids a chance to be real cowboys/girls while they are here.
Despite the tenderness of their years, the kids even got to participate in a cattle drive. They pushed cattle like pros.
On pioneer day the kids got to paint their faces, create headresses like Native Americans & hike out to the ranch tepee to shoot bows & arrows.
The cowkids also took part in a rodeo- where a lot of playfulness and friendly competition ensued
The Donut Relay Race was a ranch hit this week- Alli & Jack are battling it out to see who gets the donut and back on their horse first.
Scout was an expert polebender in the rodeo!
While her sister roped like a dude ranch champ!
I wish I could go back in time and come back to the ranch as a kid! They have a blast here!
Thank you to 1881 Western Photography for the amazing pictures! They really captured the week at Wilderness Trails Ranch well!
Our guests this week, Jim and Donna, celebrated their 50th anniversary in May. They came to Wilderness Trails Ranch to commemorate the special occasion with their extended family:Susan, Donna, Ian, Galen, Jerry,and Michael.
When asked what the secret was to a long and happy marriage, Donna answered -much to the amusement of the staff and other guests- "He traveled a lot!"
She then added, "My uncle told me, 'Don't ever lie to your husband; but don't tell him all the truth either."
Jim was more sentimental with, "Every year you appreciate being married to a wonderful woman and having a wonderful family more and more."
Congratulations to you both, and may you have many more happy years together!
Dude Ranching isn't all cattle drives and horseback riding- every once in a while you can trade in your cowboy boots for dancing shoes!
Well, I did not think I'd meet guests that like dancing as much as I do... WRONG! We had quite the bunch this week, and quite a lot of fun! It all started Monday evening after we did our normal line dancing lesson. What is more dude ranch, or country western than Michael Jackson's "Thriller"?
Sloane, one of our guests, thought it would be fun to teach some of our gentlemen guests along with Jenni, Gary, and Rachel, our wranglers, the "Thriller" dance.
Doing their best "Thriller" pose!
Then, on Tuesday, we did an entire HOUR of ZUMBA! I was so excited to have so many male guests participate! They were all panting at the end and admitting that Zumba is, in fact, an amazing work out!
They ROCKED it!
You can't stop the dance!
Thursday night the fun continued!
Though you wouldn't think so by the look on Harrison's face...
We enjoyed you all so much, please come again!
Every year there is a staff night out, and we call it "Christmas in July." It is a time for all of the ranch folks to be off, be goofy, and have fun together. This Christmas in July we went a restaurant on Lake Vallecito owned by Gary Peach, our former chef. Everybody had drawn a name two weeks prior to be a "Secret Santa" for another staff member. Gifts could be heartfelt or fun... most of us went for fun!
For instance, Kat had Gary Cassens and I had Kani Cassens. Guests had been teasing Kani about being pregnant, one guest predicted she would have boys, and both Kat and I feel they probably need to get busy on the baby-making front, so we both went for baby items.
Kathryn has personal space issues and is always telling people to stay out of her hula hoop or she'll send out prickles like a porcupine. So she got a hula hoop, and a toy porcupine as her gift.
My favorite horses just happen to be all of the big, black draft horse mixes, so Kani & Gary got me the BEST GIFT EVER! And I WILL be wearing it!!! On the front are my three beautiful boys, and on the back...
After Pura Vida- we went to the Fiesta Days Rodeo- where our very own Ryan McRorie decided skip across the arena in his kilt...
Then we all went dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon! Rebecca was breaking it down!
Our staff knows how to have fun!
No matter what the ages of our guests are, our angler extraordinaire, Ryan McRorie, is ready to instruct them on his craft. Here, Kenzy is learning the ins and outs of a good cast!
Whether you are a beginning fisherman or a seasoned one, Ryan knows the spots for you. Ryan has fished all over the world and has been at it for over 26 years. This week he took guests to Lemon Reservoir for a fun fishing experience. So while being on the ranch is renewing and wonderful, there are many exciting outside activities that are offered as well.
The wonderful Mynda learning how to fly fish this week!
If you'd like to know more about our wonderful fishing guide you can check his website out: Heads Up Fly Fishing
When those clouds roll in over our beautiful Rocky Mountain ranch, we always know whether or not we are in for a storm- or at least a bit of thunder.
Weather dog Jade, the ranch's Australian Shepherd, does NOT enjoy storms or rain. So when the clouds roll in and the wind picks up- Jade heads for the lodge.
But she doesn't need any help from those bipedal creatures with opposable thumbs to get inside- No Way! She lets herself in...
So when storms head our way, Jade can be found curled up outside the office door, waiting for the sanctuary she finds inside- usually under somebody's desk.
Thank you Mynda for the great pictures of Jade!
Every week we take time off from trail riding on the ranch to do some skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing on the lake. Our British teens were in for some wet and wild adventures out on the lake today!
Gene was up for some fun too... At least I think that is what this look means!Anna was first up on the skis- she was a little bit nervous at first (LOL), but soon found her stride and stayed up a really long time!
Elly was the next to have a go- she tried valiantly!
Alex tried wakeboarding, and tried again...
Next came tubing! Anna and I went first, and we thought we had a good plan for going on the tube together. We lined ourselves up on the back of the boat, counted to three, and tried to sit back onto the tube together. Instead, we both sat back a bit too far, and flipped head over heels backwards into the water. I was laughing so hard I couldn't get back into the boat!
Soooo we decided going separately was a better idea! Anna held on like a champ! She was shot out of the wake more times than I can count, but had some sort of wonder woman grip on the tube!
The other Anna went with Elly on the tube- they were very inventive and even rode backwards! Not to be outdone, the boys, including our own Gary Cassens, tried going backwards... I'm pretty sure that when Gary launched out of the tube he was a foot and a half out of the water UPSIDEDOWN with his legs flailing in the air like he was doing the running man!
I think our boat driver was having a bit too much fun!