Hope the new year finds all of you well and ready for another dude ranch vacation adventure this summer! There is some exciting news for the ranch this new year as the Robert's family has grown!
On December 6, Vanessa gave birth to a very healthy and beautiful baby girl Zea Malén Roberts. She is a mellow and sweet baby, and Vanessa, Lance and big brother Aksel are over the moon for her.
So ya'll need to come back to the ranch to meet the new baby Roberts! She will be making her ranch debut this summer- I'm pretty sure that she has some sparkling pink boots to cowgirl up in....
At Wilderness Trails Ranch we not only offer a youth program but make kids so happy that they come back generation after generation.
It is not uncommon to have a family that the parents first visited when they were just a minute tall.
Do you have a Pony Express Kid? What is a Pony Express Kid? Our renowned Pony Express Youth program is specifically designed for children ages 3-5. Yes, that is correct. We cater to even to littlest of folks!
What does the Pony Express Group do every day from 9am to 4pm? What don't they do is more appropriate. Every day Monday through Friday is filled with lots of fresh air, fishing at the rainbow trout stocked ponds, hiking, bicycle races, picnics, nature awareness of land, livestock and wildlife, crafts, adventures in "The Enchanted Forest" and at the "The Fort" and of course a pony ride twice a day - so "they have their own horse too". These little people will be showing off their new horsemanship skills alongside the big kids at the Friday afternoon WTR Rodeo, a real family treat complete with rodeo clowns.
Don't wait if you have a 3-5 year old. Call now to book your week at the ranch and save big if you are booking the weeks of June 10th, June 24th or July 8th. Call the office for more details and stay tuned for upcoming information on our Saddle Tramps, Bandits and Posse youth programs. This is a limited time offer!
By Jan Roberts
Gene and I just returned recently from the Clearwater, FL. area where we visited with family, friends and took some time to relax before we head into our 43rd summer at Wilderness Trails. Wow! Where have the years gone??
We enjoyed getting our toes in the sand on the beach, and having the opportunity to see "Winter", the dolphin who was the star of the movie, A Dolphin's Tale. What an amazing story, and what wonderful care she receives at the aquarium in Clearwater Beach. We were able to see the trainers fit her with the prosthetic tale which enables her to swim more naturally. Very heartwarming!
Over the years we have been so fortunate to develop relationships with our "ranch" animals--horses, dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, all of whom become part of our family. The attachments are strong and lasting. We still recall experiences from our early years at the ranch and how our animals created lasting bonds that have been so meaningful.
Our animal friends are so dependent upon us for their survival. We, as caretakers, provide food and nutritiion, water, health care, excercise, a secure and safe place to live, companions, plus our love and compassion.
We saw that love and compassion in the trainers who work with "Winter" on a daily basis, and we can certainly relate to their commitment to the creatures in their care. We have nursed many of our animals back to health, when at times it seemed overwhelming and almost impossible.
Our animals have instilled a satisfaction and commitment that has become instrumental in developing who we are....it has done the same for our children and eventually, it will be important for our grandchildren as well. Our lives are enriched because of these wonderful members of our ranch family. Our guests throughout the years, have grown to to love, respect, and appreciate them as much as we do.
So here's to "Winter" and the many amazing animals that have touched our lives!
The SNOWDOWN winter celebration in Durango is now in full-swing. This year's theme is "Once Upon a Snowdown" and is intended to promote costumes, games, parties, a parade, and many fun activities relating to "fairy tales" and is to help with the "Cabin Fever" syndrome that tends to infiltrate the community during the winter season. Perhaps it could be aptly called "The Winter Blues" for some, but not us!
We truly do love and appreciate the snow, partly because all of us ski or snowboard. And incidentally, our grandson Aksel, now age 3, is becoming an avid skier already! I'ts amazing to see how quickly he has learned and it won't be long before he'll be out-skiing the whole family!
But mainly the snow is needed to produce water for the summer. The rivers, lakes, and reservoirs require tremendous amounts of water to sustain our area, so we are blessed when the snow accumulates and is stored in the high mountains surrounding our magnificently beautiful area. Winters are truly spectacular here!
This brings to mind, a poem that I wrote for the WTR 2010 newsletter, which does not relate to the winter doldrums but instead to a "Once Upon a Time" story for our family. I did actually write it during the winter however , so certainly my thoughts were on reopening the ranch for the coming season.
Once upon a time....
It was actually in the late fall of 1969.
Could this really be?
Gene and Jan bringing our search to reality.
A ranch in the mountains, next to a stream,
To have horses and guests, that was our dream.
Wilderness Trails was the property's name,
the ideal place for us to stake our claim.
What a learning experience was year number one,
ending with Lance's birth, just like a home run!
We struggled through issues we didn't expect:
financial challenges, repairs, marketing, but what the heck!
We landed and lived in the most beautiful place
with no noise or pollution and miles of open space.
The next member of our family, a beautiful girl,
more love and joy into our lives, Erika, what a thrill.
Randy would spend summers to learn what he could
about horses and packing as any young cowboy would.
In traveling this path for more than 40 years,
We've had to adjust and often change gears.
Fires, drought, 9/11, gas rations, economy dips,
stock market drops and folks not taking trips.
Our family we've raised in this corner of the west
to believe that our heritage and hard work is best.
Believe in your goals, have respect and be fair.
The privilege of being here is humbling and rare.
How blessed we are to be able to share
our ranch, horses and valley with others who care
about the clear air and water, plus incredible nights
with the bright stars that glisten when we turn off the lights.
Our hearts and our souls are wrapped up in this place.
This way of life, we have truly embraced.
Although we've been through some blood, sweat and tears,
our passion will continue throughout the upcoming years.
So now we begin the next decade, with the same
resolve to learn, improve, evaluate and remain
in this valley we've called home year in and year out,
Love for our family, friends, guests, staff, land and horses---
This is what our life is about.
"And they lived happily ever after!"
See you this coming summer.....
Jan and Gene Roberts
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!