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!
This week seemed to stand out for wildlife at the ranch- and I'm not even talking about our guests! Both moose AND bear were sighted on the ranch!
We had a lot to celebrate this week!
Judi & John celebrated their 50th birthdays AND 25th anniversary!
Nora & Robert, new to horseback riding, chose Wilderness Trails Dude Ranch to celebrate their HONEYMOON!
And Heidi & Jason celebrated their 3rd anniversary!
Congrats and Best Wishes to you all! Thank you for choosing Wilderness Trails for your family vacations! We hope to see you all again soon!
Thank you also to 1881 Western Photography for providing the amazing photos!
The guests pushed cattle like pros on the ranch this week! It was truly a joy riding with them. We had a variety of riding abilities, from veterans like Patrick and Evelyn to newbies like Robert and John- it was truly impressive to see how well they got the cows MOOving. We were all over the mountainside, riding through the meadows, and crossing over creeks- but not one cow did we lose.
It was a good time with great guests! Come back and see us again!
Thank you to 1881 Western Photography Co. for the wonderful pictures!
Johnathon and Aubrey Sammons returned to the ranch after a few years hiatus. Johnathon worked at Wilderness Trails Dude Ranch for 14 years. He even met his lovely wife here. This time, rather than working, he was enjoying a family vacation with his wife and two beautiful little girls Julia and Gigi. They enjoyed the dancing....
And even the littlest Sammons cowgirled up!
Johnathon was a jack-of-all-trades while here, and even fell back on old habits during his stay. Including leading the ranch campfire sing-a-long!
He has been sharing his musicality with his children, because "Tom the Toad" came out for a another sing-a-long- this time accompanied by the young Sammons!
He also imparted some of his knowledge- or something-to some of our younger employees
And I think Grandma Jan may need a little girl grandchild after spending time painting Gigi's nails.
So GREAT to have you back at the ranch again! Safe travels, and we hope to see you again soon!
We have many amazing horses at WTR, however one horse in particular tends to get more fan mail than the others, and now even has her own book!
(Click on the book to flip the pages & view full screen)
Thank you Zoey for this beautiful book of poems about Gidget!
We had a great time this July 4th here on the ranch!
The fun started out with an invocation from our guest Steven- thanking God, and the soldiers that made the 4th possible.
Our multi-talented staff demonstrated one of the events: the three-legged race!
The kids had a watermelon eating contest- and Gigi and kid's counselor Eryn won!
Watermelon eating contestants Julia & Shiloh had a great time!
Other activities included: an egg toss, sack race, and an EPIC water balloon/squirt gun fight!
All of this was followed by a cookout and fireworks at Lake Vallecito!
We had a blast! Hope you can join us next year!
There is a lot of fun to be had at our Thursday night dance! We have live music, line dancing, and more! This week the kids had such a great time kids' counselor Kani had to drag them off the dance floor!
Just kidding! This was a game Roberts' grandchild Aksel started.... not sure WHY it was so much fun for the kids, but they were all laughing hysterically and having a blast. :-)
The music was so good, that even Terry M. got up to dance - for the first time in 20 years!?! Look at that smile!