The Day Arrives!!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2007
1
5
45
Trip End Sep 26, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Saturday, July 28, 2007

Woke this morning and had pancakes with the girls. Nice, leisurely morning, with LOTS of coffee. We spent the morning chatting and taking photos. Again, very sweet little ones. Of course I had to take a few photos!

Headed out for my final stretch to the ranch today around 11 a.m. MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME. I've taken a TON of photos of this part of the journey. The mountains are just too beautiful to explain. You would think a mountain is a mountain is a mountain. That's not the case! You think you've seen the most beautiful mountain, when you turn the corner and lo and behold there's another one! The drive was simply beautiful. I do not guess my photography going down an incline at 70-80 mph would do it justice. It's certainly anyone and everyone should experience at least once in their life.

Shortly after 2:30 I entered Steamboat Springs. Thinking I was near the ranch. Nope! I still had a good 45 minutes from the town to get to Vista Verde. Turn after turn, mountain after mountain, I finally came to the road which the ranch sits on. The ranch is over (I think) 500 acres, which backs up to the national park that consists of the continental divide. The divide is a 3 mile hike from the ranch. Will definitely head up there at some point.

I pulled into the ranch a bit nervous. Everyone on staff has been here since late May and I'm considered the newcomer. Stepped out of my car and there wasn't a soul around! Figured I'd step into the Lounge to see if anyone was there to lead me to Dace (one of the Ranch Manager's). Not a person to found! Walk around a bit and then I hear, "Hey, Heather?" It was two girls that I will be working close with riding up in a pick-up. Very sweet girls. They called Dace and Dace strode up in his chaps and cowboy hat. Tall guy and he fit the cowboy image I had in mind.

Dace showed me quickly around the ranch and lastly my room. Thankfully, I was given my own room in a small apartment/duplex near the lounge. I share the apartment with a girl name Beka. I could totally be spelling her name wrong... Apparently, Dace and the head wrangler, Lee, live on the other side of the house. I started unloading, when a girl named Julie came to greet me and to tell me that we were going to hike to the steak dinner. Dropped all my stuff and headed out with her on about a 20 minute hike. We crossed cattle in which seemed to be an open field, but apparently it must not have been or else the bull would have charged I suppose. ;o)

Arrived at the location where they hold the steak cook-out on the last night of the week. It overlooks the grounds. Steak, potatos and salad were served buffett style. Didn't get a chance to take a picture of the grill, but will definitely do that at some point. It's pretty neat to see them cooking close to 100 steaks at different temperatures with the onlooking LIVE cattle in the background. Ha! Ha!

Ended up sitting with the other Ranch Manager's wife. She's closer to my age than most of the girls here. But, I have to say, everyone has been absolutely stupendous. While overwhelmed, I feel like I was just pulled into the inner circle of a family.

After dinner we headed back down to the main ranch and the wranglers let the horses out to run to what's called the Sunday Pasture. If you can imagine close to 100 horses running... Just imagine... I was in awe! Then, out of no where, I see a horse that has been able to break from the group and I actually saw my first horse be wrangled!

On Saturday night, the staff and the guest sit around a camp fire. Dace, Lee, Meredith and a few others lead in songs, cowboy poetry and Meredith (forgive me if that's not her name) played the violin. She plays for the Charlottesville Orchestra in Virginia. Folks cried, hugs were exchanged and goodbyes were said. It looked to be a "real" heartfelt moment. It's been a long couple of days, especially today. I've taken in a lot and suppose I will as time passes.

There's no doubt in my mind that I am exactly where I am suppose to be right now. I can already tell this will be a life learning event in my life!

By the way, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CELL COVERAGE ON THE RANCH!! Apparently there is a staff phone, but it's hard to get on there with 40 or so folks using it. I can't imagine not having a phone for 2 months! CRAZINESS! Though, I suppose we get service in town and will probably get down there a couple times a week. Doesn't that sound crazy?!

Here's the number and address that I have for the ranch. Please send letters or something!! ;o)

Phone: 970-879-3012

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 778
Clark, Colorado 80428

Giddy up,

Heather
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Comments

michellehayes
michellehayes on

hello cowgirl
just wanted to let you know that your mom was freaking out because you have not called. I read your blog to her and will continue to do so. I don't know if you will be able to get on and read this, just know that I will do my best to keep her informed with your progress. Your trip sounds like my dreams. I am glad that you are finalling not driving AND taking pictures at the same time. The mommy in me got nervous.

p.s. Not all bulls are mean and charge on sight, just don't tease them by wearing red pants.

knine
knine on

knine
so you cut your phone off n dont call or anything/I c how u r when the leather hits the saddle!! So are you still speaking to ur ole friends or not/sounds like things are going well and i am praying for you (W)

janie
janie on

Watch out for the fat horses!
Hi Heather,
Don't worry about your Mom, she is OK today...just concerned as always but proud you are stepping out of your comfort zone to experience this awesome place. We never talked about it but I once owned a fat horse and he always made my legs ache from being so stretched apart. Needless to say, I dont ride any more but love horses and go to steeplechase just to take in their beauty....you are blessed to be among hundreds of horses and earthy people...enjoy and God bless you, Heather....love too,oh is Lokie with you? JS

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