Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Elk Mountain Ranch

I am back from a wonderful week alone with Mr. Cowboy. We had a wonderful time. I have so many stories and so many pictures to share. So, lets start out at the beginning. We started out our trip a little rough. We left late for the airport and were trying to make up for it on the drive to Houston. We ended up with a blow out. We had about 45 minutes until our flight took off and we were 9.2 miles from the airport. Mr. Cowboy is so super fast at changing a tire. I wanted to take his picture while he was changing the tire but I thought he might have gotten really mad at me, so I just stood there pretending to help him. I was useless.

We made it to our gate just as they were about to board our plane. But our plane needed a part and the part was in Colorado. So, that flight was delayed until 8 pm. We quickly got put on another flight to Denver. Our bags were going to get on a different flight to Denver. We were really happy to get on a flight to Denver. So, we crossed our fingers that our bags would get to the airport about the same time we did. And in the end, we had all of our bags and we made it to Denver, Colorado. I was so excited to see my friend, Caleb. We had about a two hour drive to Elk Mountain Ranch. Caleb and I had a great time remembering camp songs and camp stories. It was a lot of fun. We got in pretty late. Sue had dinner waiting for us. She was so wonderful to wait up for us.

After Dinner Caleb took us for a quick tour around the Ranch. It was getting dark and a bit chilly. The Ranch makes its own electricity so the lights went out at 11pm. So, Mr. Cowboy and I wanted to get unpacked and ready for bed before lights went out. But the next morning we woke up early so we could get a look at the Ranch before breakfast. I loved the entrance. We drove down a 10 mile dirt rode to get to the secluded mountain Ranch. This entrance way was made by Tom. Tom is the owner and operator of the Ranch. This is the dirt road leading back to civilization. Can you see Mr. Cowboy and my shadows on the bottom left? I was trying to be artistic. These pictures just don't do the mountains justice. They had two stocked fishing ponds. What ever fish you catch and keep, they will cook for you for dinner on Friday night. The pond was also well guarded by one attack goose and two sweet ducks. Mr. Cowboy and I wondered around the Ranch a little longer before breakfast started. We followed a little trail up a hill. I found a great stump for setting up my camera for a picture. I loved how cool it was in the morning and evenings. Wonderful jeans and t-shirt riding weather. Perfect! Mr. Cowboy picked me some wildflowers. I told him he was going to get in trouble for picking wildflowers, but he did it anyway. On our walk back to breakfast we met the two Ranch dogs. Blue found us first. He wasn't too sure of us. He let me take his picture. But you can see by his body language he isn't too into me. He eventually warmed up to me by Thursday. I could rub his belly and he would give me kisses. And Coco came out on the porch to great us. She is a big sweetie. She made me miss my Lab dog. I just love those big box like ears. After scratching the dogs, we made it to breakfast. We lived right above the lodge and dinning room, so we were never late for anything. Tom and Sue must have known about us and our problems with being on time!! I do have to admit that we were not late for anything the entire week. It's amazing how quickly you can get dressed when you don't have to get three other bodies out of bed as well. Breakfast was so yummy. I can honestly say that every meal was WONDERFUL. My stomach did not growl the entire week. But as we left breakfast there was a little face that tried to convince us that she was starving. Isn't she the cutest Coco dog you have ever seen? If I had known she was sitting there with her nose pressed up to the glass I would have saved her some bacon. Next door to the lodge was the Trading Post.
The Trading post was open all day everyday. There you can buy all sorts of great Elk Mountain Ranch memorabilia. And by the door there was this sign that I loved. This is exactly how Mr. Cowboy answers me when I call and ask him when he will be home. The sign made me laugh. But after breakfast we had enough time to meet with some of the other families and head over to the arena for Tom's horse demonstration. Let me introduce you to Tank. He was the demo horse. I am a complete sucker for a bay horse and I was in love with him. I was really impressed with the look of all the horses at the Ranch. They were all in wonderful shape. Well, most of them were in the "round" shape, but they looked awesome. All of the horses were very well taken care of. Tom told us that Tank, the demo horse, was a leader in the "Hungry Horses" Union, or something of that nature. He said that they all "thought" they were starving and that the horses would all try to eat some snacks on the trail. I chuckled. Because as you all can see those horses have not missed a single meal. I also was impressed with the Wranglers and their horse leading skills!! Five horses at one time!! That Wrangler is Randy. He was just visiting the Ranch for a few days. I think he used to work there and was back visiting Tom and Sue and the rest of the crew. Don't quote me on that but I think that was why he was visiting. And see that paint horse in the back? That is Billy. He was my horse for the week!! Big Boy Billy and I had a great week! Billy has a wonderful personality. Really playful and curious. Tom gave a really great horse demonstration. Tank was a good sport and stood quietly the entire time. Tom really knows his stuff. He was really good at getting his point across in a way that every one could understand. That is not always easy to do, but he did it and had people laughing and learning. Tom also got on Tank with out a cinch or breast collar. Which I thought was really cool. When I was in college we got extra credit points for doing that and I could never do it. It's hard to do. Tom made it look easy. During the demonstration Billy, the horse I rode, untied himself and wandered over to us. He just wanted to see if we had some treats.

Then Billy wondered back over to the other horses dragging his rope. Billy then felt the need to relieve himself right on the rope. That was nice to know being that that was the horse I was assigned. Sweet!!! There are some of the Wranglers. From left to right we have Caleb, Nate, Jason, and Sage. They are all really wonderful guys. They all know their stuff and were super trail guides out on the trail. Not only did they know about horses, but they also knew a lot about the mountains and the wildlife that lives up there. After the horse demonstration we got assigned our horses and went out on a quick morning trail ride. Here we are up in the mountains! It was so beautiful! The family we rode with were from Westlake, Ohio. That is right next to the town I grew up in. And their daughter, in the pink, took riding lessons at Holly Hill Farm. That just so happens to be where I took riding lessons from the time I was 9 until 19!! It was really neat to talk to them. We had a wonderful ride and ended back up at the Ranch for Lunch.


Carroll Farm said...

love it, love it and can't wait to hear more!!

Mrs. Mom said...

Oh wow- looks awesome! Welcome home lady! Cant wait to see all the pix and hear all that you did.

Oh- and way way WAY too sweet Mr Cowboy picking flowers ;) Nice move!

Unknown said...

looks like total fun!

Carolina girl said...

Wow, what a beautiful place! I love the store sign! Too funny! Glad you guys had a fun getaway. :)

Julene said...

You totally look like me in the airplane pic. I kind of did a double take there. I guess we are related. Looks gorgeous and like you had tons of fun. That is totally your type of vacation. You guys fit in perfect with that scenery!

The Wife said...

Sounds great. And the weather looked absolutely fabulous!

Melanie said...

I know what you mean about pictures not doing certain scenery any justice. That happens to me all of the rime when I photograph our mountain. :)

It looks/sounds like you had a great time, Andrea, and I cannot wait to see/hear more of your story. :)

KD said...

More, more, more.... !!!

Unknown said...

Wow that looks like such great fun! ((sigh)) Hubby would never consider doing that - so I guess it will have to stay in my fantasies - so jealous though!

Pony Girl said...

It's a small world, isn't it? How fun you got to see Caleb again! That bay has a gorgeous face, and Billy the paint is so pretty, too! :) I think it sounds fun that you get one horse for the whole week...well as long as you got along, LOL! Sounds like you and Mr. Cowboy are having a great trip....I imagine you miss those cowpokes too, though! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It started off rough, but everything worked out in the end...even better than you probably imagined, eh?
Mr. Cowboy was your night in shining armor fixing the flat so fast and giving your pretty flowers. So romantic!

I liked that trading post. So rustic and unique! Did you come home with any unique trinkets from your stay?

So what did the wranglers talk about during the demonstration?
That's so awesome that you got to see Caalbe again! And what a small world that there were folks there who are from where you grew up.

I'm glad you had such a great time Andrea!