Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category
Last month I attended the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association meeting in Denver. This is always a great time for ranchers to get together and talk about what is new in the industry, how their past season was and what their upcoming season looks like, but mostly what is on their minds. This year we discussed staffing, marketing and what really is the difference between a Dude Ranch and a Guest Ranch.
Over the past month, I have continued to think about this. Is The Home Ranch classified as a dude ranch or guest ranch? Should we be classified as one or the other? What makes you one versus the other? The other day, I was talking with our Marketing Director, Erik Lunde, about this and he reminded me that we had talked about this a couple of years ago, did some research and put together a little blurb about it (okay well it’s not really that little, but it is entertaining.) I thought that I would share it with you:
Are You A Guest Or Are You A Dude?
Thoughts on The Great Colorado Dude Ranch Brouhaha
“We’re pretty sure the number of people who know or even care about the great Guest Ranch vs. Dude Ranch controversy could be contained in the local post office of our little town of Clark, Colorado. But for those of us on the inner circle of this small semantical range war, it is apparent that a serious brouhaha is at hand, and we feel the need to speak to it outright. In so doing, we hope we don’t hurt any cowboy feelings or put off our more sophisticated patrons. We only want to speak plainly.
You see, it is “High Noon” between the trusty old moniker Dude Ranch and the new, gussied up phrase Guest Ranch. In fact, this Dude vs. Guest issue has become something of a serious marketing problem for at least fifteen to thirty-two cowboys, (depending upon whom is brave enough to admit it.) So we here at the Home Ranch feel the need to put in our two cents on this subject as we aren’t the kind to pussyfoot around a thing. But before we digress too far, a little back story on this lexicographical misfortune is in order.
Seems just the other day we were discussing the Dude Ranch Vs. Guest Ranch predicament when one of our customers, an incredibly smart dude from New York, said that he found the term Dude Ranch…well, corny. He said “it conjured up ham and beans, and people saying yee-haw and doing the chicken dance and so forth…” He painted lurid images of “aggressively clanging dinner bells” and “greenhorn impostors in over-sized cowboy hats.” The last thing he said he wanted on his vacation was what he called, “a sort of Disneyfied parody of the Western experience.” In essence, he was definitely not a Dude. And yet here he was. So we pressed him to find out how he ended up at, what to us, was indeed a Dude Ranch.
Seems he found us when he was searching Google for a Colorado ranch vacation. He was looking for a luxury guest ranch that would provide him with the things he liked about staying on a Colorado Guest Ranch, but none of the things he hated about the dread idea of a Dude Ranch. Well we are glad he found us as he enlightened us on many subjects during his stay, and he got us to thinking that we needed to speak directly to the problem, and state our position clearly.
You see, we aren’t ashamed to call the Home Ranch a Dude Ranch, even though it is obvious to us that some folks we speak to see this is a marketing problem. But we see this merely as a problem of education in the etymological origins of the word Dude. See, we here at the Home Ranch are proud of the term Dude Ranch – (and yet we are malleable enough to diversity to be called a Guest Ranch as well.) Either way, guests or dudes are welcome, whichever word they choose for themselves; the experience we offer them is the same either way, and a name is just a name. And though we understand our good friend from New York and his trouble with the “Disneyfied parody of the west” issue, we feel that the history of the Dude Ranch is something to be proud of, (even though we disassociate ourselves with the more troublesome aspects of dude ranching because frankly, we don’t care for the Chicken dance either.) And so in the interest of reclaiming the glory of the word, we will attempt to explain the origin of the word Dude. Because we rather like dudes, as most of us are dudes, and we want us dudes to understand ourselves.
But we’ll let you decide – do you want to be a dude or guest on our ranch?
Spring has sprung here in Routt County, and up has grown a greenhouse in our backyard. The winter meltdown and mud season is now upon us – but inside our spacious 32’ x 70’ hoop house, our gardening crews have been busy. A key component in our Farm-to Table Master Plan is now a beautiful reality.
Master gardener Adele Carlson designed the layout for the vegetable, herb and flower beds, and seeds were sown in early February. They sprouted and flourished in Executive Chef Clyde Nelson’s home kitchen windows during the winter and next week the transplanting will begin. We will be harvesting greens, herbs and vegetables by late May for our first guests’ arrival.
The greenhouse and its surrounding raised vegetable beds is Phase II of the Master Plan for Clyde’s Farm. Phase I was the Potager (Kitchen Garden), pig pasture-where we annually raise 6 pigs, and incorporate Sand Mtn. Cattle beef into our food program. Phase III will include a four-season greenhouse, extensive edible landscaping and attractive spaces for our guests, and increased livestock production.
The land on which the Home Ranch is situated was once a viable potato farm. The county in which we inhabit was once one of the most productive livestock and vegetable producers in the country. The mission of Clyde’s Farm is to continue this tradition with a sun-based circular food system and become a blueprint for small-scale producers to add to our local economic vitality and nourishment.
Home Ranch guests will always be welcome to visit and stroll through Clyde’s Farm. We hope it becomes an ideal classroom to demonstrate the Farm-to-Table movement. We look forward to your help in harvesting our bounty and then savoring its fresh flavors at your next meal perfectly prepared by our skilled team of chefs.
As we wind down our winter season, it is always time to reflect.
We had a very nice winter and want to thank all of our guests that joined us and made for a wonderful season. It is so nice to chat by the fire in our dining room at night. The plates that are so beautifully presented and taste so great – it’s hard to beat. Thank you to Clyde, Craig, James, JD, David, Anne and of Course, Shannon for the wonderful pastries and desserts.
We will be saying goodbye to Mike, Mark, Alec and Leslie ’til next winter. We are so proud of our ski guides. Their knowledge and skill makes our ski and snowshoe program one of a kind. It was a cold winter, but we had great snow all winter. Thank you, ski guides.
When you check in, you are greeted with a big smile – We thank Selina, Nikki and Laura for that. The folks at our front desk truly get your vacation started on the right foot.
Kelly and his new team of Percherons have been a lot of fun to watch. Kelly was also riding right up to the end of the season.
Many of our wait staff will be moving on to other parts of the country, but their service this winter was terrific. Hats off to Paul, Lindsey, Acadia, Nathalie and Caleb. We wish you all the best. Ski guide Andy will switch positions and will be heading up our dining room this summer. We look forward to having his skills. Meanwhile, Lindsey will be joining Kelly back down at the barn.
And a BIG thank you to all the people behind the scenes that keep the ranch going – Randy, Alex, Tiffany, Maggie, Kim, Hannah and Mark.
We’re now in the process of hiring our summer staff, and pretty son we’ll be riding. Myself, Ill be heading to Rhode Island for the Relais and Chateaux meeting, then to Mexico for few days on the beach. Then up to Cody, Wyoming for a Dude Ranchers’ Association Board meeting.
We’re lucky to be here, and we’re glad we can share this beautiful ranch with so many people. Thank you for coming, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of our friends this summer.
(One of our most popular requests)
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
4 Cups Buttermilk
½ Cup Melted Butter
Sift dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat together eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir together, don’t over mix.
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
½ Cup Ricotta Cheese
¾ Cup Milk
1 Egg, separated
Grated Zest of One Lemon
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl mix the butter, cheese, egg yolk, milk, and lemon zest. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture. Stir together. In a small bowl beat the egg white until a soft peak forms. Fold into the batter.
Home Ranch Flapjacks
¾ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Cup Oats
¼ Cup Cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
2 Ounces (6 Tablespoons) cold cubed butter
1 Pint Buttermilk
¼ Cup Honey
½ Cup chopped Pecans
In a food processor, mix dry ingredients. Pulse in cubed butter until you have a coarse mealy mixture—set aside. In a large mixing bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, and honey. Add dry ingredients and pecans and blend together. Adjust with milk for consistency.
Our employees have been getting back into the ‘grind’ here at the ranch, but of course they’ve been enjoying our 30 km of groomed cross country skiing and a little holiday cheer.
Our annual tree trimming party (decorating, not cutting!) was this past weekend, and we were able to welcome some new comers to our crew while we beautified the lodge for the holidays. We may have decorated the main tree but each of our cabins has its own tree and ornaments for the guests to decorate. The Home Ranch is definitely one of the most beautiful winter getaways that I’ve ever been to and now I’ve made it not only a seasonal place, but my permanent home. Come join us for your next all-inclusive holiday treat for you and your family.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
It’s always hard to pack for vacation when you’ve never been there, you don’t know what to expect. Visiting The Home Ranch is no different. For many visitors, this is your first time on a cross country ski vacation.
So, I asked the experts (the guides) what they wear when they ski. Here is what Mark wears when he cross country skis
Socks: Point 6
Base Layer Bottoms: Patagonia Midweight (Recycled Threads)
Outer Layer Bottom: Patagonia Guide Pants
Base Layer Top: Smartwool Lightweight
Outer Layer Top: Smartwool HowelsenSweater
Soft Shell Jacket: Outdoor Research Credo (for most days)
Puffy Jacket: Patagonia Puffy Sweater (for the really cold days)
Gloves: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Sunglasses: Smith Polorized
We hope this helps as you begin packing for you next cross country skiing trip at The Home Ranch!
Over the years, a few of our Home Ranch guests and staff have been privy to the fact that Home Ranch co-founder Ann Stranahan is a very fine poet; but Ann’s poetry has always been something of a rare treat, shared on special occasions, and heard or read by a fortunate few.
We are very delighted to announce that Antrim House Books of Connecticut has recently published “Window on the River,” a new book of poetry by our very own Ann Stranahan.
Previewers of the book have been captivated by the discovery of Ann’s new work. Carol J. Pierman has noted that “to read these poems is to find sense in the incomprehensible, delight in the unexpected.” Molly Newman writes that Stranahan “is a natural storyteller, and a keen, often witty witness to the human condition.” Barbara Cawthorne Crafton has said “Ann Stranahan writes poems that manage to be at once both spare and full of indelible images.”
Those of us here at the ranch who love good writing are truly proud to crow about her book and would like to recommend it to avid readers in our Home Ranch community. We think it would make a fine Christmas gift for the poetry lover in your life.
To read a short selection of poems from “Window on the River” or to purchase Ann’s book online, please click on this link to the Antrim House Books website.
Good reading, Merry Christmas, and the Happiest of Holidays!
The Home Ranch
The Home Ranch is teaming up with local yoga instructor Jill Barker and cross country skiing coach Chrissy Lynch again in 2012 for a weekend of fun, yoga and cross country skiing. The ranch will be hosting Barker and Lynch January 6 – 8, 2012. The rate for the weekend will be $300 plus 3.9% tax and 15% service charge. This rate includes lodging, meals, yoga, cross country skiing, instruction, equipment, and shuttles to and from the Hayden airport. We hope that you will be able to join us for this exciting weekend. Please call Ashleigh or Selina for more information, 970-879-1780.
Here is a tentative schedule for the weekend and some additional information about Jill and Chrissy.
Friday, January 6
Arrive and settle in/ free time
Saturday, January 7
7-8 Morning yoga
Sunday, January 8
7-8 Morning yoga
11 check out
Jill Barker grew up on a small 5 acre ranch in Poway California where she cultivated her love of horses and competed for 6 years in Western Pleasure. She shelved her cowboy boots to study history at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating from college, Jill packed a backpack, bought an around the world airline ticket, and traveled for 18 months, mostly solo, throughout Europe, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. When she returned from her world expedition she spent a summer in solitude, living in an old miner’s cabin on Mt. Baldy in Breckenridge Colorado. Venturing on her bicycle from Breckenridge to Wyoming she passed through Steamboat Springs and met her husband Jim Barker. Jill’s two children, Jake and Lena, continue to be her greatest teachers.
Jill discovered yoga in 1992 and has been teaching since May of 2002 after completing her 200 hour certification at Shoshoni. She has continued her study of yoga with teachers such as John Friend, Erich Schiffman and Patricia Walden, but her primary influence was her first teacher in Steamboat Springs, Marie Aguire. Jill’s classes blend alignment principles with vinyasa flow and she encourages students to listen to their bodies and move mindfully through their practice. Jill has a great love of yoga and it is from that place she shares the practice.
Chrissy Lynch was born into an avid outdoor native Colorado family. From a young age, Chrissy and her family were skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, and exploring in the Colorado mountains and wilderness. Chrissy’s Dad, Chuck Lewis, developed Copper Mountain Ski Area which is where Chrissy got her start in Nordic skiing. By the time Chrissy finished high school, the Summit County Cross Country Team had accumulated 2 state championships and Chrissy was the overall Junior National Cross Country Champion. Named to the United States Women’s Cross Country Ski Team her senior year in high school led Chrissy to Middlebury College in Vermont where Chrissy was named Collegiate All American in her freshman year. Chrissy went on to compete in the World Junior Championships and spent five years competing on the World Cup Cross Country circuit. In 1984, Chrissy was inducted into the Colorado Sports Women Hall of Fame.
After ski racing, Chrissy completed her education at Denver University earning her accounting degree and an MBA. With her husband, Kerry, and two young children, Chrissy moved to Steamboat Springs in May of 1998. This move allowed Chrissy and her family to be closer to the family ranch on the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass where everyone was involved in the ranching operations. Chrissy coached the Steamboat Springs High School Cross Country Ski Team for 3 years and has instructed numerous Master level ski clinics. Chrissy loves to share her enthusiasm of skiing and a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
The Home Ranch is proud to announce the addition of our new team for the winter season! These Percheron mares are 12 years old and have been driving for the majority of their lives. They arrived at the ranch about two weeks ago and have been doing wonderfully!
With the addition of the new team, we are in need of two new names. The ranch staff members have come up with a few favorites but are having a difficult time deciding which names to pick. Traditionally, the name of the horse on the left always comes first in the alphabet and the horse on the right has a name that comes after. So if you have a team named Rocky and Smokey you would know that Rocky should be placed on the left and Smokey should be hitched up on the right. Some of you may be asking yourselves why this would matter. Historically, this was done in the event someone not familiar with the team needed to use them. For example, say your neighbor was sick and his livestock needed to be fed by using the team. If you know the names of the horses you know which horse is comfortable pulling on the left and which horse knows how to pull on the right.
We have used the team a time or two and have figured out what horse is comfortable pulling on each side. The black mare pulls on the left and the gray mare pulls on the right. Since The Home Ranch is going to keep these mares, we are okay with breaking tradition this time. The names we have come up with are listed below. What do you think the new team’s name should be? Help us decide and let us know what your vote is on our Facebook page!
Cloudy & Stormy
Thelma & Louise
Salt & Pepper
We cannot wait to have names for the new team!
We asked one of our guests, Mary Hopkins, to help us with this month’s horse of the month. She has been visiting the ranch for a number of years and always asks to ride Teddy Bear. The following is what she had to say about ‘Teddy.’
Teddy Bear has been at The Home Ranch for about 7 years. He is a big, beautiful black bay with a kind heart and a gentle spirit.
His gaits are wonderful from his energetic walk, to his smooth jog trot, his big trot and his enormous, energetic lope. Teddy is a joy to ride.
Hi is a curious horse and notices everything around him. He loves to be groomed and is very friendly.
Teddy’s best friend is Izzy, a beautiful Palomino mare. Where you see one, you usually see the other.