I just returned from Tucson from our annual Dude Ranchers’ Association meeting. It was a great trip, and I must say that I enjoyed not having to bundle up for a few days.
Us dude ranchers – we’re an interesting bunch. We are all head to head competitors, yet we are the best of friends. There are no trade secrets in our world. We all share everything and try to help each other out. I have so much fun and learn so much from these meetings.
Our industry remains healthy. I think that people need what we offer: genuine relationships. Families find the time to be together at our ranches. They share real time with each other. Making new friends is also part of this vacation. It’s a different world than the fast paced life that most are involved with. Healthy activities, great food, and time with each other are precious things.
Most of the dude ranchers are fairly progressive in their thinking, but not all of us. We had a speaker address our group regarding things we could do on Google. He was very animated and energetic in his introduction and said “Alright, let’s get going with Google!” From the back of the room came a surly voice “What’s Google?” Talk about a “deer in the headlights” look. This poor guy didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, he found his way out of his jam, but it was pretty entertaining.
We had some sad time, as one of our fellow ranchers explained that his slurring was due to the onset of ALS, (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I really knew very little about this disease until this past week. I now know a lot. It was a pretty pathetic site, as two grown men bawled their eyes out in a corral. My friend will continue to fight this horrible disease, and we’re hopeful that modern science will find a way to find a cure.
Ten degree weather and 6 inches of new snow was my welcome home. It was nice to get a break, but the skiing is so good that I’m getting out every day.
The year 2008 was very good to us. We’re hoping that 2009 is as good. This fall, we remodeled the lodge bathrooms, purchased a bunch of new horses, sent Clyde to Vienna, and helped Phillipe find his car keys. You’ll see some new ski equipment this winter and some new changes this summer, as well as some familiar faces. We’re excited.
I hope to see you soon.