Wyoming Dude Ranch Newsletter: 2010

The snow is falling outside my window at our Wyoming dude ranch and it is getting difficult to see the top of the buck-rail fences. We have a resident Moose, Todd the fox and a few magnificent Elk taking advantage of our winter haystack. It is in this quiet and insulated atmosphere that Tina, Karl, Sean, and I reflect on the recent summer season and muse over the wonderful time spent with our staff and guests in 2010.

Our summer started off with a surprise- we were new “parents.” A colt was born to one of our mares. Sadly, mom did not survive long after the birth and we were left to play surrogate to a week-old buckskin. With the help of our girls (and a orphan calf to keep him company), we diligently warmed the bottles, mucked the stall, exercised him daily and even brought him in to lie by the fire when it was cold! It was exhausting, but well worth the effort, as he is now growing into a handsome gelding and Sean is already looking forward to breaking him in a few years. He will have his hands full, what with a second buckskin colt born to our mare, Sue, arriving only a week after the orphan. After a summer of plentiful grass and sunshine, the two boys are now strong, playful and boisterous and should prove to be terrific additions to our string of horses.

While horses are an important focus on the ranch, we are also making efforts to improve the fishing and hiking experience for our guests. This summer, we added two new footbridges across the river and cleared some nature trails that weave in and out of the woods beside the water. Hopefully, with better-manicured trails and new footbridges, ranch guests will now enjoy crossing the river for a short nature walk, more convenient fishing access or new wildlife explorations. In addition to fishing and hiking on the ranch, we are taking the opportunity to share our knowledge of Jackson Hole and its fascinating history with our guests, through evening slide shows and presentations. We also refurbished the Murie Barn in hopes of preserving its historical integrity while providing an educational center for our guests. Take a peek while you are here this summer!

As we were busy with maintenance on the ranch, the National Forest Service was doing some maintenance of their own as well near our borders. Throughout the month of September, we watched some of our favorite riding trails go up in flames in a prescribed burn. In year three of this five year burn plan, the NFS targeted Turpin drainage and set the place ablaze! With flames reaching high above West Ridge and Rainbird Ridge, we rode our horses around the burn and often felt the heat on our faces. While somewhat disconcerting at times, there is a certain beauty and energy in riding through a charred acre of woods. The only solace in seeing our treasured Turpin Creek blackened by fire this fall is knowing that new vitality will emerge next spring. Wildlife will be plentiful, vegetation will be vibrant and the forest will be reborn.

We invite you to take another ride with us at the Gros Ventre River Ranch and let the Wyoming wind take you to a place that satisfies the soul. Thank you so much for being a part of our ranch family. It is a privilege to share this experience with you and we hope that we are able to continue to take you down the trail for years to come.

Many Happy Trails to you and yours,

From our Wyoming Dude Ranch

The winter sunset at our Wyoming Dude Ranch
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