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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A TYPICAL WEEK AT A DUDE RANCH



Sunday


4:00pm, New Guests check in at ranch office. After being greeted by the ranch managers, Guests are shown to their cabin. After dropping off luggage, new guests are given a tour of the ranch and it's facilities.

5:00pm, Guests relax and settle in to their cabins. At this time they can wander around on their own, see the horses, fish, swim in the pool, or go to the trading post for a new cowboy hat.

6:30pm, Dinner in the lodge. Guests and ranch staff enjoy meals together. This is a chance to meet some of the wranglers and other staff.

8:30pm, Orientation out on the huge deck of the lodge. This is where the guests meet the entire staff, and introduce themselves. Then we talk about the different activities scheduled for the week. Guests will then sign up for some of these, such as rafting, fishing trips and the over night pack trip.

 

Monday


7:00 am, Hot coffee is brought to each cabin for those who must have their java fix first thing in the morning.

8:00am, Guest Breakfast in the lodge.

8:30am, A van leaves for town to pick up items guests may have forgotten to bring such as beer, wine, toothpaste, film etc.

8:45am, Three to five year olds start their own ride with their councilor on the ranch’s black pony, "SPADE".

9:00am, Orientation rides begin. All guests already have a horse assigned to them by the head wrangler. Horses are assigned based on height, weight, age and riding experience. On the first day of riding, families ride together. Each ride will consist of no more than ten guests. Two wranglers will be on all rides. Under no circumstances will guests be allowed to ride without a wrangler. Orientation rides last about two hours, which include an orientation speech about basic horsemanship and safety, followed by some instruction in the arena. When everyone feels comfortable with their new horse, it's off to the trail for about an hour.

12:30pm, Hamburger cookout by the pool.

2:00pm, Afternoon trail rides begin. This afternoon we are offering three different rides ranging from an hour and a half to three hours.

2:00 pm, Basic fishing instruction at the upper pond. This is for all ages. Parents will have to determine whether small fries are old enough.

2:30pm, Riding instruction in the arena. This will last any where from forty minutes to two hours depending on how many people sign up.

5:30PM, Happy hour on the porch of Dad's Old Fart Brewery for the adults. The hay ride for the kids leaves from the brewery.

6:00 pm, The hay ride, drawn by our team of draft horses, Zeus and Apollo will take about half an hour and meet the adults at the picnic area by the lower pond for a steak cookout.

8:00pm, Smores by the bon fire, along with guitar playing and singing old cowboy songs. 
 
Tuesday


Tuesdays rides are centered around a brunch cookout at the top of Indian Head Mountain, where our cooks will meet the rides.

7:00am, Early morning ride leaves for a one and a half hour ride. This is an adults only ride. Councilors will be on hand to watch the kids while their parents are gone.

8:00am, Teens leave with their councilor, for a short ride of their own.

8:30am, The six to eleven year olds head out to the arena for horse games before their half hour ride to Indian Head Mountain.

8:45am, There will be a van going up to brunch for anyone not riding.

9:00am, Brunch is served. "Cookie" is there with the biggest frying pan you have ever seen.

10:00am, Six to eleven's mount up for a two hour ride back to the ranch. Then it's the pool for these guys. The councilors will be with them all afternoon, so mom and dad can do their own thing.

10:15am, The teens head off on a three hour adventure to a little water fall on Poplar creek to try their hand at little panning for gold.

10:30am, Now that we have gotten rid of all the kids, the grown up can choose between a short one hour ride back to the ranch, or a longer four hour ride. On this ride we will do some faster riding along old logging roads.

12:00 For those who don't want to ride quite so much, we are taking a van trip to Little Switzerland for some shopping. This is a very scenic drive through winding mountain roads. We will return to the ranch around 4:00 pm.

4:30pm, All rides have returned. Time to relax before dinner.

6:30pm, All the kids head down to the lower pond for hot dogs and games with the councilors.

7:00pm, The adults will be treated to a fancy dinner in the lodge with candle light and wine.

9:00 Time to collect your kids and head off to bed. The councilors are pretty tired too.
Wednesday


7:00 am, Breakfast in the lodge for all those going rafting.

7:30am, Vans leave for the all day rafting trip on the Colorado River. This trip is for everyone eight and older.

8:00am, Breakfast for all those not rafting.

9:00am, All day ride leaves for Rich Mountain. We will take sack lunches with us. No vans on this ride. Rich Mountain is about an eight-hour ride. This ride is for adults and teens.

9:30am, Six to eleven's head out for Poplar Creek to have a PB&J picnic. And then try their luck at panning for gold. These guys will be busy all day. They will be taken care of until the rafting trip returns around 4:00 pm.

10:00am, For those who don't want to ride all day, we have an easy two hour ride.

12:30pm, Lunch in the lodge for that one guest that is still on the ranch.

2:00pm, Instruction in the arena.
4:00pm, The rafting trip returns. Time for a nap before diner.

6:30pm Dinner in the lodge.

8:00pm, Tonight is talent night. In the lounge we have invited a local Mountain Man to tell some stories and do a little banjo picking. All guest are invited to show off their talent, skits, piano playing or whatever. The staff will be there to show off as well. Who knows, Dad might even show up with some of his special brew.

 
Thursday


8:00 am, Breakfast in the lodge.

9:00am, Time to head out on the over night pack trip. This is for adults and teens. After a fantastic all day ride, we will meet "Cookie" at our camp for steaks, peach cobbler and a cold beer. This trip is not for wimps. It's a real taste of what life in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in the 1880's was like, only with a better sleeping bag and better food.

10:00am, Rides start leaving for a two hour ride to Byrd Creek for a Tex Mex cookout. This ride is for all ages. The Teens will take their own ride with their councilor. On this ride they will get the chance to do some faster riding. Sorry, no adults on this ride. Six to eleven's and their parents will ride together.

11:45am, There will be a van leaving from the lodge to take the three to five's and anyone not riding to lunch.

12:00pm, Lunch is served.

1:00pm, Six to Eleven's head back for games in the arena and then a swim in the pool.

1:15pm, Adults can choose from a one hour ride straight back to the ranch, or a longer three hour ride.

2:00pm,This afternoon we have two van trips. First a short drive to Roan Mountain Gardens to take a beautiful hike. The other van will be going to Georgetown for a little shopping.

5:30pm, Happy hour on the porch of Dad's Old Fart Brewery.

6:30pm, Kids head to the pool for pizza and games.

7:00pm, Adults meet at the lower pond for dinner and some guitar playing by our own wranglers.
Friday


8:00am, Pancake Breakfast on the porch of the lodge.

8:30am, Susan will be leading a rigorous three hour hike to the cliffs of Ball Buster Ridge. This hike is for anyone but it is a tough hike and you should consider whether or not you think you are up for it.

8:30am, Today we are going to take the kids off your hands for the whole day. For them we are going to Georgetown, about an hour away. There they will ride the narrow gauge train and then go to a famous candy store.

9:00am, Lisa will be taking a nature hike. This will last about an hour. Lisa is a famous botanist from Haiti. She will correctly identify every flower, bush, and shrubbery.

9:00am, All day ride for adults and teens leaves for Spivies Gap.

9:30am, We know that at this point some of you are getting a little tired, so we have an easy, short one and half hour ride along Poplar Creek. At about the half way point your wrangler will stop the ride for a break. He will tie up the horses and then spend about half an hour telling you unbelievable lies about his thirty year career as a Texas Ranger.

10:30am, After a two hour ride, the over-nighters return in time for a shower before lunch.

12:30pm, Lunch on the porch of Dad's Old Fart Brewery.

2:00 pm, Rodeo practice for everyone. You don’t have to practice to participate in the rodeo, but your chances of winning a Blue ribbon might be a little better.

2:00 PM, Skeet shooting for teen and adults.

2:30 pm, Two hour ride.

5:00 pm, Kids return from Grandfather Mountain.

6:30 pm, Dinner in the lodge for everyone.

8:00 pm, Square dance. Don’t be shy, anyone can square dance and all the wranglers and staff will be there to strut their stuff.

Saturday
8:00 am Ted has been in the kitchen since 4am making his famous biscuits and gravy. This is the best you have ever tasted but don’t ask what’s in it.

9:00 am, Kid’s rodeo practice.

9:30 am, Last chance for a half day ride with Ted or your favorite wrangler.

9:30 am, Lisa is taking another hike. This one is pretty easy and good for anyone who wants to go.

9:30 am, Skeet shooting again for teens and adults.

2:30 pm, Lunch by the pool.

2:00 pm, Off to the arena for everyone. It’s time for the rodeo, to show off the horsemanship skills you learned this week.

6:30 pm, Cookout by the lower pond for everyone. Beef tenderloin, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and a home made dessert you won’t soon forget.

8:00 pm, Everyone to the pool for find out the results of the rodeo. Ribbons and commentary from Ted. This is the time for good-bye’s and exchanging addresses. We hope to see many of you back again next year.

Sunday

8:00 am, Breakfast in the lodge.

8:30 am, Vans start leaving for the airport.

Thanks for coming and we hope to see you again.


Dude Ranch Vacation

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