There may still be plenty of snow on the ground, but it feels like summer is just around the corner. We're busy making preparations, talking to new and return guests, completing cabin updates, and hiring our summer staff. We have a few openings in June and July for couples or families. And, if you're looking for a family reunion vacation, August will be your best bet as we have only two weeks left that can accommodate a larger family. Be sure and give us a call or email if you are interested in a summer vacation!
Sometimes in the winter I lose sight of how special this place is and what it represents. Several inches of snow had piled up, so yesterday I went out to plow. Living on the flat, valley floor, there aren't many areas to get yourself in trouble. And yet just as I was beginning, I managed to get the plow truck stuck on an icy slope just past the barn. Scott and Tori were both off to work, so I proceeded to handle things myself. I was able to pull the truck out with the tractor just before I slipped and fell picking a rock up out of the snow. Luckily a little shoulder soreness is all I have to show for it.
My anecdote is a bit boring, but also a testament to ranch life. There's a lesson there that has taken me a long time to learn.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Nowhere else does one feel so far off from mankind; the plains stretch out in deathless and measureless expanse, and . . . will for many miles be lacking in all signs of life.... Black care [cares of the world] rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough."
The romance of the west has largely been characterized by separating yourself from stresses of the world. In a nutshell, leaving urban life to experience nature, to explore something untouched by mankind. And, while in an increasingly populated world we may never be able to completely mirror Theodore Roosevelt's experience, we still have enough of the natural world among us to be able to feel that solitude. Oh, the solitude of ranch life.
The lesson that has taken me a long time to learn is this: That solitude is two-fold. The best way to experience the 'romance of the west' is to embrace both the pain and happiness that comes from solitude. I believe that's why a ranch vacation can often be so powerful for guests. It's not that you are leaving all your worldly cares behind, as I've often thought before. Instead, you are facing them head-on. Being in nature can create moments of fear, of wonder, of hurt, of joy. Solitude can bring tears to your eyes, can bring you to your knees. Solitude can bring you peace that lifts you like the wings of an eagle. So, in moments of frustration that things aren't going my way, it's ever important that I appreciate the solitude. That I appreciate it both when it's glamorous and when it's not. That may be a truer representation of the romance of the west.