We visited Tarryall River Ranch, a "dude ranch," in July of 2004. G'ma and G'pa Saam organized the trip as sort of a family reunion. Below are some thumb-nail pictures from our trip; click them to make them larger.
Tarryall Ranch is located on the Tarryall Creek, just outside of the Pike's Peak National Forest. It's a remote location without any strip malls or zippy-marts. There's plenty of wild territory to explore, although the Ranch offers modern comforts. The Ranch has a number of cabins centered around a main building (above center). There's a horse stable and rodeo pen (above right). There's also a swimming pool and a small animal "petting farm." Tarryall Creek runs through the property.
There's plenty to do for all ages. The two handsome dudes (above left) are grandchildren of the owner. They pitch-in and help with chores. The ranch owns a selection of used boots and cowboy hats for riding. Tricia found a nice pair of red boots and wouldn't take them off until the last day of our visit. The ranch hands plan several activities every day, including fly-fishing lessons. Above, the girls are mesmerized during fly-tying lesson.
With Tarryall Creek running through the property, fishing is a short walk away. The creek is stocked with trout, so the gift of a nice catch will likely please a crafty angler. Above, Johnny is holding Mark's catch. Mike is casting for his own catch. There's also a number of other legendary trout streams in the Ranch vicinity that we enjoyed during day trips.
Tarryall Creek provides many scenic areas. The small canyon above is located a short ride away from the Ranch. Water is cool and inviting after a long horseback ride. It's a fine place to locate a secluded mountain beauty.
Humming birds abound during the warm summer days. It's great entertainment to watch territorial fights over the numerous feeders. On one of our territorial day outings, we picked a fight with Arkansas River near Buena Vista. White water rafting was our weapon of choice. Above right, Victoria is examining some antiques at a historical site that we visited on the way to Buena Vista rafting trip.
The ranch provided all of the meals. Food was served "family style" in a large dining area. Nobody went hungry! We enjoyed a cook-out, with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop for our dinner. We toasted the amazing vista!
After dinner activities included dancing, sing-alongs, hay-rides, and dancing. We learned various forms of "boot-scoot" and limbo. Above, "Marvelous Mike" dances with one of the ranch hands, "Vivacious Vijay" dances the limbo while "Philandering Phil" entertains the fillies with a city-boy version of the "boot-scoot."
Camaraderie spawns quickly under these conditions, be it brother & sister, or father & daughter.
Riding, riding, riding, riding, riding! With the National Forest adjacent to the Ranch, there's no lack of riding trails.
Trusted steeds were loyal for the entire week, although seemed to have a better feel for the situation than the visitors. Light-weight Margie, an experienced rider, rode spirited "Hudson," while tremendous Tom rode a half-breed Clydesdale named "Olive." Some of the other horse's names were "Little John," "Jay-Jay," and "Prancer," to name just a few.
Wranglers planned rides for the morning and afternoon. Other afternoon activities included skeet shooting and rodeo riding. Of course, the horses were doing most the work, so they always took the opportunity for a break. .
Ranch cabins offered a comfortable place to sleep with hot showers, but the sounds of field mice scrambling over the roof in the middle of night reminds the visitor of Mother Nature's constant presence. Tom and Simon joined their daughters Elizabeth, Victoria, and Margie for an all-day ride to an overnight camp for an even closer encounter with nature. An experienced wrangler led the all-day ride through the Pike's Peak National Forest to a private camp site. The wrangler's dog, "Jessie" tagged along. Jessie ran the woods during the entire trip, and slept in our tent at night. One of the ranch hands met us at the camp and cooked dinner and breakfast. After breakfast, it was back in the saddle again for another ride to the Ranch.
Can't wait to get back in the saddle again!
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