Our last week with families and children ends soon and we begin “adult” weeks. It will seem quiet without the laughter, squeals on the swings, and sometimes tears from the little ones when weariness happens. This week families and their kids hiked to the Indian Caves and even an eight-month old made it up the steep hill on his father’s back. The kids’ wranglers led their last expedition of the year to Gravel Bar to continue work on the cabin and lean-to’s they have been building all summer. An impressive effort and result. The kids’ gymkana was led by a white-robed “sheik” and everyone joined in to watch what riders the children had become. Saturday night’s campfire enjoyed singing led by one of the wranglers as well as toasted marshmallows and s’mores. On Sunday it was as hard for the kids to say goodbye to one another as it was to leave the Ranch.
More staff members are leaving to return to college and there are tears shed on their departure too. It has been a wonderful staff this year. One guest volunteered that when asked what he thought was the best thing about his ranch vacation he did not hesitate to say “the staff.” Fortunately, some fine new staff members have joined to help with wrangling, housekeeping and maintenance.
While the kids were busy having fun, the adults got in some adventurous riding and hiking. One ride to Screaming Woman Rock evoked a number of versions of the story of how it got its name. Other rides went to First Basin, Last Basin, the Sheep Trap, Dewey Riddle Spring, Big and Little Skyline. On Little Skyline riders sighted a family of horned toads . So many places and things to see from the back of a horse. And the fishing seems to get better and better as smiling fisherman return at the end of the day. At the end of the week, it seems easier for adults to say goodbye because many have already made reservations to return next year.
The first week of fall brings back a number of returning guests, some from years ago. And the second week offers a horse clinic which has lured guests who want to work on riding skills with an experienced horse trainer and riding instructor. Some are bringing their own horses to work with. Mornings will involve arena work and afternoons trail rides. Hopefully, the warm days and cool nights will continue though our dry country can use some rain.
So busy days hurry by and autumn approaches. A great summer season at the Ranch will end but with lots of memories.