Here is a shot of the picturesque Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch where we spent a very fun week of our summer vacation.
Check in at the Ranch was at 11:00 on Saturday with our first ride of the day heading out at 2:30. Looking at a 12 hour drive to the Ranch and not wanting to miss anything on Saturday, we headed out Friday morning and stopped a couple of hours from the Ranch in Carson City, Nevada.
Jim booked us in the first motel that came up in his Google search (aka: not always the best idea). When we pulled into the motel parking lot we both looked a little concerned. You see the Motel 6 that was next door looked really nice compared to the Motel we were about to check into.
Since we were only staying over night we decided to risk it and check in to the nasty place. When we walking into our room the odd odor and the feeling that Norman Bates was going to knock at the door any minute and ask if we needed anything caused us to change our mind and look for a new place to stay!!
Fortunately, we only had to drive a few miles down the main road where there were a ton of quality motels to chose from.
On Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed for the Ranch! We were all excited to start our new adventure!
When we arrived a the Ranch our first impression was how beautiful and quaint the place was. The employees were so kind and we could tell right away that everyone who worked at the Ranch was going to work their hardest to make our stay a pleasant one.
After checking in the girls headed straight for the pond and the stack of fishing poles waiting to be used. With in a few minutes of casting off Reid caught a 19 inch Trout that would end up winning her first place in the Fishing derby.
After a half an hour of fishing we all headed over for a safety meeting. After the meeting we were told to fill up our water bottles and head over to the stables so that we could be paired up with a horse. We all lined up and as our turns came up everyone proclaimed their riding abilities and comfort level with horses.
When my turn arrived I told the Wrangler's that I wast totally new to horse riding and really nervous about riding. As one of the Wranglers brought over this white speckled horse she proclaimed Dapple to be the most favorite horse in the group. Not only was he a favorite with the wranglers, but he was also a favorite with the horses. Apparently he was a comedian!!
I discovered how funny he was when he tricked the Wranglers into believing his saddle was cinched tight. Yeah, it was a regular laugh fest when Dapple and I were trotting in the arena and the saddle slipped off to the side, with me still in it!
I'm pretty sure that Dapple was laughing at me as I laid in the nasty arena dirt staring up at his belly (which was now holding my upside down saddle).
Needless to say, falling off Dapple made me a little hesitant to try the more advance rides (not to mention it tweaked my back a little bit) so I stuck with the walk rides. I absolutely adored the 23 year old Wrangler Natalie who took us out on all of our trail rides.
She took us through the tree's, down into canyons, up to the peak, and along the creek bed. The rides were both beautiful, challenging and exciting. I was lucky and always managed to be right behind Natalie so the two of us had a great time chatting during our morning and afternoon rides (not to mention I ate less dust).
When we weren't riding there was so much to do. There was fishing, swimming, volleyball games, a softball game, frog jumping contest and in the evening they had karaoke, dancing and a couple of campfire sing a longs.
The biggest event of the week was the guest rodeo, which the girls and Jim all participated in. They all won various ribbons for their efforts and I was really impressed to see how well they all handled their horses.
Kate spent her week riding with the "Outlaws." They were the kids 6 to 11 and they were all taught how to ride on the trail. By the end of the first full day of riding Kate was already loping. The outlaws chant, "Who are we......The Outlaws! How do we ride? Like we stole 'em." Her Wrangler was Amanda, a young college student who was so much fun and a great teacher.
Adults had to pass a lope test to be able to go on the advanced ride and Jim had a horse that wouldn't lope for him. So the following day they got him a new horse that would lope. During the morning lope test the arena dirt was really muddy in spots. Jim's new horse, Jingles, didn't want to walk through the mud so instead it jumped/bucked his way over it.
All of the Wranglers were yelling, "Ride 'em Cowboy" when Jingles started bucking. Jim passed the lope test and was able to fulfill his need for speed on the advanced rides. Reid stuck to the intermediate rides and had an awesome time trotting through the trees. So the only time we all rode together was on the early morning ride out into the forest for breakfast.
Speaking of food......it was so nice having someone cook us three meals a day. The food was really good and I thought for sure I would gain 10 pounds while I was there. But they kept us so busy that I didn't gain an ounce......in fact I lost a few!!! Each night I fell into bed exhausted and happy!
The whole vacation felt like summer camp for families. We met so many nice families and enjoyed their company through out the week. Kate made friends with two girls, one from the LA area and one from Germany.
Reid made friends with a girl, named Katie that was just a couple of weeks older than her. By the end of the week Reid the two were sharing each other's clothes and were attached at the hip! I also spent a lot of time with Katie's mom Vicki and another mom named Durrel.
The staff was also a lot of fun. Most of the Wranglers ate meals with us and spent time hanging around in the evening. They made us all feel like family which made it all that much harder to go home!
The last evening after they gave out the awards for the rodeo and the fishing derby the Wranglers got up and gave awards to each and every guest. You see, they pay attention to all of us during the week and find something about our stay to award us for.
Amanda gave Kate the award for most improved cowgirl and gave Reid the "It not mine, I swear it" award for claiming that the beer in front of her wasn't hers. I got the "I'd like to try that" award from Natalie for admitting that loping looked like fun.
Jim was saved for the last four guest who got the most special awards given out. Jim received the Cowboy of the week award (and a golden horseshoe). Marty, the head wrangler, said some really nice things about Jim and we were all proud of him for standing out among the other guest. It was pretty darn cool!
As Reid would say, going to the ranch was a pretty "sweet" vacation and something that all of us will remember for a long long time!