I am so very lucky to work for a company that sent Anson, me, and my co-workers on a trip to an unbelievable dude ranch in Wyoming called Brush Creek Ranch.
Many of our friends and family asked about our trip, and, in answering them, it was really hard to know where to start, because it was all so superlative: the idyllic western prairie, the world-class hospitality, the gourmet food, the exhilarating activities...
There's so much to express about this place and our experience, but I think it's best to just show you.
(Warning: Grab a glass of wine and settle in, because this post is lengthy to say the least.)
To start at home base, here we are in front of the saloon where we wrapped up each day having a drink, playing games, and chatting with my co-workers and the staff.
Brush Creek Ranch comprises 15 acres in southern Wyoming. From the gate all the way back to the boundaries with Medicine Bow National Forest, you'll run the gamut of the landscapes of the western prairies.
The main lodge and dining hall.
The long view from the front of the saloon.
Try out a rocking chair and stare off into the distance...
...try out a deer antler chair...
...or grab a local beer and relax in the main lodge.
The main dining room was a spectacle in itself, with antler chandeliers, rustic wooden tables, and chairs upholstered in fur.
And these were not meals of pork 'n beans either--we're talking freshly squeezed juice and homemade biscuits for breakfast, grilled vegetable salads, buffalo burgers for lunch, beef from the property, a whole pig roast, local lamb and trout for dinner. I can't remember ever being hungry, but I definitely filled up at each meal.
The wine cellar was open for you to help yourself. Anson and I were like kids in a candy store.
No detail, even the napkins, was too small.
The view from the chuck wagon, where we had lunch each day.
Our cozy room with a view of the sunrise each morning. No phone, no TV and no room key--just close the door when you leave and don't worry about it.
We found little chocolates from a local chocolatier on our bed each night when we returned to our room.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...do you want to fly fish or do sunrise yoga? Paintball or ropes course?
Our first activity was mountain bike riding, and we got our own custom tour of the back trails from our favorite guide, Dan.
Anson on the swing bridge.
Anson was amazing at the shooting range! His shotgun skills with the clay targets were without equal.
I was not too shabby with the handguns and the AR-15 rifle as well.
I haven't been horseback riding since I was a teenager, but it turns out, it's just like riding a bike--you never forget. There was no better way to see the property than from the back of a horse.
These were lucky horses, by anyone's estimate.
One of our wranglers, Clint, is a real cowboy when he's not taking us city yahoos on trail rides.
Our night of square dancing brought me back to winter gym class in elementary school.
Just one of the unbelievable sunsets.
Antelope making their way across the fields.
The wildflowers had bloomed the week before we got there. Great timing for us!
One of the original settlers' homes from the late 1800s. The current owner has been careful to preserve as many original structures on the property as possible, and that contributes to a real sense of history.
One can only imagine the rugged pioneering spirit that was required to homestead in a place like this.
The cabin had certainly seen better days, but it's degradation gave us some interesting insight into the construction of these primitive structures.
Standing where they stood 130 years ago...what were they thinking when they looked out this door?
We got a tour of the property in Polaris Rangers with a cooler full of beer. Now that's luxury.
Big Sky Country: Wyoming
Uihlein was the brand for one of the original families that settled the land. It's still represented on one of the original barns near the main house.
A horse corral near the main lodge.
Another original structure in the back country.
The previous winter brought higher than normal snow pack, resulting in high river levels.
This handsome guy was found wandering the property and I took him home.
The "Snowy Pass" (in June!) that we drove through on the way to and from the airport.