RanchSeeker Blog

How To Plan a Memorable Family Reunion in 7 Easy Steps

5/15/2016 11:30:13 PM

Previously in history, our extended family was our community. Now, our extended family is often widely scattered around the world, and our community is composed mostly of strangers. We may be lucky enough to create special friendships with some strangers but those relationships won’t all be like family. Because relatives share a history and hold a permanent connection to us, we should try a little harder to maintain a good and close relationship.

family reunion

Planning a family can be a large undertaking but it is very worth it. Even if it’s only once every year or every couple of years, it’s beneficial to stay in touch with family members near and far. There is nothing like the bonds of family and the memories that are made are irreplaceable. Because there will be multiple generations in one place it is a perfect opportunity for storytelling. It is especially important for seniors to have the opportunity to share their stories with the younger generation. One of the developmental stages of adulthood is engaging in storytelling and reminiscing. Also, by learning more about your family, you will learn more about yourself as well!

If you are planning or thinking of planning an upcoming family reunion, here are some tips to make the experience easier for you and others.

1. Create a Family Reunion Planning Committee

Now “committee” can refer to one person and if the family reunion being planned is small (25 persons or less) one person can handle the planning. If you are planning a larger family reunion then you can increase the number of people on the committee. The size of the committee will also depend on the venue, lodging and activities being planned. If you are planning a family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, many of these things are taken care of so the committee can be smaller. Be sure to delegate tasks to people in the committee so that everything gets done on time. You might also want to create a reunion website to keep everyone informed and get them excited about the event.

plan a family reunion

2. Decide on the guest list.

Ideally you should try to invite everyone that you can but if you have financial or space constraints then decide how far out on the family tree you want to go. Then be sure to invite everyone included to that distance as to not hurt any feelings.  For example, you could only include up to first cousins or extend it out to second or third cousins. Start with your closest relatives and work your way out on the ancestral tree. Then stop when you've reached your limit.

3. Decide on Type of Family Reunion

Family reunions can be as simple as gathering people together for a picnic in the park or as elaborate as going on a cruise in a faraway country. When deciding on what type or family reunion some things you might need to consider are:

Interests of the family members

If most guests are the outdoorsy types then a dinner out in a fancy restaurant in the city won’t be the best choice. Of course people have different interests and you may not be able to satisfy everyone but try to make the majority happy.

How frequent are the family reunions

If the reunions occur frequently there isn’t a need to go all out every year as it could get costly for all of the guests. Therefore, an annual picnic or BBQ in the park would suffice. However, if it is a once in a decade event then it’s the perfect opportunity to splurge a bit more.

Size of the guest list

Some venues are more suited to certain party numbers while others are more flexible and can suit a range of party numbers

Budget Constraints

Some family members might need to stick to a certain budget so keep that in consideration when deciding on a family reunion type.

If you are unsure about any of these questions, a good idea is to conduct a survey with family members to get some ideas of what is preferred.

4. Pick a Date

When picking a date for your family reunion be sure to allow plenty of lead time for people to plan and save up if there are any travel costs. Many of your relatives may have families so giving them lots of advance notice will increase your chances they will be able to attend. Those with school aged children are bound by the school schedule so keep that in mind as well. If possible, try to give at least 6 months’ notice.

family reunion

The reunion length will depend on how far people have to travel. The shorter the distance the shorter the time can be. If people are traveling a distance, it won’t be worthwhile for them to come so far to only stay for a day.

5. Decide on a Reunion Location

There are many places you can host a reunion and the number of guests you are expecting, the distance they are traveling and budget will have a big influence on it. For smaller groups you can hold the reunion at a restaurant, park or someone’s home. For the outdoor enthusiasts a camping trip might be the perfect fit. For larger groups you may want to consider a park, campground, a nice resort, or maybe even a theme park. Whatever you select, be sure there is an activity for everyone to participate in and that there is sufficient lodging, if travel is required. Also,be sensitive to the financial situations of your attending family members. You don’t want to plan a reunion that hardly anyone can afford

6. Create a Budget

Once you know your family reunion type and location you can get started on creating the budget. Create a list of all the expenses you anticipate to incur so you can forecast what your costs will be. Then you must decide on how you plan on recouping these costs. Most commonly people either charge an admission to attend the family reunion or conduct some fundraising such as holding an auction or a raffle. If people are aware that the proceeds will be going to fund the reunion they will participate in the fun. If you are planning the family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, the costs will simply be the cost of the stay and travel Some resorts may give you a volume discount so don’t be shy to ask.

7. Decide on Activities

How many activities and how structured your family reunion will be is entirely up to you. Go with what works best for the guests but be sure to have plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. Some families fund future get-togethers with silent auctions, bake sales and other fund-raising activities built into the reunion day's events. During a multiday event, people may want to explore their surroundings, so compile a list of cultural and shopping destinations in the area.

Family Reunions on a Dude Ranch

For small and large groups, a dude ranch is a good option for many reasons. Because many dude ranches are all -inclusive not one person gets stuck bearing the whole burden of organizing and planning activities. There is no need to worry about entertaining everyone as there are so many activities available for young and old alike. The beauty of a dude ranch you can do as little or as much as you like. Your guests will have the opportunity to seek adventure together or just relax and chit chat on the deck. Also, you don’t have to worry about meals because it’s all taken care of at the dude ranch.

dude ranch family reunion

By holding a family reunion at a dude ranch, the financial awkwardness is removed since each family pays up front for everything. Because group decision making is at a minimum, a lot of potential friction is eliminated. People are not going to have to decide about where to eat, what to do for fun, and who’s in charge. Depending on the size of your group and the dude ranch, you   may be able to book the entire ranch just for your reunion. Lastly, you just can’t beat the hospitality of a dude ranch. They treat their guests like family so you will feel like you are staying with family.

We hope these tips will inspire you to plan a family reunion soon.

Happy Trails!

Priceless Cowboy Caviar Recipe

5/5/2016 4:31:50 PM

If you are in Texas you might be lucky enough to try a regional treat called “Cowboy Caviar”. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t contain any caviar at all. It’s actually a black-eyed bean salad that is marinated in Italian dressing. Athens, Texas is, after all, the black-eyed pea capital of the world. It can be eaten with a spoon or even better yet do what the locals do and scoop it up with a tortilla chip. Texans like their "caviar" year round and serve it at barbecues and other informal gatherings.

Historically speaking, black-eyed peas were frequently eaten on New Year’s Eve in Texas and in other southern states. Some people, owing to a curious mix of tradition and superstition, still believe that the consumption of black-eyed peas consumed on the 31st of December will bring luck and prosperity throughout the coming year.

Interesting enough, however; “Cowboy Caviar” wasn’t created by a Texan but rather by a Yankee. Helen Corbitt, who was the head chef at Nieman Marcus at the time, was tasked to create an all-Texan menu that would include black-eyed peas. She had a personal disdain for the legume so this wasn’t an easy task and since she was unable to find an existing recipe that met her high standards she created her own.

The original recipe consisted of black-eyed peas and onions which are then marinated in a vinaigrette dressing. Since then, “Cowboy Caviar” has evolved into lots of different variations many of which also include black beans. This dip makes the perfect side dish, appetizer, or snack and is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet!

Ingredients:

Salad:
3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
2 green onions, chopped or 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color will do)
1 chopped jalapeño (jarred or fresh)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado cubed
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained well
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips

Directions:

1.)Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

2.)Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl

3.)Pour dressing into the salad bowl and toss. Refrigerate an hour before serving to allow the flavours to blend.

So the next time that you are looking for something different to serve your guests consider preparing a bowl of “Cowboy Caviar” and be sure to tell them all about this delicious, healthy dish’s interesting history.

cowboy caviar

Happy Trails!

California’s Marble Mountain Guest Ranch    

4/28/2016 7:45:20 AM

The following article appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine's 5th edition.

California usually evokes images of surfboards, bikini-clad girls, tanned beach-goers, Hollywood stars and authentic Mexican food, but this “sunny state” also has a different, more adventurous side for you to discover!  Somes Bar in northwest California is home to the Marble Mountain Guest Ranch where guests can experience an all-inclusive, unparalleled ‘summit to sea’ vacation. Families and groups with diverse interests and needs will easily be entertained and engaged throughout their stay owing to the many activities to choose from as well as a youth buckaroo program.

Marble Mountain Guest Ranch is a true family-owned and operated business. Since 1981 the Cole family has been welcoming guests into their home and, as of 1970, they have been in the outfitting, guiding and dude ranch industry. Unlike many guest ranches, all of the activities are personally outfitted and guided by Marble Mountain Guest Ranch family members, which eliminates the handing over of guests to third-party vendors and does away with long shuttle rides to off-site locations. This hands-on attention enables the ranch to maintain the highest level of quality control and risk management, while providing its guests with exceptional individualized hospitality.  The guest ranch’s signature all-inclusive “saddle and paddle” or “raft and ride” vacation options coupled with its superb dining experience is sure to satisfy even the pickiest traveler in your group.

California Guest Ranch

Horseback riders will be awed by the stunning scenery of the Klamath National forest which provides thrilling mountain trail riding through ancient Douglas Fir stands to high vistas with views across deep river valleys and granite ridge tops. Riders and horses alike will find themselves challenged by an ever-evolving backdrop of dramatic, rugged landscapes. All of the horseback rides are designed to match individual groups’ riding experience with a ratio of 6 riders to 1 wrangler. There are also plenty of opportunities for novice riders and younger riders including round-pen and arena horse riding instruction

The ranch’s signature “raft and ride” program enables guests to either ride or sign up for various sport shooting and sporting clays activities available in the cooler mornings and then take part in the rafting trips in the warmer afternoons. Guests who choose shooting sports will get to experience the Western Firearms tradition in a sporting non-kill venue. The afternoon Klamath River Rafting program features class II and III beginner and intermediate level rapids and is suited for all ages and experience levels and also provides great swimming opportunities. Guests will find themselves navigating the gentle river currents that pass through the land of Big Foot in the Siskiyou Mountain. Wildlife enthusiasts will have the chance to spot otters, beavers, ospreys, eagles and a myriad of other creatures and perhaps even BIG FOOT himself! For adventure-seekers visiting before the month of July there are stand-alone rafting options on the thrilling California Salmon River, the Scott River, and on Clear Creek. The Cal Salmon, or “Slammin Salmon” is for advanced white-water enthusiasts only who are visiting in the spring, and is not included as part of the normal summer family guest ranch program.

More details are available upon request.

California Guest Ranch

Marble Mountain Guest Ranch’s target audience is families so that your kids, no matter what their age, will depart the ranch with lifelong pen pals from all walks of life and from all across the globe. Exciting activities that are based on traditional Western frontier experiences provide non-stop fun. Little ones enjoy nature walks, arts and crafts, feeding small animals, harvesting chicken eggs and more. Older kids take part in riding games, riding lessons, scenic trail ride adventures, and Western shooting sports at the range. Afternoon excursions include rafting, kayaking, and fishing. Evening activities are all about campfires, lariat challenges, fish-outs, and Western frontier games. At the end of their stay your kids will find it hard to choose which part of the vacation they loved most.

One cannot talk about the thrilling experiences and spectacular scenery at this California guest ranch without also mentioning the food!  Fresh mountain air and invigorating daily outdoor activities stimulate appetites and make mealtimes an important part of a dude ranch vacation. Healthy, hearty, and wholesome meals using only the freshest ingredients and produce cultivated from the ranch’s very own gardens and orchards are something to savour and enjoy every day. Upscale and original cuisine is brought to you by Executive Chef, and ranch co-owner Heidi Cole, who brings to the table over 40 years in the food service industry. Be sure to check out Heidi’s cookbook “Ranch Cooking - Simply Good” available in the ranch’s gift shop.

Last but not least at the end of an action-packed day, guests retire to either cottages or homes. Accommodations include fully furnished deluxe homes and housekeeping cottages with full kitchens, as well as smaller units that come with kitchenettes. Ranch cottages include 1-3 bedrooms that vary in size which can accommodate two people or as large as a group of seven. Every cottage provides beds with linens and towels, bathrooms with toilets as well as showers and a kitchenette.  Breathtaking sunrises in the morning and fiery sunsets in the evenings with a star-studded sky are included at no extra charge.

California Guest Ranch

There isn’t any cell coverage at Marble Mountain Guest Ranch although there is WiFi available in the lodge for those who really need to stay connected during their stay; however, a vacation at this guest ranch is the ideal opportunity to disconnect from technology and maximize family participation as well as reconnect with nature. Although many guest ranches offer great food, incredible scenery, superb hospitality and a marvelous horse program, there aren’t many ranches that excel at providing such a diverse program of activities designed to appeal to mixed interest groups and families.

California, or the Golden State as it is fondly referred to, is more commonly associated with surfers, swimsuits and movie stars, but it is also home to Marble Mountain Guest Ranch, a dude ranch that encompasses a singular all-inclusive outdoor adventure designed specifically for you and your family’s enjoyment.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation destination! www.ranchseeker.com

Happy Trails!

Now This Is A Great Mother's Day Idea

4/23/2016 3:00:52 PM

Moms are the best. They are always there for you, they love and support you no matter what and are someone you can always count on. So how do you show your appreciation for someone so special? Certainly, your mom will love anything you give her but you REALLY want her to love what you give her. There are countless presents you can purchase with each running some risk of not being right in some way. It may be the wrong size, it may be the wrong color, it may not work for her lifestyle or it may be the same thing you get her every year.

Choosing a Mother's Day present isn't difficult when you realize that what mothers want most is to spend time with their family. Mom’s love to share experiences and strengthen the bonds of family and create memories to be cherished for years to come. One of the best ways to do this is through traveling together where you are away from everyday worries and routines and can be completely focused on each other. A trip together is one of the best ways to forge the bonds of family and friendship while also engaging in some activity or indulging some interest. Just being away from the everyday, out of a comfort zone of the familiar, is already revitalizing and rejuvenating.

A dude ranch may not be the first place you would think of taking your mom but it is an excellent one, especially if the entire family is going. Dude ranches are like summer camp for the entire family. There are many fun activities to choose from including fishing, hiking, wild life watching, hayrides,and horseback riding so everybody gets to be a kid. Dude ranches tend to be very hospitable, laid back, "authentic" in their own way, and bring out a perpetual smile in everyone there.

mothers day

Aside from the typical activities, some dude ranches have some special offers and packages specifically designed for mom in mind or if you are going on a mother/daughter trip. Many dude ranches have specialty classes such cooking classes and wine tasting classes. Some have on site spas ready to pamper your mom. If you want to be a cowgirl for a week you can do that with some women’s weeks.

Here are some specials just for mom:

Victoria Weekend Spa Getaway at Echo Valley Ranch

Book this special packages at this special East meets West guest ranch and spa in British Columbia, Canada. Echo Valley Ranch features not one but two world class spas: European and Thai. Each spa has their own unique spa treatments that your mom can try.  This package includes all accommodations, meals, use of ranch amenities and a special 5 course British style dinner.

Echo Valley Ranch

Mother/ Daughter bonding at Women’s Only Week at Coffee Creek Ranch

 Coffee Creek Ranch is having a women’s only week from May 7 to 13 to celebrate Mother’s day.  Many unique activities are planned for this week including classes where you can learn how to cook healthy meals from scratch, how to bake with ancient grains and even learn how to make lotions and facials from items in your kitchen. Then head outside and go on a hike, a horseback ride or just kick back and stick your feet into the creek.

coffee creek ranch

No matter what you decide, be sure to let her know you appreciate her in every way.

Happy Trails!

More Inspiring Horse Quotes

4/20/2016 12:18:37 AM

Images have a powerful way of affecting how we feel and our mood. Seeing a beautiful horse with an inspiring quote is just about the most perfect imagery for me. Here is our second instalment of inspiring horse quotes. I just can't get enough of these and love to reread these every day.  Here is the first instalment of inspiring horse quotes, if you happened to miss them.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man ~ Winston Churchill

Horse Quotes

The horse knows..He knows if you know..He also knows if you don't know.

The horse knows

If you're too busy to ride, then you are too busy

horseback riding

Can you see her smile? That's true happiness.

horse quotes

Riding is the best solution to any problem

horse quotes

Happy Trails!

Horses N Courage, LLC….A Unique Montana Dude Ranch

4/13/2016 9:03:33 AM

Come to Big Sky Country and experience a rustic Dude Ranch vacation, Cowgirl Camp or Healing Retreat for Women. Located in Sawmill Canyon in Lennep, Montana this family owned and operated dude ranch combines dude ranching culture with good old western hospitality to make your vacation experience a memorable one. Open to guests from June 1st until September 1st Horses N Courage, can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time so that your stay at the ranch can be customized according to your particular vacation needs. You’ll arrive as a guest but depart as a friend.

Accommodations & Meals

This Montana guest ranch offers unique accommodations for those looking for a different kind of ranch experience in the great outdoors. There is no cell phone coverage or WIFI available so that guests can disconnect in order to re-connect with each other as well as their surroundings. Choose from either a wall-tent or a cowboy-teepee.

Montana Dude Ranch

Wall-Tents: Clean, cozy wall tents, sleep up to 4 adults comfortably and are furnished with comfortable cots, warm fluffy sleeping bags, extra blankets, throw rug, lantern, a mirror, lawn chair, small table with a wash bowl and a pitcher. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your tent.

Cowboy-Teepees: Teepee’s sleep one adult or 2 children comfortably, with a cot(s) and a fluffy sleeping bag, extra blankets, a table, lantern, throw rug, lawn chair, a washbowl, pitcher and a mirror. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your teepee.

Shower: A large, wood-sided outdoor shower that is a self- standing little structure with propane heated water. It sits behind the cook tent, facing the trees, ensuring that you have the utmost privacy!

Guests enjoy rustic, hearty ranch-cooked meals that are prepared outdoors and  served with all the western fixing’s which include ranch raised natural beef, big mountain breakfasts and substantial lunches. All that clean fresh air will have you asking for seconds but make sure you save some room for s’mores around the campfire at night! If you require a special diet, be sure to note it on your contact form in advance, so that the ranch can accommodate your needs. Guests are welcome to bring any favourite snacks or soda with them as well as any alcohol since the ranch is BYOB (Bring your own booze). These items can be stored in the cook tent’s propane powered refrigerator.

 

Montana Dude Ranch

Dude Ranch Vacation

If you and your friends or family love horseback riding then this is the vacation choice for you!  This rustic dude ranch package includes either 7 days and 6 nights or 4 days and 3 nights, with wall-tent or cowboy-teepee accommodations and three hearty western ranch-cooked meals per day. With over 2,000 acres of private land to explore on horseback you will have the chance to herd and move cattle while observing the abundant wildlife and taking in the breathtaking mountain scenery. Guests can ride up to 6 hours per day, depending on riding ability and comfort level in the saddle. When not in the saddle guests enjoy mountain hiking, photography, soaking in a natural hot spring pool at White Sulphur Springs, honing roping skills or simply kicking back at night to admire a star filled sky.

Montana Dude Ranch

Cowgirl Camps

June 23-26 (6 spots left), June 30- July 3 (8 spots left) July 7-10 (8 spots left) July 14-17 (2 spots left) 2016

Calling all wannabee cowgirls! These weekends are for girlfriends, moms, daughters and sisters who want to experience a “cowgirl getaway” in Montana. After learning basic horsemanship you will saddle-up and ride as well as trail cattle and learn to rope. A trip to White Sulphur Springs as well as hiking, photography and wildlife spotting opportunities will round off your weekend fun. On the last night of your stay you and the rest of the gals will enjoy “song & s’mores” while swapping stories around a blazing campfire. An experience like this will stay with you forever!

Healing Retreat for Women

Hope, Courage and Healing Retreat for Women Suffering from Emotional Shock and Trauma in the Body (August 11-14, 2016)

This special retreat is for women only and will help those in need get out of the pattern of self-defeat and bring hope, joy and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse in the back country of Sawmill Canyon in Montana.  This is a horseback riding Healing Retreat for Women Veterans and Women Suffering from Emotion Shock and Trauma in the Body. Together with the horses and nature you will be guided through a healing process to help you rediscover aspects of your life that have been lost and help you employ healthy changes in your life.

The retreat focuses on” Healthy Relationships, Emotional Shock and Trauma, Emotions and the Body and Co-Dependency”. Your stay is all-inclusive and includes wall-tent and cowboy teepee accommodations, ranch-style cooked meals, beautiful scenery, horseback riding, a chance to see wildlife, photography opportunities, dummy roping and a soak in a natural hot spring spa to empower the Mind, Body and Spirit.

Learn more about your retreat hosts here: Sarah: http://horsesncourage.com/meet-the-hereim-family/ and Rosie: http://gentlehoofbeats.com/therapyaboutus.htm

When the mountains start  calling consider Horses N Courage for your next adventure!

Happy Trails!

Dog Friendly Dude Ranch Vacations

4/10/2016 12:16:13 AM

Pets are our best friends and people want to do everything with them including vacation. Since dogs are like members of our families there’s always tough decisions to be made when you decide to go on a vacation. Who will take care of your dog? Where will your dog stay? Will your dog get lonely? Will your dog miss your family? What if an emergency occurs with your dog while you are away? These are not things you would like to be worrying about while you are trying to relax and bond with your family. However, there is a solution. Take your dog with you on a dude ranch vacation.

Dog Friendly Dude Ranches

Dog friendly dude ranches are becoming more popular every year. The dude ranch environment is highly suitable for dogs and with all that glorious outdoor space at their disposal, they will have a blast! Imagine going on a horseback ride with your furry friend happily trotting along beside you. Perhaps on another day your dog can join you for a hike or bike ride on the nature trails. Bring along some toys and enjoy a nice game of frisbee on another day.

Here are some pet friendly dude ranches who welcome dogs and other pets. Each ranch has different rules and expectations for dogs, so contact any dude ranch you’re considering and speak to them about the specifics of their dog-friendly policy before booking. Most fees are pretty nominal and a small price to pay to bring your furry BFF. Most likely your dog will need to be house trained and get along well with other animals and people.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch welcomes dogs to stay in cabins for only an additional $15 fee per night. They also allow guests to bring their own horses in the Spring and Fall. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a fourth generation family owned and operated ranch, located on 1100 acres of beautifully scenic North Idaho. They are open year round and very family friendly. There are a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.

pet friendly dude ranch

YD Guest Ranch

 YD Guest Ranch in British Columbia is pet friendly and all they require is for your dog to be kept on a leash or contained when you are away from the ranch. Your dog will need to be trained to not bark when left on their own as well. Pet’s can stay in tipis and tent-cabins for an extra charge of $20/day. Horses are also welcome. Dry hook up are $35/night and paddocks are $35 for a single horse and $15 for shared. YD Guest Ranch is a luxury adventure ranch featuring unique first class accommodation, exceptional dining and a huge diversity of guided experiences on site. Their accommodations are very unique and you can book a stay in one of their tipis, tent- cabins and tree houses.

pet friendly vacation

Southern Cross Guest Ranch

 Southern Cross Guest Ranch welcomes guests to bring their own horse. Guests can book the All Inclusive Non-Riding plan which includes their lodging and meals.  A stall rental of $15 per night is charged for the horse.  Then you can ride on their trails at any time of the day or night.  They have many repeat guests that do this quite frequently. Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a premier year-round guest ranch and horse farm conveniently nestled in Central Georgia's Historic Heartland and within an hours drive from Atlanta

Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch is a luxury ranch and world class spa located in British Columbia. They also welcome dogs and horses. Their only requirements for dogs is that they must get along with border collies as the ranch has about 10 over them residing there and the guests must rent a cabin. The additional cost is $20/day. Horses need a certificate of health from a veterinarian and the cost of boarding is $25/day.

dog friendly vacation

Coffee Creek Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch welcomes animals of all types as long as they are house trained and well socialized. You can bring your dog, cat, rabbit, pig etc. They have dog friendly cabins with outside kennels for your dog to stay in while you are gone for activities. Dogs are not allowed on horseback rides but can join you for walks and hikes on the trails.  The fees are $10/per day for each animal and a refundable cleaning deposit of $10 a day. They also allow you to bring your own horse for $25/day as long as you can verify your horse is current on shots. Coffee Creek Ranch is located Northern California on 357 acres surrounded by National Forest and the Trinity Alps wilderness area.

pet friendly vacations

Happy Trails (Woof)

Cowboy French Toast Recipe

4/3/2016 12:16:51 AM

Everyone loves French Toast. It’s soft, sticky and sweet with a bit of crunch. It’s simple to make and only takes minutes to prepare. Plus, the ingredients are simple and most kitchens have them on hand. Perhaps these are reasons why it’s a favorite among cowboys who start their day early and need a quick yet hearty breakfast. This French toast recipe uses thick cut bread. You can use Challah bread for a bit of sweetness or a regular loaf (white or whole wheat) and cut your own thick slices. This gives the French toast more structure and makes it less probable to get soggy. The cowboys like it this way!

Cowboy Friend Toast

Ingredients:
6-8 slices sandwich bread
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk (homo or 2%)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter for cooking
confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions:

Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow dish until blended.

Heat a large frying pan or skillet  and melt bit of butter. Coat a slice of bread on each side and place into pan. Cook until golden on both sides (about 2-3 min on each side). Remove and repeat with the rest of the bread. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve warm with maple syrup.

Happy Trails!

Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures

3/31/2016 2:10:54 PM

The following article appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine's 4th edition.

When people think of going on a dude ranch vacation, the USA and Canada, are the destinations that first come to mind with locations such as Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Alberta and British Columbia to name but a few. However, another great option is Mexico which is home to some outstanding guest ranches like Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures, known also as Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch, situated in northeast Sonora. This is an excellent choice for those wanting a fantastic ranch experience in a warm and friendly ambiance with a distinct Mexican flavour! Close to southeast Arizona and with offices based in Tucson, shuttle services will safely escort you to the ranch and back enabling you to relax and enjoy the scenery while en route to your Mexican home for the next week.

Adventure Guest Ranch

Fact from Fiction: Security in Mexico

Owing to a biased and often incorrect coverage by the international press, Mexico has been characterized as having travel concerns for foreigners. This is simply not the case.  Past guests of Tierra Chamahua from the US (45%), Canada (25%), Europe (20%), Australia and New Zealand (10%) have all experienced guest ranch vacations packed with adventure, exceptional service and hospitality in a secure environment ensuring a safe and truly memorable vacation.

Not Your Typical Guest Ranch

With over 30,000 acres this privately owned guest and cattle ranch boasts vistas like you have never seen before. Spectacular otherworldly desert and pristine wilderness landscapes await the adventurous traveler. This scenic, unique adventure travel destination is ideal for guests who love nature, the great outdoors, ranch life and an active vacation. Guests will also appreciate the utter peacefulness and tranquility for those times when one simply wishes to relax after an exhilarating day out on the range.

Adventure Guest Ranch

World-Class Riding Trails

A vacation at Tierra Chamahua will provide you with your very own personal playground for backcountry horseback riding excursions. Horse-lovers will be thrilled by challenging, awe-inspiring, excitement-filled rides through virtually secluded sierras, mountains, hills, mesas, rock cliffs, ravines, canyons and some of the most unspoiled wilderness to be found on a ranch vacation.Horseback riding at this guest ranch offers some of the best outdoor riding trails in the world and once in a lifetime photo ops!

Unlimited Adventures

Countless experiences await at Tierra Chamahua:

Wildlife Spotting: Encounters with wildlife in their natural habitat is always a thrill and at Tierra Chamahua there is the ever-present possibility of running into various different types of animals as well as different species of birds. Around the ranch there are five types of felines that habitat the area: mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots, ring-tail cats and the occasional, migrating jaguar. The opportunity to see many other different animals all in their natural setting will make you feel like you are on your very own desert safari.

El Cajon Canyon: Hikers will love exploring the natural beauty of this particular canyon which is truly one of Nature’s works of art. Three to four hundred foot walls on both sides as well as awe-inspiring scenery will captivate nature-lovers. There are boundless opportunities overall for hikers.

Lake Angostura: This isolated, unspoiled and pristine lake, located a stone’s throw away from the ranch’s border, boasts breathtaking scenery coupled with a remarkable history. Be sure to ask your guide all about it!

Jeep Tours: With 120 kilometers of dirt roads at your disposition the rocky, wild and rugged landscapes are sure to please even the hardiest thrill-seeker in your group.

Mountain Biking: Experienced bikers and newbies to the sport will appreciate the ruggedness as well as the unspoiled beauty that the surrounding terrain provide.

Stargazing: Without the interference of city lights the ranch is the perfect venue from which to gaze upon a heavenly star-studded night sky.. Binoculars and telescopes enable amateur astronomers the opportunity to admire the beauty of the universe as never before.

Fishing: Test your fishing skills at the lake or in the river and you might just snag a large-mouth bass, sunfish, catfish or trout. In any event the surrounding majestic scenery will ensure that the fishermen in your group will have something to write home about.

Pictographs: History buffs will be particularly interested in the dozens of pictographs found throughout the canyon where ancient pre-Columbian dwellings, caches, ceremonial centers, hunting lodges, ovens and sculpted deities are to be found, each offering a diversity of cultural, religious and behavioral history.

Porching: Last but not least this activity simply requires “kicking back” in order to practice the art of relaxation. It is the perfect moment for guests to share their day’s adventures with each other while watching the sun slowly dip below the horizon.

Adventure Guest Ranch

Ranch Accommodations

At the end of a fun-filled day spent enjoying the great outdoors guests ease into comfortable beds in either one of the rooms located in the Cumaral Lodge or in one of the spacious cabañas. The rooms, which are more like suites, feature window views that are simply breathtaking. The lodge also features a shared living-room and kitchen with a wrap-around, roofed porch that afford stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Cabaña de los Vaqueros and the Sunrise Cabaña are ideal for those looking for a more private and intimate hideaway. Guests staying in the cabañas also have access to the wrap-around porch, living area and kitchen in the Cumaral Lodge. All accommodation options run on solar-power.

Culinary Delights

Mealtimes at Tierra Chamahua are very special. The all-inclusive rates include three gourmet, home-cooked meals a day. International as well as northern and southern Mexican dishes will please even the most discerning palate. Tasty snacks, pastries, and non-alcoholic beverages are also included.  Meals are served family-style either in the dining room or at the outdoor table on the balcony. Packed lunches are provided for guests on hiking adventures to be enjoyed in the canyons while surrounded by a beautiful natural setting.  Because the ranch’s location is rather remote, guests are encouraged to bring along their own alcohol as well as any favourite food items or snacks. A scheduled stop at a grocery store en route from Tucson will give you time to pick up these items.

An Adventure of a Lifetime

Tierra Chamahua is different than your typical dude ranch as it offers unique and exciting vacations for those looking to go off-grid and disconnect from the wired world. It is a place where your body, spirit and mind will feel truly connected to nature as you immerse yourself in the pristine, secluded wilderness that surrounds you. The sheer variety of activities that are at guest’s disposal are guaranteed to fill your days leaving your nights free to admire a starry sky with new found friends. Making lasting memories at this extraordinary guest ranch is easy.

Adventure Guest Ranch

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Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch

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At White Stallion Ranch, the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch is carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort. Reconnect with nature, family, friends and serenity while riding through the unspoiled desert, rugged mountains and cactus that have brought Hollywood film-makers to the ranch for over 70 years. White Stallion Ranch has been featured in 27 Hollywood films dating back to 1939.

Arizona Guest Ranch

White Stallion Ranch is a proud member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame as the #1 property in Tucson for 5 consecutive years. White Stallion Ranch is situated between Phoenix and Tucson, making it easy accessible from Arizona’s two major airports.

The Place for Family Fun

White Stallion Ranch is a wonderful place to bring your family. They welcome children and have many family fun activities such as rock climbing, basketball, hiking, tennis, volleyball, swimming, hayrides  and even have a petting zoo. After the family has fun playing outdoors, they can relax after dinner in the fun recreation room. There are many games to choose from which includes a foosball table, a pool table,  shuffleboard, air hockey and board games. There won’t be a moment where your family isn’t occupied and having a wonderful time.

Family vacation

White Stallion Ranch also has a special Cactus Kids Summer rate .This ranch is one of the few places left in the world where your children are safe to go about their day without you.  After introductions have been made, you’ll find them off with  their new friends for various activities.  Do you have little toddlers? Well if they are under 5, they stay for free.

The Ranch for Horseback Riding Enthusiasts

If you are hoping to get a lot of time in the saddle, then White Stallion Ranch is the perfect destination for you. With one of the largest privately owned herds in Arizona, they have a horse for every experience level from first-time trailblazers to life-long riders. In addition, guests are carefully matched with their horse for the duration of their stay, based on riding experience, height, weight and riding ambitions.

Horseback riding

White Stallion Ranch offers a wide variety of horseback riding excursions. If you are a beginner, go on one of their Slow Rides. This is the best way to see the desert flora and fauna and experience the ecosystem of the Sonoran desert. You’ll ride all week and never use the same trail twice on their walking rides. If you are a more experienced rider and want more of an adrenaline rush try one of their fast rides. Intermittent walking and trotting allows you to catch your breath and enjoy the scenery. If you want to learn or improve your riding skills, White Stallion Ranch also offers lessons with their patient and knowledgeable wranglers. You have the choice of group or private lessons. Also, try their Wine & Cheese or Beer and Cheetos rides where you ride into a secluded spot with your group and enjoy your chosen beverage and snacks.

What is more Western than an old fashioned hayride.? Every Wednesday, climb aboard their hay wagon, decked out with hay bales for seats and powered by a magnificent team of draft horses and head towards your special lunch spot. There you will enjoy “All American” hamburgers and hotdogs cooked over a fragrant Mesquite fire with all the trimmings

Hayride

For all the female horseback riding enthusiasts out there, White Stallion Ranch offers their popular Cactus Cowgirls events for women five times a year. You’ll have your very own horse that you can groom, bathe, learn to saddle and ride. There will be plenty of riding and lessons so it’s a perfect time to improve your saddle skills.

 Accommodations

The ranch has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. The accommodations are beautiful western-themed casitas with views of mountains, gardens and, of course, the horses. White Stallion Ranch as 41 guest rooms and also The Hacienda, a lovely and private four-bedroom, three-bathroom home perfect for larger families or small groups.

White Stallion Ranch

All your meals and snacks are included in the nightly rate. Fresh, quality ingredients go into the meal options at White Stallion Ranch. Their homestyle meals are sure to please many palates and they can accommodate special diets with advance notice. Coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, hot and cold teas and lemonade are available all day.

White Stallion’s all- inclusive vacations offer great value for all the activities they offer your entire family. Be sure to book early as their special packages and holidays fill up quickly.

Happy Trails!

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