Drowsy Water

Saturday, February 14, 2015

History of the heart

The month of love seemed an appropriate time to write a history lesson about a heart that has flown around Drowsy Water Ranch for decades. The Flying Heart Brand is the brand associated with Drowsy Water Ranch from its early days as a dude ranch. The main lodge is called the Flying Heart Lodge and you'll see throwbacks to the old brand hidden throughout the ranch.  
The brand is a key part of Drowsy Water Ranch history.  Ken get out the ranch history books so we could learn more. 

Deane "Pops" Glessner, the founding father of the modern day Drowsy Water Ranch, owned the brand when he started DWR ranching operations in the 1930s and 1940s.  

Glessner owned a herd of hereford cattle and used the flying heart for the cattle company brand.  Early brochures and publications for the ranch show the flying heart as the brand for DWR's prize winning herefords.

 In that era, herefords were bred to be short, low-set, wide and deep. 

To give you an idea of their size, see below the prized herefords stand next to your average sized man. 

The scrapbook reflects the amount of pride DWR took in their herefords. The herd and bulls won awards and accolades all over the region. 

Early DWR brochures state "Horses--our weakness, Cattle--our business".  
In addition to raising herefords, Mom and Pops Glessner raised saddlebred horses with the "quarter circle shield" brand. Their love for horses and the desire to share that love was what turned Drowsy Water into a successful dude ranch. 

When Glessner sold the ranch to Cecile Malone, the flying heart brand stayed with the Glessner family but a lot of its magical charm remains throughout Drowsy Water Ranch. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

JUNE-uary construction

We don't usually see what is pictured below during the month of January. Or February, and rarely March. 

The photo is OPEN WATER on Drowsy Water Creek, and it is as absurd as a a horse standing on two-legs. Due to an unseasonably warm January, the creek in no longer frozen. That never happens around here in January. The weather is so warm we've all been wearing our bikinis and swim trunks 24/7. 

Just kidding. We don't even do that in summer; our legs are as white as snow 365 days a year.
But it really is warm for us--the temperature has climbed well above 30 for multiple days now. Yes, we are enjoying it, but the pleasure comes laced with what feels something like guilt. Sure, sunny days are lovely, but if it keeps this up we all know we will be in for a dry, dry summer and that is bad news for the horses, cows, hay, fishing, etc.

We will continue to hope for more snow and brace for more cold while we enjoy the rest of what I have been calling "June-uary". June-uary can be officially defined by the ranch vocabulary dictionary as warm, June-like days in January. 

The construction of the end shop has benefited from the warm weather, too. Our construction crew is in a great mood as they put together the logs for our new end shop barn. We can't wait to see the finished project. See some shots from the construction below. And, no, it is not hot enough for the construction guys to be working without shirts on so, ladies, don't get your hopes up for shirtless construction worker photos. 

Chase has loved having a crane at the ranch. The crew has used the crane to move and place all the logs.  The construction crew has already built this building once.  They first peel and assemble the logs in Granby, then they number the logs as they take the building apart, haul the whole deal out to the site and be re-assembled. Each log arrived at the ranch numbered so the crew knows exactly where to put it. 

The new end shop is built on a concrete foundations. The old building was built on a rock foundation that was probably standard procedure for its time. The new barn has a 10 foot concrete wall in back, footers, and will a concrete floor. 

The barn will be two-stories tall. The floor of the second story served as a sun deck and construction site for more log design. The roof of the second story will be supported by full log beams. 

The views aren't bad from this window! We almost decided to scrap the roof and leave this as an open-air hang out. But we thought better of it once we started arguing about who would be the one to shovel off the snow all winter long.

Can't wait for you to come see the new barn this summer!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Looking for a few good cowfolk: 5 things to know before you work at DWR!

So you or someone you know wants to work at a Drowsy Water for the summer? Great. We hire around 25 enthusiastic, fun-loving, hard-working folks each summer to live, work, and play with some of the greatest guests in the world.  We are hiring for our 2015 summer right now! Here are a few thoughts to consider before heading to our website to apply

1. Dates of availability
Our season runs from late May through Mid September. Can you be here to help us open in mid-May? Can you stay until the end of our season or later? Usually, the more available you are, the better your chances of getting a job with us for the summer. 

2. What do you know about Drowsy Water Ranch?
Do your homework! We want you to learn and know as much as you can before you apply. What are you really getting yourself into, here, after all? Have you been a guest or know a guest? Do your best to see the ranch through the eyes of an employee and realize all the hard work that goes into making this ranch one of the best family vacations ever.

3. What type of position do you want? 
During the summer, we have fairly specific positions and expectations. Wranglers take care of the horses and the guests while they ride our horses, the kitchen staff ensures our guests get fed and watered, the housekeepers make sure the accommodations stay clean and comfortable, the maintanance crew does the behind-the-scences grounds and repair work, and the dishwasher makes sure we are eating off of clean plates. What would you have fun doing?

4. Be flexible
Keep in mind, this is a ranch! You never know what you might be asked to do and during what time of day  (or night) it might need done. Maybe some horses got out and we need your help opening and closing gates. Maybe the creek is flooding and you have to fill shovel sand. Be ready for anything.

5. Be ready to serve
You'll find that jobs in our industry are one of the most rewarding, fulfilling jobs you'll ever experience. Why? THE PEOPLE! Our guests come from all over the world and from all walks of life. While they are here, they are all cowboys and cowgirls for the week. All you have to do is take time to make sure they have what they need, talk to them and get to know them. We welcome our guests into our ranch family and they often make lifelong friends with other guests and staff members.  Enjoy that the more you put into your job and into getting to know the people that vacation here, the more lifelong friendships and memories you'll take from it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Barn

The turning of the new year means we are now looking forward to our summer season full of friends, new guests and warm, fun-filled days. One other thing we are looking forward to is our new barn (a.k.a. The End Shop).  Ryan headed up the demolition of the old building last fall. Team work was the name of the game. Check out the photos from the demolition of this historic building. 

We'll be positing the progress of the new building on facebook. Right now, the new concrete walls are covered in snow while a local log builder is working to assemble the new structure in Granby. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Round 'em up

After all the guests leave the ranch for the summer we smile, sigh, and cry a little. Then we remember we still have a lot of work to do before winter, and we get back in the saddle. One of the big tasks of the fall is the gathering, hauling, sorting, weaning, and feeding of our cows and calfs. Round up day is probably on of my favorite days of the year.  Here is a photo essay from round up day. 

It all starts as we ride out into the open range, the smell of sage in floating all around us...

 We begin to search high and low. We usually have a general idea of where some of the cows are, but others we have to track the old fashioned way--looking for tracks and fresh pies. Just when I start to think I need to radio the others and tell them I can't find them,
POOF! There they are, hiding silently and motionless in the trees. I hollar and yip and get them moving.

Down, down, down, they go. 
 Once they see some other cows they really pick up the pace. 
 In comes Super Woman, er, I mean Randy Sue, and she uses her magical powers to get the bovines headed toward the pen. 
 I take a break and enjoy the scenery. 
 Finally, they are in the pen. They moo and bawl a bunch. It's fun to watch. 
 We decide how to haul them to the fall pasture. Do we take a load of cows then a load of calves? Or do we take cows last? 
 I am not sure what is decided because there is a loud distraction. 
 We start to sort the group. We load them up in the trailer and start heading them out to fall pasture. 
 Meanwhile, our horses wait patiently. They enjoy the rest. 
 This is Randy Sue's bull. Isn't he handsome? 

 This is NOT Randy Sue's bull. Doesn't he look like a weirdo? He is a neighbor's bull that got mixed in with our herd. This happens often. Maybe his own herd thought he was weird too and kicked him out. After all the cows are loaded, we are waiting on just one thing, or two things, really. Two people, actually. 
 Oh, yeah! Melanie and Nell are with us too. They arrive after being sent on a wild goose chase by Ryan. He wanted them to ride the back fence line to double check that we didn't miss any cows. They arrived four hours later, hungry, thirsty, and tired. They have not seen not a single cow but a lot of great scenery.
 Or maybe Ryan was just trying to get rid of them from the start...Hmmm. Suspicious. 
 And so ends a great day. We have a lot of work to do this fall before the snow starts to fly.