Thursday, July 17, 2014
Yesterday, a bunch of tough gals showed how a girl goes about making an all-day ride lunch fun, memorable, and still a little girly. Whether they meant to or not, these cowgirls had a world-class lunch. After all, riding trusty trail horses through the mountains, a girl works up an appetite for good food and a whole lot of fun.
First, check out the location, location, location! Their choice of dining room has some of the best views in any restaurant west of the Mississippi. They relaxed on a mountaintop surrounded by wildflowers and blue skies. And the food packed in the saddlebags was plenty for these famished farm-girls: sandwiches, chips, juice, veggies, and, most importantly, cowgirl cookies the size of their face!
After catching up on some chit chat and cleaning up the cookies, the posse enjoyed the view for a second or two...then headed off in search of some fun.
They didn't have to go far before a real-live game of cowgirl softball kicked up. Take the fruit we "forgot" to eat, find a stick, and batter-up! It's time to swing batter!
After the game, the gals found a fort "clearly built by boys". It was big, shady, and sturdy. It was perfect...almost...it just needed a few decorations. Quickly, it was determined the fort was in dire need of some sprucing up. Nearby wildflowers worked as wall paper, chandeliers, and paintings on the wall.
After all the fun, the gals jumped back in the saddle and rode on home.
And that, my friends, is how you do lunch when you are a true cowgirl.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Meet more of our 2014 staff!
This is the second installment of our staff introductions for 2014! They are all here working hard to get ready for the summer season. We will introduce the rest of our staff members soon, so check back again!
Name: Emerson Luke
Hometown: Woodland Washington
Years at DWR: 1st year
One hobby/passion of mine: Hunting, fishing, team roping, bowling
One thing I have done or that has happened to me is: I used to be a rodeo clown
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch this summer because the staff are a great group of people also i love riding horses and sharing that experience with others.
Name: Justin Campbell
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
Years at DWR: 1st
Hobbies of mine is: Hunting, Disk Golf, and Hiking
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I have recently graduated from Hocking College with a degree in Wilderness Horsemamship, and Wildlife Management.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I am excited to meet all the guest and make many new friends
Name: Keely Hertzel
Hometown: Mason City, Iowa
Years at DWR: First year!
One hobby/passion of mine is sewing, I also love to draw, paint, upholster, and pretty much anything artsy-crafty!
One exciting thing I have done or that has happened to me is that I once shook hands with Vice President Joe Biden.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because I have never lived in this part of the country before and I really want to ride and hike the trails. I am also so stoked to meet so many interesting people on the staff and that come as guests!
Name: Maggie Hankins
Position: Range Rider Counselor
Hometown: Matthews, North Carolina
Years: 1st year at Drowsy Water
One hobby/passion: I enjoy hiking/ being outdoors and reading
One exciting thing I have done is: I walked 500 miles across Northern Spain on a path called El Camino de Santiago
I am excited to work here because: I get to explore a new place and hike. I get to learn a lot and meet cool people
Name: Zach Stenberg
Position: Wait/Housekeeping Staff
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Years at DWR: 1st
One hobby/passion of mine is: Traveling and trying new foods (as well as cooking various types of food).
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I recently graduated from The University of Iowa with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I am looking forward to meeting tons of new people and being able to get out of the Midwest for awhile. I cannot wait to take advantage of everything the Drowsy Water Ranch and the Colorado wilderness has to offer.
Name: Natalie Nowland
Position: Wait Staff/Housekeeping
Hometown: Newport News, Virginia
Years at DWR: 1st
One hobby/passion of mine is: Exercising, reading, playing sports or anything
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I am from
a military family, so I have moved twelve times to include living in Iceland,
Germany and England.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I am so
excited to meet all the guests and get to know y’all! I am ready to work hard and
be outside in the beautiful state of Colorado for the summer.
Name: Tyler Lopez-Butysnki
Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado
One hobby/passion: Running, swimming, reading, singing, hiking, just about anything that has to do with the outdoors, and being with my family
One exciting thing I have done is: The most exciting thing I had happened to me thus far is getting an acceptance letter to Southern Virginia University for the semester of fall 2017, where I would be majoring in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After I serve a mission for my church in 2015.I am excited to work here because: I get to explore a new place and hike. I get to learn a lot and meet cool people
I am excited to be working for Drowsy Water Ranch because: I love to meet new people from different types of cultures. I am a very big social butterfly and I love making people feel as though they are home. I also love making people laugh and have a good time. And of course I love the outdoors.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Meet our 2014 Staff
We are only one week away from the first day of our 2014 season! We have been getting the ranch cleaned, the horses brushed, and our staff trained and ready for a summer filled with great guests, hard-work, and adventure. We are proud to introduce the staff that will be serving you this summer! And, this is just the first installment of intros...check back soon to meet the rest of the gang!
Name: Kirsten Robinson
Hometown: Wooster, OH
Years at DWR: 1st
One hobby/passion of mine is: exercise/fitness; I love to run, play sports, and workout!
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I graduated from Ohio University at the beginning of May with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I love horses, being outdoors, and meeting new people!!!! I can't wait to do all three, while making lifelong memories and friends!
Position: Buckaroo Counselor/waitstaff?
Hometown: Tabernash CO
Years at DWR: 2nd year
One hobby/passion of mine is: Horseback Riding
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: riding English this past winter and leaning to jump
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: looking forward to seeing the guests and meeting new people
Position: Prep Cook
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Years at DWR: 2nd
One hobby/passion of mine is: Traveling! I've been lucky enough to spend the past four years studying in Scotland and I've tried my best to take advantage of every opportunity to see and experience new places!
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I spent a summer a few years ago on a farm in Maritime Canada!
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I had an amazing summer last year – I absolutely loved Colorado, and it was wonderful getting to know guests and the other staff! I'm excited to see old friends again and make new ones!
Hometown: Deer River, MN
Years at DWR: 3rd year
One hobby/passion of mine is: Team roping and hunting.
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: Last summer I went with some of the staff and went skydiving.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I cannot wait to be back at the ranch again this summer to see all of the amazing returning guest and meet all of the first timers.
Position: Rangerider Counselor
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Years at DWR: 2nd
One hobby/passion of mine is: Rock Climbing
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I have spent the last four and a half months traveling through Central and South America
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I am exited to meet so many great people!
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Years at DWR: First year
One hobby/passion of mine is: Horseback riding, hiking, camping, soccer, drawing, and anything outdoors.
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I have traveled to 44 out of the 50 States. I haven't visited Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Washington, Rhode Island, and Vermont. I plan to check all those off my list before I am 30!
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: I absolutely love working with horses and have always wanted to live out West!
Hometown: Pleasantville, NY
Years at DWR: 5th
One hobby/passion of mine is: Traveling
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: After last ranch season, I spent 4 months traveling and volunteering throughout Kenya.
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: Summers at Drowsy Water are always the best!
Position: Buckaroo Counselor
Hometown: Pontiac, Illinois
Years at DWR: 2nd year
One hobby/passion of mine is: Listening to movie scores
One thing exciting I have done or that has happened to me is: I swam with whale sharks in the Philippines!
I am excited to work at Drowsy Water Ranch for the summer because: The people are seriously amazing. I'm really looking forward to seeing returning guests, as well as the first-timers who have yet to experience DWR. We also have a lot of returning staff, and I'm so happy to work with everyone again! I can honestly say I've never been so stoked for a job to start!
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Truckloads of Chocolate
"When life gives you mud, make chocolate cake. "
It is officially mud season around here. Not familiar with the term? Well, if not, consider yourself lucky. Mud season, by definition found in the ranch life dictionary of common terms, is the time of year when the ground turns to mush. The temperature is warm enough to melt the massive amount of snow from winter into the previously frozen ground causing squish, squash, and splishiness. Walking around, biking, horseback riding, or skiing is not advised. In other words, just stay inside until the ground solidifies.
Indoor time means projects and cooking. Inspired by the color of mud, the kids and I took a break from chores and cartoons to bake the famous Drowsy Water Ranch Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake. Here's how:
Start with 1 cup quick oats. Add 1 and 3/4 cup boiling water, mix and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 and 3/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon cocoa.
Next, add to the soaked oatmeal 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup margarine and 2 eggs.
Dump the flour mix into the oatmeal mix.
Next, get a certified truck operator to drive his truckload of chocolate chips on over to the job site. If you do not have a truck and operator as cute as this, don't fret, about 1 heaping cup of chocolate chips will do.
Speaking of driving, if someone else is driving you nuts, have her get busy and chop some nuts.
Empty the truck bed of chocolate into the bowl and add all but a handful or two of the nuts. Stir.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with another 1/2 cup or so of chocolate chips and the rest of the nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Next, eat. Enjoy. Then go clean the mud off your boots.
OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
½ cup margarine
2 extra large eggs
1 ¾ cup unsifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cocoa
1pkg--12 oz chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped nuts
Pour boiling water over oatmeal—let stand 10 minutes.
Add sugars and margarine. Stir until margarine is melted, add eggs and mix well. Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix well. Add ½ pkg. chocolate chips, pour batter into greased, floured 9 X 13 in. pan. Sprinkle with nuts and remaining chocolate chips.
Bake in 350 deg. Oven for 40 mins. Test with toothpick. Cool.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Signs of Spring
As ranchers in Colorado, we know what season it is not by the temperature (since we have snow in three out of four of the seasons) but by what is going on around the ranch and by what work needs to be done. In fall, we cut hay and get ready for winter. In winter, we feed animals, plow snow, and do all we can to enjoy the snow. In summer, we clean the ranch, feed guests, and saddle horses.
In spring, we put on our mud boots to trudge through thigh-deep mud, start getting the ranch ready for summer, and we also start calving. We welcome around 30 calves each spring to the ranch. That is small change as far as cattle ranching goes; many ranches around here have well over 200 calves each spring. But, just like cooking is still work whether you are feeding 5 or 50, calving is still a chore with 30 or 300. We check the cows at least twice a day, usually more. Typically, our cows don't need any help in labor. We let them deliver in peace unless they look like they need help. When we have new calves, we tag them and observe them to make sure they are standing and nursing.
The moms are usually amazing mothers. Instinctually, they are protective and caring.
At times, you wonder how much the moms coordinate and communicate with each other. Sometimes all the calves will be nursing at the same time like someone hollered "lunch time!" or a group of calves will be soaking up the sun while two of the mom's keep watch, like the moms are taking turns leaving the kids so they can shop for hay.
We have 12 calves "on the ground" (that is rancher-talk for born and healthy) and about 15 yet to be born. Once they all arrive, one of our first summer rituals is branding the calves. Once we've branded, we know it is time for longer, warmer days again.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Sounds like February
Chase and I figured out something big this morning:
February, we decided, must start with a 'F' because most of the words we use to describe the second month of the year also start with 'F'. Yep, it's true. Think about February. How would you describe it?
Here is what comes to mind when living at Drowsy Water Ranch in February:
It is cold. It has been cold for months now. It will be cold for a few more months. Snow, ice, storms. Brrr.
We have a lot of mouths around here and they all need food. Luckily, we have a lot of hay. We feed daily the chickens, the ducks, the bunnies, the birds, the cats, the dogs, the cows, the bulls, and the horses.
3. Forest Friends.
We might now always see them, but we see signs of them. Signs like the fresh bark tears on our aspen trees right outside our door. Trees that look like this are irrefutable proof of elk in the area, just like crop circles are undeniable proof of aliens...er...sort of like that. We have deer, elk, moose, coyotes, and birds all hanging around our quaint mountain valley.
We all use it here to heat our homes and we go through it FAST (another 'F'!).
The amount of wood we burn each winter might be enough to actually build a house or two.
Although February is usually when the months of sedentary life starts to really show in our waistlines, I am not talking about the current condition of my rear here. I am talking about our cows. Those gals are getting big, soon we'll have our first calf!
6. Farting around.
(no picture available for "farting around". What would that look like?!)
We do a fair amount of farting around here in February, like fixing things (fix has a 'f' too!) and then there are the ski days, the sledding, the craft time, the movie watching, the cleaning, etc. We keep busy, sure, but we enjoy the slower pace of life this month.
7. Finally, forward, faces, and fun!
Finally, we really start looking forward to summer this month. Not only for the temperature change, but for the fresh faces in our staff and guests and for all the fun we know we will have!