Drowsy Water

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

iOutdoors: Drowsy Water has "app" for fun

Ken is currently slaving away to get this year's Drowsy Water Ranch newsletter to the printer in the coming week. We'll be mailing out the paper copy soon and hope you'll read your copy cover to cover to learn about ranch news. This is a sneak peek at one of the articles about our kids' program, a true highlight of a Colorado Dude Ranch Family Vacation! And, if you need a copy sent to you, let us know! We'd be happy to send one pony express.

Driving up the dirt road, twelve-year old Tommy started to wonder just what his mom and dad had signed him up for when they booked a ranch vacation. After they parked the car, some dusty cowgirl greeted Tommy’s family. She showed them around the ranch; he saw horses, chickens, maybe a cow or two. They talked about food and horses, but no one mentioned the Wii. No one mentioned the T.V. or Internet access. “Oh no!” Tommy thought as the sound of dooming music lurked in his brain, “No electronics! What is this place?”

Tommy soon found out that the outdoor-focused kids’ programs at Drowsy Water Ranch are a highlight of the family dude ranch vacation. At Drowsy Water Ranch, kids of all ages have a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the best of Colorado’s outdoors. The Buckaroo program, for kids ages 0-5, and the Rangerider program, for kids ages 6-13, both offer mountains of technology-free fun and unique outdoor activities for kids.

Buckaroos are entertained and cared for while their parents participate in ranch horseback rides, raft trips, hikes, etc. Buckaroos spend most of the day outside doing nature related activities like making bird feeders or exploring the forest for wildflowers. Buckaroos also get to take turns getting led around the ranch on the Buckaroo horse, a horse hand-selected from our herd for its gentle and patient manners.

The Rangeriders are matched to a horse of their own for the week and participate in a riding program that includes lessons, clinics, and trail rides. When they aren’t exploring the forest and learning the lore of the backcountry on horseback, the Rangriders have a counselor at the ranch that keeps them busy outside doing everything from hiking to crafts to archery to swimming.

Both kids and parents experience the magic created in Drowsy Water’s secluded mountain valley. The kids can roam and explore outside without worrying about cars, strangers, or homework. The parents enjoy letting their guard down and allowing the kids to have fun in a safe and exciting world of its own.

For kids like Tommy that are accustomed to the world of technology, a Drowsy Water Ranch vacation is a great introduction to a life-long love for the outdoors. Kids leave Drowsy Water Ranch with a new or renewed respect for animals, sunshine, fresh air, dirt, water, and mountains and kids discover that fun, entertainment, and learning does not always require electricity.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Small Town-igans

Part of living on a Colorado Dude Ranch is, usually, living in or near a small town. At Drowsy Water Ranch, we have Hot Sulphur Springs, a tiny town about six miles from the ranch and Granby, a slightly larger, but still tiny town about seven miles from the ranch. Living here, you get to know the people that live in town and you have "small-town" occurrences nearly everyday.

Here are few small-town examples I've noted in the past few days.

1. First off, Drowsy Water Ranch entered a float in the Hot Sulphur Springs parade during the closing ceremonies of the 100th Anniversary of the Winter Carnival. Hot Sulphur had the first winter carnival in the nation; the town has a ton of great history!

As you can see from the pictures, it was not exactly a Macy's Day Parade or anything; the streets were not packed with onlookers and the floats were pretty minimalist. Somehow, Drowsy Water's float won first prize in the business division. Don't ask how many businesses entered.
2. Yesterday, at the grocery store, an older gentleman offered me a nickle for my children. I told him that, while his offer sounded lucrative, I'd heard the return rate on these things was high and that returns were often tedious. We both laughed and went on our way. We met up again in the check-out aisle, and he told the cashier (whom we know on a first name basis from being at the store so much) about his offer an my refusal. She laughed, too.
Across town a few minutes later at the post office we ran into the same gentleman. (Most people have the same run of daily errands). This time, he said,
"I am flattered that you all keep following me. But if you follow me home after this, I'll have to call the police."
I laughed.
He then said, somberly and with a gentle smile,
"Hold on to those little ones. They grow up too fast. Mine are all grown and I miss them everyday."
I almost cried.

3. On the way home from the grocery store/post office, we drove by the little three-bay car wash. All three bays were in use. All three bays had trucks parked in them. All three bays had men in cowboy hats washing their trucks. You'll only see that in a Colorado small town.

4. At our weekly library time with the kids, our librarian knows to lock the door behind us because Chase, at 15 months, will open the front door and escape onto the streets of Hot Sulphur if she doesn't. The people that come in behind us know that if the door is locked, just knock. Then when they come in they say, "Chase must be here today!"

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