Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Friday September 11, 2015

Today would be a special day for me as Steve was going to spend the whole day with me! After breakfast we were going to the gun range and then we were going to go to Robber’s Roost on a trail ride.

This was the set up for the rifle shooting. The rifle was placed on the little bean bag for stability.

Here is Steve getting instructions on how to shoot at the fake prairie dogs.

Next it was my turn.

Steve is getting instructions on the shot gun.

Here is Steve shooting at the targets with the shot gun. As my shoulders couldn’t lift the shot gun, only Steve did this.

My turn with the long guns. We didn’t shoot at the closer targets with these long guns. The closer targets were used with the pistols.

Next is was Steve’s turn to shoot the long range rifle.

Here is a better view of the targets. I think they got painted every night.

These are the types of guns that were available, and the corresponding ammunition.

I enjoyed using the pistol. It is much lighter than the other weapons! Our first year the instructor let my use his personal pistol. It had a laser which made it a lot easier for me to aim at the target. I still did very well with the pistol.

Here we are all done with our shooting lessons.

It was nice having lunch with Steve. Usually I am on my own.

Cookies for dessert!

Here I am all saddled up and ready to ride with Steve. Of course you wouldn’t know if this picture was taken after our ride and I was using the fence to hold my self up!

Here is our guide retelling the story of how this lookout got it’s name. I think any high point gets the name of Robber’s Roost out in the west!

The view from the top of Robber’s Roost is tremendous!

Trying to get the horses to poses for a picture can be difficult!

Here are some nice pictures of Steve and I coming down the mountain.

Dinner tonight was Creekside. There was a big barbecue. It was much different than previous nights as the weekend crowd included a lot of families. We had been spoiled with the ranch being mostly adults only the previous days.

Nevertheless we had a fun time. We met a couple from Denver. They had very exotic accents. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow where they are from!

Do you think Steve should grow his beard back?

Do you think I will find out more about the couple we had dinner with?

Do you have a normal accent or an exotic accent?

What do you think makes an accent exotic?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Wednesday September 9, 2015

More from our 6500 cross country road trip in 2015. Enjoy!

Breakfast with a view. The main lodge at the ranch has music going through their sound system every morning. This is my favorite set!

Breakfast. A little of this, and a little of that.

Breakfast is served on the patio outside. The heat lamps are nice in case it gets cold.

I went for fishing lessons with Trey. Steve had fished several times with Trey before and found him to be a great guide. Steve and I agreed that it would be good that instead of his trying to teach me someone else should try to help me with my casting. After I got the hang of it Trey went to another part of the pond to try and catch some fish himself. After noticing that he was getting no action whatsoever I told him that we should go back to the lodge. I figured that if he was not catching anything, then surely I would not also! Nil for the morning. I am hoping that shooting will be easier. Just aim at the target and fire!

Back at the lodge I had lunch by myself.

Meanwhile Steve was out with his guide. He caught one beautiful fish.

He had lunch here.

There are tee-pees for kids to play in when there are group dinners.

It is a pretty spot to visit.

Here is another large fish that he caught after lunch. Steve ended up catching 18 fish for the day. The two largest fish were 17 inches.

After lunch I went riding.

Later we had cocktails at Falcon Peak. This duo plays at many Brush Creek evenings. They are married and have great voices. Singing together a long time they harmonize well.

Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is “Yes!”

There were lots of shrimp and crab legs to eat.

A sundown picture.

This one is a little better.

Back at the lodge we had a lovely dinner. Dinner included fried polenta and smoked prime rib. It was served buffet style.

The good-watermelon, the bad-fried bananas, with caramel sauce and whipped cream which looked a little bit ugly.

I scraped my plate clean.

Then it was to the campfire for some s’mores.

If I worked outside the house I could have this picture on my desk!

Perhaps Steve would want this picture on his desk.

Did you recognize the song in the video?

How do you like shrimp, boiled or fried?

Do you think my breasts look deformed?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Tuesday September 8, 2015

Steve went down to breakfast and it seemed that my email was received after all! Everything was “How are you Steve? I have your fishing all set up!”

Steve had originally arranged all his fishing before we had arrived at Brush Creek. When we were at the activities barn yesterday all his requests were missing, and we were not sure that he was going to be able to fish the water that he had wanted to fish. I had mentioned this in the email yesterday to the VP also, complaining that Steve was having problems with scheduling the week’s fishing. Well, today it was all a different story! The fishing schedule was all rearranged, and Steve was going to be able to fish when and where he wanted to.

In fact, although we were not going to be moved into a cabin, a king size bed was going to be moved across the hall and we would be moved there and have quiet Mountain views. I don’t often complain, Steve and I have a tendency to vote with our feet. However in this case, I was pretty riled up and did complain. I thought that if we were moved across the hall I would be happier.

If I don’t see that an accommodation can be made, I decide to vote with my feet and also warn others about the type of service that they might get. I don’t feel that I owe any business my review. I only let businesses that I like hear about how they might make changes. I think the perfect job for me would be a paid luxury hotel consultant who is a secret stayer. Instead I am a luxury hotel consultant who pays to stay at hotels and gives the hotels my free advice!

This is one of the reasons we keep coming back. A 20 inch brown on the Encampment.

This is Cheyenne the horse that I rode today. There is so much to remember! Shoulders back, chest open, seat firm, hold reins like an ice cream cone, let the horse know who is boss, don’t let him eat grass, lean forward going up hills, lean back going down hills, when you post go up and down faster. If you are hitting the saddle hard it is because you are too slow for the beat, look ahead, not down, sit up like a girl, not slumping like a guy-they are protecting their equipment! Too much too remember but having fun anyway.

This was where I hung out before lunch. Can you believe I got a little sun burn? It’s the high elevation and poorly applied sunscreen!

Dessert from lunch today. I forgot to take pictures of the buffet. Oh well.

Steve came back from fishing on the Encampment to spend lunch with me. He caught three rainbow trout and a 20 inch brown trout. A good morning for him.

After lunch he spent the rest of the afternoon on Brush Creek fishing. He caught 16 brown trout ranging from seven to sixteen inches. All in all a good day.

Once again, I forgot to take dinner pictures.

Dessert. Bread pudding with coffee ice cream and some other stuff. I showed restraint.

Was today’s post too short?

Do you like to ride?

Do you ride Western or English? Are there more differences than shinier boots when you ride English?

Sheridan Wyoming to Brush Creek Ranch. Monday, September 7, 2015

Steve wondered why I didn’t talk about last night’s dinner. Here is a short recap:

It took us quite a while to find the house as it was in the middle of nowhere. Well to begin with , Sheridan Wyoming is in the middle of nowhere to start with! Directions were good, we only had to turn around once as we overshot the turn for the driveway. It was all on one level and a stream ran right through the back yard. Poor Steve didn’t go fishing, you can be sure that he would have loved to try to wet his fly line!

The couple we had dinner with were so nice to invite us over. They had just moved into their new house, and hadn’t even finished unpacking! We had a delicious steak dinner. The couple also have a ranch that we didn’t visit, but I would have loved to have visited it as on the farm they have a giraffe! I think they must have bought it from a traveling zoo that went out of business.

It was time for breakfast, but first we filled the car up with gas. Making sure that your car has a gas tank that is never less than 1/2 full is always a good idea.

After getting my picture taken in front of the buffalo at the gas station it was time to look for breakfast.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, most places were closed. The famous Mint Bar was closed as it serves booze, not breakfast. Although I have heard that many people do enjoy booze at breakfast. In fact at a recent doctor visit I was asked if I recently had alcohol at breakfast. I told her no of course, but also asked how many people did admit to that!

Anyway we did find a place for breakfast across the street.

We even spotted a real cowboy who war wearing spurs on his boots! That would be the guy with grey hair, not his little wrangler!

Steve had the bison and elk sausage egg platter.

I had the strawberry and banana french toast with whipped cream. Where else can you get that?

After breakfast our final stop was to wave good bye to the The DaVinci horse. As I told you yesterday our good friend GG was in charge of the project design. Kim L was the local businessman who spearheaded the project. There were many statutes all around town. Kim and a group of other civic leaders thought it would be a good way to bring tourists to the area and to also encourage city pride.

Then it was time to head south to Casper Wyoming.

A drive through Starbucks! Ordering was via the drive through or walk up window! This would be the last sign of civilization for while!

We headed up and over Casper Mountain. There are no pictures of this as I was scared to death. There were few guard rails, and I was holding onto my seat while Steve kept us on the road. The elevation topped at 8000 feet. Sheridan Wyoming’s elevation is 3800 feet, and then Casper Wyoming’s elevation was 5000 feet so we had quite the steady climb!

Last night at dinner we were told to take the Shirley Basin route to Saratoga Wyoming where Brush Creek Ranch is located. We were told that although the route is quite deserted it was a very interesting way to Saratoga. Once over the mountain we headed downhill toward Shirley Basin.

Years ago Uranium was mined in the town of Shirley Basin. It is now a ghost town as the uranium mine closed shortly after the Three Mile Island accident and the price of uranium plummeted.

Once over the crest the road narrowed to a dirt road that we drove on for 25 miles. This road looks pretty rough!

Is heading down a good sign? Let’s hope so!

Pavement! That means civilization is not far away!

I was so happy to see cars heading in the opposite direction again!

We emerged onto the High Plains where we remained at an elevation of 6500-7000 feet. There were views for miles with mountains in the distance.

I don’t know how the pioneers lived back in the day. The conditions were brutal.

We didn’t see many cattle. Did you know that it takes 10-15 acres of range land to feed one head of cattle. No wonder the ranches are so big! The weather is a sunny 75 degrees.

We finally made it to Brush Creek Ranch. We decided to try the hotel style units in the main lodge. I was hoping that they would upgrade us and put us in a cabin, but no dice.

While we were discussing our activities for the coming week at the Activities Barn I started to feel a touch of the swoons. It was a stylish swoon, as although I took off my hat, I kept my sunglasses on!

We headed back up to the room and I laid down with my feet up to rest. Elevation here is 7600 feet. Here we were hoping that by driving out west I would acclimate better to the higher elevations. Guess that didn’t work out so well, now did it!

We had made prior arrangements to have massages at the spa. As I don’t like to be in the same room as Steve when he is having a massage I requested two rooms. I was disappointed when we were assigned the same room. Oh well. To make matters worse, my massage therapist was wearing cowboy boots, and was clomping all over the floor during the massage. I had to ask her to take the boots off. So far, not a good start to our stay!

Soon it was time to head downstairs for dinner. I hoped things would improve!

Soup.

Caesar salad.

This was our entree.

We had a lovely wine with dinner.

Chocolate desserts always make me feel better, and this one did the job. For awhile at least!

Our room had a view of the courtyard and in the courtyard is the Saloon. Unfortunately it was Karaoke night at the Saloon that first evening. It was very loud. I got really pissed as there were other rooms available in the main Lodge that were facing the mountains. Why did they put us in such a room that we would be hearing all the booze hounds in the bar? While Steve thought it not so bad, and promptly went to sleep with a pillow over his head I continued to stew. So I wrote an e-mail to the Vice President who is in charge of managing the ranch. We had met him on our previous visits and he told me he always enjoyed my opinions about the ranch. So I gave him a very detailed account about our stay up to that point in time. After I sent it, I got an e-mail back stating that Mike was on vacation. Oh, well!

How radioactive are you?

Do you like couple massages in the same room? Or should they be two singles?

Do you perform Karaoke, and are you a booze hound?

August 10, 2012. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

My posts of my excellent adventures of the past are much different than my current adventures. I now take many more pictures of the food, and what the rooms look like. It makes the old ones easier to post as they are shorter, and have less pictures so the loading is faster. However I have to scour my old emails to friends and family that detail the interesting tidbits about the people I met. I also have to wade through 20,000 pictures to find the correct pictures to illustrate my posts. Sigh, what I do for my fandom! Ha Ha!

Today while Steve fished, I rode and then took a tour of the property with my RAZR to almost the highest point on property. Here is a lovely view of the ranch and the valley below. Isn’t it peaceful?I saw some lovely wild flowers along the road. We are getting closer to one of my favorite colors. Here we are, a deep pink. I liked these guys the best. My dear daughter likes to bring me pink roses. She is such a sweetheart. One last view and we are done for the day.

How many fish do you think Steve caught today?

August 11-14, 2012. Brush Creek Ranch WY and then Vail Co

Our second to last night at Brush Creek we had a barbecue at Creekside. There was a roping demonstration and Steve tried to get that little calf head on the bale of hay. He almost got it! You don’t want to see the video of my attempt. It was very bad. How those cowboys rope those moving animals, while riding on a horse I will never know! But they do! Every year, this country trio plays. They are fun to watch. Here we have a couple of doctors who were on there honeymoon from England. They were having such a good time! The next morning we took a ride to the gun range. Here I am posing, if Steve were in the picture it could have made a great holiday card pose! Here is Steve lined up with his pistol. You may not see it, but believe me, he was toting some action! I liked the guns with the laser sights the best. It made it much easier to see the targets.

Then we tried to shoot the fake groundhogs. Well, that’s it for Brush Creek. We were off to meet friends in Vail Colorado. But first we got to stop at the Continental Divide sign. One spit in one direction and it will end up in the Pacific Ocean, spit the other way and it goes to the Atlantic. Unless it dries up first.

Here we have the lovely S and S. We are on a stroll in Vail. I should have had my picture taken with them, but “Oh well!” No more for this trip!

Next up in my posts is my current trip to Delphi Club, in Abaco. Yay for those that want current stories, although I do think even past trip reports are worthy! Take that, complainers!

Are you a cowboy?

Do you fantasize that you are a cowboy?

Do you fantasize that you are with a cowboy?

August 9, 2012 Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

I spent the morning riding and observing while Steve went off fishing. Steve fished on the North Platte and caught 20 fish. They were all wild and very healthy. The North Platte hadn’t been stocked in over twenty years. A much different experience than the ones he has at home on streams stocked by the NYS DEC in April.

Steve and I went back to the ropes course in the afternoon to do the Zip Line Experience again. Here are two young guests going on the zip line walk to the first platform. There had been a bear sighting near the Ropes Course and a bear trap was brought in. Once the bear got in he didn’t get out. We never did find out if the bear trap was successful or not.

The ranch had a small herd of buffalo. Buffalo are large and mean, There were warning signs to be aware, and to make sure that you closed gates securely after you left the pasture where they were held. As the ranch was a destination spot for hunters also, it could be arranged to shoot one of the bison. It was expensive, but could be done if you were willing to spend the big bucks. The bison ended up being nothing but trouble as they had a habit of escaping and wandering off onto the highway or neighboring ranches. As they couldn’t be transported back to the ranch they had to be shot.

No more crazy guests for the day.

Have you ever dressed like a bear for Halloween?

What would you do if you saw a bear?

Remember only you can prevent forest fires!

August 8, 2012. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

Good morning! Do you think that you can get to breakfast with these horses blocking the way? Hmm, guess you better tell them to scoot, or you will never get that cup of coffee!

Now that I had my cup of coffee I will tell you about Michael. He had a very interesting life. He was born in Columbia, grew up in Austria (where he got his delightful accent), then moved to Tokyo and Hong Kong. He said that he was an Austrian Count. I’m not sure if he was telling the truth or not, but he played the part well. Five foot ten, with silver hair, he looked like a silver fox. Debonair, courtly and flirtatious, I could understand why he had been married three times. Besides women, he loved to smoke cigars and drink.

He was an accomplished rider and loved to do yoga on horseback. Sitting on the front deck of our cabin it was fun to see him gallop by on the back of a horse! He was leaning back on the horse so that’s his back was parallel to the horse’s back. How he stayed on, I will never know!

He was looking for wife number four, but it was best if she was named Elizabeth. I asked him “Why?”. He lifted the scarf on his neck, and on his nape was the name Elizabeth tattooed across his neck! Good reminder to only have the names of your children tattooed on you, not your wife or girlfriend, as they might change over time!

I mentioned that Michael liked to drink. Remember that fancy bar in the main lodge?This is where Micheal gave us a demonstration on how to taste red wine. What a production! He had an audience of ten other guests as he did his demonstration. He said it was most important to be standing. So we all stood. Then you had to inhale and sniff the wine. Than you had to take a large slurp and swirl and slip it around in your mouth inhaling a large amount of air over the wine without swallowing any of it. It was all very noisy and amusing, and quite sexy. it looked like quite the party trick.

Michael had the hots for the activity bartender and as it was his last night he ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon that he wanted her to share. She had seen his type before and invited those of us at the bar who were learning how to drink wine ala Micheal to share the champagne. Poor Micheal left to go back to his house in San Francisco alone.

Michael was an investment banker, and I keep an eye on the news to see if he has been arrested for a Ponzi scheme! I was very nervous for the ranch that Michael would be good for his bill as he seemed quite sketchy, but as all guests had paid in full before they arrived, the Ranch had nothing to worry about.

I had previously mentioned that wine and liquor had been included in the daily rate. Bruce, the owner did have a locked cabinet of his special wines and liquors. Bruce told me that one night he had an inebriated jerk of a guest who tried to pry open the locked booze, he was caught and had quite the bill!

Steve fished the morning on the North Platte and caught twelve fish. The day started out at a cool temperature of 55 degrees warming to 85 in the early afternoon. In the afternoon Steve took a ride with me. This is his horse saying “I hope this guy continues to fish, he is too heavy for me!”

Do you prefer red or white wine?

Do you add ice to your wine?

Have you ever tried to break into a locked liquor cabinet that wasn’t your own?

August 7, 2012 Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

Today I did not go riding and sat and read as I wanted to acclimate to the higher elevations. So I sat and observed. So far I haven’t regaled you with any of the stories of the guests here. Last year when we visited they only had a few guests. The wonderful couple from Chicago, a man who published a magazine for private plane users, and one of Bruce White’s management team from White Lodging. Bruce and his lovely wife Beth are the owners. This year we were visiting in summer as opposed to after Labor Day so there were many more kids.

Kids are nice to be around, especially when they are yours. When they aren’t yours, and you are tall and not used to them under your feet, is is a mild discomfort. More than mild, when you end up tripping over them.

Now not only do you read my blog for the wonderful pictures of food, and Steve’s fish, but my loyal readers know that once in a while it is CRAZY GUEST OBSERVATIONS! Well you hit the jackpot today!

I can just see some of you rubbing your hands in delight. Well, I would if I were you!

One group was a man of 70, a woman of 40, another man of 40 and two pre teen age boys. Hmm, Grandpa invited the family for a dude ranch vacation! But then the 40 year old woman, a blonde of course, kept sitting on the old man’s lap and kissing him! Yes, I determined, she was the second wife (at least)! So of course I arranged to sit with them at lunch while Steve was out fishing all day.

Blonde bombshell was from Poland. She was not the wife of the 40 year old, but the wife of the 70 year old. The two pre teens were their children, and the 40 year old man was the son from the first marriage. She was at least the second wife. They flew in to Saratoga Wyoming on their private plane. They would be staying for the week.

The old man walked with a bit of a lurch and was bent over. He had broken his back twice, once while horse back riding at their second home in Costa Rica (they currently live in Tampa). He broke his back the second time when a fork lift turned over on him.

I figured he must have been some kind of big real estate developer. It’s impertinent to ask specific questions about someone’s employment, so there is always a lot of conjecture on my part on what people really do for a living. The bride, as I mentioned, was quite attractive, blonde, shapely and came from Poland. All I could think of was mail order bride!

The next group of guests was a group of six guys from Houston, Texas. They were all in their late 40’s and for the last 15 years they have been riding their motorcycles together the first week in August. Their wives stay home. They fly to the city near to where they want to start their motorcycle adventure from. A driver is hired to truck their motorcycles to the rendezvous point and they ride from there. When the trip is over, they all fly back home and the bikes are sent home via the driver. The guys have all been friends since high school and had inherited family businesses. I am thinking oil drilling here, or oil drilling supplies. Of course, I could be wrong and they might have been convenience store owners, but I don’t think so.

My new biker friends had just come back from the big bike rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. The population of Sturgis, is around 6500 people The guys went to Sturgis before the rally started as it gets really wild there. Over 500,000 riders attend during the ten days the rally is held! At the 75th anniversary in 2016 they broke attendance records with over a million attendees!

When we had gotten gas in Saratoga our first day, we met a man with a Sturgis T-shirt on. Steve asked him about it. The man told Steve ” It’s a great place to get yourself killed by a stupid person!” Finest piece of advice I think I have ever heard!

I didn’t get a chance to talk more with my new biker friends as they were only staying one night. But they spent most of that night taking advantage of the open bar so I don’t know how they could see straight to go on a cattle drive the following morning, but they did , and found that great fun. The cattle drive is an add on option.

While I was observing , Steve fished. He caught eleven fish including one cutbow that was eighteen inches. The cutbow is a hybrid of a rainbow and cutthroat trout.

You will just have to wait until tomorrow for my tale about Micheal the guest doing yoga on the back of a horse!

Do you Net Jet?

Who is your oldest friend?

Do you actually have any friends?

Did you get that black eye in Sturgis?

August 6, 2012 Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

Today was a sick day. A real sick day. I woke up feeling nauseous and had a monster headache. I really wanted Steve to stay and baby sit me all morning, but that was not on his agenda. So instead I curled up in bed and slept.

And slept until the cleaning lady swat team arrived to do the cabin. I told them not to make the bed as I was under the weather. They left and I went to sleep. Two hours later they returned with a container of chicken soup and toast for me! Now that is a hallmark of a caring staff!

I had a little soup and the toast and relaxed the rest of the day. It seems that I had come down with a case of altitude sickness. A lesson learned. No drinking at higher altitudes and limit my activities. In later years I would take Acetazolamide or Diamox.

Steve had a great day and caught seven brown trout.