Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Sunday September 20, 2015

After I published last night’s post Steve remarked that I did not embellish much about the road to Cow Creek. I told him that I blocked a lot of it out of my memory as it was such a bad, bad road. Steve said that the road was bed rock in many parts and that at times we couldn’t even tell where the road actually was. Yep. That is why I didn’t remember the road. It was bad!

Here I am at breakfast, reading the literature about the history of Cow Creek.

Please don’t quiz me! This is the view of the dining area from the opposite direction.

I can tell you that Cow Creek was founded in the 1800’s as a boarding ranch for wealthy English boys to learn Western ranching. Generally these would be second sons as only the first born son would inherit the estate. In the 1930’s Cow Creek was transformed into a guest ranch. It’s for sale now, if you want to buy it!

Breakfast!

I love my whipped cream on coffee!

Here is a view of Cow Creek and the valley.

After breakfast I wandered down to the horse barn for my scheduled ride.

Can you see the fish in the stream?

Here I am with one of the staff and Lanier one of the owners. This ranch had the first riding waiver that I had to sign that mentioned the possibility of death, I looked at Lanier and asked her how often that happened. I did not relish the thought of being their first casualty!

The creek at Cow Creek was very pretty.

Unfortunately there had been forest fires a few years ago and the hill sides were severely damaged.

This is some damage from a bear that was clawing on the tree!

Look how big the scars are from the bear claws!

My posture looked good, I was happy to be almost done with the ride! At one point in the ride my horse stumbled and I semi fell off it. No worries! I lived to tell the story!

Thank you for the ride Horse!

After my ride I walked back to the room where I rested for the rest of the day. The elevation really got to me and I was exhausted.

This is the living room where guests could hang out. I don’t even remember sitting here reading. I blocked out a lot about the stay at this ranch as I was so uncomfortable with everything about this place. The living room does look cozy though!

This is what one of the rooms looked like. I didn’t find any guest logs to find out if any famous people had stayed here before. Nor were there any other guests staying here to tell you any fun stories about them!

The bathroom.

This is where our meals were cooked.

This is one of the fish that Steve caught in the morning from one of the lower beats on Cow Creek.

Steve didn’t really like these lower beats as they were enhanced.

The fish was a real beauty, but Steve prefers less constructed streams. This fish was 21 inches.

So Steve and his guide moved upstream. This was one of the spots where Steve fished later in the day.

Isn’t this a beauty? He preferred the wild trout as opposed to the larger fish in the stocked ponds. This was his first Rio Grande cut throat.

Here is another area where he caught many wild trout.

I tried sitting here to read for a little bit while Steve was fishing. It got a bit too sunny for me so I went back inside.

I could see the horses gather near the gate while I read. You can see all the fire damage here.

This view is of one of the ponds that were created on Cow Creek.

The rooms were in a motel shape arrangement. They had a very bad fire that destroyed much of the landscape here. You can see how close the fire was to the lodge.

Steve came back from fishing to report that he caught 25 fish for the day, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, cutbow and a rio cutt.

Then it was time for dinner. We didn’t have the cook come for lunch as she had to drive about an hour each way to get to the ranch.

We had a somewhat green salad.

Dinner was pot roast. Followed by the cake from the previous night.

There were many hummingbird feeders under the eaves.

Here is a close up of one of the Hummingbirds. Aren’t they cute?

Off to bed!

What is your favorite type of bird?

Are you a second son?

Would you rather catch a large stocked fish or a small native fish?

Is this place too dull for you? No famous people, no interesting guests with interesting background stories! No pictures of good food! I might as well just hang up my blogging skills. Instead I will persevere, you never know when something exciting will happen!

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Saturday September 12, 2015

I’m back! Did you miss me? I am continuing our road trip west.

Today would be our last day at Brush Creek Ranch. As usual I had breakfast by myself. Steve would be off fishing. I would do some riding. Buffets always yield unattractive plating!

Here is Steve’s guide checking out the water. You can tell that he is the guide as he has the net. Also if the guide were taking the picture he would either have the sport centered in the picture or on the left of the frame looking toward the river. I should stop complaining, and just be thankful that I have a picture of the beautiful stream!

While Steve fished I rode. I bought two shirts and one pair of jeans to wear while I rode. This shirt is a white buffalo plaid. Buffalo plaids are usually red and black. A new fun fact for you!

Below us you see the Artist Colony and some of the creek side cabins. We stayed in one of the Creekside cabins on one of our stays. Brush Creek invites artists (musicians, composers, photographers, painters) to stay for the season and create.

Now would be a great time to talk about the couple from last night, S and R. They live in the Denver area. She had an absolutely magic voice. Very cultured, with a very interesting accent. While we were waiting to start our ride I told her to keep her eyes out for one of the other guests as she had a three carat diamond. I was very impressed with the ring. I love diamonds. Even larger diamonds on someone else’s hand. There is a joke that a diamond can only be too big if it is on some else’s hand!

She smiled and told me that the ring was nice, but that the ring from her first husband was a 6 carat flawless stone. At that, I shut up but of course the wheels in my head started to spin. How would I be able so get the background story out of her? What was the backstory? Why would she dump him? Did he cheat on her? Did she find out he liked to play with the members of the other team? Was he dead?

I pondered this all afternoon on my next ride. I did lots of pondering as you can imagine!

Here is a beautiful fish from Steve’s fishing.

This is a rainbow trout. I think that it is a close up of the same fish, but who knows? Only Steve and his guide know! Steve caught 46 fish that day!

On my afternoon ride I found this beautiful deer shed. I am happy that we were going to drive back home as I don’t think that I would have been able to fit it in my suitcase!

Steve and I met back for dinner. This was my entree. It looks like it was polenta with elk tenderloin. It could be something else entirely also!

Dessert was a berry crumble.

So we met my new friends from my ride at the saloon before dinner. I asked them to join us for dinner. I have scrambled their faces to preserve their privacy. We met a new couple also. The couple at the far end of the table run a travel agency that specializes in hunting trips. Brush Creek has much to offer for those that like to shoot and hunt. The ranch used to have bison that were available to hunt , but the bison kept escaping and got in the neighbor’s fields. The neighbors were not very happy at that as the fences were ruined and the cattle were bothered. Bothered cattle do not bring happy cattle prices. So that very pricey hunting option had to be scrapped. The couple on the right, S are the couple that we met last night and I went on the ride with today. S is the owner of the six carat diamond.

Now for the tale of S and R. (Which I found out about during cocktail hour at the saloon, this was not something that was discussed at dinner. Who discusses their ex-husband during dinner?) R, the husband, was a senior Vice President for a very large mining, gas and oil development company. They live in the Denver area. He has traveled all around the world managing projects. S was studying to get her degree in social work. She was not in her twenties so this must have been a second career for her.

Now for the story. You will notice that I kind of jump right into my questions. That’s me! Some might think I am brusque, but I prefer to call it an efficient strategy.

“So how did you get a 6 carat flawless engagement ring? Was it a family heirloom?”

“My first husband was a Saudi Prince.”

“Oh.”

Yes, even I can be rendered speechless.

No, I did not ask if she was wife number 1, 2, or 3. Remember I do not ask every question I might want to know the answer to! Nor did I ask which Saudi Prince she had been married to. There happen to be 15,000!

Somehow the answers to some of my divorce questions came out (I did not ask what caused the divorce! It appears that not all of the Arab sheikh style of Harlequin romances have a happy ending in real life!) S lived in Switzerland for two years while the divorce was finalized. That is where her accent came from. It was a combination of upper crust English and a European component. I don’t know why it took two years, but the divorce did. As someone who has been happily married for over 40 years I don’t know nothing about divorces!

S kept all of the jewelry, and keeps it in the vault. She takes it out when she goes to black tie events. As the jewels are not from her current husband she is uncomfortable wearing them on her normal activities. I remarked that S might have been married to a prince, but now she is married to the Real Prince in her life! Isn’t that a romantic phrase? Perhaps I should write romance novels afterall!

Thus endeth our stay at Brush Creek Ranch. Remember how I mentioned previously that I stay in touch with some of the people we meet on our trips? On a trip years later, Steve and I did meet up with R and S!

Do you have any buffalo plaid shirts in your house?

Are you married to a Saudi Prince?

Instead of a third question I thought I would show you what a six carat diamond looks like! This was not her ring, I found it on the internet. You might be wondering what the price point for a 6 carat, D colored internally flawless diamond is…about $550,000. Now I don’t know if her diamond was internally flawless or not. That is still some hunk of change for a ring.

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?

High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Thursday September 8, 2016

Breakfast!

As Steve was off fishing the KBarT again on the White River, I decided to visit a park.

There are many beautiful parks in the Western United States. How many have you seen? I have been to all of the listed ones except for Grand Canyon.

The entrance to the park. Come along with me to see the park.

Map so you can see where I traveled.

You can see clearly here the levels of rock. Would you believe that 90 million years ago this area was covered by water? Now instead of a parking lot it is a lunch lot! Doesn’t that sound like a song?

Independence Monument and how it was made.

Yes, there were people climbing this today!

Not for me!

Some of the wildlife in the park.

Information on the Redlands Fault.

Redlands Fault view.

Rockslide.

The view of the valley below.

It was cool to drive through a tunnel.

I was so excited to see a group of Bighorn Sheep!

Look at the guy on the rock wall in the second picture!

Another handsome guy!

Look at the wind erosion!

Below is Ute Canyon, a water carved landscape.

The views were amazing.

This area was shaped by earthquakes and erosion.

The summer wild flowers were in bloom.

You need to be tough to try to grow here.

The famous balanced rock.

I did another good deed today. These two tired hikers were walking along the road looking for a ride to the next parking area. They were hiking since 8 a.m. and it was 2 p.m. when I stopped to give them a ride. I am glad that they were not axe murderers. They were from Switzerland and were visiting our National Parks. I think I saved them another two hour hike. It was 82 degrees and very hot out!

On the way back I stopped at the Marijuana dispensary in De Beque to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, nor did I ask any questions. That’s for someone else to do!

Then it was back to High Lonsome to get ready for dinner.

Steve caught many fish during the day.

These are all different fish too!

Thursday evening dinner. The guys were all here again. They were from an architectural firm and a mechanical engineering firm. They design about 70% of all the sports arenas and stadiums. Can you imagine doing this if you were a sports nut? Remember how sad I was yesterday about my new friends leaving? Well being surrounded by 15 guys, sure did put a smile on my face!

Another picture of my new male friends, just because!

We had assorted smoked meats as an hors d’oeuvres.

Fresh biscuits.

Salad.

Dinner was fried chicken.

With lots of golden mashed potatoes.

Big bowls of broccoli.

Dessert was chocolate lava cake that was not dry! I can’t stand it when the cake is over cooked and the inside is not oozing out like lava! Tomorrow is our next adventure. Grand Mesa and then a wedding in Beaver Creek.

Would you have picked up the hitch hikers?

What questions would you have asked at the dispensary?

Have you met me in real life?

The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Tuesday September 6, 2016

Steve and I headed down the road to the main lodge for breakfast. Steve would be going off with a guide and I was planning on riding.

Fresh yogurt at breakfast.

Granola and fresh fruit.

More berries.

Quiche with a avocado.

I went on a ride with my wrangler.

She took a picture of me facing both directions!

I spied some deer outside our cabin after my ride.

I went back to the lodge to look around. If you wanted to you could hang out at night around a fire pit. We never did!

My sandwich. Brisket sandwich with match stick french fries.

Lunch included some great cookies! Many chocolate chips in these cookies.

Before Dinner Steve got to sign the book at High Lonseome for getting a grand slam. He became a member of The Grand Slam Club. There had been only 8 people so far this year to have reached this highly coveted accomplishment! He caught a brook, cutthroat, cut-bow and a brown trout. He got a special pin and bragging rights. All the fish have to be caught in one day. There was much festivities involved with the announcement, the chart signing and then the pin presentation. Well done Steve! Not for nothing, but Steve is generally one of the best anglers anywhere he goes!

Steve caught 23 fish this day including this four pound Rainbow!

Dinner started with a Frisée Salad and a fried egg on top.

Fresh rolls in butter.

Cassoulet with rabbit, elk and venison.

Apple Crisp ala mode for dessert.

One of the guests was Gennifer with a G. She loved Orange!

She had her orange hat!

And her orange boots! Gennifer with a G’s boots and hat were all custom made.

What is your favorite color?

Did you know that there used to be a car dealership in Albany called Orange Ford?

Their billboards had on them “What color is your Orange Ford?”. I thought that was the greatest. Unfortunately they were acquired by another dealership.

The former manager of Orange Ford was accused of embezzling over $750,000! So my next question is…Have you been caught embezzling over $750,000? I have no interest in any amounts under that number.