September 4, 2011. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

This is a great picture of Brush Creek Ranch. You can see the iconic rock in the middle of the picture. To the right is the main lodge. I haven’t given you the link to their web site yet, so here it is. BrushCreekRanch.com

Here is a picture of me out and about in the RAZR. It sure was fun to drive. Much faster than walking, and easier on the hips than horseback. Steve was out fishing for the day, and boy did he have fun! Twenty nine fish for the day! This beautiful rainbow was from the North Platte River. After lunch, Steve went to Brush Creek and caught this nice brown trout. A beautiful 2 pounds and 17 inches.

Now seeing all these big numbers of fish, you might think that the fishing was easy, and you will do as well as Steve did. I must remind you that Steve has been fishing since he was four years old. He started fly fishing when he was 25 years old. He is 55 years old in this picture. So after 30 years of fly fishing you might be as good as him. Or not.

Steve has remarked to me that many of the guides at Brush Creek love to fish with him as he knows what he is doing. Many of the guests have never fished before, and I would not say they are incompetent, but they are not very good. So it is always fun for the guides to see the guest get some really nice fish.

While Steve was out fishing I planned a special surprise for Steve. At breakfast one of the guests was showing pictures of a private dinner that she and her husband had at Falcon Peak Overlook. It was quite romantic and everyone at Breakfast was so excited! Falcon Peak is at one of the higher elevations of the Ranch. There is a lovely platform there where yoga is held at sunrise and lunches and cocktail parties before dinner are held.

Steve had a half day fishing on the North Platte and then came back for lunch with the rest of us at Falcon Peak. In the afternoon he fished on property on Brush Creek. Now having dinner with Steve at Falcon Peak was going to be a surprise. I had to figure out how to get him there. What was I to do?

Well, I decided to play “Misplacing Linda”. Just before we were going to take the RAZR to the Lodge for dinner I told him that I had left my phone up at Falcon Peak at lunch. We were going to have to go back up there and get it before dark.

So off we went, when we got up to Falcon Peak Overlook, Steve saw that there was a private dinner all set up for two. He told me to hurry up and find my phone as Bruce and Beth the owners of the ranch were going to have an intimate dinner there.

“Surprise!” I told him. This is all for you! Yes, he did actually get a little bit teary. Look how happy we are! Too bad I have a heat lamp growing out of my head!

Here we are, looks like I got quite the farmer’s tan earlier in the day. The couple the night before had a harpist play, that I thought was a bit much. It was more than enough for the two of us to sit and make goo goo eyes while we cooed our endearing love to each other! Who could not fall madly in love with this charmer? Doesn’t that face ooze endearing love with just a sparkle of mischief?

This shows how much sunburn I got. We were at an elevation of about 7500 feet. The air is much thinner there than back home in Poughkeepsie where our elevation is about 200 feet. Here is a picture of our waitress and chef.

I hope you enjoyed this Excellent Adventure as it was our last night at Brush Creek Ranch and it was time to go back to reality in the morning. We had great fun at Brush Creek. We left with our wallet a bit lighter, but hoped to return again next year!

Do you do yoga at sunrise?

Do you like surprises?

Do you misplace stuff?

September 3, 2011. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

Steve spent the day fishing on the Encampment River. He caught seven fish, most in the 10-15 inch range.

I spent some time wandering around and exploring. This is the view that the bride has as she walks down the aisle for an outdoor wedding. I am sure that cushions on the rocks benches, and flowers on the arbor, make the site much more attractive. Here is the view looking toward the guests. There was a small pond in the center foreground, There were no fish there! Here is a picture that I took of our room. Quite a bit different than the professional picture!

Let’s look at some of the other buildings, shall we?

This is the activities barn. This is where you signed up for all your activities. There was a small gift shop where you could buy shirts, jackets and sunglasses. Lunch was held here. It was a buffet lunch, with your choice of salads, mains, and lots of desserts. In the main lodge there were always snacks available. Plus your choice of drinks, both alcoholic and non alcoholic. You could have your choice of wine also, with a walk in wine cellar just off the dining room. There was no charge for any alcohol when we went there.

On the lower level of the main building was a wonderful spa where you could get dolled up for your wedding, or just have a massage. There was a changing room just across the hall where you could change your clothes. There was a full shower, so you could wash off all the dust before you had your rub down. There was a gym also, but I never saw any one besides myself work out. Not that I am terribly athletic, but I like to get on a recumbent bikes and read. This is where the saloon was. People would gather there before dinner and have drinks and canapés before dinner. Steve would play pool. Some nights were Karaoke nights. That comes into play when I write up my 2015 Adventures here. I hope you don’t die of suspense waiting for me to write up that trip! After dinner we went to the Zip Line. Traditionally you are supposed to do the Ropes Course first and then as a treat do the Zip Line. I am not buff enough to do a Ropes Course, so I begged to just do the Zip Line. I am afraid of heights, so why I agreed to do this I do not know. It was scary but fun. This was the rope walk that you had to go up before you got to the zip off platform. The guide forgot to attach the safety carabiner to me, but I was lucky and didn’t fall off before it was time to zip off. Here is Steve at the end of the zip line.

While at the ranch there weren’t many guests there, as the Ranch had just opened to the public. Beth and Bruce White of White Lodging had bought the ranch a few years earlier. They loved it and invited many of their friends to visit. They decided to open the Ranch to others so they could enjoy it also. It was funny talking to Bruce about this. He was going on and on about how much he was subsidizing our stay because the ranch wasn’t breaking even. Maybe so, but it still was expensive!

We met another couple there. Anthony and Melissa from Chicago. We are still in touch and even stayed with them on our road trip West in 2015. So you never know about meeting me. I may end up stalking you in the future!

Are you afraid of heights?

Have you ever been married?

Do you go commando when you have a massage?

September 2, 2011. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

This is the type of picture you get from an iPhone 4 shooting into the sun. Not very good. But it will have to do, as it is all I’ve got. You can see Steve’s waders and fishing rods on the ground along with his boots. You are correct if you wonder if his socks always make it to the laundry basket. They don’t! But this blog is devoted to my excellent adventures with my heaping hunk of handsomeness-aka Steve, so let’s ignore the laundry issue. There are lovely rocking chairs on the deck. I think i might have rocked twenty minutes on them. Of course Steve went off fishing again. He caught 14 fish for the day including two 18 inchers. This was done while wading the North Platte River. Those beautiful fish from yesterday were an inch smaller than today’s big fish!

Usually Steve got up early in the morning and went off fishing. I would be by myself for breakfast and lunch. It was sometimes lonely, with most couples and families staying together. However, as I don’t like to fish all day, in fact I only like to fish for about 30 minutes, we each do our own thing.

In the late afternoon we did go for a ride. Here I am being instructed on how to hold the reins of the horse. I was taught to hold them like an ice cream cone. Most people on the East Coast where we are located, ride Western. As I don’t ride at home, only on vacations, I didn’t have to unlearn much.

Don’t I look sharp? Shoulders back, and trying to look relaxed. The horse doesn’t look very happy does he, or is he really a she? The wrangler we were with looked like Sam Elliott. No, don’t worry he was happily married as was I. Plus, how much successful flirting can you do with the wrangler when your husband is riding behind you? I am not sure If you remember but in the past I have suffered from asthma. And altitude sickness. After lunch today I got a bit winded going up the slight hill to our cabin. I mentioned it to staff and look what was delivered to our cabin for me to ride around in! My very own RAZR! This one was new, as the windshield was still there! Dinner tonight was at Creekside. I still happen to have that top also! We also had a little combo play music for us during dinner. After dinner you could grill your own marshmallows for s’mores.

Do you ride Western or English?

How old is the oldest item in your closet that you still wear?

Do you still have your wedding dress in your closet even though it is 39 years old?

September 1, 2011. Brush Creek Ranch Saratoga Wyoming

We stayed in Coop, which was a converted chicken coop. It was a very cozy romantic place to begin our first adventure at Brush Creek. Over the years we have stayed there four times in four different rooms, and also stayed at Magee Homestead, their adults only resort once. I think I should get an award for being a frequent visitor!

Do you want to see the floor plan? Of course you do! Your wish is my command! These pictures are all from the Brush Creek website, as I am sure you can tell. This is the main lodge building. There is a wrap around porch with rocking chairs. Inside are lodge rooms, that are similar to a hotel room, meeting rooms, and the main dining room. For the high end wedding you can do a ranch buy out and have all your guests stay here. In the background you can see the dining room tables and chairs. There is a lovely bar with bar stools. Yes, those are real fleece seat backs! In fact, when I first looked up the website I fell in love with those chairs. I was so excited to finally sit on one! In the foreground is a gas fireplace with glass surround. On some evenings there was music by local artists.

Here I am at the lunch spot. These were preblogging days, I was only sending emails and some facebook posting back then.

All your meals, liquor and activities were included in the rates. There was an additional 23% ranch fee on top of your room rate. There is no tipping, as that’s included in your ranch feee.

I previously mentioned holding weddings at the Ranch. You might choose to have an intimate wedding for just 25 people, that will set you back $30,000 for two nights. For a bigger crowd of 140 guests you can do a ranch buy out. That will be about $160,000, in high season.Still too many guests on your list? Well, then the Supreme Wedding package is only $165,000. That includes a tent. Don’t forget to add the 23%. Now that’s a wedding the father of the bride will never forget. Band, flowers and officiant are extra. There are many blog posts about weddings at the ranch if you want to be a voyeur!

I didn’t say anything about Steve’s fishing yet. He actually caught three fish at the Creekside Dinner Camp the first night! Here is Steve with a beautiful brown trout. This is a picture of a beautiful rainbow that Steve caught. Yes, he was as happy as he looked! Our final picture of the day was another brown trout.

Steve ended up catching nine fish for the day.

Do you like destination weddings?

Would you rather have a room with a shower or a bath?

Do you prefer all your meals included in your rate?

August 31, 2011 Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming

As I have been blog silent for a while, I have decided to go back to my memory vaults and write up some past trip reports. Back in the day, I didn’t take so many pictures and do facebook posts, so these blog posts will be much shorter than my recent ones.

In the fall of 2010 when Steve and I were flying back from the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, I spied an blurb in Town and Country Magazine about a new ranch resort opening in Saratoga,Wyoming. It sounded delightful, fishing, riding, spa treatments, all in a luxury resort in the middle of some beautiful country.

Steve had already been going to ranches and fishing camps with Elliott. Now that Elliott was away at Bucknell, Steve needed a traveling partner. Steve had been telling me about all the wonderful people he had met at the fishing lodges that he had gone to. Now you know me, aka Luxury Linda, I don’t want to spend any time in a place that is not at nice as home. So high thread count sheets, gourmet meals, and electricity please. The price for a stay was higher than the thread count, but I was very much intrigued.

So as our 32nd anniversary rolled around I made reservations for a one week stay. We would fly in and out of Denver, Colorado and drive up to the ranch, about a four hour drive. Of course we stopped in Laramie Wyoming, at a fly fishing store for a look see. I go to grocery stores, Steve goes to fishing stores. It makes for a happy marriage.

We drove through Medicine Bow National Forest. The forest is in southeastern Wyoming, and our highest elevation on the route was over 12,000 feet. It was very windy, and a bit cool. You can see all the snow that has remained over the summer. There was a lovely lake, but I declined a dip. We had places to go and people to meet! Finally after about four hours, we saw a big sign for Brush Creek. I hope I have since burned that unflattering top. Now this is a great entrance! Wouldn’t you like to have a sign like this at the end of your driveway back home?After checking we we drove to the shooting range for our first set of activities. At the Ranch you can do fishing, riding, shooting, mountain biking, archery, paint ball, ropes course, and hiking to name just some of the activities. Here I am getting pistol instructions. Shooting glasses and ear protection are required. As they should be. I am looking at that picture and I must have lost that fleece vest, I haven’t seen it in years. The floral shirt is still in my closet up in Lake George. I wear it often. I sure got my money’s worth on that purchase! We had many targets. Close up targets for the pistols, and then also there were some targets much further away for the rifle shooting. My aim was pretty good for a newbie! The instructor opened up the safe and let me use his Ruger with a laser sight. That sure did make aiming easier! I also used a Browning. One of the targets represented a villain with a hostage. I was able to shoot the bad guy and save the hostage. Just call me Dirty Harriet! Here is Steve. Looks like a battle of the bellies! Ha Ha. Our instructor won that battle!We also did some rifle shooting. Here we were trying to aim at fake prairie dogs. There was also shotguns for skeet shooting. I was tuckered out by then and didn’t partake. Steve had fun and was pretty good.

Do you prefer camping or a resort?

Would you rather vacation in the city or the country?

Have you ever quivered with excitement while holding a Ruger with a laser sight?