I had to go back into the archives for this one, my friends. Way back. One and one-half years back to be precise. I thought perhaps I had shared this before on my former photo blog, but it turns out I didn’t. Compelling narrative, no? I should probably write a memoir.
The weather is getting warmer and I swear that summer will be arriving soon. Despite the fact that snow has been falling all day long (no….stop….leave us alone…), I am certain we are within reach of those long summer days full of sandals, mountains, outdoor grilling and more. With all this summer longing positively driving my every waking thought, I decided to finally share this little adventure from September 2015, at the one and only Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
We arrived at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in the dead of night. The stars were bright in the exceptional darkness of nighttime in the mountains, and we rounded the last curvy road to pull up at the lodge, thankful to have arrived at long last following our late departure from Denver in Friday traffic.
We were there to celebrate Dan’s birthday, having won an overnight stay through a charity auction months prior. My dad frequently enjoys nordic skiing on the property, and I daresay I also have cross-country skied there myself once upon a time. But for all intents and purposes, this was my first visit to Devil’s Thumb Ranch. And Dan and I were ready to go all in.
This is what makes a place like DTR so great. If you simply start walking, straight from the back porch after breakfast, you have at your fingertips any number of trails and activities just waiting for you. Over the course of our brief visit there, we hiked (and got lost), rode horses through the mountains (and didn’t get lost), ate several amazing meals, and briefly considered crashing a wedding party. Oh, and I met a merry goat who I am certain most desired to start his own rock band.
You see what I’m talking about here.
On our horseback ride, we were spoiled to get our very own, exclusive guide who didn’t have another ride scheduled that afternoon. So, she very kindly dedicated a good deal of her time taking us to additional spots along the way and giving us time to get acquainted with our mighty steeds. I grew up riding horses, and much like riding a bike, found myself rather at ease with the whole endeavor fairly quickly. We had a grand old time and it served to make me very much want a pony all over again. (Mom? Dad? Pleeeeaaaassseeeee.)
Guys, we didn’t even fall off. Not once. Even despite Dan’s slight saddle malfunction.
Because we were there to celebrate Dan’s birthday (OK, I was there for the horses and the baby cows — wouldn’t you be?!)……
Because we were there to celebrate Dan’s birthday, we had to have at least one fancy dinner. And the Ranch House Restaurant (located on the original ranch homestead) did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good I completely failed to take pictures until we were finished with dessert.
What can you do? Most of the time just enjoying the moment is the best decision.
The main lodge was so Colorado in design and aesthetic, I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to hire them to come decorate my house.
So, what’s the moral of this story, you ask? Well, in a word: Go! Get out! Go see the many wonders that are in your own state! It struck me that while Devil’s Thumb Ranch is only about two hours away from our home in Denver, we never even considered going there until the charity auction opportunity grabbed our attention. Being as close to the Rocky Mountains as we are, there are adventures upon adventures just waiting for us to take the time to discover them. All it takes is a little bit of planning and a swift spur to the rear (so to speak; I’m from Colorado). Allow me to implore you to take this summer to fully embrace the many amazing moments that exist just beyond your phone or computer screen. I would be willing to bet those moments are eager to embrace you back.
SIGNED, anya elise