The ranch opened in 1923, and its buildings span a century of furnishings, a century of tools and photos and corrals, barns, bunkhouses, and timber structures everywhere. A Bar A started as a working ranch, but evolved quickly into a guest ranch due to an overabundance of visiting friends and relatives. Today 100 staff, mostly in their 20x, navigate the summer season. Guitars, banjos, fiddles most nights, along with lots of stories. During the day, horseback riding and fly fishing are the main attractions. But equally interesting is a visit to a working high altitude cattle ranch, the operation complex and the cowboys way smarter and skillful than most. Many guests tried a hand at cow sorting and many failed.
Sample banter of cowboys shouting back and forth:
RANCH MANAGER: Cowboys have the least pay and the most smarts around, yet idiot enough to take this job.
COWBOY: You heard him!
RANCH MANAGER: You mean the idiot part?
So far we have enjoyed several days of less than stellar trout fishing (though I am the kind of trout fisherman that makes others feel good about themselves), several concerts, hikes, pool matches, TED talks, and outstanding meals. We have just returned from a horseback ride to a chuckwagon dinner in Slim’s Draw, followed by a full moon return….someone called it a super moom… and it sure looked that way over the horizon. The best part is the silent ride, silence broken only by the wind and clip-clop of hooves that occasionally sparked up as shoe met rock.
Tomorrow, after those elusive trout again, and being convinced to try skeet shooting.