Continuing on thinking outside the boy’s trip pattern, I once again chose a trip that was outside conventional TGT thinking. The theme – Dude Ranch.
After researching ranches from Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming I settled on Tumbling River Ranch in Grant, Colorado. The crew consisted of; Jof, Rob, Bob, Ian, Adam, Jeff, Jeff, Keith (first timer), Wyatt and Joe.
I once again tapped the graphic skills of Rob for the trip logos. As we where going to be in the Rockies I supplied sweat shirts, t-shirts and stickers with the trip logo.
We all flew into Denver International except Bob who drove from his home in La Selva Beach, CA. Bob took this years location and turned it into a three-week vacation with his wife Marilyn, giving them opportunities to visit family and the sights between Grant, CO and La Selva Beach. Marilyn’s niece had just had her first child and lived about 90 minutes away from Grant. Marilyn spent the week with her while Bob was on this year’s trip. This was a win for me as Bob took the case and swag with him. No having to lug the case to this years destination, yeah. We were picked up by the ranch van at 1:00 pm and got to the ranch at 3:00pm.
As we guaranteed a minimum of 10 guests, and it was opening week, the ranch allowed us to take over the entire Pueblo House that generally has a minimum of 15 guests. It was built by Adolph Coors in the late 1920’s / early 1930’s. The Pueblo House is located about a half mile from the main ranch and has its our own dining room for meals. The kitchen in the Pueblo House provides all the baked goods for the Ranch so it always smelled wonderful. We even had a house mom whose name was Carol and she did a great job taking care of us and making us feel at home.
Monday was about getting assigned to a horse that you would be yours for the week. Jof was on Maverick, Rob was on Hyatt, Bob was on Rusty , Ian was on Noel, Adam was on Pudge, Jeff was on General , Keith was on Trigger, Wyatt was on Comanche and Joe was on Nebraska. We got situated and then went for 1.5 hour ride. We had lunch by the pool with the whole ranch by the pool. There was always more food than we could eat and was fantastic. There was another ride in the afternoon where about half us went on while the other half hung around the Pueblo House and fished in the pond.
Another advantage to Bob driving is he made a stop at Costco for beer, wine and alcohol. I chose to have the Honored Mate Ceremony Monday evening as Tuesday we had a late start. We had to wait until 8:00 pm as Jeff (Sedy) was not able to arrive due to having strep throat and needed to be on antibiotics so not to repeat the Bend Trip where all but two ended up getting sick. As the shot glasses with each of our names on them kept getting wiped off I decided on a permanent solution. I had them engraved with the TGT Logo and TGT with the crews initials and the year they first attend a TGT trip. Rob was selected as the new Honored Mate.
Tuesday we all straggled to the dinning room and had coffee awaiting to be picked up at 10:00am to be taken to the Coral to get on our horses.
We went on a 2.5 hour ride where we had Brunch with the entire Ranch. Jof, Jeff, Keith and I went on a 3.5 hour ride back while the rest of the group took the short trip back to the Ranch. Dinner was at the Ranch House with all the folks. We gathered in the Saloon for a drink before dinner.
Wednesday Rob, Bob, Adam, Keith, Jeff and Joe went on a Fly Fishing excursion while Wyatt, Jof, Sedy and I went white water rafting. Good day for all of us. We had dinner at The Pueblo House and then hung out together for the evening.
Thursday Rob, Bob, Wyatt, Adam, Jeff and Joe went off site to find some good fishing. Keith and Sedy went on a 2.5 hour Alpine hike while Jof and I went on a morning ride to Fajita Flats for lunch. Keith and Sedy were dropped off for lunch after the morning hike where their horses where trailered to for the 3.5 hour afternoon ride. Dinner was for all the adults at the Ranch and was at The Pueblo House. This gave us time to interact with the folks. The rest of the evening we just visited around the fire. Fun fact, there was no TV so no TGT video watching of past trips.
Side note, Keith and Jof were the only ones to go on the challenging “Flag Hike” where if you make it to the top you get to put your name down on a sheet. They both accomplished this challenge.
Friday we had to say goodbye to three of our brothers (Sedy, Wyatt and Keith) who had to leave early. The remaining crew all went on morning rides, Joe, Rob, Adam and I went on the long ride while Bob and Jeff went on the short ride. We had Lunch around the pool and then at 2:00pm we gathered at the arena for the Rodeo. This was far more fun then we had anticipated. We each got to ride in 2 events of our choice (keyhole, solemn coarse and barrel ridding. Adam got a little too excited and encouraged his horse a bit too much which resulted in the horse throwing him to the ground. Dinner was again at The Pueblo House.
Saturday was an early start as we had to get to the airport for our flights home. Before leaving we had great pancake breakfast.
My main take away from this trip is it’s all about the brotherhood. It’s not the location or the events. TGT started with a bunch of good friends getting together and go surfing. As we got older things started to drift from surfing, there was golf, skiing and fishing. It seems fishing is the biggest interest now a days although there is a movement to get back to surfing roots. One of the guys came up to me and said he was not that excited about this trip, but when it was over had a much better time than he thought. Our new Honored Mate asked my feelings on a couple future ideas and I said honestly none sound that exciting to me, but what I have learned is that it is the brotherhood and not the location and events. The good times will happen and it gives us all chances to do things that we did not even think we would want to do.
Your 2022 HM, Ian