posted on November 20, 2015 by Cathryn Fox

Working Dude Ranch, is it for you?

by Cathryn Fox

Sweet RideI love to take vacations but I’m all about lying under a cabana on the beach, cold drink at my side and a good book in my hand. Relaxation all the way, baby. I always wondered why anyone would vacation at a Working Dude Ranch.  Working is actually in the title. Ugh, I don’t know about you but that sounds like work to me.

I live on the East Coast of Canada, nowhere near a dude ranch, but after a friend came back from a working vacationing at a ranch out west it got me thinking—and plotting. The idea of writing a series set on a ranch really appealed to me, and soon enough, my Playing For Keeps series was born. Needing to arm myself with knowledge, I listened to my friend’s adventures then I hit up Google. Thank you Google!

Wow, I have to tell you I was fascinated by the adventures these places offer, and truthfully, it doesn’t seem like work at all. They have everything from trail ride adventures, hog-tying, fishing, hiking, canoeing, river rafting and even winter escapes. Sounds like fun right? And how can you go wrong with an authentic western experience led by real cowboys.

Wild RideMany of the ranches offer different packages geared to the individual tastes and what they want to experience. Here are just a few if you’re interested.

Trail Ride Adventures – View some of the world’s most scenic trails from the back of a horse, with  fresh air and animals in their natural habitat. Can’t go wrong there.

Authentic learning experience inspired by the lifestyle of the Old West – immerse yourself in the western way of life and learn the skills. This one sounds challenging, but I love history so it might be the one I’d sign up for.

Slow RideCattle Drives – Join in the real west tradition of a cattle drive. Ride with genuine cowboys, and learn their way of live. In my series I have three guys who are best friends, and camaraderie among men fascinates me, so seeing real live cowboys interacting in their natural element really appeals to me.  Talk about the true romance of the Old West!

Winter activities –  Traditional winter activities such as skiing, skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. You can even gather the family and have Christmas at the ranch. Doesn’t that sound cozy?  You can start off by cutting down your own tree. (Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation comes to mind with that though!)

So there you have it, just a small taste of what you can do and learn on a Working Dude Ranch. I don’t know about you, but after researching all these amazing activities, I have to say I’d love to visit a ranch and enjoying an authentic western experience. You know, for research purposes…Not to hang out with hot cowboys. Nope not at all. <G>

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Cathryn Fox

Cathryn Fox

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.

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