by Cathryn Fox
I 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.
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.
Cattle 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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