Last year, unexpectedly, I ended up at the R LAZY S RANCH. You might remember some of my blogs from that week… Love, Love, Love. (no affiliation) I was reminded of my trip because I’M GOING BACK!! Wahoo! Hubby and I just confirmed our booking – and our neighbors are coming, too!
HOW IT HAPPENED.
You see, I had planned for a year to take my ‘dream’ vacation – THE OUTBACK TRAIL – on horseback. The idea was to ride the Wyoming land that Butch and Sundance rode, including the Hole in the Wall, for 7 days. We’d sleep under the stars and have ranch food cooked for us by a guy in a cooking coach. Some nights, we’d get to spend the evenings on these private ranches and enjoy whatever entertainment was provided. We would be riding on private ranch land that only opened for this ride every year.
This ride was very special. I was so excited! Everything was booked and I was ready!
But then, at the very last minute (a week before I was to fly there), the trip was cancelled.
All my airfare, car rental and hotel fees were non refundable. So, I had to make the decision to lose all of that money… or find another place to vacation in that part of Wyoming during exactly those day. I set my mind to find another adventure.
FINDING THE PLACE
I called every single dude ranch and ranch resort that was within a reasonable driving distance from the Casper airport.
Most were full. No surprise there…
Some only did 5 or 6 days. Some were way out of the price range. Some were more about food/wine than horses. Others were maybe a bit too cow intensive…
I combed websites, trying to make decisions based on…?? Feelings, I guess.
After my initial round of calling the places I thought I liked the best – and none worked out… I emailed R Lazy S.
Their reviews were stellar.
But, the website (they’ve since upgraded) wasn’t very robust.
So, for me – who spends so much time on the web – it was kinda iffy.
But then, out of all of the ranches I had contacted, I heard from R Lazy S by PHONE! Cathy (Ranch Manager) actually picked up the phone and called me.
She told me that by a wild coincidence, they had just received a cancellation about an hour before I had emailed them…
Her lovely, calm voice asked me what I wanted in a ranch experience. I told her. And then she just spoke… for about 45 minutes… and my mind’s eye created a beautiful story from all of her details.
But the most important piece of information from her was “we have an 80% return rate”.
OMG!, Really?! That is saying something. And that pretty much did it.
I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE!~
All I can say is that it was perfect for me.
I went alone but never felt alone.
The ranch was limited to 42 guests and I knew every one of them before I left.
The food was great but not pretentious (same as the owners… who are on site always).
The horses were healthy, fat and happy.
The wranglers were kind, talented and not intimidating.
The views were beyond my ability to describe… the best of all… The R Lazy S Ranch has permits to go inside the parks, where no other Ranch riders are allowed. Incredible.
I adored the horse they paired with me. I wanted to bring him home.
And, if I had had the inclination, I could have walked to the Jackson Hole Ski Resort or driven into Jackson Hole and done all of that. I could have fished, laked, kayaked, hiked, biked, paddled, swam… you name it. I had the time of my life, met fabulous new friends for life and knew I would go back.
Funny – I had thought that my ‘dream trip’ had been ruined by it’s cancellation… yet what came about was better than I could have imagined.
THIS YEAR… HUBBY AND PLLLL’S NEW FAMILY WILL JOIN ME!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
After my trip and all of the blogs I wrote from R LAZY S, my neighbor was very interested in going. So was Hubby!
The R Lazy S allows previous guests to book first, and then they open up the resort to new guests after the first week in Jan, 2014. My neighbor knew this (Princess Llama Llama Llama’s new home) and as soon as the 2nd week in January arrived, they booked!
Gawd, I hope they love it as much as I did!! ;)
Do any of you want to go to the R Lazy S? If so, book ASAP! (THERE IS NO AFFILIATION!)
HERE IS MY PHOTO BLOG FROM THE TRIP…
I wrote several blog posts about my trip during my trip! … If you’d like to read them, you can go to the H&M Website and search “R Lazy S Ranch” or try the PEOPLE AND PLACES category, also on the H&M website . All the posts are there…
You lucky dog!!! I’m so excited for you (and your hubby and friends) but my envy is out of control. I hope you have another fabulous time! Jackson Hole is one of my favorite places in the world. Aren’t those views beyond spectacular? And that night sky, with huge stars so close you can almost touch them!
I can’t wait to see the photos, it’s the closest I’ll get to reliving my own visit :)
This is your neighbor speaking ….. Yay!! Can’t wait! It would be great to meet some of your blog readers there too. My husband’s going to take some Western lessons before we go so that he can do all the best rides :-)