"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday is Spa Day at the Bar W

Thursday was Spa Day at the Bar W were again divided into two groups.  My group was assigned the morning Spa opportunity.  We were to head into Whitefish for the morning to get hand and foot massages and an hour full body massage.  It was probably a good thing that we ran short of time and didn't get to wander down the street of town. Whitefish is a tourist town.  The folks from the ranches and Glacier National Park in the summer and skiers in winter.  My wallet was saved from poor money decisions.

But there was more to the day than the SUV ride into town. It started right after breakfast. A photography group had set up a photo opportunity to take opportunity of the early morning light. The photo shoot entailed the wranglers dressing up and herding the horses from one end of the pasture to the other past the photographers set up in the field.  It didn't take much of an invite for me to grab my camera. Now if Liz were here!   But my little camera is all you get.

This is the usual waiting for the second breakfast bell to ring at 8:00 as we sip our coffee.  The first bell rings at 7:50 so the wranglers and others can make their way up from the barns.  Did I mention how delicious all the meals were?

Then it was go back and grab the camera and head out towards the pasture and wait. Notice the ropes and chaps all around to make the photos look more authentic?

The young woman, second from the left, is Lindsey, the Head Wrangler..... Cowgirls really are in charge.

Up the pasture towards the woods they go.

Then....here they come....

Then turn around and head back up the field....without encouragement this time.

Cowboys, once again,  look good from all angles....

I will come back and add a video if I remember how.....

The light changed and the photography event was over and six of us hopped in the SUV and headed to town.   Nice combination but we stuck with just the Spa activities in the back....

First there were hands and feet to work on.

Then came the total body work....no photos, please....

From town we hustled back to the Lodge for a slightly late lunch and then met down in the area for the beginning of our our area work experience.  Thursday afternoon was "Cattle Penning"  The cattle won.   Working in pairs we were suppose to cut out one cow at a time and move them though a more narrow opening between pens.....without of course allowing the rest of the cows to follow either individually or as often happened "en mass"  Your partner was to block the gate while you worked the cows. This was all good in theory but not so evident in practice.  It was however fun!  

And on the way down to the barn we watch vendors put up the wedding tent for the wedding scheduled for Saturday afternoon.  We are hopping the bride knows what Montana weather may do to her plans.   We later find out that the tent will have sides and be heated. Good to know.

Sweet looking cattle.  They really did not want to be separated.

Most of us were riding different mounts that we had on the trail rides.  My guy was much more sensitive to directions and obviously had done this work much more professionally at some time. He made me look good.

Beth, here, is riding, Cash.  He was the cover boy for what a handsome ranch horse should look like.

Hard Tack, didn't have the same look but he could move quickly when asked.

After our hard work with the cattle we cleaned up and headed into town for dinner.  Dinner was good but it wasn't any better than Terry, the chef at the ranch, had been feeding us all week .  Three of the staff accompanied us to dinner and drove.   The young man at the head of the table had an extra adventure. He stopped by Safeway on the way back to the ranch so that one of the women could pick up some more wine. (Picking up more wine is a repeated pattern of activities here...) He went in with one of the women and innocently left the keys in the truck.   We are betting that he won't make that mistake twice.  The truck (The ranch's truck) wasn't where he had left it when he came out.   They only let him suffer a short time.....he is young and his heart will heal from his panic attack.   And was he going to tell on the girls?  I mean he was the one who left the keys out there to tempt them...

 You would think that we were all tired from a full day of activities. But you would be wrong. Some of us were still awake!  And along with the wine pick up apparently Beth thought we needed a hat.  We all, of course, took turns modeling the hat.  

And then the Elk head began to look so lonesome up there on the wall....  We considered moving the tables and the chairs but that seemed not so safe to several of us.  Fortunately the door to the garage (and the extra candy supplies, not that ANY of the candy was missing....)was not kept locked.  It took only a brief look see to spot the needed ladder.  The Elk got kisses from several of the cowgirls but since I was holding the ladder, for safety, don't you know, I only got a picture of #8*.   

*Well, if you have a #12, how long do you think it took the rest of us to pick out our numbers?

I think he is smiling in this picture....

Then the fake fur from the back of the couch was borrowed to add some extra warmth to one of the glamping tents.  Hey, it was getting cold outside.  

Now we were ready to head off to our beds.  Only one last day to be Cowgirls....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day Three at the Bar W

Wednesday our group was assigned the slightly shorter ride but it still required another lunch packing, just no loading up and hauling horses for us.   The rain however was predicted to fall on all of us and we tried to dress for success.  Luckily the trails for the most part were drier than the corrals.

This morning we headed out past the larger corral so the other horses could quietly laugh at those working in the rain.  

Who knew there would be dancing out on the trail?  I think it was a version of a non-rain dance.

When you are vertically challenged and borrow a tall cowboy's  rain slicker you don't ask questions about how the style will be carried off.  You just make it your own.

The your new friends help demonstrate further alterations that could be made.

I will not bore you with the multiple steps needed to take a potty break wearing chaps......but those of us that needed managed....  but hooking them back together takes a village.

Always helpful those cowboys.... 

Back in the saddle and looking at nature.

After returning to the ranch the group moved on to "Arts and Crafts" but in this case we will call it Skeet shooting and archer....

Few clay pigeons were  injured in this exercise.  Actually, Lorraine here broke the most.

If you can't shoot well, we at least practiced looking good and victorious when we could.

Instructing us in Skeet shooting can wear a young cowboy out.  

Walking back from the "Arts and Craft" range, watching the turkeys.

Dave, the General Manager of the ranch.

Sorry for the lens.  It seems to show up on the inside shots.   Thee was line dancing in the evening. 

Another fine day draws to a close at the ranch.....Thursday is Spa Day.

And to answer the questions that I can remember. The ranch really tries to accommodate requests. If someone wanted to ride bareback, they would make it happen.  They do really keep the trail rides toned down to slow and safe but given the range of riding skills all mixed together in many groups, the potential for trouble in the wide open places there is pretty high.