2013 Dude Ranchers’ Association Convention

Well I have just returned from the 2013 Dude Ranchers’ Convention at the Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona.  My parents (Roley and Janice) were good enough to take the whole family along with them to this annual convention.
 It was great to see some new scenery as we traveled north from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon was, of course, spectacular.  However I would suggest that when you plan your next visit, make sure you don’t have a massive head cold like I did.  Here was my thought process: “Oh that’s really pretty! Wow, get a picture! Ok, I am going to go sleep in the back of our massive 12 passenger van now.” Speaking of our van.  Because we had the whole crew (Mom, Dad, Me, Landon, Emily, Gabe, Isaac, and Libby), we couldn’t fit in a normal rental car so we ended up renting this giant 12-passenger van. It was not the sportiest ride but it was really quite comfortable.  We named it the Queen Mary.  Dad suggested the Titanic, but we decided that name might start our trip off on the wrong foot. 
After the Grand Canyon, we headed south again to Sedona; a beautiful country full of red rock.  Then we headed up over the mountains on our way to Wickenburg.  On our way  up and down the twisted Highway 89, (seriously, when you look at this road on a map it looks like someone planted multiple corkscrews in the road) we found the city of Jerome. This was a booming copper mining town who’s population peaked at 15,000 in the1920’s, but is now a whopping 450 people. The craziest thing about this town is its location.  It is literally built on the side of a hill that you wouldn’t want to walk your mule across let alone build a whole town on!  They are proud to be America’s most vertical town.  The town is built on a series of switchbacks where front doors literally open onto Highway 89.  So for an interesting drive, I suggest you grab the Dramamine and explore the quaint town of Jerome, Arizona.
The Dude Ranchers’ Association convention was held at the resort ranch, Rancho de los Caballeros.  They have a beautiful facility and do an excellent job of serving their guests.  I was ready to take the king sized bed home with me when we left because it was so heavenly. 
We also had the opportunity to take part in a little friendly Team Penning competition.  For those of you who don’t know how it works here’s a quick run down.  About 8 cows are all on one end of the arena and a small pen is on the other end.  Four team members ride toward the cows, cut three out, and herd them down to the small pen.  This is a timed event, so the faster you move these cows, the better.  I was quite proud of our team because we placed 3rd out of nine teams and, I must say, we actually followed the rules; unlike certain other teams.
I really love attending conventions like this because between the speakers and the vendors you get some great inspiration on how you can give your guests an even better ranch experience.  It is also very encouraging to see the many ways we are doing things right for our guests here at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
Please enjoy these photos from our tour of Arizona.
+Landon Otis at the Grand Canyon

Sedona, Arizona

Waiting our turn for Team Penning at the Rancho de los Caballeros

On deck for Team Penning
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Sandpoint, Idaho
@Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Gift Shop Goods

Can you believe that it is now less than two months before Christmas arrives?! I noticed, the other day, someone had made this same statement on their Facebook page and I had to read it a few more times before it really sunk in.  Crimany where did 2012 go?  I think the moment you start having children time starts speeding up.  But nevertheless, Christmas is now 57 days away and that means time to start thinking about Christmas shopping. To get you started, here is a sampling of what we have in the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Gift Shop.

Libby’s Lids: Hats and Headbands are now in!
These are SO adorable.

 Necklaces and Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

 Cowboy hats, Cadet hats and Western Bling Purses
 Sweatshirts and t-shirts
Stop by and check it all out.

Songs From the Ranch (By Way of Nashville)

Remember those songs that we played around the campfire at the ranch?  We are excited to share with you our newest project here at the ranch. Those great campfire songs, the ones you just can’t forget like Tulip the Goat, Sheriff Ron, Amos and Andy and nine others, will be produced by Brad and recorded in Nashville! 

 A CD with 12 original songs written by the crew here at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch will be recorded only if we are able to raise the funds and there is only 29 days left.  So head over to www.bradyunek.com to see how you can help. Please take this opportunity to partner with us in this great project.  Help us out and you will get a little something as well.  Remember to head over to www.bradyunek.comand see how you can help and what you will receive in return!

A Day in the Life of a Ranch Babe

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a North Idaho guest ranch during the unpredictable month of March? Through rain, snow, hail or sunshine, the ranch-hands continue their work on the ranch. Follow Emily through her day and learn just what a ranch babe does to help the ranch prepare for spring.

Emily starts the day out by helping Grandma to make beds in the guest rooms.  She makes sure the quilts are  on exactly the way she wants.
The ladies who come for quilting retreats need some help too.  Emily loves to help them sew.

Next, its time to head to the barn to ride horses.  This time of year, everyone is riding horses to prepare them for the summer guest ranch season and the young horses are getting a refresher course.  All the action takes place in the indoor arena because everywhere else is covered in snow, ice or mud.  Emily likes to supervise the riders, dogs, and cats from the hay stack.
The horses stand in the alley, waiting patiently to be ridden.  This is Chance sporting Emily’s saddle. Yes, that’s a big horse (16.2+ hh) and yes that’s a tiny saddle (8″ seat).

When she is not supervising or riding, Emily is just outside the barn checking the mud levels.  
All that work tuckers a girl out! After a quick lunch break, Emily is ready for a nap.  Anywhere will do, even the kitchen counter is a good spot to catch some z’s.

After lunch, the sun is out so its back to the haystack to supervise the cat and soak up some much needed vitamin D.
Now its Emily’s turn to ride! She loves to ride with grandma and tell the horse exactly what to do.  “Walk, trot, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, walk, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh, trot”,  she tells Blue.

Blue is nice, but Chance is warm and comfy.  There is no better place to rest your head.

By the end of the day, this ranch babe is worn out.  A bag full of horse blankets in the tack room makes a nice place to rest.

Contest Winners!!

Congratulations to our 12 contest winners!!!  
Ellen Zirkle Larsen
Jim Tasker
Fred Wurden
Connie Barbeau
Alex Mueller
Cathrine McClintick
Gene Rowley
Connie Eigell-Smith
Jane Derr Betts
Tyler Ribail
Shelly Thompson
Liz Luiz
Each of these 12 winners will receive one raffle ticket for the Dude Ranch Association Ranch Raffle.  The drawing for the ranch raffle will occur on April 1st.  The winner will receive a week long guest ranch vacation at whichever ranch their ticket came from.  In the case of these 12, the winning stay will be here at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
Winners:  A raffle ticket with your name on it will be sent directly to the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

P.S. Happy First Day of Spring! Did I mention that we have 4-5 inches of fresh snow and it’s still coming down.


Ranch Cookies

I thought I would share with you my most favorite cookie recipe.  This is my grandma’s Ranch Cookie recipe that comes from our family recipe book.  I love to make these in the summer for our guests as an after lunch dessert.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Contest Update!

Contest Update: Only five days left until our contest to win a chance for a week stay at our ranch is over!  What you may not have known is that you can up your odds of winning.  Our contest is offering 12 raffle tickets to 12 individual winners, but you can also purchase these raffle tickets as well.  Tickets for the Dude Ranch Association raffle are $20 per ticket or 6 tickets for $100.

Our contest is giving you a chance to have one of 12 tickets by becoming our friend on facebook, but you can guarantee yourself a ticket by purchasing one (or more) from us.  The proceeds from this raffle benefit the Dude Ranchers Association Educational Trust Scholarship Program.  This program works to provide scholarships to students who work at guest ranches and are pursuing a career in the guest and dude ranch industry.  This program in dear to my heart because I received one of their scholarships while working toward my degree in Resort Recreational Management.

To find out more about the Dude Ranchers Association Educational Trust Scholarship Program, visit www.duderanchhistory.com.

If you would like to purchase raffle tickets, you can call me or Janice (my mom) at (888) 863-9066, or you can email us at [email protected]


Win A Chance For A Week Stay At Our Guest Ranch!!!

Hey all you Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Facebook fans, now is the chance for your “fanship” to pay off.  Not a fan yet? Simply “like” us on Facebook and you will be entered into our contest as well.
What are you being given the chance to win?  We have purchased 12 tickets for the Dude Ranch Association Ranch Raffle.  12 lucky WPGR Facebook fans will win one of these raffle tickets.  The Dude Rancher’s Association represents over 100 of the best Dude Ranches and Guest Ranches in the West.  The DRA is presenting this raffle for a one week vacation for two people at our ranch.  All the proceeds from this raffle benefit the Dude Ranchers’ Educational Trust Scholarship Program and Heritage Center.  This program helps to educate persons wishing to pursue employment or careers in the dude ranch industry and to protect and preserve the history of dude ranching.  I am especially appreciative of this program because I received an extremely helpful scholarship from them while attending college. Visit their website at www.duderanchhistory.com .
All you have to do to win one of these 12 raffle tickets is be a fan of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch on Facebook!  We will be drawing the winners of these 12 tickets on March 20th.
For more information about the Dude Ranch Association, visit www.duderanch.org.
This prize is not redeemable for cash or credit.  Some exclusions may apply.  Need not be present to win.  The vacation must be enjoyed within one year of the drawing and is subject to space availability. There is a 1 in 3000 chance for the ticket holder to win.
 The raffle drawing will be held April 1, 2012.
Make sure that you are a fan of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch on Facebook then check back here on March 20th to see if you are one of the 12 winners.

Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?

Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?
Take your sweetheart on a unique Valentine’s Day outing that they will remember for years to come.   Enjoy a romantic sleigh ride then treat them to a delicious, five-course dinner in an intimate, candle-lit setting with live music.   Extend the evening into an overnighter when you book one of our rooms or cabins.  Your overnight lodging includes a full, hot breakfast.
On Valentine’s Day, Tuesday the 14th, the menu will include:
  • Appetizer – Shrimp Cocktail
  • Soup – Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Salad – Watercress Salad with Shaved Mushrooms and Radishes, dressed with a Sherry-Honey Vinaigrette
  • The main course buffet will include:
    • Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Aujus and Horseradish Cream
    • Slow Baked Salmon with Honey-Dijon Marmalade
    • Steamed Asparagus or Broccoli
    • Scalloped Potatoes
    • Warm Bread
    • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Dessert: Chocolate French Silk Tart with Almond crust or Frozen Lemon Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
Prices for this evening are as follows:
Dinner – $37.50 per person
Sleigh Ride for two: $75.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package – $310.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package – $270.00

    *Reservations Required
    *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
    Can’t celebrate on the 14th?
    Join us Saturday, February 11th for a Mediterranean dinner.  Make the evening even more memorable by adding a sleigh ride or an overnight stay.
    Dinner on Saturday, the 11th will include:
    • Appetizer – Suvlaki with Slow Roasted Olives, Oranges and Almonds served with Grilled Crostini
    • Soup – Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Lemon
    • Main Course –
      • Grilled Lamb Kebobs served with warm pita and Tzatziki Sauce
      • Maussaka with eggplant Tomatoes and feta or Greek Grilled Vegetables dressed with a sauce of fresh lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, paprika and cayenne
      • Spanakopita
      • Tabouli
      • Greek Salad
    • Dessert – Baklava
    Prices for this evening are as follows:
    Dinner – $25.50 per person
    Sleigh ride for two – $75.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package: $291.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package: $251.00
      *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
      *Reservations Required
      The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch does not have a beer and wine license so we cannot provide you with alcohol on either of these evening, however, you are welcome to bring your own.
      This is a BYOB event
      For more details or to make a reservation call:
      Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
      (208) 263-9066

      New Shipment of Western Merchandise

      I just got in our biggest shipment yet of western handbags! After pricing them and setting them out on display, I have to say I am coveting a few of those bags. So please, for my sake, stop by and buy yourself a new handbag (you deserve it!) before I spend the rest of my paycheck on them. Do you think I can justify one handbag for each day of the week?

      We also have bling belts, necklaces,wallets and bling cadet hats.