Growing Up Guest Ranch Gabe and Horse

Growing Up Guest Ranch

Family ties hold us together; connecting us across time to those who came before us. Connecting us to those whose decisions about life have affected the direction of our own life. Their dedication to hopes, dreams, and goals in life leave a legacy to us who follow. The idea of being who you are because of the choices someone else made years before you were born may seem stifling to some, but not for me. I will be forever grateful for the pioneer spirit of my great great great grandparents who first settled in the place I now call home.

A Photogenic Winter on the Ranch

Every season at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch has its special beauty, but I have to admit that winter may be winning out as my favorite season to photograph. Winter photography presents an interesting predicament for me as I am always cold. I can relate to Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally, when she declares, after trying in vain to apply multiple layers of winter clothes, “I wasn’t made for winter!” Know that while capturing the following photos, I either looked like the Michelin Man, or I was acquiring frostbite.

Spring Adventure #1: Easter Sunrise Service

Adventure, explore, experience. These are the buzz words swirling around the tourism marketing industry. People want to experience and explore something that is new to them yet represents an authentic adventure and no group craves this more than the Millennial Generation.

Becoming a Horseman – Part One

It seems winter may have begun to move in here in the northern panhandle of Idaho. It is a beautiful day from where I sit here at my kitchen table, warm and cozy. My view of the foothills of the Cabinet Mountain Range and the valley full of the ranch pasture land is missing one thing today: the horses. Our herd of 50+ horses just made their last run up the county road from the field to the barn for the winter. They are all tucked away in their winter housing close to the barns and an abundant supply of hay.

Peanut Butter Granola

We are experiencing the hottest, driest summer here in North Idaho that I can remember. I have heard other more seasoned residents compare the conditions this summer to those of the Sundance Fire of 1967 and The 1910 Fire.


For several years now, I have tried to grow a garden here in North Idaho or at least veggies in pots. I love my grandma’s garden and I have very fond memories of picking peas and carrots from her garden and eating them dirt and all. So my desire to have a garden must have come from there. I started out going all in and trying to grow a whole garden. Everything that first year became completely overgrown with weeds. The next year I reeled in my enthusiasm and fairly successfully grew some veggies in pots around our house. At that point I formulated the strategy that I would start small and each year gradually begin growing more and more. The next year Landon helped me build a larger raised bed in which I grew corn, beans, peas, strawberries and some radishes. All was well and I even got a large amount of Dilly Beans pickled, until the cows got in and feasted. No corn that year. The following year I decided it was time for an actual, real, full-on, in the ground garden. The first location for the garden I picked turned out to be the drain field for our septic system. Relocate. I spent hours laying paper and hauling composted manure. My plan was to create a miraculously weed free Back to Eden Garden, but when I discovered the price of woodchips/mulch that I was planning to use I skipped that and just did some good old fashioned weeding by hand. This worked for most of my 30’x30′ garden plot. The fence that I was hoping to put up didn’t get done and the deer ate well that summer. I will say that although they ate most of my garden, they did eat the weeds as well so I have to thank them for that. My corn was the last hold out since the deer didn’t seem to be very interested in that. As the time approached to harvest the corn, the calves got in and ate it.



Just a little photographic proof that I do in fact cook. Also, I can successfully grow something. I give you roasted beets and kale salad from my garden along with corn on the cob and BBQ pork ribs. To be honest, though I must admit that I did not cook the ribs…they were left-overs from a delicious meal at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.