Colorado Dude Ranch (Black Mountain Ranch)

I’ve spent the last week at an amazing place named Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch. It sits in the mountains between Vail and Steamboat Springs.

Sunset at Black Mountain Ranch in Colorado

I’ve ridden horses up and down steep terrain (even jumped a stream), shot shotguns like a city slicker channeling their inner Billy Crystal and ate some pretty amazing food by my friend Kris May. This is a family-run establishment with Kris doing the cooking and her brother (Ryan) and dad (Nowell, pronounced Nole) leading the rest of the ranch. They do week-long, all-inclusive vacation packages for around $2,500 (a steal in my opinion). This includes wranglers to saddle up your horse (and you can try a few out during the week) as well as gourmet food.

I’m happy to help and support them. Win all around. Here is their hair raising promotional video:

They have old ski lift chairs to sit on beside the open fire every night, including my favorite dog, Coda, who will join you if you say “Load up.”

Jimmy at Black Mountain Ranch

Why am I writing about this? Because I planned on being here for a day or two and have now been here for two weeks with no plans of leaving. It’s relaxing but also offers challenges. I’m learning new things, like what to do when your horse spooks, how to cook for 50 or how to run at 10,000 feet without burning your lungs up.

I’m having a blast. I’m impressed with the May family and what they have built in the last 19 years. Check out their awesome Colorado Dude Ranch website and perhaps check out some photos on their Dude Ranch Facebook.

Or perhaps my priorities are shifting. Have you done something new this week? I should do more of that.

Three weeks ago, I would spend hours traveling to have a place in nature and be a bit alone.

Now, the nearest town is 10 miles away and has two lights. Not stoplights, actual lightbulbs.

My grandfather was a rancher (read this book if you want to know more about him). Perhaps this is in my blood – and tech just feels unnatural now. Perhaps I just stopped trying to learn and settled into specializing on product. Perhaps riding a horse is more fun than work.

Oh, and Black Mountain Ranch has a rad brand (an actual “We heat this up and mark cows” type of brand):

Black Mountain Ranch Hat

Don’t just take my word for it. Carrie wrote about the Colorado Dude Ranch and so did Jen with her post: An all American Colorado Dude Ranch. James Azure also put up some stunning Dude Ranch Photography.

  • I have a feeling that your return to technology will come naturally when the time comes…

  • Huh. We drove by that years back on the sudden “let’s drive from Glenwood Springs to my Mom’s place in Poudre Canyon via the back roads today” whim. You’re making me realize we never got around to checking into it more deeply.
    Don’t worry though, sometimes the soul needs to deeply reconnect to nature by totally disconnecting from the digital.  It will revitalize you.  You’ll get back into tech when you’re back into balance.
    Or not. Either way, good to see you’re happy my friend.

  • Ali

    ah, this speaks to the cowgirl in me. There’s nothing like ranch life – even with a little wifi now and then 😉 
    What a great place. nice work, cowboy.

  • Every photo you post from this place makes me want to go there even more!!!

  • I love it! 

    Please don’t go back to New York 🙂 

    The West has so much untapped potential to make all of our lives more meaningful and more connected to what’s important.

  • I guess what I’m trying to say is this: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/travel/2011/0604/1224298358438.html#.Te43y2SWa70;twitter

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