You know Christmas is near when you put up a tree. As many of you know, putting up a tree when you have young kids in the house is a big event, and picking out that tree can be even bigger. Cutting down a Christmas tree has been a tradition for many of us here at the Ranch, and this marked the fourth year in a row that my family and I, along with some friends, headed out to find that perfect tree. After a long hike along the bottom of South Red Canyon in the cold and the snow, we all managed to find Christmas trees for our families. The excitement on the kids’ faces made the trek worthwhile. They didn’t seem to mind the cold fingers and toes because they had helped bring home their own tree. It is little traditions like these that make the holidays so special.
We hope this holiday season finds you safe, happy and surrounded by those you love. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If you find yourself in our neck of the woods this winter or if you are just looking for a brief getaway to recharge from the day to day stresses we all experience, then be sure to come see us. For the first time, we will be open as a B&B for a limited number of guests, from December 1-19 and from January 6-May 1st.
Come join us for a night, two nights or as many as you would like to stay. A warm, comfortable cabin will be waiting for you. No horseback riding will be available, but you will have access to all of the hiking trails, fishing and nearby winter activities in the Bighorn Mountains.
Rates will range from $100-150/night/room and include a full breakfast. Additional meal packages are also available. Please contact us today for more information. We hope to see some of you again before next summer!
We’ve had a warm fall so far, which has prolonged the beautiful colors. We are just getting a hint of typical October temperatures, and it feels good.
All of the cabins have been closed down for the winter, and life moves at a much slower pace. Elk and deer hunting season is in its final weeks, and cattle work is under way in preparation for our calves to be shipped in early November. Even though the Ranch is quiet, we are busily planning for next year.
We are offering all of our guests who joined us in 2010 a $500 discount per cabin if reservations are made for the same time period in 2011 and for a minimum of 6 nights. In order to receive your discount, we must receive a $500 per person deposit by December 1st. We hope you will be able to take advantage of this offer. It is our way of saying thank you to all of you who were able to join us this past year.
“Wranglin Notes” by Tom Ringley is here!
“There is an allure to Eatons’ Ranch that can’t be explained.” So begins the Foreword by the Ranch’s current general manager Jeff Way and what he says has proved true for generations of Eaton family members, dudes and employees. One can’t help but wonder if Howard Eaton, at the age of just seventeen, and the first of the Eaton brothers to go west in 1868, had any inkling of the enduring legacy they would eventually build and how many people down through the years would share a part of their dream.
At Eatons’, one of the oldest dude ranches in the West, you can still mount a horse and freely roam the Ranch’s 7200 acres at the foot of the beautiful Big Horn mountains. The pleasures you experience will be little changed from the Ranch’s earliest days as you follow the same trails traveled by generations of Eatons’ guests. Author Tom Ringley has followed the historic trail of Eatons’ itself, and of the many people who have played such a large part in its fascinating history. Filled with stories, photos and archival tidbits from the Ranch’s own Wranglin’ Notes newsletter, Tom’s chronicle tells the complete story of this unique enterprise over the last 131 years and helps us understand the truth of Jeff’s words: “Remember, once you are a guest here, you are always a part of Eatons’ Ranch.
Contact us now to order your signed copy!
10M & 10K run/hike, Saturday, September 25th, on the oldest Dude Ranch in the nation – Eaton’s Ranch outside of Sheridan, WY. The 10 mile trail run offers a challenging up and down course along the face of the Big Horn Mountains. The trail is somewhat challenging, but worth it for the vistas!
Prizes will be awarded to the three best times in each gender division, and Eaton’s provides a free BBQ for all runners and hikers. The cost is $35 to hike the loop and $50 to run it, and each paying participant will receive a free, North Face t-shirt. All proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity! To register, call Big Horn Mountain Sports at (307) 672-6866.
If you have not visited the Bighorn Mountains before, make sure you bring your sense of adventure. Horseback Riding, Hunting and Fly Fishing are some great activities to explore after your big run. If the 10k run drained your adventures spirits, and your in search of relaxation. The Eaton Ranch’s 40 X 70-foot pool and hot tub are available for guest use; soak those tired muscles after a run!
What exactly is a dude ranch vacation? In its simplest form, a dude ranch vacation offers a room, three meals a day and horseback riding, but it truly offers so much more. You still receive all of the above, but in addition to that you get beautiful scenery, fresh mountain air, the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, and western hospitality at its finest.
Dude ranching is rich in history, and we are fortunate to be descendants of those who started it all. The Eaton brothers settled in Medora, ND in 1879 and quickly began accepting guests from back east and their native area of Pittsburgh. Before long, the cost of their generosity and hospitality began to add up, and they had to consider charging people for their stays. The first recorded paying guest was Bert Rumsey from Buffalo, NY in 1882, and thus an industry was born.
There are over 100 member ranches in the Dude Ranchers’ Association. Each ranch has a history of its own, whether it spans 125 years or 10 years; there is a ranch suited to every individual and family. Here at Eatons’ Ranch, our main focus has always been horseback riding. We offer our guests the opportunity to explore over 7,000 acres at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains as well the 1.2 million acres of the Bighorn National Forest on one of our 200 horses. When not riding, you can enjoy the peace and quiet with a good book, hike a myriad of trails, fish Wolf Creek, take a refreshing dip in the pool or watch the children play under the sun on Howard Hall lawn. We provide our guests with enough options that you can choose to do as little or as much as you would like to during your stay.
It’s not too late to plan your dude ranch vacation. We invite you to join us and experience everything Eatons’ Ranch has to offer during your dude ranch vacation. Once you have spent time with us, you will always be part of Eatons’ and its history.
Opening day is just four short weeks away, and there is still much to do to get ready for our first guests. We are in full swing trying to clear the grounds of all of the leaves and branches that fell throughout the fall and winter months. The grass has really greened up over the last week, and it is time to start up the mowers to stay ahead of the spring growth. We have updated more bathrooms as needed and are working on quite a few cabins in other ways as well. It seems that every year we think we are caught up, but there are always improvements to be made.
We completed a major facelift to the living room of the Jenkins. Thanks to the efforts of Steve Gage, Sean Meier, Lonny Gibson and Ed Gilbert, Mary Eaton’s vision of the interior going back to its original state was realized. It is hard to believe it is the same cabin.
Given the state of business, we have taken a conservative approach to capital improvements, but we have an ample supply of paint and stain for the cabins, decks and out buildings that will have a fresh coat when the first guests arrive.
We know the season is upon us when the horses make their annual three-day trek to Wolf from the Bar 11 Ranch, their winter home. T.J. Ferguson, Nate Schmeiser and their crew will leave Echeta on May 21st with approximately 140 horses. Once here, they will join the 50 plus horses that spent the winter in Wolf. In a little over a week’s time most, if not all, will have new shoes and be readied to re-enter the dude string.
We are excited here in Wolf, WY to welcome new and familiar faces for the 2010 season. If you haven’t already considered a dude ranch vacation for this summer, it is not too late!
Is it really Spring? Here at Eatons’ Ranch, we follow the calendar very closely; not the particular days so much as the month and the season. When we flip the calendar page to March, we know there will soon be new calves on the ground and that spring is right around the corner.
Today is April 1, so we are officially eleven days into spring. This is hard for us to believe as it doesn’t seem we had much of a winter. We certainly had our share of cold weather through January, but it has been relatively mild since, and unfortunately we have had little snow. If one of our longtime guests was still able to call us about the snow pack, we wouldn’t have much to tell him.
Spring along the Bighorn Mountains can seem like winter in most other places. We typically get the majority of our snow in April, so maybe it is still on the way. It is hard to complain about this weather as the mild temperatures are great for calving, and we can get a head start on outdoor projects before the season begins.
One thing I have learned over the last 15 years is that nothing is ever good enough for ranchers when it comes to the weather. Mild dry temps are good for the calves but can be bad for the hay crop. If it does rain, it usually rains too hard to soak into the ground and much is wasted in runoff. If you have good moisture in the spring and a lot of grass to follow, then the fire danger increases as the hot days of August roll around. We can be hard to satisfy because there are so many variables at stake!
Much like everyday life, nothing goes exactly the way you want it to. There are so many things that are out of our control, and the weather is often the least of these. One thing we can control here at Eatons’ Ranch in the spring is our preparation for another guest ranch season. Before we know it, the calendar will read May 29th and we will be welcoming new and familiar faces to our home in the Wild West. We hope you can find some time to join us and enjoy a dude ranch vacation like no other. We would love to share with you our way of life and give you a true western horseback riding experience.
And we promise not to complain about the weather.