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The Dude Ranch Season Is Upon Us

May 20, 2011 by Jeff Way

View from Rattlesnake Ridge

Opening day is just twelve days from now.  Our cleaning crew has been hard at work opening cabins since mid-April.  Summer employees are arriving almost every day to help get ready for the season.  All of our 51 cabins will be open and ready to go June 1st.  The cabins may be ready, but we will be hard pressed to get this Wolf, Wyoming dude ranch’s grounds all cleaned up by opening day if it doesn’t dry out soon.  It has been a very wet May.  We’ve had over 2 inches of moisture this week alone.  It’s hard to complain about the moisture, but with the cool weather that has accompanied the rain, we haven’t had much of a spring.

We start the season off with 20-30 guest the first week and gradually pick up from there.  June looks to be pretty busy, but if you haven’t made your summer plans yet we still have a number of openings in July and August.  The Sheridan WYO Rodeo is July 13th thru the 16th.  The WYO Rodeo is great family fun and we still have a number of cabins open rodeo week.    Space opens up in August after the 8th if you are looking for an end of summer vacation before the kids go back to school.  Also, for those of you who have never experienced a fall along the Bighorn Mountains you should definitely consider a September visit. 

Keep an eye out for updates about the Third Annual Wolf Creek Wrangle 10 mile trail run and 10K hike on September 24th.  We will be offering discounted packages around that weekend.  We will have more details in the coming weeks.

If you haven’t made reservations at our dude ranch along the Bighorns we hope to hear from you soon.  For those of you who already have reservations, we’re excitied about the new season and we look forward to seeing you all soon!

Christmas at Eatons’

December 23, 2010 by Jeff Way

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!

Wranglin’ Notes

September 16, 2010 by Jeff Way

“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!

Spring at Eatons’ Ranch

April 1, 2010 by Jeff Way

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.

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