My husband and I often retreated from the riding activities to enjoy time together. We swam in the heated pool, soaked in a hot tub, learned to fly fish and shoot skeet. Best of all, we kicked back in our willow rocking chairs on the porch of our cozy log cabin, a good book in hand, and basked in the tranquility of the secluded mountains.
As a family we enjoyed the perfect balance of time apart and time together. We joined other guests for a sunset hayride and cookout, sang cowboy songs by the blazing campfire, rode our horses at sunrise to a streamside flapjack breakfast, went whitewater rafting and attended an authentic cowboy rodeo in town.
Best of all, our dude ranch vacation was extremely restful for me. For one week I relinquished my role as chef, chauffeur and social director. I didn't drive a car or enter a grocery store. Someone else planned and cooked three homestyle meals a day with fresh vegetables and tons of desserts. Instead I learned to canter on a beautiful appaloosa through mountain meadows filled with wild flowers. I hiked forest trails, soaked in the hot tub and read two books. Now that's a real vacation to me!
Other guests at the ranch hailed from the East Coast, Midwest and California, and included families of a grandma and grandpa with their teenage grandsons and a single father with his children.
Every spring when we plan our summer vacation, my girls beg to return to Colorado Trails Ranch. They'll tell you it was one of our best vacations ever. We agree. So, same time next year? Maybe.