Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dixie Dude Ranch

Typically our vacation with Angie's family each year is at the beach.  But this year Gram and Grandad treated us to a Dude Ranch.  Thanks to them we spent 4 days unplugged from the world and were just with family.  There was no cell service, no wifi, no television, just a ranch, animals, and family.  We could not have had a better trip.  These boys are still talking about it almost 2 weeks later.
We didn't arrive until about 5:00 the first evening because of Greg's work schedule.  This is the first view of the ranch and the boys made friends with the wrangler within about 5 minutes of being down at the corral.

 


 Lila introduced the boys to the ranch cats and kittens.
 Waiting to go into the ranch house for dinner.  The kitchen rings a bell at 5:30 to let everyone know that dinner will be in 30 minutes.  Then they ring another bell at 6:00 to come find your table.

 There were three yellow labs that the boys loved.
 After dinner a Buffalo Soldier came to share history.  This made an impression on them both as we saw things they learned pop up the longer we were at the ranch.
 David was an audience participant a couple of times.



 He loved this gun.

 And these spurs... this will come up again.

 After the Buffalo Soldier left we went down by the campfire and played.
 David is making the face of a horse (he is not unhappy)



 Our first morning on the ranch.  The boys were up with the birds.  We were taking a trail ride up to the chuck wagon for breakfast.  While we waited the boys played.  A bell rings at 7:30 to warn breakfast will be in 30 minutes.  Then a second bell rings at 8:00 signaling it is time to eat.







 Finally the bell rang and it was time to mount the horses and ride up to breakfast.
 His tough cowboy face.






 Yum Yum!

 






 It really is just beautiful from any angle.


 After the trail ride we played.
 Gram and Grandad bought the boys their cowboy gear!

 And we headed out for a hike to look for arrow heads.  Adam didn't want to hike... he does not like to walk far.  So he and Greg fished.

 Lila announced she found something.  WE thought she found an arrow head.  Sweet Lila found flowers she thought were beautiful!

 
 
 

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And David finds an arrow head!
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 After everyone found something along the way we headed back to find Greg and Adam.



 
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The kids were finished so everyone went back to the ranch house while Greg continued to fish. As Angie bega walking back too Greg caught something.



 IT was so big and heavy this catfish snapped the pole.


 And then the line snapped.  Greg had a hard time getting it off to put back in the pond, but he did it.
 This little one loved every single minute of being a cowboy!

 And this one needed a snack after all of that fishing.


 A bell rings at 12:00 to signal 30 minutes until lunch and then a second bell at 12:30 to come and eat.
After lunch David put on a show with all of his cowboy gear just like the show he had seen the night before by the buffalo soldier.




 Then Adam put on his show.  Adam stuck with this and probably put on 10 shows in the time that we were on the ranch. 
 Here he had his lasso from home.  This green lasso Gram and Grandad got him at the rodeo in March.
 After dinner we had a trick roper come.  Our boys loved every minute of this show.  And we all participated in this entertainment.







 
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After the show we had family play time!
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horsehoes

 roping



 
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And it wore all three of the House boys out! 
 The third day was our last full day on the ranch.  It began early again and the boys were up with the sun.  Here we are waiting for the breakfast bell.




 After breakfast we went fishing.


 
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 And then we headed back to the corral to talk with a wrangler.
 The trick ropers son is also a wrangler on the ranch - just for the summer.
He and his dad both are world champions for their roping and bull whip skills.
Here is Will teaching the boys a few things.





Time for another trail ride!
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 We arrived back at the ranch house just in time for lunch.  The 12:00 bell was ringing which meant we had 30 minutes before we needed to find out spot at the table.

 Will showed us a few tricks with his whips.


 And his rope!



After lunch we relaxed and cooled off at the pool.
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For dinner we had a delicious BBQ - ribs, brisket, sausage, corn on the cob, watermelon, beans, potato salad, deviled eggs... every meal was like this.  No one went hungry.

 After dinner and live music we loaded up for a hay ride out to see the long horns.  This was a favorite night.
 
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 The horses were out too roaming.  It really was so majestic.





 After our hayride we tried for cousin pictures... you would think this would be getting easier... not with the house boys.









 With Gram and Grandad!
 More time for play!




 And one last evening trip down to the pond to fish.




 Once it got dark everyone headed in for the night.  These two finished the night with a game of Bingo with the ranch cat.
 You must be exhausted when you fall asleep with your animal crackers.
 Our last morning on the ranch began with more play time while waiting for the breakfast bell.


 These boys spent so much time down at the corral watching the horses. Here they are feeding them apples.







 There were goats and a donkey and pigs too to watch.
 This is Bubba and this is who David now aspires to be.  He got spurs here for his last trail ride.  David couldn't wait to show Bubba.  Bubba taught him how to stand so that you could see them in the picture!

Lila and David both rode Festus a few times... here is David on his last ride with Festus.  David kept saying Festus is the Bestist.
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On each trail ride Adam would say Yippee Kaiyae.  Or Yee Ha.
We didn't get video of him there doing it, but here he is at home...
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 David right behind Bubba, riding just like Bubba.
 So proud of his spurs!
 Adam with Bubba
 David found a reason to go talk with the owner of the ranch one last time before our last lunch on the ranch.  He had questions about the longhorns.
 Goodbye Dixie Dude Ranch!


 
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So much fun!  These two literally slept for the full three hours home.
 
We would recommend taking your family on a trip such a this.
Here is a video Aunt Christie made of our time on the ranch.

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