dude ranch

In Texas Coldbeer is One Word

Saturday morning my brother Andy and I got up a little early to go for a run before the day’s festivities. I knew I had a lot of GOOD EATING ahead of me and I also knew I’d feel much better about the whole thing if I got in a run.

It was cool and the sun was rising over the palm trees in front of the river. I wore my trail running shoes because we were running on grass, dirt and gravel.

We ran down to the river and then turned around and ran through the ranch and up the gravel road.

It was quiet out–the only sounds were our feet crunching and the roosters on the ranch. It was cool to be out there so early, with no one around, while we ran together. While we were out on the gravel road a truck came through. We stepped into the ditch and waited for them to pass, and for the dust to settle. I held my breath because the dust bothered my asthma.

Andy and I chatted and caught up on things. I wasn’t feeling fantastic on my run. My left knee hurt (which was new) and my right foot had been hurting for a few days for no reason. I had no idea what was going on with my body but I was glad nothing hurt too much to prevent me from running.

We ran by the cows and donkeys, passed the ponies and the buffalo. The animals didn’t seem to notice us.

There were wild sunflowers growing in the ditches.

It was warming up nicely and we turned around. Running on the gravel was hard on my knees but I did okay.

We headed back to the farmhouse and I stretched. I look very tired in this photo!

Run Stats:
Time: 44 minutes
Calories Burned: 369

I have no idea how many miles we did. I’d guess 3 miles.Β  It was cool to run with my bro. I showered and dressed and we all went up to the lodge to eat breakfast–eggs, bacon, coffee and toast. Before this weekend I had not eaten white bread since I was a little kid!

We all hung out by the pool and relaxed and then we went for a walk around the ranch. There were longhorns meandering freely around us–no fences.

We checked out the Pecan House on the river where they were doing skeet shooting. I’ve never seen it done before. I’m not a gun person so I didn’t try it. Now I kinda wish I had tried. My cousin Di gave it a try. The cowboys were obviously experienced at it and showed us all how it was done. There was a puppy in the water was trying to get the skeet.

We checked out the old general store:

I think it’s hilarious that they sold coffins there. But I guess that makes sense. In the old days general stores sold everything I’m sure.

We checked out the chapel:

And the hotel:

Then it was time for the hayride! I haven’t been on a hayride since I was a little kid. It was weird but fun.

My aunt Sheila brought refreshments. πŸ™‚

The hayride went through the cow fields and then we stopped to feed the cows.

After the hayride it was time for lunch. It was Mexican– a taco buffet which was delicious. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the pool! Michael lounged and I swam with my brother, his wife, my cousin Anna and our uncle.

It was sooo much fun! What a life. I could totally get used to lounging in a pool in the sun. πŸ™‚

After awhile I dozed in the sun before I had to get ready for the wedding! Check out Melina’s cowboy boots:

They are so cute! I loved her boots. I might need a pair of cute boots….

QUESTION: Have you ever tried skeet shooting? Were you good at it?

A Tour of the Dude Ranch

For my cousin’s wedding we were all staying at the Moon River Ranch. It was actually near Waco, Texas I think, but it was literally in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never been to a destination wedding before (I think this qualifies since most family had to travel from somewhere else). This place was NUTS. I had no idea what to expect from a working ranch in Texas. My expectations were blown out of the water.

We drove through the middle of nowhere, through scant towns riddled with poverty. Then drove 4 miles down a gravel road to the ranch.

The land was like a step into history. Words cannot describe what this place was like. The main lodge was humongous and like a maze. Every where you turned there was something new and cool to look at.

The decorations were rustic, bizarre and very cool. There were stuffed animals at every corner–elk, gazelle, deer, moose, you name it. There was homemade furniture, leather chairs made with animal fur. It was truly an old-western heaven.

The bear was the hit. We were so amused by it. You better believe we took tons of pictures with the bear.

Our immediate family was in the nearby farmhouse. I think it was the original farmhouse from back in the day. Unlike the main lodge, it was very very old and authentic–not a replica. Inside there was a big living room, a kitchen (with plaid carpet on the floor). There was a master bedroom and bathroom, and then the smaller bedroom with two sets of bunk beds. That’s where us “kids” slept. Michael slept in the top loft in that bedroom and I took one of the bottom bunks.

The farmhouse was looking over the pond. There was a pair of swans in the pond and palm trees around it.

There was a pool and lounge area. There were lounge chairs all over and it was very inviting. I knew I’d definitely be in that pool during the weekend!

There were fire pits all over the place with lounge chairs. We met the friendly ranch kitty who loved attention. She was a sweetheart.

There were horses, ponies and longhorn cattle. There was also buffalo!

We arrived a little before dinner time. We had some time to explore the ranch–there was so much to see!

Michael, my brother and Lisa and I also went out in the paddle boat on the pond. First the three of them went out and I took photos.

Then Michael and I went out together and we did the whole pond loop. It’s funny because we kicked butt at the paddle boat. I think it’s because we’re cyclists. πŸ™‚

We had just enough time to get changed and cleaned up before the rehearsal dinner at the lodge.

Dinner was buffet style BBQ. There was mashed potatoes with gravy, an amazing chicken curry with rice, baked beans, corn, garlic bread, chili, and some other stuff I didn’t even try.

I ate so much but it was absolutely worth it. The food was amazing. The chicken was the star of the night: Peach Whiskey BBQ Chicken. Oh my god! I must find the recipe for this and recreate it. It was the best chicken I’ve ever had (my uncle did great!). I ate too much but it was wonderful each and every bite.

We enjoyed some cocktails and socialized with the family. It was fun to see everyone. It was mostly our family on Friday night. The groom’s family was local so they showed up Saturday. Melina had family from England and Australia and it was one big mixing pot in the middle of Texas.

It was fun hanging out with everyone. My uncle played old videos of Melina as a kid and a teenager. They were hilarious to watch. Thank goodness my parents never had video cameras–I won’t have embarrassing videos at my wedding! πŸ™‚

The sun went down early, glowing red in the sky. It was weird to see the skyline without tall trees. I am such a Northwest Girl.

Michael and I headed back to the farmhouse after awhile. Some family members stayed up really late partying. I was so tired, my head hit the pillow and I was out immediately (which never happens to me). I slept like the dead and didn’t wake up even once that night. Good food, family and fun times = sleep like a rock.

QUESTION: Have you ever been to a dude ranch? Would you want to go to one?