A Midwestern Girl in a Colorado World

How did I get here?

Where am I?

These two questions are usually mumbled in an over-dramatized tv show or a novel after someone is a) drugged or b) knocked unconscious. I want to answer both of them with regards to my life now. (and for the record, I have neither been drugged or knocked unconscious)

Three years ago, in May of 2014, I moved from my home state of Indiana to work on a dude ranch in Colorado for the summer. A good friend of mine and my cousin came too. I’d learned about the ranch from Mirriam Neal, who had applied to work there also and used me as a reference. (She wasn’t able to make it to work that summer). None of us had ever been to Latigo Ranch before, and the three of us (my cousin, friend, and I) had never even dreamed of going to a dude ranch during our lifetimes.

(view of Latigo Ranch from Kasdorf Summit)

We arrived, worked our behinds off for four and a half months, and all three fell in love with the ranch, the work, and the life. I returned the next summer, and the next. My husband S is the son of the (then) co-owners of the ranch, Randy and Lisa George. (Things have changed now, and the ranch is owned solely by the Georges)

This lovely, beautiful place is where I live and work. You can’t actually see the building in which I live in this picture; it’s hidden by the trees. Here at Latigo, I have met and made friends with people from all over the world. I have helped make a lasting impression upon people that Latigo is one of the most special places on earth.

(this is our front gate)

What is Latigo? What’s a dude ranch/guest ranch?

Latigo Ranch was begun in 1928. The man (Frederick Kasdorf, Jr.) who originally built some of the buildings came over the Rockies in that year in a covered wagon (yep!). He had a vision of a place to vacation way out here in the middle of nowhere.

We operate the ranch a little differently than Kasdorf did almost 100 years ago. Guests come in the summer for a week (Sunday-Saturday), and during that time they get to ride horseback through the many trails we have through the mountains. They get to experience a cowboy skills night–where they learn how to rope, throw tomahawks, shoot a longbow and arrow, and crack bullwhips. They have the opportunity to learn how to shoot a variety of firearms, go whitewater rafting, pond or stream fly fishing, and attend a cowboy dance. We host meals in the log cabin lodge three times a day, except when we pack up and have cookouts on Tuesdays and Fridays (and my favorite, Saturday morning with a breakfast ride). Latigo is a haven for families, and I get to be a part of it. My duties are mainly with food (my S is a head chef)

(This is the log cabin lodge/ my house)

We also host guests in the winter, when we turn our lodge into a nordic center for cross country skiing. Guest load is much lighter in the winter months, and we may only have two or three people at a time, rather than 25-35, which is what we see in the summer. I manage all of the ranch social media accounts (which is just Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for now)

I spend my free time making crochet hats for our store (new and improved!) and attempting to research for the {Project}.

And there you have it. This is what I do day in and day out. I’m a career waitress, social media manager, beverage manager, and co-owner of a guest ranch! Wow!

(this is a sunrise, taken by my husband (c) SWGEORGE on the ranch property)

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