Wild Western Weather

December 4th, 2014 by Amy

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When thinking of the Wild West one tends to imagine hot sunshine, beautiful mountains, majestic wild horses, and dusty old cowboys.  While some of those things are true and others have been somewhat tamed; the wild western weather still remains untamed and unpredictable.

Jackson Hole Wyoming is one of those places that is still a little wild yet filled with wonderful adventure.  Being in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem the area is prone to diverse weather patterns.  One thing you can count on with the weather in this vast area, is that no matter the season it could always snow on you.  Now, don’t let this turn you off and make you start thinking about that sandy beach vacation again….  Just because it could snow in July doesn’t mean that your experience will be any less amazing.

Weather in any mountain region can be difficult to understand.  Mountains produce their own weather and also make it difficult to see weather moving in; you just never know what to expect when setting off for a fun day hike or family horseback ride.  Most of the summer months are filled with warm, arid (dry) days and clear, cool evenings, and if weather moves in it is usually gone as fast as it arrived.  Some thunderstorms may only last about 10 minutes, and just because it is storming doesn’t mean the sun won’t still shine.  Then after the storm has passed the dust is gone, the air is fresh, the grass is green, and all is right in the Gros Ventre again.

This diverse weather pattern can turn the average day into a great story making adventure.  Just think about what the real cowboys and mountain men went through year after year, and take the weather in stride.  The horseback riding, and many other activities can still be enjoyed even when the weather is less than favorable.  A snowy June day can also give you a chance to relax by the fire, catch up with family and friends, and a reason to treat yourself to a soothing massage.  So, next time you are planning a vacation to the Jackson Hole area, remember pack a bit of everything, leave for activities prepared for anything, and take the weather in stride, because after the storm comes the most amazing rainbows!  Remember our guides and wranglers at Goosewing Ranch are trained to keep you safe, they have gear available for you to help you stay warm and dry, and will do their best to always make the best out of any situation.

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch

 

Team Penning at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming!

March 10th, 2014 by Amy

 

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Goosewing Guest Ranch Adds Exciting New Activity

Starting in the 2014 season, Goosewing Ranch, located in Jackson Hole Wyoming, will offer guest a thrilling new cowboy sport, Team Penning.  Grab your cowboy hat and jointhe fun.

Guest will now have the opportunity to experience the exciting sport of Team Penning.  Along with trail rides, archery, shooting, line dancing and numerous other ranch activities, this timed event will challenge guest to improve their horsemanship skills, in a fun and safe environment.  Wranglers will give helpful instruction to improve guest’s abilities.

Team Penning is a horse event to preserve the traditional skill sets of working cattle on horseback.  Humanely separating cattle from the herd using athleticism and horsemanship. 

In the herd, all cattle are numbered.  Three are marked with the same number, because each team of riders will need to sort all from the herd with a particular number. 

A mounted team of three riders cross the starting line.   The judge lowers his flag and a number is called out to the cowboys.  The cattle marked with that particular number are the ones the riders will cut from the herd.  When the correct cattle are separated, the riders maneuver them into a pen at the opposite end of the arena.  Once all are in the pen, time is stopped!   

There is no particular horse breed used in this sport but one with “cowiness” (cow sense) is always beneficial.  The riders on a team are allowed to call out to their teammates signally the position, speed or location of desired cow. 

According to the United States Team Penning Association (USTPA), the sport is, “…committed to creating a fun and family-oriented atmosphere that supports the welfare of all animals and fair competition.”  They go on to state, “They are more than cowboys and cowgirls chasing calves.  We are a family of horse men and women who truly value the lessons learned from riding as teams and taking ownership of our results.”

Goosewing Ranch, Wranglers are knowledgeable and can match the right horse to the skill level of each guest who wants to participate in this new activity.  Team Penning is as entertaining to spectators as it is fun for contestants.  

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For further information contact Goosewing Ranch Toll Free: (USA) 888-733-5251

Uniquely Wild

March 3rd, 2014 by Amy

Mountain sheepsLooking for a unique vacation experience filled with adventure, activity and western hospitality?
Even before you arrive at Goosewing Ranch, you get a taste of the beauty and glimpse of the wildlife the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has to offer.
Turning off of Highway 89/26 onto the Gros Ventre Junction Road, herds of “buffalo” (American Bison) roam leisurely through the grasslands on either side of the road. Bulls weighing approximately 2,000 pounds make a memorable and somewhat intimidating sight. You have entered their homeland as a welcomed guest. The numbers of these massive animals are on the increase after almost becoming extinct due to over hunting for their hides, horns and other valuable trophies. This is the start of your family’s adventure, a step back into the time of mountain men, Indians and the creation of this remarkable wilderness.
On your drive to the ranch Pronghorn Antelope are spotted in abundance, welcoming you to this land rich in history and unspoiled beauty. But this is only a small taste of what is waiting for you at Goosewing Ranch. Life slows down and you are engulfed in the magnificent surroundings.
While dining in the lodge you get a panoramic view of the splendor of the area. Horses leisurely graze in the lower pasture. Behind that is the Gros Ventre River, home to cutthroat trout and various river fish. Beyond the rapidly flowing water is a meadow, nestled between tree covered mountains. It is common to spot herds of Elk sauntering down out of the foliage to graze in the flat, grassy field. Then stroll back to the cover of the dense, lush vegetation. If you are lucky, you might spot a bald eagle perched on a tree branch, or fence post watching the activity in their territory.
At night, sit under the stars and listen to the wolves as they break the silence of the night. Imagine what the calls mean to their pack and to other woodland animals.
While horseback riding or exploring the area on your ATV, it is not unusual to see a moose and her calf. Or a bull lingering close.
The Bighorn species of sheep generally inhabit dry upland areas, from craggy mountains into semi-deserts. This species’ colors range from white to grey and dark brown. During the summer the males travel apart from the females and their young.
Bears are a little more difficult to find but are residents in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Bridge-Teton National Forest, all surrounding Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Black bears are likely to be spotted in forested areas near the edge or in clearings. Grizzly Bears are more prone to be found in large or open meadows. Last summer a mother Grizzly and her two cubs were seen several times in grazing land around the ranch. Remember if you see a bear, never approach it, keep your distance, they can run 25 miles an hour. The general speed of a horse is 25 to 30 miles an hour. That really isn’t a race you want to risk losing.
Don’t forget your camera. The opportunities to capture the presence of wildlife around the ranch are endless. Wyoming supports an abundance of wildlife in national parks, forest and wilderness. The geologic processes that resulted in varied terrain of Yellowstone and the Tetons have also determined where plants grow that feeds the wildlife.
Plant eating animals, survive where their food source can be found. Meat eating animals, follow their prey. Millions of years of geologic activity created the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and in the Jackson Hole valley, and account for the abundance of wildlife and plants found here.
The staff at Goosewing Ranch never tire of opportunities to share this wilderness experience with our guest. Are you ready for an experience of a lifetime?
Jay, Goosewing RanchTrout2012-07-18 04.06.09

Welcome Back!

May 22nd, 2013 by Amy

The excitement is building.  Goosewing Ranch Staff started arriving several weeks ago.  Fortunately the weather has cooperated to help speed up preparation for guest.   With the sunshine comes an early snow melt pushing water over river and stream banks.   This morning from the lodge, a herd of Elk were spotted on the far side of the river; with a backdrop of Aspen trees and evergreens.  A magnificent scene for the privileged few who get to experience the moment in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, bordering the Gros Ventre Wilderness.

Wranglers how worked to repaired fences and hay racks preparing for the horses arrival.   Tack has been cleaned and checked for any necessary repairs.  Goosewing is fortunate to have a knowledgeable team of Wranglers.  Their keen eyes will match the guests with a perfect mount to make their vacation experience the best we can provide.  Guest comfort, happiness and well-being are the priorities of the entire staff at the ranch.

This week brought the arrival of the ranch horses.   The trucks pulling the trailers were spotted a couple of miles from the ranch.  Everyone headed to the barn to help unload and get the horses settled in to their accommodations.    They were like kids returning to summer camp; anxious to greet old friends and make new ones.   You could feel the Wrangler’s eagerness to climb on the back of a horse and get going.  

Welcome Back

Welcome Back

Returning and new guest  will appreciate   the scenic drive along Gros Ventre Road as it overlooks Slide Lake on your right.  Continuing on you will cross over the Gros Ventre River and Crystal Creek.   The rugged road allows you time to take in the breathtaking countryside as your mind drifts back to the difficult life of the Mountain men who walked through this wilderness.  The slower pace prepares you for your time at the ranch to, at your choice, relax, participate in new activities, make new friends and create memories to last a lifetime.

Hey look, the gangs all here!

Hey look, the gangs all here!

 

 

 

The horses’ thoughts are more of

when do we get out to eat!

 

Romance on a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch

February 12th, 2013 by Amy

2011 Girl and honeymooners 349

With it being Valentine’s Day and all we thought it was a good time to talk about Romance on the Ranch.   Yes, a Guest Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming can be very romantic, in many ways…  Goosewing Ranch has been host to just a couple of very special weddings, but have embraced many honeymooners, and couples looking to escape and enjoy each others company in a very beautiful place.  We aren’t talking about the mushy stuff here, we are talking about experiencing new adventures together, horseback riding, wine tasting and relaxing by the pool and spa, treating yourselves to couples massage, dancing,  photography and more.

While at the ranch we encourage couples to get out and explore the area.  Whether on one of the Polaris rangers for a picnic lunch in the National Forest, or to either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks.  No matter where you explore  there are endless options when it come to photography.  This is a great way to make those special moments last,  we can also arrange for some spectacular couples photos, with a natural back drop that you must see to believe.

What could be more relaxing and romantic than spending a long weekend filled with exciting days and warm evenings cuddled up with your sweetie, and a glass of wine by the fire…  That is what you get with a romantic weekend at a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch.  BUT…Goosewing Ranch is more than just a great place for couples, it is also a great place to celebrate your true love with the entire family.  This is a great way to make lasting memories that all your loved ones will cherish for years to come.  With lots of daily and evening activities everyone is bound to be fully entertained.  This is a great way to get the family together to celebrate and anniversary or reunion.  We will even prepare your favorite cake for all to enjoy.

Try something different this year; do something that your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers will be jealous of… embrace your love in a beautiful area, filled with natural beauty and adventure.  We can provide all your meals, lodging, ranch adventures, and a romantic setting for any occasion.  Let us help make your dreams come true at Goosewing Ranch.

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Hats off…

January 23rd, 2013 by Amy

cowboy hat

The American cowboy hat, as we know it today, didn’t exist in the 1840′s.  Hats worn by those legendary mountain men were generally made of pelts; a few of wool for the hunters and trappers who ventured into town for supplies.  Moving west hats were generally a sign of a profession, or reflections of cultural practices.  Hardy men trailing cattle wore a variety of styles, shapes and materials to fashion their head gear.

The traditional Chilean horsemen wore what is called the Chupalla.  They were first made of a plant named the bromelia which locals called achupalla.  Now they are made of rice and wheat.  The Chupalla was also used for a traditional Chilean folk dance.  However, with the high cost of hats now a day, it is difficult to see any wage earning cowboy stomping this valuable accessory into the ground with dirty boots and spurs.

Today there is a well-respected cowboy and one of the original “horse whisperers” who is generally seen wearing a version of the Chupalla.  Buck Brannnaman has long been admired for his skill with a horse.  Perhaps Brannaman’s easy going mannerisms; laid back way with horses is symbolized perfectly by the phrase “por la chupalla” which loosely translates to “what the heck”.  Or perhaps he is a great Chilean dancer.

Around 1865 John B. Stetson traveled west in search of a drier climate for health reasons.  He was the son of a Philadelphia master hatter and learned his skills working with his father.   Although hatters were not well thought of in that time period, looked upon as lazy and unreliable, Stetson eventually proved that myth wrong.

During his journey west he demonstrated to his companions how he could create felt out of working fur and shaped it into a large brimmed hat.  Even though his friends made fun of his extreme design, Stetson liked the way it protected him from the elements, created a unique image and perhaps covered a bald spot.  The hat was later named, “The Boss of the Plains”.  Perhaps Hollywood’s Tom Mix carried on the daring fashion statement of the 10 gallon hat to woo audiences.

John B. Stetson changed the berated image of a hatter to become a successful, influential and respected business man.

In 1872 Montgomery Ward opened, offering store bought clothing to rural America.  At first only selling a wide brimmed hat called the “Men’s Panama Hat”; four years later they introduced the “Men’s Planter’s Hat”.  The rounded crown and smaller brim could be molded to adjust to the individual personality of the cowboy.  The smaller brim was also a better fit for the winds of the prairie.

In the 1920′s, millionaire E.R. Byer invested in hat maker Harry Rolnick.  His unique creations caught Byer’s eye and in 1927 Byer-Bolnick started their business in Dallas, TX.  Later they would create the Resistol hat line meaning resistant-all weather.

Now hats come in a wide range of styles and colors.  There is a style for everyone.  Some interesting ones say a lot about a person.

No matter what your style is, be comfortable and enjoy your cowboy experience.  Jackson Hole has a variety of outfitters that want you to be comfortable on your family vacation.  Look around and find the hat that says, “I’m having a great time here”.   And, if you forgot your hat for your Guest Ranch Vacation we have a variety of sizes at Goosewing Ranch to help protect every buckaroo!

Cowboy lore: never put your cowboy hat on your bed.  Also, don’t eat peanuts before a rodeo but that really doesn’t have anything to do with style, just thought it was interesting.

By: Janis Wright

 

Jackson Hole Antler Arches, an iconic symbol…

December 17th, 2012 by Amy

The Grand Tetons, the Mormon Barn, The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, and the Antler Arches on the town square downtown Jackson Hole are just a few of the most memorable and most photographed features of the valley.  As Jackson transformed from a mountain man town into a dude ranch town the antler arches grew in popularity with family travelers and locals alike.

There are four antler arches, one marking each corner of the town square.  Though there isn’t an exact date of when the first arch was built and placed on the town square, most sources cite 1960 as the year the first antler arch was added to the town square.  In 2007 they began to replace the arches, and auctioned off the old weathered ones.

Each arch contains about 10,000 pounds of elk antlers.  Don’t worry not one elk was harmed in the making of the arches.  Elk grow antlers that they shed annually.  Unlike horns that must be cut off and are hollow inside, antlers, fall off naturally and are solid.  Starting May 1 locals, tourist, and the local Boy Scout club hit the National Forests and Elk Refuge in search of the all the antler sheds.  Each year at the Old West Days the Boy Scouts put on an auction where they sell their antlers.  Others sell them to jewelers, furniture makers, private deals, dealers from overseas, or just keep them to enjoy in their own homes.

Next time you are in Jackson Hole Wyoming on vacation, make sure you stop by the town square and get your iconic picture in front of the JH Antler Arches.

Yellowstone, Tetons, Ranches and more…Jackson Hole

November 15th, 2012 by Amy

It’s that time of year again… the family is all together and it is time to decide on next year’s vacation destination.   It doesn’t matter if you are a young couple, mature couple, large family, or small the Jackson Hole area has something offer each diverse traveler.  Make this year’s vacation an adventure filled with new experiences, while exploring this educational and historic area.

Wyoming is home to our nation’s first National Park, Yellowstone National Park, founded in 1872.  However, Yellowstone is not the only park the neighbors Jackson Hole, there is also Grand Teton National Park.  Jackson not only has two historic and magnificent parks in its backyard, but is also home to many guest ranches and summer attractions.

Guest Ranches such as Goosewing Ranch are a great way to visit the area with the ease of an all-inclusive package.  While staying at a ranch you can enjoy many different activities from hiking, horseback riding, line dancing, spa treatments, rodeos, cookouts, off-roading, and more.  But, make sure you save some time to visit Jackson Hole for some shopping, rodeo, rafting and a quick history lesson, and then head into Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.  There are many outfitters that will guide you through the parks in all fashions, but if you are a do-it-yourself kind of person here are a few tips.  I would suggest leaving your accommodations early in the morning and hitting the trail.  You should allow for a full day or more in each park, 12+ hours.  If you only have one day I suggest driving the lower loop of Yellowstone.  You will see such features as Old Faithfull, boiling paint pots, hot springs and swimming holes, water falls, grand canyons, and hopefully some wildlife.  There are many different board walks taking you safely around various features of the park, and many have interruptive rangers on site to answer questions.  Remember obey all warning and safety postings and keep a vast distance between yourself and ALL wildlife.  Yellowstone might have park behind its name but that doesn’t mean it is safe to play or recreate anywhere.

Grand Teton National Park has much to offer as well.  This is a great area to enjoy the water or spend the day hiking.  Grand Teton has hiking trails suitable for those looking for an easy family picnic and hike to the more adventurous climber and backpacker.  Grand Teton has many great opportunities to view wildlife and is a photographer’s dream.

Jackson, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Wyoming all have a lot to offer a diverse group of travelers.  With a history, adventure, and science rich environment you will return home with more than a vacation, you will return home with an experience.  Visit Jackson Hole, experience the Wild West!

Jackson Hole Guest Ranch Bound…

November 7th, 2012 by Amy

Jackson Hole here I come!

I recently received an offer from Goosewing Ranch to join their team for the 2013 summer season.  It is a herd of horses, pack of dogs, flock of sheep but what do you call a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls-Wranglers, and wranglers are what we are!

It is my pre-conceived idea that Wranglers grew up riding horses, and dreaming of being a cowboy on a dude or cattle ranch.  Why would anyone want to do anything else?  However, life didn’t lead me down the road to the West, only in my thoughts.  Marriage, corporate life, and children temporarily changed my focus.  However, I always kept a horse and stayed active in a few events when the kids didn’t have something going on.

As the kids grew, I at least got to enjoy a Western life style.  They competed in youth, high school, college and pro rodeos.  Barrel racers, goats, breakaway and the boys rode bulls.   Kept putting them on horses but they liked riding bulls.  As a family we traveled and made wonderful, long-lasting friendships and memories.  But there was always a part of me that wanted to be the one on the horse, not the spectator, cheerleader, chauffeur or rodeo secretary.  When my daughter headed off to college she took my barrel horse to compete in college rodeo.  That was about twelve years ago and I’m still waiting to get the horse back!

Now, the kids are grown; independent, hard workers with families and careers of their own; spread all over the country.  For me, retirement is fast approaching.  To supplement my income I could work part-time in the office that is so familiar.  Then out of the blue, the idea to follow my own dreams, try to recapture fantasies of riding the range alongside people with the same interest.   So I took a leap of faith and started applying, Wrangler, cook, housekeeper, just give me a chance.  Goosewing Ranch is giving me that chance and I could not be more excited.  The opportunity to work at the ranch will fulfill a lot of my bucket list goals but it has given me a lot more to add.  Guest Ranches have opportunities to employee all types of individuals, old, young, experienced horseman/women, cooks, novice horseman and more, just apply and find the dream job you have been waiting for.  Jackson Hole is an area that is full of adventures just waiting to take place with both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the local area.

To my surprise/delight, I have actually had a couple of ranches contact me but none compare to Goosewing.  Reviewing videos, talking to the manager, looking at the history, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of this quality outfit.   Friendliness, caring and a genuine commitment to the guests, show in the comments from visitors and staff.   I look forward to sharing experiences, the beauty of the location, friendships and being a part of fulfilling not only my dreams but those of the guest.

Now the down side!  I’ve got to get in shape, lose some weight so I don’t look like I am scaling Everest getting on my horse.  Besides my daily job, I run a stable of 12 horses, which require attention before and after work.  So even though I am in pretty good shape, a little more preparation won’t hurt.  Read up on the history of the country, the native plants and wildlife.  Get my first aid and CPR certification.  Like I said, my bucket list just keeps growing with more challenging and exciting adventures.  Looking forward to my Wyoming Guest Ranch experience.

You can apply at http://goosewingranch.com/the-ranch/employment/ or email info@goosewingranch.com or call 1-888-733-5251.  Join the Goosewing Ranch team and ride for the brand!

Jay

Treat yourself to an All-Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation….

October 30th, 2012 by Amy

For many a Dude or Guest Ranch vacation seems like a good way to spend a lot of money for doing work instead of relaxing.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Yes, some Ranches are a bit pricy, but once you take into account that most are All- Inclusive than the sticker shock is greatly reduced.  Guest Ranch vacations have been a part of our history and our economical evolution since the 1880′s.  Guest Ranch vacations are a family friendly environment about Hats, Hospitality, Horses and more.  Try a new adventure this year and discover the the cowboy in you.

Like many cruises and beach resorts, Guest Ranches are a package deal with something for every traveler, and family member.  Why should Mom have to sacrifice doing what she enjoys because Dad wants adventure, and face it the boys don’t always enjoy having to follow their sister around all vacation either.  At Goosewing Ranch we have activities and adventures for everyone, from the single explorer to the diverse family reunion.  Let Mom enjoy reading a book by the pool or treating herself to a massage (included in a 7 night package), while the boys go fishing or exploring on the Polaris Ranger, and little Suzie goes on a horseback adventure with like minded young ladies.  Experiencing the Wild West together is also a great way to reunite a family or bond the vows during a honeymoon.

With an all-inclusive package you will receive lodging with modern accommodations and amenities, meals prepared by an expert culinary artist, entertainment and activities.  Guest Ranches have all the hospitality and charm that is expected of a Southern B&B, with the activities of a top notch resort, and service of a high end hotel, with scenery and views worth escaping the real world for.

Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming is a member of the Dude Ranchers Association ensuring an authentic ranch experience from start to finish.  We have a season fitting for singles, groups of friends, couples, families, or reunions.  Go ahead make your neighbor jealous and book your Guest Ranch adventure at the base of the Tetons and bordering Yellowstone National Park at Goosewing Ranch, in Jackson Wyoming.  Where you will enjoy everything from horseback riding through the mountains; fly fishing the streams and Gros Ventre River, to target shooting, archery, hiking, and more.

Just remember you get more than sand in your shorts with a Guest Ranch vacation, you will go home with lasting memories and experiences that the family will talk about for generations.

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