Posts Tagged ‘Gros Ventre Wilderness’

Survival of the Fittest

June 3rd, 2015 by Amy Worster


Gros Ventre Slide seen from Shadow Mtn.

On June 23, 1925, a landslide on Sheep Mountain dammed up the Gros Ventre River with a high tower of rocks and dirt. Lower Slide Lake was born in the following flooding, only six miles from the town of Kelly, Wyoming. Over the next two years, the lake filled in, and the nature-made dam held. But in May of 1927, just before a huge election between Kelly and Jackson, a portion of the dam broke. The town of Kelly—which was favored to win—suddenly found itself under six feet of water, at least temporarily, and Jackson “won by a landslide.”

When you drive by Slide Lake, the scar of earth is still apparent on the mountain; an ugly welt of naked dirt among a landscape of crisp green pines. At the edge of the road above the lake you can see the gravel and rocks that were pushed as far as they would go and then abandoned, broken and forgotten about. Long-dead trees stand in solidarity near the center of the lake, barren and eerie but still very much present. There were things interrupted here, and the land can’t forget it yet.

Coming to Goosewing Ranch, I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to fall in love with the area, but I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I dreamed of being so happy here that I would stay, and that has a lot to do with where my life is headed: straight into a tunnel of Unknown, where thinking of my future is exactly like being caught in a landslide. When I got here, it almost felt like this was life pushing the pause button. Work here… and then what?

There is a group of trees at the base of Sheep Mountain that were not always there. Their place of origin was at the top of the mountain. When the landslide happened, the trees went with it. But instead of dying, uprooted, they replanted themselves. And we’re not talking a few trees, but a square mile of them. They found a safe place and stuck with it. The trees you can see today are the same ones from 1925, and that says something about these trees’ commitment to existence.

That’s the thing about sliding down a mountainside, or flying across the country to live in a new place: it’s foreign, it’s terrifying, but it’s most definitely survivable. And maybe it’s better than where we started, even if we don’t know how long this haven is going to last.


This is Sara Massery’s first season at Goosewing Ranch, where she is the Office Assistant. She hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has just completed her B.A. in English Writing and Literature at Emmanuel College. She’s very excited for the summer ahead!

From our head wrangler, Kris…

June 1st, 2012 by Amy

Well another spring has arrived and life on the ranch is as exciting as ever. The tack room is cleaned, and ready for a fun filled summer of horseback adventures into the Wyoming back country. We have 62 head of horses on the ranch, with mostly familiar faces, but a few new ones to learn. The horses have all wintered well and are looking fit for our guests. It is always a happy reunion when the horses return, both for them and the wranglers. We all get a good laugh watching them wonder around the ranch showing the new horses the routine of their life on a guest ranch.
All of the horses have been ridden and taken out on different trails into the Gros Ventre wilderness and Bridger-Teton National Forest. The new Goosewing Ranch wranglers are as fun to watch as the new horses. They are in awe of the terrain and vistas surrounding the ranch and on the trails we ride. They all are excited to learn more about the area and the horses they will be caring for throughout the summer. Every day is a new adventure. They remind me of myself and the reasons why I started leading trail rides. With eight wranglers this year we will be able to provide excellent service and a variety of trail rides daily.
The wildlife has been abundant both on, and near the ranch and on the trail rides. We have spotted numerous herds of Elk, mule deer through the thin foliage, and watched as the antelope move back into the valley. We have also spotted wolves, badgers, grizzly bears, eagles, and a few moose. The horses have handled the wildlife spotting’s, new wranglers, and various trail conditions like old pros. One never knows what to expect in western Wyoming where we are part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
We are all looking forward to the vacation season starting in the Jackson Hole area, and can’t wait to entertain all of our guests by taking them on horseback adventures, touring Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and enjoying all the a resort ranch has to offer. The horses are “rearing to go”, the trails are drying out, and the wranglers are saddled up and waiting for all the different guests to arrive. We still have cabins available, so, it’s not too late to book your Dude ranch vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Come and enjoy our western hospitality!

A mordern spin on an old way of life in Jackson Wyoming…

April 17th, 2012 by Amy

Wow… I can’t believe that the winter season is over and it is about time to open up Goosewing Ranch for another wonderful summer, and I couldn’t be more excited.

We are gearing up for a terrific summer vacation season… With lots of returning staff and a successful autumn of completing projects, this summer might just be the best yet!  The 2012 staff members will start arriving around the first week of May and continue arriving until the beginning of June.  Throughout this month staff will be trained, and facilities will be cleaned and prepared for our first guests’ arrival on June 3.  This year’s returning staff members include: Eric, the ranch foreman, Kris and Katie, head wrangler and wrangler, Will, activities director, Angel, head chef, Charlotte and Katia, lodge and housekeeping departments, and myself.  I am also very excited about the new staff members that will be spending the summer with us; they are all very enthusiastic and well qualified.  We have hired a few extra staff members for this season to better serve and meet the needs of our guests.

Aside from being well staffed, we have many new amenities available that will suite a variety of travelers.  Just because you are taking a family vacation to Wyoming and will be spending a week at a guest ranch doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice comfort.  After a day of hiking through Grand Teton National Park, or touring the geysers of Yellowstone National Park we invite you to relax by our heated swimming pool, gaze at the star filled skies from the hot tub, or treat your muscles to time in the sauna and a massage from one of our professional therapists.  The ranch not only has a variety of ways to relax and pamper you, but we also have new ways of exploring the Brider-Teton National Forest or Gros Ventre Wilderness.  New for the 2012 season is the addition of 10 Polaris Rangers ranging in capacity from 2 – 6 seats.  Now each cabin will come with a Ranger for the convenience of our guests.  This is a great way to get out to different hiking trails, go fishing, or explore new areas without soring you butt in the saddle.  For the more adventurous types we are offering 2 and 3 day pack trips into the backcountry.  This is a true western experience with many opportunities to view wildlife and take in the vast vistas the surrounding mountain ranges have to offer.

From offering a full Spa to pack trips, and ATV rides Goosewing Ranch has something to offer any vacation traveler.  These are just a few of the new and exciting investments that the ranch is making.  Check out our website for more details or feel free to give us a call toll free at 1-888-733-5251 or 1-307-733-5251.  Don’t miss out on a vacation of a lifetime at Goosewing Ranch, call today for rates and availability.  We also are offering lots of specials mention this blog post and receive a free massage! Offer expires 4/24/2012.