Dude Ranch: The Ultimate Vacation for Kids and Parents!

Ask a kid and their parent about their idea of a perfect vacation and you will likely get two very different answers. While a parent’s idea of fun includes the chance to wind down, rest and recuperate, kids tend to want to do more, see more, and experience more. Why would you want to rest on a vacation, kids say! Packing the days with as much fun as possible equates to a fun summer vacation. Here’s why a dude ranch vacation at Goosewing Ranch meshes the two for a unique and satisfying experience for everyone in the family, parents and kids alike!

ultimate dude ranch vacation families-horse painting wows the kids

Where should we go on vacation? The question may get very different answers from everyone in the family. Kids typically want action, excitement, and adventure. But parents might have more leisure and relaxation in mind mixed in the with the hustle and bustle. Let Goosewing Ranch combine the two for the ultimate dude ranch vacation for kids and parents.

Dude Ranch Experience: The Ultimate Vacation for Kids and Parents

At Goosewing Ranch, the ultimate kids’ vacation is easy to achieve in the Jackson Hole area. Most importantly, kids and teenagers alike have the chance to experience some independence, roam free on the dude ranch and explore their deep sense of adventure.

ultimate dude ranch vacation families-trail riding and line dancing are just a few of the activities

Dude Ranch: A Hit with the Kids

Autonomy is important for anyone, and in today’s world it can be difficult to give your children these types of opportunities to taste that freedom. The ranch is safe and offers an environment where kids have a natural boundary to explore within. In addition, a wide range of activities and experiences keep kids of all ages entertained. This gives parents some much needed time to relax around the ranch. Like the pool and jacuzzi!

ultimate dude ranch vacation families Swimming Pool at Goosewing Ranch

Adventurous and artistic, athletic or active, there are activities designed to meet every kids personality. Scavenger hunts, geo-caching and track/scat identifying activities bring out the adventure. Arts and crafts activities include bracelet and dream catcher making, river rock and face painting, and even some horse painting.

There is target practice, roping, archery and hatchet throwing, and fire making. Wagon rides and horse feeding give kids a taste of ranch life and when its time to cool off, kids can float the river and swim in the pool.ultimate dude ranch vacation families-archery is a big hit with the kids

Dude Ranch: Activities Galore

And if that didn’t seem like enough, there is a Kids Town complete with foosball, ping pong, and shuffleboard. Kids can also use their imaginations to their hearts’ content in the playground and tepee. An evening kids cookout gives kids a chance to have fun together and learn about cooking. The children’s program operates from mid-June through the end of August. There are daily activities that last anywhere from 2-4 hours. Most activities are suited for kids over the age of six.

ultimate dude ranch vacation families teens and tweens love all the activities too

One more unique feature you won’t find in too many places is a teepee that can be reserved for family or kids nights. Sleeping under the stars in a teepee is something you and your kids will not soon forget.

ultimate dude ranch vacation families-tepee under the stars can be tent for the night

We hope you’ve got a keen sense that Goosewing Ranch has considered all the amenities your family desires. Parents, this is the ultimate vacation your family will talk about for years to come. Questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you every step of the way.

You Might Also Like:

Top Six Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

 

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch

The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s time to gear up and figure out what to give friends and family. Here’s our suggestion: give the gift of travel and book a stay at Goosewing Ranch for 2018! From trail rides, archery, flyfishing and skeet shooting, Goosewing Ranch has activities galore. Coupled with stellar food and a stunningly scenic setting, our dude ranch would make a terrific surprise this holiday season.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. The 60 horses at the ranch will be ready!

Tired of giving the same gift for the holidays? Or trying to find something for someone who has everything? Walking around aimlessly at the mall and feeling like you are moments away from a last minute, desperate purchase? We’ve been there too and agree that it’s no fun.

So here’s a novel idea: buy them something they will love, that gives back endlessly, and perhaps be something you can do with them. What is the answer to this gifting riddle? Why, it’s giving the gift of travel! Specifically, we suggest a present of a dude ranch vacation.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Ranch entrance welcomes your stay!

From the moment travelers set foot on Goosewing Ranch, they are met with a picturesque location, welcoming staff, and boundless activities to choose from.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Give the Gift of a Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch

Here’s why travel makes such a meaningful gift, why gift a dude ranch vacation, and how to make it happen!

Why We Value Experiences over Material Goods as Gifts

There’s even science behind it. Researchers at Cornell University found that experiences make us happier than material goods.

Here’s what they found: “People often think spending money on an experience is not as wise an investment as spending it on a material possession. They think the experience will come and go in a flash, and they’ll be left with little compared to owning an item. But in reality we remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. At the same time, we also enjoy the anticipation of having an experience more than the anticipation of owning a possession.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Experiences are also harder to be compared with something else because most times they are in the category of unique. It’s much easier to compare consumer goods than say a bobsledding adventure or a horseback excursion.

Finally, experiences will have the upper hand because they are more likely to be social. And at our core, most of us are social beings and we will remember that experience because it was shared with others.

What Better Gift for Travelers than a Dude Ranch Vacation?

So now that we’ve unpacked the why behind giving experiences, let’s talk about the why behind a dude ranch vacation. First and foremost, guests will encounter many settings and activities they have never experienced before. That in and of itself it quite thrilling!

One of the biggest draws at a dude ranch is horseback riding. No two trail rides with Goosewing Ranch are the same, and we assess all riders for their level of experience and carefully select horses for each guest for their stay.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Trail rides are the most popular activity!

Giddy up, partner! Trail rides for all ages and all skill levels are available at Goosewing Ranch.

One way we stand out is that every cabin has use of a Polaris UTV (utility terrain vehicle). We also offer fly fishing, archery, skeet shooting, cattle herding and pinning, target shooting, hatchet throwing, and tubing. Not to mention the special events like cookouts, s’mores by the fire, and hayrides. After a long day in the saddle, the pool, hot tub, and a massage are popular treats.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Horse painters.

Move over, Picasso! These budding artists have fun horse painting.

When staying at Goosewing Ranch, almost all amenities and activities are included. So the credit card can stay in the wallet and the vacation won’t follow you home for months afterwards! All-inclusive is a big plus for a dude ranch vacation at Goosewing.

So as you can see, a dude ranch vacation is customizable and unique for every guest. From kids to parents and grandkids, couples on their honeymoon or family reunions, Goosewing will prove the science behind giving experiences is true.

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Target shooting is fun for all ages.

Teens and tweens particularly like target shooting and other hand-eye coordination activities.

Giving the Gift of Travel

So now that you’ve decided on giving a dude ranch vacation, have fun with the delivery! Wrap up a travel guidebook or get a travel brochure and enclose your gift inside. The gift could be as simple as a letter explaining what you will pay for or an actual gift certificate, gift card or check.

We can assist you in making a booking or in letting your travel lover know about this special gift. Click the “Book Online/Get Quote” tab at the top of our website or give us a call at (307) 733-5251. 

Gift Ideas for Travelers: Dude Ranch Vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Trail ride down the mountain.

Top Six Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Dude ranches are one of the best vacation experiences around. From couples to families to groups, all who wander onto a dude ranch are in for an unbelievable vacation. The biggest dilemma may be which dude ranch to choose. If Wyoming is on the travel list, then consider Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Nestled in the Gros Ventre River Valley adjacent to the Grand Tetons, our dude/guest ranch is in a prime location to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Here are the Top 6 reasons to stay at Goosewing Ranch.

Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities Goosewing Ranch is a place to disconnect from your daily struggles and reconnect with what is really important: Family, friends, nature, and your inner self. Here at Goosewing Ranch, we combine the lifestyle of ranching in the Wyoming wilderness with many of the modern refinements that make your visit with us especially enjoyable.

At 7,400 feet, the valley is the host to some of North America’s most spectacular game: elk, moose, mountain sheep, antelope, bear, eagles, geese, cranes, and much more. The Gros Ventre River, home to native cutthroat trout, runs through the meadows of our historic ranch.Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities With many different package options, we can truly customize the perfect all-inclusive vacation option for you. From pack trips to nights in Jackson, let us help make this year’s vacation the best ever.

We invite you to come share this corner of North America’s wildest country just as it has been for over a hundred years – a working ranch reborn as an isolated retreat deep in the Gros Ventre River Valley. Here are the Top 6 reasons why Goosewing Ranch should be on your travel list.

Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, WyomingTop 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities

1. Access to Yellowstone National Park

2016 marked the National Park Service’s 100th Birthday! Stay at Goosewing Ranch and include a visit to our nation’s first National Park: Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is near Goosewing Ranch, and we can help you plan your self or guided tour of this historic and amazing National Park. From wildlife viewing to hiking around thermal features, there is much to see and do. Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities

2. Proximity to Grand Teton National Park

Let’s not forget about Grand Teton National Park. With many spectacular Grand Teton views from the Goosewing Ranch trails, you won’t have to leave your saddle to experience this mesmerizing mountain. I can already imagine your new profile picture…you on a horse with the Grand Tetons towering behind you.

Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities

3. Hello, Jackson Hole

Historic Jackson Hole is a great place to stay before or after your package with Goosewing Ranch. While in town, shopping, dining, and history surround you. Don’t forget about a white water rafting trip or a scenic float trip. There’s also the rodeo and the old west shoot out on the town square. We’ll take care of the planning so you can relax and enjoy your true Western Vacation.Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities

4. All-Inclusive and Exclusive

It is an exclusive and all-inclusive vacation. Goosewing Ranch is a small unique property that offers all-inclusive packages including lodging, meals, ranch seasonal activities, taxes and gratuity. Being all-inclusive makes planning and organizing your vacation much easier; just tell us what you want to do and we can arrange the details. You won’t have to make dinner reservations, plan daily activities, or think of things to do that will please everyone–we have you covered!

Goosewing Ranch has a wide variety of adventure based activities for all abilities and age ranges. From flyfishing, skeet shooting, trail rides, and archery, the possibilities are bountiful. And did we mention the Polaris UTVs to get around? These mean endless hours of exploring the surrounding Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities

5. Something for Everyone

Goosewing Ranch offers a chance to experience the Wild West and get a taste of it all. This is an ideal spot for multigenerational travel, family reunions, and special occasions. Being a small guest ranch means the focus can be on the guests and their needs. Whether kids or kids at heart, the ranch has a full list of activities sure to please both thrill seekers and chill seekers. We have a great package that offers a bit of everything: from a luxury night in Jackson Hole, a one night/two day spectacular pack trip, and three nights of rustic charm and all-inclusive activities at the ranch. Customize the vacation of your dreams.

6. Memory Making at Its Best

Make memories through adventure and experiences. Goosewing Ranch offers guests many opportunities to create life long memories and new family traditions through adventures. This is a place where you can disconnect from distractions and truly relax and recharge.Top 6 Reasons to Stay at Goosewing Ranch, a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming includes national parks, horses, and diverse activities Don’t fight the summer crowds escape to beautiful Goosewing Ranch. The Tetons are at our doorstep and nature surrounds us. Immerse yourself in fun and the freedom of multiple activities and make memories sure to last a lifetime.

Why Wyoming?

Wyoming tends to fly low on the radar when it comes to vacations. However, there are several gems that make this state stand out. In the northwestern corner lie Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park, which attract tourists in the summer and avid skiers and snowboarders in the winter. As a result of these famous spots, Jackson Hole has flourished.

Wyoming has a low population, clocking in at just over 580,000 people (as of 2014), but the national parks draw a big crowd to Jackson and the Greater Yellowstone area. Yellowstone alone entices about 4 million people per year; the heaviest concentration falls between May and September.

Just recently the Wyoming Office of Tourism launched a new slogan, “That’s WY.” Focused on bringing up tourism percentages, the slogan highlights all the beautiful, rugged, and wild things Wyoming has to offer.

Brian Ganther, the group creative director at BVK—the Milwaukee ad agency that created the campaign—says, “Wyoming takes Western culture and kicks it up a notch… You aren’t going there for an urban experience, although there is a growing amount of good food, music and culture.”

#GreatOutdoorsMonth #MountianBiking #Vedauwoo #ThatsWY

A photo posted by Wyoming Tourism (@visitwyoming) on

The hashtag has come alive on Twitter and Instagram, with a steady stream of pictures posted online that showcase the adventurous side of Wyoming. Whatever image comes into someone’s head about Wyoming, this new campaign is solidifying a positive perception.

Goosewing Ranch, located northeast of Jackson Hole, provides a perfect slice of Wyoming that is hard to replicate, and not often seen by visitors of the area.

Aside from being close to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the ranch sits on the Bridger Teton National Forest and is the perfect entry point into the Gros Ventre Wilderness. (True to its name, the wilderness has remained untouched by all motorized vehicles – accessible only by foot or horseback.)

So if you ask us why you should pick Wyoming, or why you should pick Jackson Hole as your vacation destination, just take a look at this piece of country that is still truly wild. Not many people get to experience our isolated paradise. That’s why.

Dude Ranch Family Reunion

2011 Tipi with Jeremy 111

Our ranch—with 11 cabins of varying sizes and maximum capacity of 35 people—is the perfect place for your family reunion. Whether your family is 4 people or 20, you will enjoy cabins that are within easy walking distance to visit your loved ones.

Goosewing Ranch is remote: an hour from the nearest town, with only one road in and out, nestled in the Gros Ventre River Valley. We are surrounded by natural, untouched beauty.

Our all-inclusive packages remove the stress from the family members trying to plan the reunion. The lodging is cozy and clean, we provide three delicious meals a day (plus snacks), and all ranch activities are included. We take the worrying out of your vacation—the only major decision your family has to make is which activities they want to do the next day.

Celebrate with Goosewing, where there’s something everyone can enjoy. Tour the area, with scenic views of the Tetons and other impressive landmarks; enjoy a family trail ride all together with knowledgeable wranglers; go explore the lakes and roads off the ranch in the UTVs provided at each cabin; try your hand at fly fishing, either taking a rod out on your own or taking a lesson on our stock pond; hone your aim and competitive nature (or simply have fun) with skeet shooting, archery, target shooting, and hatchet throwing.

We encourage guests to disconnect from their hectic lives and reconnect with each other. It’s easy to build memories that will last a lifetime when you can truly step away from your phone, tablet, and computer. Focus on the people who are most important in your life: your family.

Horseback Riding Vacations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the River sweet

Ever dream of being a cowboy or cowgirl, but couldn’t seem to swing it in the city (or suburbs) where you grew up? Here is your chance to test it out with an all-inclusive vacation to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! We feature three to seven nights deep in the beautiful Gros Ventre wilderness only accessible by horseback—just like in the old days.

How it works:
You will arrive on the ranch, check in, and then head down to the tack room to meet your horse for the week. Having your own horse lets you become comfortable with your mount and develop a bond that will have you saying “Remember Josh? He was a great horse,” for years to come.

DSCF2567

Josh posing for the camera with a teenage guest

From beginners to experienced, we have a horse for everyone. This wide variety ensures guests can enjoy all aspects of riding, both on the trails and in the arena, as well as feeling safe and secure with their horse partner. Plus, our kid horses take their job very seriously—the quintessential babysitter when a child is out on a ride.

Catch a glimpse of the impressive landscape surrounding the ranch on different length trail rides, and either return to the ranch for a hot lunch or eat a boxed lunch on the trail with unbeatable Wyoming views.

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the Meadows 3

For people wanting to spice up their trail rides and have the necessary riding experience to do so, we offer advanced rides. Get a chance to go on a loping ride or swim with your horse in the river! And if you don’t think you’re capable of loping or riding bareback, take a lesson from one of our experienced wranglers and work up to it.

Whether you’ve never been on a horse or were riding before you were walking, this horseback riding vacation is the perfect getaway if you want to experience the vast remoteness of the Jackson Hole Wyoming region from the saddle.

 

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

All Inclusive Family Vacation

_SRS2021As a general rule of thumb, parents have a lot of questions for us, even after they’ve made a reservation.

What will we be doing? How does a typical day go? Will there be enough good food?

It makes sense to me to want to question these things. On the parent’s end, they’ve been planning, planning, planning. What to pack, when to leave for the airport, flights, and rental cars… the list goes on. But once they arrive at Goosewing Ranch? What should they expect? How should they prepare?

At Goosewing Ranch, guests disconnect from their hectic lives to reconnect with each other. Our remote location lends a helping hand to parents whose teenagers (or spouses!) won’t put down their phones. We want our guests to create lasting memories with their families through experiences and adventures.

We are an all-inclusive guest ranch, designed with families in mind—and the “all-inclusive” part relieves stress in our guests. In our rates, you’re securing your lodging, three meals a day (plus snacks!), and all the on-ranch activities you want to do. This means your schedule could be packed, from trail riding to archery lessons or skeet shooting; or you could have a trail ride in the morning and take a packed lunch in a cooler on your UTV (utility task vehicle) and go picnic down the road at Soda Lake. Or, hey, it’s been a busy week – relax by the pool in the sun.

But perhaps the best part of this all-inclusive ranch vacation is that you won’t have to fight the crowds.  Goosewing Ranch is a small guest ranch with a max capacity of only 35 in-house guests.  This allows us to customize your family’s dude ranch vacation package to fit your family’s needs, and fulfill all your cowboy desires.

This isn’t a cookie cutter vacation; this is a memory making, tradition changing experience that has something different for everyone in your family to excel.  Moms beware, you will have time to relax and enjoy a massage while you let us handle all the details; and Dads, you should note that the fishing is exceptional and only a short walk from your cabin. With activities like hiking, UTV exploring, mountain biking, horseback riding, team penning, fly fishing, target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, archery, hatchet throwing, roping, pool, spa, sauna, and lots of other adventures to be had we will have something for your whole family to enjoy together!

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

The Whiskey Gentry meets Goosewing Ranch

The Whiskey Gentry

The Whiskey Gentry

Just over a month ago we had a very special band come visit us at the ranch. The Whiskey Gentry boasts an excellent collection of covers and original songs which they serenaded our guests with while they were here. It started with Jason, guitarist and overall band savant (on occasion referred to as “head honcho” if you will), and his arrival at Goosewing Ranch nearly two months prior. Then, he did not come as a rising superstar, but as one of two sons celebrating their father’s birthday.

Jason with his guitar and cowboy hat

Jason with his guitar and cowboy hat

It was easy to befriend Jason and Tim, as well as their enigmatic father, Bob. Soon enough, we learned of the Atlanta-based band, whose music shines a modern and edgy light on the blend of bluegrass and traditional country, and Jason’s casual mention that they would be in the Jackson area in a mere handful of weeks. Bob and his sons departed the ranch a few days later (not without style: never did I imagine my job would include banging on their cabin door at four thirty in the morning so they wouldn’t miss their shuttle to the airport), and three weeks passed before it occurred to me that The Whiskey Gentry should be passing through our area soon.

Price, quite happy about the double rainbow

Price, quite happy about the double rainbow

A few emails later, and we shook electronic hands that they’d come stay with us for two nights and give our guests some good entertainment. The ranch quivered with excitement; most of the staff recalled Jason and Tim with fondness, and knew the company he kept couldn’t be that bad. We were greeted with grins, and quickly introduced to the five strangers spilling out of the van after Jason; Lauren and Rurik, Price, Sammy, and Jeremy. Their energy was infectious, snaking through the ranch as they took it all in; it carried through to their performance.

Lauren and Jason

Lauren and Jason

We took them on a trail ride; besides being good musicians, they were funny, kind, and easy to get along with. They took goofy pictures and one brought home a souvenir: a baby elk leg we found along the trail next to some wolf prints. Overall, these were some pretty cool dudes, and you should check them out.

 

——

This post was written by Sara Massery, who is experiencing her first season at Goosewing Ranch,as the Office Assistant. She hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has just completed her B.A. in English Writing and Literature at Emmanuel College. She was looking for an adventure, and she found one.

Survival of the Fittest

gros_ventre_slide_large

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!

The Beginning of a Journey

sara at yellowstoneI graduated from college on May 9th, and six days later I was on a plane headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The time I spent in the airport—a total of about four hours across two layovers—didn’t feel real, and my impending adventure was suspended above my head. I had flown alone before to visit family, and this didn’t feel any different. When the plane touched down in Jackson—that was when it hit me: I was in for one unique summer. I walked off the ramp and almost stopped short.

Growing up in the western part of Massachusetts, I was used to the way the mountains encircled the town. We were in the foothills of the Appalachians, after all, and I liked their rounded tops and the way they protected my town from bad weather. These were different. These mountains were so sharp they could cut the sky if it got too close. Home, spring was in full bloom. Here, the air was crisp and light and there was still snow on the mountaintops.

On the day I arrived, the trees clung to the fog. The tops of the mountains were obscured by fat clouds that yearned to touch the ground. We passed Slide Lake and the Grey Hills, and around every corner I kept wondering, how close are we?

I know the distance of forty miles. On a highway, it would take less than forty-five minutes to drive. I thought the wilderness of the Gros Ventre River Valley and the Grand Teton National Park might be exaggerated, but nothing could have prepared me for the trek to Goosewing Ranch. The road passes the small town of Kelly and climbs upwards into the park. From there, it could be equated to a mild roller coaster ride. Sometimes you can see the road extend into the distance for a mile; other times you might question if it even continues after this hill; it is always winding and twisting. And my perception of forty miles changed—it took nearly an hour and a half to drive that distance here. Finally, there it was: the ranch spread out in front of us, as glorious (even in the rain) as the pictures that I had pored over during the previous months.

I wake up each morning excited for the day ahead, for the work we’re doing to make this ranch the best it can be for our guests. I am nearly bursting with excitement waiting for the guests to arrive, because they’ll make my new home come alive with activity. I’ve been here for almost a week, which is the same amount of time most of our guests will be here, and I know that’s not enough for me; I’m not done with this place yet. And I can bet you will feel the same.

 

——-

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!