Goosewing Ranch

Jackson Hole, Wyoming Family Reunion at Goosewing Ranch

Planning a family reunion? A multi-generational trip to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will allow your family to disconnect from daily distractions and reconnect as a family, making memories together. Here’s how we can help you plan and pull off a family reunion

Sporting matching shirts and photo session are some of the ways to commemorate a Jackson Hole family reunion at Goosewing Ranch.

Family time has always been important, but getting together for an extended family vacation now is as important as ever. Families are living farther apart than ever before. Yes, we have the technology to stay connected, but is that really enough? It is no longer the era where cousins are spending entire summers together at the grandparents’ farm. Sometimes we are lucky to even get together during the holidays.

This is why multi-generational vacations are so needed. We need our children to know how fun it can be to play for endless hours with siblings and cousins making connections through experiences. Not to mention how cool and adventurous grandparents can be. Opportunities to grow as a family and create lasting memories through adventure, education, experiences, and time spent together are invaluable. A family reunion at Goosewing Ranch will allow your family to disconnect from daily distractions and reconnect as a family, making memories together.

Family Reunion at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

There are a few key points to consider when planning a family reunion. Here are a few that make this the best vacation and are actually quite easy to achieve. Making lasting impressions and memories is the end goal, but we want this to be great for the planner. We love hosting family reunions and have had a many great experiences bringing families together from all over the world.

Why Choose a Dude Ranch Reunion

A dude ranch is a destination that has something for everyone. From horseback riding to fly fishing and spa days to exploring days, there is something for all ages and abilities. We have a wide variety of activities that are great for all ages. For kids 6 and under, they can enjoy a nature walk, a UTV(utility terrain vehicle) ride, pony rides, finger painting the horses, wagon rides and Indian arts and crafts.

Little kids will love finger painting the horses during a family reunion at Goosewing Ranch in Wyoming.

For older kids, archery, target shooting, horseback riding, team penning, hatchet throwing, hiking, and UTV exploring are on the menu.

Older kids will have their hands full with archery, skeet shooting, and UTVs instead of cell phones and tablets while on a family reunion at Goosewing Ranch.

We are also able to organize a family photo shoot. This can be a group picture with matching tee shirts or cowboy hats, or a costume party for the holidays. Believe us when we say this will be a stress free holiday where everything is taken care of for you.

Trust your family with our family. Dude ranches were founded on the idea of bringing families together and opening our home to you so you can become a part of our extended family. These family excursions are important for child development and building of family relationships. If you have never experienced a dude ranch vacation, let us show you some true Western hospitality and help you plan your next adventure.

A hayride is a fun family activity on a Goosewing Ranch family reunion vacation.

Planning a Family Reunion

This can seem very daunting task. How am I going to schedule 10 – 30 people a vacation and ensure all will have something they will enjoy? The best part of planning an all-inclusive family reunion at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is that the planning ends when your vacation begins. Once you are on the ranch, everything will be taken care of for you. From meals and lodging to activities and equipment. Family members simply choose their activities for the day and the fun starts.

How We Can Help You Plan a Family Reunion

Choosing Dates

Once you have the list of family members who are interested in attending, you will need to have a list of the dates that they are available. Don’t forget that we are a small property and can book out 6 months to a year in advance. Something else to consider is the season you wish to visit. If you have young children (infant-15 years) we recommend visiting us in July or August. For more mature families you might be able to find great options in either June or September. Each season comes with different weather and activities. Also, consider how long you should stay to make the most of your time together.

Family reunions are wonderful ways to reunite and have travel adventures. A multi-generational trip to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will allow your family to disconnect from daily distractions and reconnect as a family. Here's how we can help you plan and pull off a family reunion and make memories to boot. #duderanch #familyreunion #JacksonHole #Wyoming #GoosewingRanch #multigenerational

Gathering Details

We are happy to send information via mail or email about what to expect, weather, activities, packing tips, food details, and more to all members of your family or for the planner to disperse. We feel the more information provided the better to ensure everyone’s expectations are met.

Choosing Accommodations

Depending on your group size, you might have the entire ranch to yourself or you might need just a few cabins. We are here for you to help arrange the best accommodations possible. What we will need would be: age, gender, and desired lodging accommodations for each immediate family.

We have eight private guest cabins and three larger 2-bedroom cabins for bigger families. For a totally different experience, we also have a dedicated glamping site with covered wagons.

Our 1 and 2 bedroom cabins at Goosewing Ranch can accommodate families of all sizes for a family reunion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Goosewing Ranch has one of a kind glamping site with covered wagons if your family would prefer these accommodations for a family reunion.

Other Helpful Information We Need and Suggest

Additional Information about Your Family

It is very important for us to know as much about each family member as possible. We are interested in know if there are any dietary restrictions, allergies, medical conditions, special needs/requests, horseback riding level/interest, other activity interest. Additionally, if there are any special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations, we’d love to know.  Finally, we can assist in arranging unique activities (National Park trips, photographer). All of these details will ensure that you are provided with True Western Hospitality and all your needs will be met.

Kids get involved in all aspects of ranch life during their family reunion vacation in Wyoming.

Go With Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend travel insurance to all our guests, but when you are dealing with multiple generations traveling together, we feel it is even more important. When making a reservation with us, you can opt into additional travel insurance that will cover all members of the traveling party and extended family member emergencies. It is always better to be prepared so you can be worry free.

Let us help you plan an extraordinary family reunion. We’d be honored and believe it will make for the most memorable family vacation ever.

The horses and the Gros Ventre Valley await for your family reunion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at Goosewing Ranch.

Why You Should Plan a Goosewing Ranch Vacation in June

Rejoice-summer is on the horizon! Our ranch doors will soon open, and we are excited to start a new season with guests that are soon to be part of the Goosewing family. June is considered our early season, so there are definite advantages to booking your ranch vacation in that month. Think wildlife, fewer crowds, and discounted rates. Learn more about the upside of a June dude ranch vacation in our Jackson Hole, Wyoming location.

Summertime is just around the bend, and that means…vacation time! Whether you’ve already booked a trip to Wyoming or are still in the planning stages, summer is a delightful time to visit Wyoming. Since our season at Goosewing Ranch begins on June 1, we thought we’d chat about the benefits to having a dude ranch vacation in June. Between the weather, the crowds, and the animals, June can be one of the best times to explore our corner of the world here in Jackson Hole.

Why You Should Plan a Goosewing Ranch Vacation in June

1. Price advantage

Rates for early summer travel are discounted off our peak season. Shoulder season runs June 1-16, followed by the Low Season rates from June 17-July 7. Both are more advantageous in pricing that our peak season. Our Summer 2018 Rates will be properly reflected on our website. Or feel free to call us at (307) 733-5251.

2. Great for Wildlife Viewing

June is quite an opportune time to see all kinds of wildlife as they get active from their winter slumbers. From bison to grizzy and black bears, moose, elk, mountain goats, foxes, and eagles, animal sightings are especially plentiful during the month of June.


Since the road to our ranch doesn’t officially open until June 1, the upside is that wildlife roam free and virtually undisturbed during this time. So the possible animal sightings are heightened. Between elk, moose, bears, they have all been spotted on our property during June. Although the tradeoff is a bit more unpredictability in terms of weather, the advantage is a season filled with wildlife. Antlers and sheds are also plentiful during this time.

Moose Jackson Hole wildlife

 

It’s also a time where animals are starting to have their babies, so you may even see those.

Photography buffs, June may be more ideal because the sun is not as strong as it is in July and August.

 

3. Fewer Crowds Than in Late Summer

Crowds in the national parks like Grand Teton and Yellowstone swell at the peak of summer. The National Park Service reports that from 2012-2017, the average number of visits to Yellowstone per summer months as follows:

Month Average # of Visits (2012-2017) % of Average Annual Visits
June 743,361 19.39%
July 922,018 24.04%
August 822,021 21.44%

 

So wildlife buffs, photography fans, and those craving fewer crowds in the national parks, come check us out in June!

 

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.

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

 

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.

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.

Celebrate Your National Parks with Goosewing Ranch!

morman barn and tetonsThis year, the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday, and to celebrate, fourth graders are being given free park passes for them and their families.

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest park in the United States. It was established in 1872 as an Act signed by President Grant. It wasn’t until August 25, 1916 that the National Park Service was created to protect and preserve our beautiful parks, and since 1916 over four hundred parks have been created. The NPS has grown tremendously over the years. They rely on 22,000 employees and 221,000 volunteers to maintain the parks—and no wonder they need so many people, as Yellowstone alone draws over 4 million visitors a year, usually between the months of May to September.

Goosewing Ranch makes an ideal location to stay while visiting the parks. Not only can you take advantage of the free park pass given to your fourth grader—visiting the parks with ease from our location—you can enjoy the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the beautiful, untouched wilderness that surrounds the ranch, as well. The UTVs available for guests are a fun way to get off the ranch and explore everything nature has to offer.

This is a historic year for the parks. By celebrating 100 years of service, the NPS campaign has shifted public focus to the future, and preserving National Parks for another 100 years to come. This will be a celebratory year to visit Jackson Hole.

For your child to receive his or her park pass, go to everykidinapark.gov. Passes are valid until August 31, 2016. This year’s third graders are eligible to receive their park pass starting in September 2016.

 

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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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!