Last summer, Justin rescued a very skinny and remarkably ugly little gray mare named Jazzy.
Under his skillful watch, Jazzy blossomed into a fat and loving all-around children’s horse – a favorite!
In March, Jazzy started looking “funny.” You know, this big bulgy
tummy started sticking out. Not worms, not
melanoma, not too much beer. The obstetrical experts (Justin and Ellen) examined her to find…. a kick! ANOTHER kick! A BABY!
Little nameless filly was born April 12th. Then it snowed, and snowed and its still snowing! So the tractor shed was renovated into the mom and baby nursery, where they are both doing quite nicely, thank you!
Baby is now old enough that she will approach us and allow us to hold her head and pet and generally love on her.
Justin: Best Wishes on your New Dude Ranch Adventure!
Sad for us, a
Great and Joyful Adventure for You!
Although he told us: “I have a dream that when I grow up I will be the CEO of Wal-Mart or NASCAR,” it came as no surprise when Justin told us that he is buying his own dude ranch.
He’s a cowboy through and through, and it will be heart warming to watch his dreams grow and unfold.
On the secret staff Page, Justin introduced himself to his staff with these words:
Hello there my future minions… So Justin Ripley here (Believe It Or Not) I am your Barn Manager but I do anything and everything needed on the ranch. I have a dream that when I grow up I will be the CEO of Wal-Mart or NASCAR until then I am just playing..
I am from Indiana, a Vet Tech, horse trainer, and former Military. I needed a break from the real world so I moved to Colorado a few years ago to follow my childhood dream of working on a dude ranch for a summer. Ends up I refused to leave so I took over managing the ranch for awhile. Then I was off to AZ to play with the rattle snakes and cactus at another ranch. I would not recommend taking up Rattle Snake Charming anytime soon.
Dan and Ellen decided to rescue me from a horrible death from snake bite.. I have been at Sundance since Nov 2010 and have fallen under its spell.
And now the spell of his own place! Yee-haw! Here are his websites:
Justin is now working on fleshing out his Business Plan, Balance Sheets, PPM Offer and all that other fun stuff.
Not sure if Ellen’s “town job” gives us enough income to invest, but we sure do plan on being customers. We can’t wait for the opportunity to visit. Yes, dude ranchers tend to vacation at dude ranches! And summer in Montana is beautiful; both weeks!
Happy trails, Justin. We welcome you into the neighborhood of dude ranchers and wish you all the happiness in the world.
Come join us and relax over a long Holiday weekend. Let us cook and clean! A Christmas Eve Seven Course Dinner, a Family Style Christmas Dinner of Turkey carved at the table; a Champagne Breakfast on Boxing Day: family fun, including for mom!.
Some typical Morning Activities:
Trail Riding, maybe in the snow! With lessons available.
And available Afternoon Activities:
Trap and rifle shooting
Trail Riding, maybe in the snow!
Horse back riding lessons & coaching available
Make and decorate Holiday/Christmas cookies
Decorate the tree (help us find and bring home just the right tree)
Pool Table & Foosball Table
Evening Activities we are planning:
Square Dance (if we have sufficient number of guests)
Cowboy Christmas Music with Lars & Amy
Star-gazing with our family telescope
Evening soak in hot tub
Pool Table & Foosball Table
Hot chocolate & cookies
(Murder Mystery Possible!)
Wine, spirits and beer available at our liquor store.
Goodbye, Daphne Duck! Rest in Peace, High Park Fire. You are now just an Adventure Vacation chapter in our Colorado Dude Ranch History!
Joy and Gratitude!
So many folks have called or emailed – we are deeply moved by your friendship and concern. Thank You! Feel free to reply below.
The High Park fire is no longer news. More than half of the fire fighters (and TV vans) have all moved on to other parts of the state, with our prayers and gratitude.
The fire met the containment perimeter cut by fire fighters and stopped dead in its tracks, miles from here.
It stopped growing about three days ago.
And then a bit of rain cooled it off. Remaining fire fighters are mopping up.
Yesterday almost all of the evacuees went home.
Our ranch family is now smaller by five humans, five dogs, four cats, two horses, and a very awesome DUCK.
Gary, Carol, Jeanie, Penny & Ron, we are so glad to have gotten to know you better! You are no longer good neighbors, now you are dear dear friends.
For the dude ranch, very little changed.
Sundance Trail continued on with our guest ranch life, always watching closely and fully prepared with fuels mitigation, sprinkler and foam throwing systems (& a few miles of
hoses!), strengthening defensible space, staff training, evacuation plans, back-up vacations with neighbor ranches for guests, safe pasture for horses…. and, of course, groceries!
We have been preparing for this for more than 5 years, since long before the beetle kill adventure began.
Thanks Dave, for getting us started with those Colorado Forestry Service fuels mitigation grants so many years ago! And thanks to our friends and neighbors who were there for us; Dickie & Christine, Luann, Jim Beck, LeAndra, Patti & Dennis.
A HUGE big thanks to our Glacier View Fire Department and Greg and Andrea. You folks left your homes, livestock and businesses to lead the crews to protect our homes. We are grateful to you and will not soon forget your generosity and dedication.
Dude Ranch Vacation Events near the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch
Lots of great summer family adventure vacation opportunities coming up this summer. Here’s just four:
#1 Greeley Stampede June 22–July 4, 2012
Dust off your cowboy boots for one of Colorado’s largest summer festivals and rodeos. Dating back to the 1800s, Greeley’s Fourth of July celebration puts the “Yeehaw!” in Colorado’s western culture. Justin Moore, Credence Clearwater Revisited, Montgomery Gentry and Luke Bryan will headline this year’s Stampede.
#2 Colorado Brewers’ Festival June 23–24, 2012
If you’ve tasted a Colorado-brewed beer, then you know why Colorado Brewers’ Festival is wildly popular. 30 Colorado breweries, showcasing more than 60 cold and fresh handcrafted beers, fill Fort Collins’ historic downtown. Summer has never been more refreshing than at this beer-lover’s paradise.
#3 Cheyenne Frontier Days July 20-29
Cheyenne’s world-class rodeo is truly the Daddy of ’em All. Known for its fast pace and large number of contestants, the CFD rodeo ensures that visitors see more rodeo action (over 40 bulls and 70 saddle and bareback broncs daily) than they can see at any other rodeo. Every event is performed in each of the nine daily performances, so any day at Cheyenne Frontier Days is a good day to see an exciting, action-packed
#4 Larimer County Fair & Rodeo August 3 – 7th
The Ranch 5280 Arena Circle Loveland, CO Mary Starck, 5280 Arena Circle, Ste 100, Loveland, CO 80538 firstname.lastname@example.org (970) 619-4009 Aug. 3-5
Spring Trail Maintenance – Dude Ranch Work Vacation
By popular demand! A new get-away idea! May 13 to May 19
So, if you want to get away from
the telephone ringing,
the TV commercials every six minutes
And you think that celebrating spring might include
carrying buckets of dirt up steep climbs
setting fence posts and
a few hours of riding horses every day for a week?
May 13 is our spring trail maintenance week, and you are invited to join us!
We will have 12 – 15 new horses joining our herd, and they will need lots and lots of riding to get into shape for the summer.
Our trails will also need lots of attention (that is, lots of sweat and dirt!). Areas of erosion will be repaired, dead trees that may compromise safety will need to be removed, water bars built, and just maybe we will build a small barn.
Hard physical labor and
Lots of dirt.
No cell phones,
and very limited internet available.
A break from civilization!
If this sounds like fun, visit our Dude Ranch Specials Page or call the ranch (970-224-1222) for more details.
BTW, summer is booking now. If you are planning to join us this year, you might want to call soon!
–After successfully keeping momma black bear and her cubs out of the dumpster and the kitchen all summer, Sundance Trail Guest Ranch has been been completely overrun with bears… and mooses*!!
-Take home a bear as a memory of your ranch vacation! Or maybe a Christmas present from your family vacation. Looks like there’s a whole herd of the critters hiding in the gift shop, next to the Jackalopes, water bottles, disc golf Frisbies, and elegant Colorado hand carved bowls.
-Our neighbor, Rob, is a chainsaw artist, and he make some of the finest carvings we’ve ever seen!
-Our dude ranch has become a gallery of finished pieces!
-Rob’s work shows the demanding control and precision needed for this unlikely art form.
Big ones, little ones, some holding signs, some holding tables, some just sitting on a table top being cute.
Most of these are bears, but there are cubs and mooses* as well.
He takes custom orders for wood carvings of any kind; including bears, bear lamps, Eagles, Indians, Cowboys, Santas, pumpkins, …you name it!
Rob’s prices vary, depending on the size and difficulty of the piece, and whether any museums or fine arts galleries are bidding for the piece.
Generally, small bears & mooses*, about a foot tall, start at $35 or so.
If you have something special in mind, please feel free to email the ranch and Rob can give you a quote.
Also, Rob said he’s open to demonstrating his art here at the guest ranch if you have a group that would like to watch & learn more.