In light of Independence Day, we did a lot of celebrating of all the various freedoms we value every day here on the ranch. I guess you could say we celebrate those EVERY week, but it was nice to take a step back and really enjoy this beautiful country we live in—particularly our “little spot”. It dawned on us just how blessed we are. And perhaps the most valuable of these we love to share with all folks around the world, is the FREEDOM to just be a kid. Enjoying FREEDOM from the ordinary. And then throw in learning that there is great fun in sweet FREEDOM from electronics. And more than often, FREEDOM to just be a kid around here…. applies to all ages. We had some WONDERFUL FAMILIES here the week of the 4th and they definitely enjoyed loping the mountainsides and seeing some incredible countryside here in the West. We snagged a couple of pictures where we could throughout the week, but mostly we were so busy having such a great time! Then came Friday, the actual 4th, and we did it up Bar Lazy J style! Even the horses were feeling patriotic! After a full day of riding and breathing the clear mountain air, we rounded up the staff and guests for our kids’ awards ceremony before we headed out to the fireworks! These small mountain towns sure do a big showing when it comes to their holidays and while we waited for the light show to start, we enjoyed the live bands and great company! We didn’t have to wait too long though—in just a short time they were Firing Up the Cliffs—which is what they call the fireworks display here. Folks from all over come to watch them shoot a beautiful display off the bluffs that overlook the town. It was a great show! But that wasn’t the end to our Independence Day celebration. The following night the local rodeo geared up with some of the best cowboys and cowgirls around showing their stuff with a celebration of traditions of the real Old West. Of course what would a rodeo be without a little kid fun, too? The boot scramble was open to everyone and had several of our ranch kids scrambling to find their boots tossed all over the big arena and racing for the finish line. What a hoot! What a treat to once again get to see the Westernaires! They always put on a wonderful show and after seeing their performance, we’re thinking we could easily add several of these to the adult riding program. What do you guys think? You up for it?? And we loved to see them fly that flag! They don’t call this Flying Heels Arena for nothing! Our guests and staff truly enjoyed themselves! And what better way to finish off the night then with one more fireworks show? It was truly a week to remember with cherished old friends and wonderful brand new ones. We’re so excited about all of the families who re-booked for next year and can’t wait to see you all again!! We truly know what a gift this land is to all of us. We are often reminded as we sit taking in the incredible vistas and racing with the crisp mountain air in our faces, how fortunate we are to have it right out our back door. And sharing it every week—is an even greater gift. Because on the back of a great horse, laughing with great friends, and enjoying this beautiful country—is our definition of true FREEDOM. Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!