Howdy friends!! Well week one of Adults Only time here at the Bar Lazy J was an absolute BLAST and we always kick off the week by herding in the horses for the guests to meet. We love to watch their faces light up as our beautiful herd comes trotting past the front drive like they do every day and we can just see them imagining which one will be theirs. After a delicious sit down supper in the main lodge, we take them out to introduce them to their 4-legged partner for the week. We think the horses check out our new guests at the end of the drive every Sunday as well! Then it’s time to get settled in, get to know all your new neighbors better, and give hugs to the ones you’ve known for years who joined you back for the same week! Out in the horse pens, the horses are catching up with their buddies, too! And what’s a better way to kick off the week than a great big CHEESE PARTY?? Our dear guests and friends, Matt and Kelly, brought some delicious samplings of some of the finest cheeses Wisconsin has to offer. (This is not a photo of Matt and Kelly by the way. Let’s just be clear.) What a treat to share with everyone and what we REALLY love is that these guys fell in love with this area and bought land here several years ago to someday build their permanent home. We can’t WAIT for that! (However, they will need to import the cheese once they are not Wisconsin natives any longer….) And they aren’t the only ones who have fallen in love with Grand County and taken big steps to be closer to their Bar Lazy J ranch family. Angie has been coming for years and years as our guest with her family and now that her kids are mostly all grown, she too, bought a beautiful piece of property just down the road. Now that she has a second home in our neck of the woods, we look forward to seeing them much more often! So of course, we had to start her off with a proper house warming gift to welcome our new neighbor. Now don’t get all teary on us Angie—your story and all the fun is just beginning out here! We had a LOT of new guests our opening Adult Week as well and we fell in LOVE with all these wonderful new folks! They just lit up the ranch and we can’t wait to have many of them back next summer for our 2015 season. (Our horses can’t wait either…..we see you sneaking those carrots Stevie!) No kids here to ring the bell for meals, but we can usually find some “big kids” who are happy to oblige. Even a Bossman now and then! That week, there was another reason to celebrate, when Cory, our Ranch Hand, joined his fiancé Ashley at the altar to say their I Dos. It was a real cowboy wedding complete with horses, singing cowboys, groomsmen with pistols and of course—lots of BOOTS! And in case you didn’t know, Cory is the grandson of our western entertainer Jim who performs Tuesday nights here at the ranch. He’s an incredible singer and story teller and he and his wife raised Cory—and a fine job they did! You won’t find a nicer cowboy—and he’s one heck of a ranch hand as well! He sure knows his horses and we were so pleased to have him join our staff this summer. Our Activities Director, Tammy, designed and handmade their wedding cake and it was as delicious as it was beautiful! So congrats to both Cory and Ashley! You both did good and we were thrilled to join you on your special day! We had to leave one party for another though, because back at the ranch, another showdown was going down! Our Buckhorn Saloon was opening it’s doors to some of the fiercest, roughest cowboys and cowgirls in the west. I mean, can’t you just SEE the trouble written all over their faces? No weapons allowed ma’am! Only dealers can be armed. This little lady was enjoying our boot shot glasses. She’s a “boot half-full” kinda gal. Oh that’s Christina! Another one of our guests who made the move out to Colorado after their stay with us……see what happens?? When we tell you you’re gonna love it, we mean you’re gonna LOVE it! Life changing love it! Then things got a little rowdy. Some tongue twisting—an old west form of punishment that dates back to the early 1800s. Much worse than being being hung or dragged behind a horse, tongue twisting cause extreme pain in the sides….. …..from laughing. More of the very serious gambling going on at Buckhorn: Gambling this woman wants to be kissed. Gambling that no one is taking photos. And posting them on the internet. (Is this charades? We have so many guesses…..) Gambling your sister won’t tell everyone when you’re bluffing (cause you KNOW she knows!) Gambling your buddies won’t disown you when you get a little wild. Gambling you can stay up way past your bedtime because you just don’t want to miss all the fun. And gambling there is at least one (or ten) other people who are going to act as crazy as you are. That one—is usually a safe bet and one we’ll take every time! Of course, even the toughest of cowboys, eventually get tuckered out. But there’s a nice prize for the highest roller, so make sure you go all in on the last hand! Week 2 of our Adults Week kicked off with many new guests as well, including a great group of guys who came to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays! And what a fun, fun time we had with them here! And they had quite an incredible time as well from what they told us. Check out this MONSTER of a brown trout they caught on our stretch of Gold Medal fishing waters! It was at least 22 inches long and qualified him for a Colorado Master Angler Award for trophy fish caught in Colorado. And the best part? Our fisherman who took this fish was our least experienced fisherman of the group! So experience not necessarily necessary! In other news, this fisherwoman took the record bush-fish on her fly and qualified her for the Colorado Master UNTangler Award. Also highly coveted, as there are very few people who can actually practice enough patience to save both the string, fly AND not harm the bush-fish. We are so proud! (Sorry Christina—it was too, too perfect to resist. Love you!) On the trail! There’s the birthday boy! And more fish! We had LOT of fun dancing Wednesday night! We were fewer in numbers, but the laughs still filled the whole rec barn! Our instructor! Doing some work around the ranch! Our lilac bushes that line our front drive are at least 50 years old and needed a big cut back this year to keep them from taking over the drive. When these gals bloom in the Spring it’s one of our favorite weeks! The sight and smell of them is absolutely indescribable! A few more shots from the week! The colors were starting to change in the tips of the cottonwoods! We got some rain that week, but it barely slowed us down! Our head wrangler hard at work! And our owners too! One of the things that makes this place so special and unique, is how closely the owners of our ranch work with the staff and interact with the guests. It isn’t just our wranglers taking guests out to see the beautiful country and helping adjust stirrups and tighten cinches. These guys literally do it all, which is what makes them such great leaders. We didn’t get voted the #1 Best Ranch Hosts in the nation for nothing! It’s important to stretch. That means everyone! Our horses occupy a HUGE part of our hearts. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do, so we always remember to give our thanks and lots of extra love. And our guests love them, too. If we sold every horse every time we were asked….we’d be horseless! We made it back around to Buckhorn night and week #2 was as wild as week #1. What a group! And for entertainment, a few more of Cheri’s famous cowbell challenges and some rope tricks by one of our ranch kids! It got a little WESTERN—that’s for sure! We were delighted to have one of Cheri’s former athletes join us with his wife as well! Matt was one Cheri’s first swimmers back in her coaching days. It was fun for them to see her doing something she loves as much as coaching—just much different attire! Then Saturday night, our Hoedown Showdown Throw Down was uhhhh……possibly the funniest night in our ranch’s history. EPIC would describe it perfectly. Once again, we cannot reveal all the details of this new ranch evening activity we’re adding as a permanent part of the night time entertainment, but perhaps this should be counted as things that entertain us. Because quite frankly….it truly did. So there you have it folks. Our Adults Only Weeks on the ranch are a great way to relax, rejuvenate and connect with new and old friends. We love to see the friendships forged here that continue to last for decades after. As we head into our final blog of ranch guests here for our 2014 season, we hope you all know just how much we love having each of you as a part of this ranch and all the adventures each new week brings. No two are ever the same! The weather, the wildlife, the relationships of horse to rider and the guest friendships are always unique. But one thing that will never change, is the personal attention you’ll receive from our staff and the feeling like you’ve got a new home away from home. Can’t wait to see you all again! Your spot will be waiting!