February 11, 2017
Our gang snow shoeing along the Elk River near Vista Verde Guest Ranch
By EILEEN OGINTZ
VISTA VERDE GUEST RANCH, CO – (Day 2) — What a picture!
I’m sitting in the hot tub on the porch of our log cabin looking out at a herd of horses in the snow-covered meadow grazing on hay that had just been dropped for them.
Vacation days don’t often get better than this. After a hearty breakfast at Vista Verde Guest Ranch——think fluffy buttermilk pancakes, sausage, oatmeal and eggs all varieties—we head out together snowshoeing. We’re about 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs surrounded by the Routt National Forest.
There are six in our family on this leg of our trip to the snow ranging in age from 70 to early thirties. We hop in a ranch vehicle and drive a few miles where we snowshoe through the trees along the Elk River. Did I mention it is dumping snow? We have a guide with us who seems to know his way though there are no marked trails here.
Horseback outing in the snow at Vista Verde Guest Ranch
One of us falls in deep hole in the snow—but we all laugh. We’re glad to be together outside amid spectacular scenery. Rather than being concerned about the snow, and what it will do to our schedules, we’re reveling in it, making our own trails in the woods.
After a couple of hours, we return to the ranch in time for lunch that no one in the family had to prepare or shop for—today it’s three varieties of chili—spicy beef, vegetarian and my favorite, green chicken chili with all the fixings—onions, cheese, sour cream and even corn bread croutons. There’s a salad bar and mini cream puffs for desert. Yum!
We relax for an hour before we head out for the afternoon—one of us to Yoga, three for a trail ride in the snow, and my husband and I to try Nordic skiing in the back country. I’m excited to be learning a new sport, though I do fall a few times.
It’s snowing again—harder than this morning, in fact, but that just seems to make it more of an adventure as we look for a moose. We see her tracks and those of her calf but no moose as we ski around a big meadow and into the Aspens, again on National Forest Land.
Finn the resident pooch at Vista Verde Guest Ranch
By the time we get back to the ranch, I’m beat. All that fresh air! All that exercise!
I don’t even need to wait for the hot tub to warm up—it’s the perfect temperature.
Tonight, I’m told, there will be a wine pairing with each course at dinner.
It’s going to be hard to leave tomorrow.
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