As I leave Highway 40 and start climbing up a narrow, snow-covered mountain road I am happy no one is behind my car to see my wimpy driving. I think to myself that I would never make a good rancher’s wife. Or a rancher for that matter.
After what feels like a long seven miles I arrive at the gates of Latigo Ranch and breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve made it. I can’t get over the changes I see in the landscape over those seven miles – from the dry sagebrush that’s prevalent around Kremmling, Colorado to one full of relief with a mix of evergreen and aspen trees.
What I don’t know as I drive in to the main lodge is what’s in store for me as this is my first trip to a dude ranch in winter.
If you’ve ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink then you know how quickly we all form our first impressions. As I climb out of my car after several hours of concentrated driving I am warmly met by a smiling Lisa, one of the ranch owners. She gets me sorted out – telling me lunch is at 12:30 and offering a hand with my luggage. Then I’m left to my own devices for an hour to get settled in. I leave her thinking – already I Love The Feel Of This Place.
At lunch time I meet the only other guests at the ranch – a physician couple, Raym and Linda from Fort Collins that turn out to be very good company. At lunch we all meet Randy, Lisa’s husband and their son Spencer who is the main cook.