It’s officially July, and that means that summer is in full swing! How can it already be July?! That means that I’ve been here at the ranch for four weeks! Four weeks that have flown by so fast. Four weeks that have been filled with laughs, new adventures, and new friends.
As the office manager, most of my time is spent in lodge, but this week, I got to go out and experience one of the best activities we have to offer: pack camp. Since I had a few days off, I thought that it would be a nice change of scenery to ride up and experience pack camp for myself. So, I saddled up and hit the trail with Jess and a group of guests.
One thing people always ask when they meet me is if I grew up riding horses. Theirs faces always show surprise when I tell them that I don’t think I’ve ridden a horse in eight years! I believe its like riding a bike though. Even if you haven’t done it in a long time, it comes right back to you.
On this particular ride up to pack camp, we took the Hidden Meadow trail. We spent two hours riding uphill, downhill, through the meadow, and over creeks; the Aspen leaves shimmering in the breeze the entire time. Once we hit an open stretch on the road, we were able to lope. I had never loped before, and was a little nervous at first, but there is always a first time for everything! And wow, what an exhilarating feeling! My heart was racing and I couldn’t stop smiling the entire rest of the way.
Once we got to pack, we were met with cheesy nachos and delicious margaritas. (But be careful, the margaritas will sneak up on you if you don’t watch out!) Everyone sat around and talked and told stories. Once everyone seemed to settle down a bit, I broke out my guitar.
My dad taught me to play the guitar when I was about 10 years old, and I’ve been playing and singing ever since. It’s something that I’ve always loved to do, but I think that being out here in Colorado has inspired me to play even more. I think I’ve played more in the past four weeks than I have in the past four years!
So that night up at pack camp, under the crystal clear sky, and magnificent stars, we sat around the propane fire (since we are under a severe fire ban at the moment) and sang songs until everyone was too tired to keep their eyes open. Most people pulled their cots out and slept right there under the stars.
It’s moments like these that I’ve found myself pushed outside of my comfort zone. Black Mountain Ranch sure does have a way of prompting you to do things that you never thought you could do. Each week, guests find themselves attempting things that wouldn’t have dared to do at the beginning of the week. Loping a horse and playing for the group at pack camp were two things I had never dreamed of doing before, but now, I hope to be able to do it every week! If we don’t push ourselves, we limit ourselves to all the possibilities. Since arriving at Black Mountain Ranch, I can see the change within myself, just like we see it within everyone who gets to experience this amazing place.