momma loves the dude ranch

our friends Deanna and Rob got hitched.  she’s a cowgirl.  he’s an aspiring cowboy.  together, they make an awesome couple.

while i’m no pioneer woman, this was my frontier for the weekend.  and boy did my husband and i love it!

their wedding weekend was celebrated at the most magnificent Vista Verde Ranch, an all-inclusive, luxury dude ranch set in the mountains of Steamboat, Colorado.

Colorado is my favorite state.  they skies are rocky mountain blue 300+ days a year.  the air is crisp.  the people are wonderful.  the outdoors’ activities are unmatched.  skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, white water rafting, fishing, camping…and the list goes on and on….and on.

upon arrival at the Hayden airport, we were met by a ranch hand named Tom.  there he was…a 6’3″ cowboy.  he drove us to the ranch telling us all about the countryside as we wound up the mountain roads.

as we arrived at the ranch, we were greeted by two giant white great pyrenees dogs and horses were within arm’s reach all around the vast property.

Miles, another ranch hand, walked us to our private cabin.  i was taken aback by the serenity the ranch offered.  it was majestic with the snow all around, the horses quietly grazing in the pasture, the tiny cabins dotting the foothills.

horses outside our cabin

all i could hear were faint sounds of an owl hooting, and the snow crunching underfoot.  oh, and the big splash into a knee-deep puddle my husband dropped into… his non-waterproof boots.  doh!!

we walked into our cabin, named Dome.  it’s a very large two bedroom private cabin with two bathrooms, a kitchenette and room for 4 people to sleep very comfortably.  our bags were already waiting for us.  the fridge was stocked with special requests we called in ahead of time.

trundle beds at Vista Verde Ranch

the at&t cell phones didn’t work, and secretly, that elated me.

when was the last time you just put your phone down and left it behind?  1998?  yes, me, too.

however, Vista Verde provides impressively fast wireless.  REALLY?!  fast enough to upload all these high rez photos from the trip in just a few minutes.  my verizon wireless card couldn’t compete.  in fact, verizon doesn’t have a signal up here.

after joining all the wedding guests for a delicious dinner in the lodge, we all then headed to the indoor arena to meet some horses and start the horse shoe tournament!  what a great idea for the guests to mingle and catch up.  a competitive round of horse shoes.

MJ and her foal Bailey

husband and i practiced a bit.  our team name was ‘Just passing through.’  husband scouted the competition and claimed “We’ve got this in the bag!”  confidence.  i love it.

mingling over horse shoes. i noticed that real cowboys don't wear torn jeans.

we lost in the first round.  single elimination.

we were thrown off when we learned that our competitors have a horse shoe pit in their back yard.  ringers.  wow, that was an unintended pun.

we retired early.  the altitude (8,000 at the ranch), can get ‘ya!  the alti-toots will also get ya,  but that’s a whole different story!

we awoke to crystal blue rocky mountain skies.  joined everyone for breakfast at the lodge, then went tubing with the whole gang.

snowmobile ride to tubing run


that's me and my pink hat!

the ranch staff brought us all up on snowmobiles, and we tubed for 2 hours.  husband and  i tandem rode, catching more and more speed each time. our last ride ended with us launching 4 feet in the air over the berm.  last thing i remember was my pink hat flying into the air while i giggled uncontrollably from the launch.

the bride and groom tubing on their wedding day!

sipping hot chocolate around the snow fire pit. luxurious!

a fire pit that kept melting down into the snow.

lunch was delivered to our cabin.  others went cross country skiing or snowshoeing.  we took a jacuzzi and crashed…and listened to the horses whinny.

we didn’t bring the kids on this trip — our first weekend getaway without the boys in almost a year!  however, we’ll definitely bring the boys back for a week-long visit.  it’ll be a toss up between summer and winter.


tons of fun activities for kids of all ages

the summer offers fishing, hiking, horseback riding, dirt biking.  if you book in september, you can get in on the cattle herding action…that’s right.  real life City Slickers!  summer bookings are Sunday – Sunday.  fall and winter offer 3 night minimum stays.

everything is 5 star.  the food, the hospitality, the amenities, the activities.  top notch.

prepping for the wedding!

the great room is vast, with floor to ceiling windows. how cool is the huge chandelier!

we're looking forward to our next visit to Vista Verde Ranch!

who’s in?
About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. Gammaboots says

    Ok you two, bring Gammaboots you know you will need some help and I so think I could fit it into my schedule, Ha Ha this is my kind of vacation . Just the way life should be love it… And know that this weekend a special treat for you two….

  2. Peilin says

    ahhhh – i loved the photos.  and i wanted to know if the cowboy with the hole in his jeans was Mr. Pierce? thanks for sharing. if i could go for a visit, i would in a heartbeat!