In the Company of Dude Ranchers
We just hung up our hats at home after attending the 91st annual meeting of the Dude Ranchers Association in Tucson Arizona. Imagine a whole banquet-room full of America’s kindest people, a legion of fiercely independent and honest souls who through hard work and sheer grit run the great ranches of the West and welcome guests to a way of life and rich American heritage that you always hoped still existed. It still does.
If you hadn’t noticed, a Renaissance of American guest ranches is underway judging by the DRA’s 100 members. Perhaps it is because we as a nation have never needed a digital detox and a real vacation more than right now.
And if you are looking for authentic experiences, you’ll find none better than right here on these ranches surrounded by open range and the safety of our own country. Out here there is a dude ranch ready to welcome you to some of the world’s most beautiful and jaw dropping locations right here at home, generally offering an all-inclusive price.
When you bring your family to a dude ranch, you’ll find a wealth of activities to participate in either individually or together. After dinner, you’ll turn in early every evening. Fresh air and wholesome fun has that effect on everyone.
Each ranch (and rancher) is unique in its own way, with home-grown traditions and style. All of them have horses to ride, trails to explore and a staff of characters you’ll enjoy getting to know from wranglers to housekeepers, to cooks and ranch hands–each provides genuine hospitality shared from the heart.
At the end of the conference, the DRA’s pioneering members, past presidents and Hall of Famers were warmly celebrated with standing ovations. An elder of the group, a cowboy poet took the podium to mark the end of the evening, reciting his poem about all the love he had for his ranch and ranching.
We left with a warm feeling knowing that the D.R.A. represents the very best of our country, and a hospitality force to be reckoned with. As new members of the group we now proudly ‘ride for the brand.’ Sure hope you’ll look us up and come rediscover today’s still Wild West. Bring your boots.
See you at the Campfire.
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