Archive for the ‘Colorado Outdoor Activities’ Category

Cross-Country Ski Clinic at the 4UR

March 15th, 2016 by 4ur ranch

lone skier on groomed path in front of old fluorspar millWinter is already melting away  at the 4UR, here is a look back at a cross-country ski event, one of the many fun pastimes from early 2016!

On Sunday January 10th, The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) partnered with the San Juan Nordic Club held a Cross-Country Ski Clinic at the 4UR. They came out the day before the clinic to groom about a 1 1&2 mile ski trail around the barn and closest pastures.

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A Snowy Holiday Weekend at the 4UR Ranch!

December 17th, 2015 by 4ur ranch

Smiling Brady Gibbons takes young son on Colorado snowmobile adventure!

Brady Gibbons takes son on snowmobile adventure in Colorado

Thanksgiving brought us about 10 inches of fresh powder, and it just keeps coming! It has been a gorgeous holiday season and we’ve taken full advantage of it. Brady and Damon rigged up the snowmobile with 3 sledding tubes and pulled the 4 Gibbons’ kids around the hills, much to their delight. (The children enjoyed it too!)

Gibbons kids LOVE the snow!

The cross-country skiing has been sensational. Wildflower Mesa and Breakfast Ride have about 2 feet of snow along the trees and a gorgeous view out to Ute Peak. The trails we usually use for horseback riding and hiking are covered in a sparkling white blanket of snow. What a blast it is to cruise through the trees on a pair of skis.

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Season: Summer to Fall at the 4UR Ranch

September 24th, 2015 by 4ur ranch

guest ranch patio is lit by evening sun in foreground as parents wave to children passing by on hay wagon in background

Guests see children off from the new deck as they continue on to the last hayride and kid’s cookout of the season.

close up of top of a citronella candle with fire pit burning in background

The new patio features a large fire pit, great for enjoying an evening cocktail or early morning cup of coffee.

The 4UR Ranch has had an amazing summer season, and we’re all looking forward to a fantastic fall! As I write this blog, I can hear laughter through my open windows as the final week of our Children’s Program is winding down and the kids are enjoying their last “hurrahs” before heading back to school. The summer season has been busy, and it almost seems impossible that it could be  ending as quickly as it came upon us. It was a season packed with new experiences and friendships as many of our guests took advantage our  Hiking Program , and an evening cocktail on the new deck area located just off of Maude’s Bar (a favorite).

group sit on open deck with wine and blazing fire pit

Group of artists enjoy an evening sunset and cocktail before dinner.

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Hiking At the 4UR Ranch

July 20th, 2015 by 4ur ranch

foreground of flowery mesa with dark green mountains and blue sky in background

The 4UR Ranch has many exceptional programs to offer guests during their stay, but this year’s top of the list is our Hiking program. We have offered hikes to our guests on a request only basis in the past, but this year hiking has become another asset along with our horsemanship program, kid’s program and guided fishing experience. Guests are able to sign up for hikes throughout the week as soon as they check in, and have a multitude of trails available – from an easy paced hike up to Wildflower Mesa to a more advanced trek to Table Rock. The ranch has two hiking guides to take you on your journey, Jamie Smith and Amanda Gibbons.

male and female hiking guides stand with backpacks in front of a flowery hillside

Hiking Guides Jamie Smith and Amanda Gibbons

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RIGHT Photography Workshop at the 4UR Ranch

November 11th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Last month, the 4UR Ranch hosted a photography class sponsored by the  Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT). It was taught by Mike Blakeman, an accomplished photographer who has been donating his time and contributing his expertise to RIGHT for several years.

What is RiGHT?

RiGHT was founded in 1999. It is a non-profit organization that works with private landowners, public agencies, and other conservation organizations to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife habitat of the area and to promote a sustainable agricultural lifestyle. RiGHT’s goals are to protect and support working ranches and farms, water resources, wildlife habitat, scenic landscapes, and inspire a culture of conservation in the San Luis Valley.

The 4UR Ranch strongly supports the values of this organization and is just one of the many conservation easements held by RiGHT throughout the San Luis Valley.

The Photography Workshop

When we were approached to host this photography workshop, it was with much joy that we accepted. The workshop gave many budding (and seasoned) artists and photographers a chance to visit the 4UR Ranch and experience the natural fall beauty of the Goose Creek Valley. One of our own crew was able to join in on the workshop, and rediscovered an appreciation for the gorgeous landscape we work in every day.

man speaks to photography workshop and showcases sample photography

Accomplished Photographer Mike Blakeman instructs group before sending them out to shoot

woman with camera takes picture of creek on fly fishing guest ranch

A photographer looks for the perfect shot of Goose Creek

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4UR Garden Update

July 30th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

row of harvested vcarrots golden beets and striped beets

We wanted to give you an update on the progress of our 4UR garden!

Each day on my walk to the lodge, I walk past the garden and am amazed at the noticeable progression of the plants and herbs growing along the south side of the old bathhouse. Every morning, evening and many times throughout the day, I witness chef Wray Warner riding his bike from the lodge to the garden to make sure the temperature is right, soil is moist, plants are happy. (Yes, he has admitted that he talks to his tomatoes, and I can tell you, the encouragement has produced many little red gems!) This has truly become a project of love for our chef, and the fruit of the labor is incredibly tasty!

tomato plants reach to over five feet inside ranch greenhouse

tomatoes grow to great heights inside our greenhouse

a zucchini blossom in the 4UR garden, next to yellow squash

a zucchini blossom in the 4UR garden, next to yellow squash

a raised bed full of cauliflower, arugula, kale, chard, spinach, and many salad and micro greens

a raised bed full of cauliflower, arugula, kale, chard, spinach, and many salad and micro greens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hatch On the Stream

July 11th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

The summertime buzz around the 4UR Ranch has been the incredible hatch of various flies we are experiencing along Goose Creek and the Rio Grande River. To give you just a glimpse of the incredible fishing we have had due to these little guys, we’ll introduce you to a few that have been out in full force in late June/early July:

 

a salmonfly crawls up a willow branch on fly fishing guest ranchSalmonfly

It started in mid-June with the hatch of stonefly known as the Salmonfly. Western anglers love salmonflies because of their larger size – every fish in the river will go for this big source of protein. It is the biggest hatch, as far as the size of the bug, you will see all summer. Adults arrive at the onset of summer, when fishing is most pleasant. The Salmon nymphs hatch from the Rio Grande River and then fly up river to lay eggs. This year, many have found their way up Goose Creek, and have been seen as far as station ten.

green drake mayfly spreads its wings on a half bitten leaf

 

 

 

Green Drake

A type of mayfly, the Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata) is currently a bountiful hatch along Goose Creek. This hatch has the ability to lure huge piscivorous brown trout to eat insects at the water’s surface. It is said that the Green Drake hatch “is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women.” – Caucci and Nastasi from their book, Hatches II.

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Stephen Quiller Painting Workshops at the 4UR

May 28th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

We are very fortunate to have Stephen Quiller painting at the 4UR Ranch during two workshops this season!

close facial portrait of Stephen Quiller in a hat

 

Because . . .

Stephen Quiller is an award – winning, internationally recognized Master Watercolorist with an incredible gift for teaching.

And . . .

The 4UR Ranch is a living work of art, inviting the artist to capture its beauty with every turn of the head.

We think . . .

Together they are a perfect combination for a week – long Artist’s Workshop alongside Goose Creek under the Cottonwoods.

 

Every spring since 2012, we’ve been fortunate to host Stephen’s painting workshops at the 4UR. They have opened our season, just as the Aspens began to leaf out and the wildflowers began to bloom.

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Going GREENhouse – Garden to Table at the 4UR Ranch

May 6th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

colorado ranch greenhouse and raised bed garden Having a Greenhouse and garden is a much-loved pastime for many people. It is not just the bounty of the harvest that is pleasing, but the contact with the soil, the fresh air, and decompressing as you methodically pull weeds.

When you arrive at the 4UR Ranch this summer, you will see much activity around the south side of the old historic bathhouse. Last month, we built a greenhouse and raised beds to produce our own fruit, vegetables and herbs to be used in dishes prepared by our Executive Chef, Wray Warner.

Since Wray, his wife Sarah, and son Graham arrived last week, the flurry around the greenhouse has greatly increased. Wray has been busy tilling, planting, watering, covering and uncovering the fragile little plants that are starting to sprout. A lot of tender loving care is going into this garden. Part of the constant maintenance is due to the elevation of the Ranch, close to 8800 feet. Our growing season is short because of the late departure and early arrival of frost, and evening temperatures that can drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit in late spring and late summer. The sun and wind is very intense at this altitude, so the temperature in the greenhouse must be regulated several times throughout the day, to make sure it is not too hot, and the plants don’t become scorched and crispy! Despite the learning curve we face this year, expect a delicious, tasty, homegrown experience this summer!

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Revival of Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, Colorado

March 19th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Ice sculptures illuminated for Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, CO

Ice sculptures illuminated for Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, CO

Over the Valentine’s / President’s Day weekend, Creede resurrected an old festival with a new twist: Cabin Fever Daze. (Event Page)

A Valentine’s Dance at the Elk’s lodge started off the weekend, with music by the Rifters  (with special guest, Tish Hinojosa), and ended with local band, MoJones, playing at the Tommyknocker Tavern.

Creede Elks' Dance for Valentines Day 2014 - RiftersCreede Repertory Theatre presents Boomtown Improv ShowThe Creede Community Fund (CCF) teamed with the Creede Chamber of Commerce to put on the event. The idea was to draw in the crowds during a time of year that is usually slow for our little town. Creede businesses are still slowly recovering from the hit they took during the wildfires that burned last summer (West Fork & Papoose). Even though Creede was not evacuated like the 4UR Ranch was, Highway 149, the only road into town, was closed. Because there was no evacuation, there was also no federal or insurance relief for local businesses. Cabin Fever Daze is one of many future events the Chamber and the CCF intend to put on in order to help Creede come back and flourish.

Creating the 4UR's ice sculptureThe weekend was very successful. A few hundred people came to town, most families from the San Luis Valley. There was much to do through the whole weekend: Crafters had booths set up in the Creede Community Center, a Full Moon ski/snowshoe on Friday night, a snowmobile poker run, the First Annual Curling Tournament took place on the lower Creede pond, and free ice skate “rentals” were available for families to skate on the upper pond.

 

First Annual Creede Curling competitionLive Music - Mojones Band - at the Tommyknocker TavernKips Gril creates a huge snow sculptureIce cutters make blocks for the Creede Ice Sculpture Contest, as part of Cabin Fever DazeThe town businesses participated in a Hot Toddy contest. The general public bought tickets and tasted samples as they walked through historic downtown Creede, voting for their favorite drink.  Local artists (including Damon Gibbons from the 4UR) carved blocks of ice set up around town. Damon came in 3rd place for his sculpture, a 4UR “trophy” cauldron, which he set on fire for his finale on Sunday. At night, burning barrels illuminated street corners. The Creede Repertory Theatre opened on Saturday night for a packed performance of their improv show, Boomtown. Artist Stephen Quiller, who will be teaching two workshops at the 4UR this summer, opened his show “Beauty in the Burn.” The paintings are breathtaking, and his studio definitely worth a visit when stopping in Creede. Jennifer Inge  displayed her “CreedeHeart “ necklace for the weekend; and a preview of her upcoming jewelry line, “Out from the Ashes.” There were fireworks set off by Jenna Ford, a silent auction to raise money for the Creede Community Fund, and an all-church service set in the canyon uptown, surrounded by the beautiful cliffs of Creede.

4UR was present throughout, from ice sculpture, to a silent auction donation, and a general sponsor of the whole weekend’s event. We can truly say that we are “Creedehearts”, and feel very blessed to be near this wonderful, vibrant, and thriving community. If you have been curious to visit Creede in the winter, may we suggest coming to Cabin Fever Daze. You will be enchanted!

 

Horse-drawn carriage rides up and down Main Street, Creede

Horse-drawn carriage rides up and down Main Street, Creede

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