Archive for the ‘Community Outreach’ 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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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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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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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

4UR Hockey Team

February 28th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Pond_Hockey_Creede_2This January marked the 7th Annual Creede “Golden Pick” Tommyknocker Pond Hockey Tournament. From the very birth of this event, the 4UR has been present. Damon Gibbons remembers the winter of 2007, braving Wolf Creek Pass in the 4UR Duramax, to claim a vintage Zamboni that was donated to Creede by Durango’s Chapman Hill – a small in-town ski and skate facility . The Zamboni is one of the first made (Frank Zamboni & Sons serial #114). Chapman Hill had two newer Zamboni’s for their ice, and was using this one for local parades, hence the reason for the fire bolt painted down the sides. Still running strong, it is now used every winter to perfect the ice on the tournament ponds, located in the canyon north of Creede, across from the Community Center. In 2008, Local business owners Brian Brittain and Kip Nagy used their non-profit “Tommyknocker Tavern and Kip’s Grill for Creede Athletics” to host the first annual tournament, feeding the town’s ever-growing excitement for the sport. IMG_5388Local artist Jeff Henderson carved the “Creede Cup” (a wooden version of the Stanley Cup). Each year, the winning team’s name is engraved on a plaque attached to the Cup, which is displayed prominently in the Tommyknocker Tavern. Damon has played both Creede A and B leagues. Kiera Gibbons and Kate Brofft played together on the first all women’s team, the Hotel Hotties in 2009. It’s no wonder that during a friendly game of hockey behind the Gibbons’ house on Christmas day, Jay Smith and Damon decided to form (insert over excited announcer voice and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”) The First-Ever 4UR Pond Hockey Team! The weekend of the tournament arrived. Jay came down from Denver with two of his hockey buddies, Greg and Brad. They joined Damon, Kate and Tobe Brofft, along with last year’s summer staffers Shae Couch (wrangler) & Taryn Doud (waitstaff), to skate in the B league. Pond_Hockey_Creede_8 Sadly, they did not win the Creede Cup, but made great memories. Jay, who is a pond hockey veteran, said this is the most fun he has had on any team. You have not seen or heard the last of What the Puck. Look for us next year in the 2015 8th Annual “Golden Pick” Tommyknocker Pond Hockey Tournament!

Pond_Hockey_Creede_10 Pond_Hockey_Creede_9 Pond_Hockey_Creede_7 Pond_Hockey_Creede_6 Pond_Hockey_Creede_1 Pond_Hockey_Creede_1 (1)

Update on the West Fork Wildfires in Southwest Colorado

June 26th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Unfortunately, the 4UR Ranch had to be evacuated last week because of concerns over the approaching wildfires in our corner of beautiful Southern Colorado. At this point, the ranch and all residents (including those with four legs) are safe. We wanted to let all of you know about what has happened in the last week.

June 20 – A call came down from the Forest Service that we needed to evacuate the ranch. We asked our guests to gather their things and leave as soon as possible. We were able to get the horses to a neighboring pasture, and after gathering some things from the office and ranch housing, our staff made their way to the Christensen’s home in the San Luis Valley.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Aaron, Robin & Kathy, and the entire staff had an evacuation plan in place they were able to implement within two hours. 50 guests, 50 horses, 32 staff, seven vehicles loaded with art, archives, computers and sculptures along with three pigs, two goats, and five dogs are all safe. Kudos to our guests, our neighbors, and our friends for their offers of help.

June 21 – Highway 149 between South Fork and Creede closed at 9:00 a.m. South Fork has been evacuated. At this point, the ranch is just getting smoke and the staff and animals are all safe. We are thankful.

June 23 – The 4UR is unharmed. There was a meeting in South Fork at 10:00 a.m. and the highway was open this morning until 11:a.m. Report from the meeting: “Close to 70,000 acres burned. Weather will make [the fires] worse for the next 2 days. Smoke will be worse.”
Aaron and Chef Wray tried to go to the ranch for some supplies but were turned away. Predictions are that the fire will come out at Elk Creek. That is approx. 2-2 1/2 miles up the road from South Fork toward Creede.

June 24 -Kathy was allowed to go into the ranch with a deputy escort. At that time, there was no wind and everything was fine at the 4UR. A team of fireman were at the gate, preparing to go up to Humphrey’s ranch to secure it (the property above ours, where upper  Goose Creek flows from). Afterward, then they were going to move down to 4UR and keep an eye on things there. There has been some road traffic between South Fork & Creede. The Creede locals and merchants are keeping a stiff upper lip. One person said, “If we can make it in January, we can make it through a fire in June.” A sign on another store said, “We’re staying open!” And to show you the real mettle of Creede, Bingo is on tonight as usual.

Southwest Colorado Fire & 4UR Ranch FAQs

What if I have booked a trip to 4UR Ranch this summer?  ~  We are asking incoming guests to “sit tight” – we will be in touch with you soon. Expect a call from Robin to address your reservation.

What has happened to the horses and other livestock?  ~  All of our horses were moved within 2 hours to a pasture on the river half way through town. They are safe and enjoying their new and spacious pasture.

Who is protecting the ranch? How can I help?  ~  Some of the Creede Firemen protecting 4UR include Kathy’s husband and son, Jimmy and Casey. They are both fire fighters. Her son Cody is also helping, he is an EMT.  Karl Kolisch, husband of Francis, who provides fresh flowers for the ranch, is also on the line there, as well as Jessie Albright of the Rincon Realty family in town. We just can’t thank them enough, Kathy and Francis included, for the incredible job they’re doing. Many of you have asked if you could help support the efforts of our firefighters here in Creede. Donations may be sent to the following address and the funds will be distributed accordingly. The community thanks you for your concerns.

Mineral County Fire Protection District
PO Box 298
Creede, CO 81130

While We Wait for the Smoke to Clear…

Here are some pictures from the great kid’s week we had June 8-15.


Hay Rides

Hay Rides

Kids Rodeo Champs

Kids Rodeo Champs

Little Buck-a-roo

Little Buck-a-roo

Camp songs

Camp songs

Meet New Friends at our Colorado Dude Ranch

June 22nd, 2010 by 4ur admin

We’ve only been open for two weeks so far this summer, and already good times are being had by all! I have been watching the 4UR Ranch Facebook page to see what people have been saying about their dude ranch vacations. It seems that the beauty of Goose Creek and the Wagon Wheel Gap valley was an absolute delight for these families.

It has been fun to see people comment on their great family dude ranch experience at 4UR. We aim to please, and we aim high! So when we see families reaching out to each other after the trip, wanting to share photos, stories and plan to come together again next summer, it is like honey to the tongue. Fans of 4UR Guest Ranch have posted pictures and talked about their great fishing experiences. They have bragged about our guides (and who wouldn’t, really? You can’t find a better crew!) and the lovely trout they have caught. The light, the air and the riding are one of a kind here – don’t take our word for it, our high (very high) return guest rate speaks for itself.

Rio Grande Golf Club

May 28th, 2010 by 4ur admin

About 13 miles from our Colorado dude ranch is the renowned Rio Grande Golf Club. Take scenic roads weaving through the stunning Southern Colorado landscape to one of Colorado’s newest championship 18-hole courses. If a round on the green is your cup of tea, Rio Grande serves up an award winning combination of sandstone outcroppings, pine, aspen and cottonwood groves. The river flows nearby providing the perfect opportunity for a challenging shot over the Rio Grande. This puts you through the first nine holes. The back nine consists of dramatic views, gurgling Alder Creek and a mountain style nine that will any player is sure to enjoy.

During your Dude Ranch vacation at 4UR Ranch, we would be happy to help you book a tee time. However, you can also book here online: Rio Grande Golf Club Tee Times.

The Rio Grande Clubhouse

Creede CO Area Map

May 20th, 2010 by 4ur admin

Hello to all of you! We are really getting into the swing of things here. It is only a few more weeks until we start hosting Dude Ranch vacations in the lush valley of Goose Creek. In preparation for all the great new and returning guests, I thought it would be a good time to post a map with some of our favorite places to spend your time regionally, if you can manage to drag yourself off the guest ranch. We are looking forward to the summer, and hope you are too!

View Creede CO Points of Interest in a larger map

A Favorite Colorado Wine: Infinite Monkey Theorem

April 26th, 2010 by 4ur admin

We have something to look forward to – staff orientation is one month away. And if that is only a month away, than the good days of summer are just past that. I began to reminiscence about fun from the summer before at the guest ranch. Rides with friends and family – a wonderful chance for generations to spend time together.
Colorado wine
Of course there are all the lovely meals that we enjoy during a summer dude ranch vacation. Chef Wray Warner really spoils all of us! But what is a great dinner with friends and family without the option to have a delicious wine with the meal? That is where our friend Ben Parsons of the “Infinite Monkey Theorem” comes into the equation. He shared his delicious Colorado wines, and we were sold.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem is a “Urban Winery”, in Denver, encouraging you to judge the wine on it’s merits, and not a pastoral backdrop for sipping. I guess that’s why it tastes even better when you are drinking it in the Upper Rio Grande Valley, and the beauty of this valley!

Come enjoy a crisp Chardonnay, or a dark, concentrated Petit Verdot with us in the lodge, or on the porch watching the sunset. You will be enjoying the best of what the Colorado has to offer: Grapes from the Western Slope, the beauty of our Southern Colorado valley, and the clean, crisp waters of the Northern Rio Grande.