Archive for the ‘Cultural Events’ Category

Where does the 4UR Get its Ingredients?

September 15th, 2017 by 4ur ranch

Fresh Beets

Fresh Beets

         At the 4UR, something we take a great deal of pride in is our food and the ingredients that go into it. Chef Blake Bond has taken special attention in developing his menu, especially in regards to utilizing the resources in the local San Luis Valley. In the recent years our local farming community is experiencing a change, they’re getting

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Love at the 4UR

February 17th, 2016 by 4ur ranch

Over the years, the 4UR has witnessed several couples emerge from our summer staff. We know of seventeen couples who have married or are in a serious relationship, and we’re sure there are more that have missed our radar. One may look for employment at the 4UR for a fun summer experience, which oftentimes leads to meeting your best friends, and sometimes your true love. While we are not suggesting we are better than a dating service, here are a few the love stories which blossomed here at the 4UR:

Kyle and Kate Michaels

Kyle and I met on the 4UR Ranch during the summer of 2004, when he signed on as a ranch hand and I as a housekeeper. We both were looking for a summer that consisted of making new friends, hiking, working hard, and enjoying all of the incredible outdoor opportunities that the ranch has to offer. Little did we know, a friendship that started during Ping-Pong games, hikes, fence-building, meals in the EDR (employee dining room), bonfires and barn dances would develop into a love that would endure for 12 years (and counting). We were married in an open park overlooking station 10 on June 4th, 2007. We now have two amazing daughters, Ruby Mae (3) and Ella Jane (1 month). We feel so blessed to have found one another (who would of thought that a PNW girl from Oregon and a country boy from West Texas could make it work?!), and to call Creede our home. I work as a RN (Creede Family Practice) and Tobacco Prevention Coordinator (Mineral Co. Public Health), and Kyle is assisting with all of the exciting renovations at La Garita Ranch, across from the 4UR.

bride smiles as groom looks at herin the middle a black and white of two daughters on right happy couple with newborn

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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

Ice Cutting at Humphreys Ranch

February 10th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Last month, the 4UR family gathered with our neighbors: the Browns, Humphreys managers Joni and Casey Adelman and many Creede friends, to take part in Humphreys Ranch Annual Ice Cutting event. When we arrived, crews had already set to work, sawing away at the ice, hauling it to the stacking crew, followed closely behind by the snow gathering crew. Children ran in and out of cakes of ice, or screamed joyfully as they were pulled in sleds across the frozen lake.

Crew Cuts Ice at Humphreys Ranch in Creede, Colorado

Crew Cuts Ice at Humphreys Ranch in Creede, Colorado

Two-hundred-pound cakes of ice are stacked after being cut from Haypress Lake

Two-hundred-pound cakes of ice are stacked after being cut from Haypress Lake

One hundred eighty 20” x 20” cakes of ice, weighing about 200lbs each, were cut from Haypress Lake. Huge, toothy six-foot saws were used to cut the cakes, and large tongs were then applied to pull the ice from the water and to slide it over to the ice shed nearby. The cakes were then stacked and packed in snow, covered with a layer of sawdust at the very end. Joni and Casey Adelman provided delicious food, hot cocoa and coffee throughout the morning. When all the work was done, everyone enjoyed a wonderful lakeside lunch.

I spoke with Bill Dooley to find out the history of this event.  Bill just retired from Humphreys last year, on his 40th anniversary of managing the ranch. He has many fond memories of ice cutting over the years, one of his favorites being the winter of 1974. He was a new, strapping young manager, and he and Boots Brown decided they could handle the job themselves – it was only 180 cakes, right? Two weeks later, along with many sore muscles, they finally got the job done. Another winter Bill was bold enough to take the job on himself, taking a month to cut a few cakes a day and load them into the ice shed. It is VERY tiring work! You can get an idea why they have turned it into a party, calling “all hands on deck”.

Huge, toothy six-foot saws are used to cut large cakes of ice.

Huge, toothy six-foot saws are used to cut large cakes of ice.

So, why all the work? And what is all this ice for?

The ice was originally cut from Lake Humphreys. The lake was dammed in 1922, and that was the first winter they also put up their own ice. They used it for the iceboxes in their houses and in the lodge. (Yes, this was before the Frigidaire, and Freon!) They still have and use these iceboxes today, along with the modern refrigerator in the lodge and some of the houses. The ice is also put in the “Pop” house close to Lake Humphreys, where they store some perishables and drinks. The rest of the ice is used to keep fish caught off the lake cold, and to transport home after a fishing trip.

Humphreys is one of the few ranches that still harvests ice today. Not so far back in the not so long ago past, all ranches around Creede and in the San Luis Valley put up their own ice. Back in the day, everyone had iceboxes, which needed ice year-round, and the farming communities used the ice to keep produce cool on railroad cars headed to Denver and other destinations. Ice cutting also gave the community farmers and ranchers something to do in the winter. Many called it the “First Harvest” of the year.  Many local ranchers, farmers, and town folk would gather at Broadacres Ranch for ice harvesting.  The ice cakes were stacked up 3’ wide x 6’ tall on skids which were then loaded up on a buckboard truck and driven into town to the local gas station, the Six Gun Camp (now the site of the Creede Baptist Church).  All homes in Creede purchased their ice from the Six Gun.

Pulling ice blocks from the lake

Pulling ice blocks from the lake

Did you know . . . A bit of 4UR history:

• Walton Pond was dammed specifically for ice harvesting. You can still find the old ice shed foundation near the south side of the pond. The ice was harvested to ship cabbage and leafy vegetables that were grown on our neighbor’s land (the Gjellum’s) from the Wagon Wheel Gap Depot (today Davlin’s Wagon Wheel Gap Depot) to Denver.

• Retired manager Ed Wintz was the last person to harvest ice at the 4UR. By this time, ice was only being harvested for the ranch, and the ice was cut from the Hot Springs Reservoir. You pass this pond on the road up to “Breakfast Ride”, and the old ice shed still stands next to the pond as a reminder of our own rich history.

• Staff from the 4UR, along with Creede locals, returned to Humphreys earlier this month to harvest eighteen cakes of ice for the upcoming Cabin Fever Daze festival.  The ice will be sculpted by local artists and displayed along Main Street. Damon & Kiera Gibbons will be carving a sculpture for the 4UR.

Ice_Cutting_Humphreys_SimiHamiltonAnd we leave you with this other “fun fact”:

Q: Who is the boy hauling ice at Humphreys ranch, surrounded by Bill Dooley and Jimmy & Kathy Adelman in this picture?
A: This picture was taken a little over a decade ago. The boy is Ruthie Brown’s son, Simeon “Simi” Hamilton. Simi is now in Russia, a Nordic ski athlete competing in the Olympics for team USA.

(We also include a couple Mineral County Miner newspaper clippings Bill Dooley has held onto: one with the late Mrs. Ruth Brown hauling ice, and polar bear swimming – not too popular a sport, but it is not unknown that a few brave souls have taken the plunge after a morning of harvesting ice, Bill’s son Tad included.)

Ice_Cutting_Humphreys_Family_tradition  Ice_Cutting_Humphreys_old_tradition

Winter Wonderland at the Ranch – Sledding, holidays and more…

January 14th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Sledding at the Guest Ranch

Sledding at the Guest Ranch

Christmas is filled with magic, and living at the 4UR Ranch is a reminder of just that.  We wake up in the morning to a fresh blanket of snow, and a typical weekend for us who reside here unfolds. Playing in the snow – snowshoeing, sledding down the “Mine hill” by Soda Creek, cutting our Christmas trees, skiing at Wolf Creek Ski Resort, building a snowman, skating on the pond, and to finish things off, soaking in the soothing waters of the Soda Creek hot spring.

Pete and Lindsey Leavell came for Christmas with their family: Brian Leavell, Jay, Jenny, Audrey and Walker Smith. Their arrival is when the magic really sparked. There was feasting and singing, tree trimming and decorating, skating and skiing, snowshoeing, and best of all, sledding!

Sledding at the Guest Ranch

Kate and her pup take on “Mine Hill”

The Leavell’s have an “in” with Santa, and knew that the Christensens, Broffts, and Gibbons were all in need of sleds. By Christmas afternoon, we were all out on the Mine hill, gleefully screaming and beaming as we shot past each other. Kate Brofft’s ranch dog joined in, too!

We were able to catch Nemonie on video as she dared the mine hill, at just a year old!  We spent all afternoon on that hill, well past sunset, and slept well that night, with visions of sugar plum shaped sleds dancing in our heads.


We hope your Holiday Season was filled with as much joy as ours,
The 4UR Family

Double Decking Sledding at the Guest Ranch

Double Decking Sledding

FYI: The Leavells have been sledding down these hills for decades. The sleds they purchased are what they have tested to be the best by far. You can purchase one at LLBean:|sled-SR0&page=sonic-snow-tube-extra-large

. . . And speaking of joy . . .

A few of us rang in the New Year at the Tommyknocker Tavern, a favorite haunt of Creede locals and the 4UR Staff. There was live music, dancing, and 2014 started with the traditional Midnight Lantern Glow right outside of the Tommyknocker. The night sky was filled with these beautiful lights that could be seen from all over town. The lanterns were provided courtesy of  local “All Good Things” shop owner, Jenna Ford.

Wish Lanterns at Tommyknocker Tavern in Creede, CO

Sending off the New Year’s Eve Wish Lanterns from Tommyknocker Tavern in Creede, CO

Wish Lanterns at Tommyknocker Tavern in Creede, CO

Lighting the lantern

Wish Lanterns at Tommyknocker Tavern in Creede, CO

Make a wish…

Creede Repertory Theatre in 2012

April 28th, 2012 by Gail

2012 looks like it will be another fantastic season at the Creede Repertory Theatre.

Award Winning Creede Repertory Theatre

See "Is He Dead?" at the Creede Repertory Theatre this summer.

We’re looking forward to such shows as:

  • Drowsy Chaperone; an original musical about the desire to be entertained.
  • Mrs. Mannerly: enter the world of a ten year old boy studying manners.
  • Is He Dead?: a very funny farce.
  • Harry the Great: a romantic comedy about magicians and their egos.
  • Ghost Writer: A tale of inspiration, expiration, and vicarious love.
  • The Presidents!: 44 presidents in 45 minutes. Phew!
  • Boomtown Improv Comedy: unscripted and inspired by the audience.


Many guests of our Creede, Colorado Family Guest Ranch take in a show at the Creede Repertory Theatre while they’re here. It’s a fun addition to a Dude Ranch Vacation.

To learn more about the Creede Repertory Theatre’s upcoming schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit their website.

Creede Repertory Theatre 2011 Season

February 3rd, 2011 by 4ur admin

Our world famous local theatre has announced its 2011 Season. As always, The Creede Repertory Theatre has lined up great laughs, fantastic dance moves, and more than one mystery.

The 2011 Season opens with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a personal favorite since ambitious window washer Robert Morse used his ‘How to…’ manuel and his quirky charm to impress his boss and get the girl in 1961. This show is sure to delight guests of our Colorado Dude Ranch in early June, 2011.

The Creede Repertory Theatre.

The rest of the Creede Repertory Theatre 2011 Season is as follows:
Unnecessary Farce, by Paul Slade Smith
The Road to Mecca, by Athol Fugard
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
The Mystery of Irma Vep, by Charles Ludlam
The Bad Man, by Steven Cole Hughes
Boomtown: Improv Comedy at CRT

Read more about each show at The Creede Repertory Theatre.

The Creede Repertory Theatre has been producing top-notch theatre for nearly 50 years, and now draws audiences from all over the globe to our small town in the San Juan Mountains. We always encourage guests of our Family Dude Ranch to take in at least one show while here, and to date, we’ve heard nothing but kudos.

If you are planning to a Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation with us this summer, check out the Creede Repertory Theatre and consider reserving tickets soon.

Stephen Quiller Workshop at Colorado Vacation Ranch

January 5th, 2011 by 4ur admin

We are pleased to announce that we’ll open our 2011 season with a special workshop at our Family Vacation Ranch in Creede, Colorado. Local artist Stephen Quiller will lead the workshop Working Sketches to Finished Water Media Paintings the week of June 5 – 11, 2011.

Stephen Quiller is a gifted artist and teacher who has lived and worked in Creede for more than forty years. Participants will spend time painting both in the studio and outside in the glorious mountainous setting of our Colorado Guest Ranch. Working sketches created in the field will be brought back to the studio and used to develop large finished works.

When not working on art, participants will have time to enjoy the many amenities of our vacation ranch. Hike, horseback ride, bike, and fish your way through your free time. Play a round of golf at the Rio Grande Club, soak in our hot spring spa, or unwind with a massage. We’ll do all we can to make your stay enjoyable and unforgettable.

Please visit Quiller Gallery for more information on Stephen Quiller and to see examples of his work. Contact the ranch for more details or to sign up for the workshop with Stephen Quiller at our Colorado Vacation Ranch.

Creede Repertory Theatre

September 20th, 2010 by 4ur admin

The last week of the 2010 Season at our Family Dude Ranch is also the last week of the 2010 Season at the Creede Repertory Theatre.

Stephen Cole Hughes in The 39 Steps.

We feel so fortunate to have such an outstanding theatre company so close to our SW Colorado Guest Ranch. It makes it possible for our guests to spend a day out in nature and still catch a show in the evening. Given the remote locations of many guest ranches, we’re lucky our guests can fly fish or horseback ride by day and spend the night at the theatre.

It is possible to attend three different plays at the Creede Repertory Theatre this week. If you can’t decide, see them all.

The 39 Steps is based on the novel by John Buchan, the movie by Alfred Hitchcock, and an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Four actors take on 150 + characters in what the New York Times has called an “absurdly enjoyable” spoof. It runs the 21st and the 23rd at 7pm, and the 25th at 2pm.

This Day and Age, by Nagle Jackson, is a “smart comedy about family, independence, and 30 year-old adolescents returning to the nest”. It runs September 22 and 24 at 7pm.

Finally, The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, by Quincy Long, is “an existential odyssey worthy of the Coen Brothers”. It will bring tears of laughter to your eyes September 22 and 25 at 7pm.

For more information about the Creede Repertory Theatre, or to purchase tickets, please visit their website.