"" Writer's Wanderings: Ranch Vacations - Are You A Dude Or Guest?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ranch Vacations - Are You A Dude Or Guest?

In all our travels we have never considered a stay at a dude ranch. Perhaps it didn't cross our minds or make the bucket list mainly because we have no desire to get on a horse. The last time I did I thought I wouldn't be able to walk again. Of course that was after having climbed Mt. Fuji and I couldn't make it back to the bus on foot.

Even so, the time before that when I was coaxed into mounting a horse at the ranch in Uruguay where our World Cruise group had an event (Carol and Carolyn, if you read this--I still love you) it was not pretty. The mounting or the dismounting. I was pretty proud of myself for following through though.

No, a dude ranch wouldn't be for us but it might for you if you love horses, the outdoors, and all sorts of activities that center around a working ranch. The question I had was what was the difference between a dude and a guest. Turns out, not much.

The term dude usually referred to a guest who gets involved by doing chores around the ranch like rounding up livestock and such and the term guest referred to someone who likes to watch someone else do the work. I'm guessing that for insurance purposes most of the dude ranches are really guest ranches where there are lots of activities but they don't really involve hands-on ranch work.

In the research I did online I couldn't find a ranch that even listed roundups as part of the activity or even feeding the livestock. There were a few where you could get a little more up close and personal with supervision. I'm sure they exist. They just didn't pop up in my search box before I stopped looking.

There is an association of Dude Ranches however and if you are interested it would be a good place to start looking. It's called (drum roll) the Dude Ranch Association. They explain the types of activities to expect. I must admit that while the horseback riding does not appeal a lot of the other stuff did, especially the trout fishing.

So dudes and dudettes, as my husband would say, if you are looking for some wild western adventure or just some home on the range relaxation put some Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers music on your playlist and check out the ranches. Who knows you might even find one of Trigger's descendants there.

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