The Wilson family, origionally from Maryland, took a chance on Paradise in 2012. After doing several online searches and reading ranch reviews on Trip Advisor for the best family guest ranches, Paradise made the cut. Amy Wilson has been most gracious to share what she called "A really, really great family experience."
Abby, Amy Sarah, Doug and Daniel
Monday morning starts bright and early with the first ride. Each horse is individually selected and each saddle is adjust for each rider. A nice walk ride is a great orientation to riding horses and to the terrain. On the far right of the picture above Brandon Barnet, the wrangler, is checking in with the Wilsons. This is a great time to answer questions and make adjustments. Mean while, Doug has a great opportunity to snap a few pictures of the family. Throughout the week guests have the option of going on different rides, varrying in speed, time and difficulty. Occasionally, when there are sufficient wranglers, time and encouraging guests we take out special rides, such as my adventure ride and geocashing ride from last season.
Every guest is responsible for untacking and grooming their horse, with the assistance of the wranglers of course.
Nightly activities include dancing, singing and enjoying western cowboy music. In this picture, Ben Kennedy, wrangler, is teaching Abby how to swing dance like a pro.
The Kids prgram includes an all out mud slingin' good time just a short hour horse back ride away from the ranch. Abby and her new friends, are washing off in the creek. Arguably caked in the most mud, Daniel was named "Chief Wanna-Sling-A-Mudpie." Your kids might also find themselves chasing chickens, feeding cows, or even preparing skits for the Wednesday night talent show.
What's more exciting than heading out with a bunch of guys your age to go camping and exploring out of sight from the ranch? That's easy! A nice date with your husband, enjoying a finely prepared gourmet dinner, followed by live music played by the authentic western cowboy and musician, David Munsick.
Sarah lost her snaggletooth! Luckily enough the tooth fairy makes visits to the ranch.
A little father - son time at the fishing ponds. French Creek runs all the way through the ranch, seperating the barn and the cabins. Not only does it fill up the fishing ponds but also the water tanks. We have a sophisticated well and water filtration system, supplying the entire ranch with fresh mountain spring water. Darn the luck.
To give the horses some fresh air and freedom to roam the wranglers turn out the horses at various times during the week. It's very important to manage the grass, so each time we turn the horses out in a different location. Take a look at some of the turnout pictures on our Facebook page. In this picture all the girls waiting for turnout up ski slope. This is the best seat in the house to watch 90 horses race past you to the top of the hill. You have to be close to feel the rumble of hoof beats.
The Kid's Rodeo is a special afternoon in which all the young cowgirls and cowboys participate in a ranch rodeo hosted by none other than your very own wranglers. With clowns, audience games, and exhilarating wrangler competitions. Every Saturday night there is at least one story to tell. Hand Dandy and I took a turn with Sarah and her horse Shelby around the barrels.
You know your kid's enjoyed every minute when they fall asleep as soon as the plane takes off. I think we can call that a win for the family. As Leah Miller once told me, it sure beats standing in line at Disney World all week.
I'll leave you with one last picture of turnout to North pasture. As you can see Paradise is a one of a kind place to experience some very special moments.
A big thank you to the Wilson family for the pictures. I hope the memories you and yours made at the ranch will last until we see you again. Hurry back and come joing the FUN!
Leah Bright, Wrangler