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Tag: family reunions


Montana Holidays: Autumn Harvest

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To ranch in the Rocky Mountains is to be governed by the four seasons. As some of our favorite Montana holidays, like Thanksgiving, approach, we continue to celebrate a warm fall and extended harvest season. Hundreds of local farms and ranches have been bringing in their herds and crops, under the gun of hard frosts and snowstorms.

Built on the premise of using 90 percent local ingredients, The Ranch at Rock Creek kitchens can’t help but celebrate the overflow of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat that are available by the truckload from our most trusted suppliers.

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Meanwhile, we had another reason to celebrate. This fall, The Ranch marked the completion of its 5,500 sq. ft. Buckle Barn. In late October, we celebrated these two occasions with an Autumn Harvest Weekend and Buckle Barn Grand Opening, where we invited guests, local purveyors and staff to break in the new space with a feast and dance that would make its namesake rodeo cowboy Buckles Standinger proud. Read more…

Tag: family reunions


Experiential Travel: State of Play

The words “experiential travel” sound a lot more mature and serious than they need to be. The experience of traveling to The Ranch at Rock Creek should be an escape from normal routine. It should be at times exhilarating, relaxing and even a bit fantastical. It’s all fun and games.

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Children are naturally adept at play. However, it seems unreasonable that we should lose that talent during our working life, only to rediscover it during retirement. When Jim Manley bought The Ranch at Rock Creek and made it into the award-winning luxury guest ranch it is today, he had an eye on the indefinable western spark that encourages people to dream and play. He envisaged more than a traditional dude ranch that recreated the life of a working cowboy. He sought to redefine experiential travel by inspiring a state of play for every guest, child or adult.

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In fact, researchers seem to be suggesting that play is essential for adults, as well as children. NPR, Psychology Today, Scientific American and The Huffington Post have published stories about the importance of adult play. A researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Brown says,

“Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

Read more…

Tag: family reunions


Winter Travel: Luxury in Wild Montana

Winter travel to the secluded Montana wilderness and ranchland may sound more rugged than a trip to Aspen or Chamonix; however, the success of Disney’s Frozen, makes us wonder if more travelers want an unconventional winter holiday—bundled up and riding in a horse-drawn sleigh to a private winter hideaway. If you want to return to the feeling that powdery snow is much more than lift lines and crowded bars, then it’s time to raise your travel expectations and watch our winter travel video.


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Tag: family reunions


Event Barn Raising: Grand Opening

An Event Barn in Big Sky Country

Although the sky in Montana takes center stage, barns are an essential part of the western horizon. Barns dot the countryside in shades of weathered gray and red. Some have fallen into disrepair, but it isn’t uncommon to see an old barn preserved or turned into an event barn by new generations with a steadfast loyalty to preserving the past.

Often billed as “rustic,” a barn was actually the original rural luxury. It cost more than a home and stored a ranch’s wealth, in the form of livestock, equipment and feed. Barns were painted to seal them from the elements, but the use of red paint was primarily for effect, to showcase a family’s prosperity. It kept horses and cattle safe and warm, stored hay, often in an upper loft, and provided a large space for people to gather.

The New York Times recently published a story about an event barn and the rise of barn weddings, describing some celebrations as disruptive. In Montana, it is a resurgence, since the barn was always a place of safety and community celebration. In our remote setting, a barn is nestled far away from other homesteads. A Montana barn wedding can be as private or inclusive as the family desires.

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According to Chere Jiusto and Christine W. Brown, in Hand Raise: The Barns of Montana, “Barns are an emblem of the importance of rural communities and family enterprise. They remind us that with spirit and ingenuity we can live in balance with the land, that we can support our neighbors who work hard and long to bring food to our tables, and that we can celebrate the bounty of their efforts. Those much-loved barns are an essential part of our cultural landscape.” Read more…