As with each of The Ranch’s seasonal celebrations, such as Thanksgiving and Midnight in Montana, our staff anticipated that this year’s Autumn Harvest Celebration would be a memorable gathering of friends and family. As always, guests would experience grand luxury, Western adventure and the finest Ranch cuisine.
And, for months, we were all excited to welcome special guest, Grammy Award-winning vocalist LeAnn Rimes, for she would be treating everyone to a live acoustic performance on Saturday night.
The long weekend weather report was stellar. Anglers would hook big trout under a canopy of golden leaves. We have been viewing all kinds of wildlife this fall, so horseback riders and mountain bikers would definitely have a good chance of spying a traveling herd of elk or deer.
Guests would unplug with Falling Leaf Yoga, a creekside hike followed by a yoga class in the open-air Blue Canteen. The Granite Spa would serve as a wellness escape, offering their Pumpkin Facial – one of many scrumptious seasonal treatments not to be missed this fall and coming winter.
The bounty of the season and the dedication to excellence by our local Montana farmers, brewers and distillers had inspired our culinary team to create three nights of remarkable dining experiences including a Montana Beer Dinner featuring Philipsburg Brewing Company craft beer and a post-concert afterglow barn dance with delicious Ranch epicurean delights and seasonal cocktails.
Indeed, we just knew it was going to be a splendid fall vacation weekend at The Ranch at Rock Creek.
But, what we didn’t anticipate – guests and Ranch staff alike – were the moments of wonderment.
This year’s Autumn Harvest Weekend Celebration was truly full of wonder. It was so very special. All of those things we knew would happen, actually did.
But, that wonderment. It was around every corner.
First and foremost, LeAnn’s performance was truly awe-inspiring. Her voice is a gift. It was every holiday of the year rolled into one. As fate would have it, her new Christmas album was released on Friday.
On Friday night, a guest asked LeAnn if she would sing one of his favorite country songs. It was a song, LeAnn noted, she had never sung before. Then, on Saturday evening, to the entire audience’s surprise, LeAnn explained that she had rehearsed the song that afternoon and she wanted to sing it for the celebration. We were her first audience to experience it. We bet she sings it again. (To get a sneak peek, go to our Instagram account).
Some other things happened too. The weekend became a sweet gathering of new friends from all parts of the world. Guests, visiting musicians and staff gathered for late-night sing-alongs around the campfire. Everyone had to see that picture of the 24-inch bull trout – the lead character in the weekend’s biggest fish tale. The talent and stamina of those barn dancers means we have no choice but to introduce a new hashtag: #ranchdancers.
When it came time to say their Ranch goodbyes, our guests shared that they could not find the words to describe the experience. We feel the same way. We are still singing while we work.
We want to thank all of our guests, including the beautiful and talented LeAnn Rimes and her lovely family and team, and our dedicated and passionate staff, for making this special weekend in the mountains of Montana happen.
Until next time – Happy Trails to you.