Snow has covered the Latigo lawn for weeks now, the pond has frozen over, and as of this morning the horse herd is safely ensconced in their winter pasture until mid-May. Spencer led the herd riding Concho while Hannah and Randy rode Crow and Stetson keeping potential stragglers and/or deviants close. Last year we had a bit of trouble with the new horses not knowing the routine, but they all complied this time. Nate had ridden the snowmobile down the road earlier to make sure gates were open and cattle guards were blocked with flagging, and Jim had driven the truck down Red Dirt Road and around to the Taussig’s pasture to make sure things were ready there and to give the riders and their gear a lift home. The seven mile trek took about an hour. We try to keep the pace slow to make it easier on the horses and because of the treacherous footing on any hard-pack snow and ice. However, the horses want to move out. Running seems more to their liking than trotting. The lead rider works to keep this from happening.
The off-season is quiet but busy. We have two building projects clamoring for our attention. One is a shop/storage building just below the Mountain View Lodge. The other is a steel shop building located in Doe Hollow. This is also the season for us to travel a bit, and we’re all trying to squeeze in visits to family before we begin hosting skiing guests beginning on December 19th. The week between Christmas and New Year’s boasts more guests here than we’ve seen in a number of winters – 18 at last count. It’s not a full week compared to summer standards, but considering that we don't hire staff other than family, we’ll be plenty busy.
As we enjoyed our small, family Thanksgiving dinner, we all expressed gratitude and thankfulness that we are privileged to live and work in this beautiful place. What a joy it is to serve others together as a family.