Randy and I just returned home from a week in Tucson where we attended the Dude Ranchers’ Association’s annual convention. It was held at the beautiful Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, and in attendance were owners and managers of guest ranches located west of the Mississippi and as far north as British Columbia. Over 50 ranches were represented as we attended sessions ranging from successful hiring techniques to making our facilities more energy efficient.
We drove 17 hours each way, and we left Latigo in a nearly blinding blizzard. The weather was practically perfect while we were there; warm and sunny during the day, but chilly enough in the evenings that we wanted jackets. Fortunately, that meant the rattlesnakes were in hibernation. We didn’t have enough free time to participate in any trail rides, but I did manage to sneak in a few great hikes with some good friends.
Half of one day was spent having lunch and touring the facilities at The White Stallion Ranch on the other side of Tucson. It’s a wonderful location and property. I am continually amazed with the unique nature of the ranches in the association; each ranch carries qualities that reflect the personalities of its owners and therefore provides a vacation for its guests that will be unlike anything offered by another ranch. For that reason, we don’t really view other ranchers as our competitors – just our peers and friends.