Giddyup! Circle K Guest Ranch, Colorado

by Marla on September 28, 2011 · 39 comments

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Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

This summer I decided that this cowgirl needed to get riding. I tossed on my cowboy boots and saddled up at the Circle K Guest & Dude Ranch in Delores, Colorado. Have y’all ever been to a dude ranch? The fresh air, horses and giggles are long lasting memories. The sky was blue and the high altitude inspiration…was inspiring. Here are some fun photos from my rollicking good time there……

Before you ride there are a few things you need to know.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Once you know those rules  you can ride. I have all of them memorized, especially number 2. I sure do love my Ma and Pa.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

A few days prior I went on a mushroom foray in Telluride. That was super fun too.

The drive from Telluride to Delores is about 45 minutes of breathtaking scenery. That there is Mount Wilson. It is the highest peak in the San Miguel mountain range which is a sub range of the San Juan’s. It is the iconic mountain range featured in the Coors Beer logo.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

What you don’t see is my cowboy hat because I forgot it. What you also don’t see is that I wore my mountain biking helmet when I rode my steed. Just in case I flipped off or something. I do have my boots though. I always wear my cowboy boots.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Check out this guy….. he has a big brand on his rear. Ouch.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

My horse was the white one. He let me take pictures of all the beautiful scenery. The San Juan Mountains are splendid! Have you ever been to the Colorado Rocky Mountains? You must someday. Especially if you love high altitude bliss as much as I do. Here’s what we saw on the trail ride….

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Here is one of our wranglers. He looks like a Colorado cowboy, but he is originally from Chicago.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Here’s another wrangler. She likes to use her hands when she tells us how to ride……

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

This is what you do if you wanna get some grub. You pony on up to the filling stain you see. You make friends with the sweet gals behind the screen. They’ll hook you up big time.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

You might be wondering what a cowgirl lunch looks like…..some go with a tried and true burger, bun and all the fix in’s – including a generous scoop of potato salad.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

I go with a giant mug of coffee.

All cowgirls need lots and lots of coffee. So do bloggers who love to work all the time. So does this mama of a 4 & 7 year old. All of that makes for compulsive coffee drinking.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

And a burger sans bun. All protein style.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

I spent just part of a day at the ranch. You can also rent cabins and do loads of activities from elk and wild game hunting to fly fishing. Being in the great outdoors is beyond great. So kick up your heels and stay a while.

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Giddyup!

Circle K Guest Ranch | Colorado Rocky Mountains | GREAT family travel | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Cowgirl and Cowboy Grub

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Apron of Grace September 28, 2011 at 6:39 am

Thank you so much Marla for the mention!

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2 HeatherChristo September 28, 2011 at 6:56 am

Great Pictures Marla! I was just saying to my husband last week that I would love to visist a Dude Ranch and learn how to ride. So fun!

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3 Brooke September 28, 2011 at 6:58 am

I have lived in CO all my life and have never done anything like this. It looks like a good time and maybe something we’ll have to try soon! :)

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4 Marla September 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

You gotta try it Brooke. I can’t wait to take my kids when they are bigger :)

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5 Brooke September 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

My daughter would love it! The horses and cowboys. lol

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6 Kristen September 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

Oh what fun, Marla! I’ve always wanted to go to a dude ranch. Maybe next summer!

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7 Marla September 28, 2011 at 8:56 am

Kristin, I think a group of us need to do something like this together. We would have a blast!

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8 Rosa September 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

Great landscape, homey food and a gorgeous ranch! Thanks for sharing and making me dream.

Cheers,

Rosa

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9 Molly Chester September 28, 2011 at 7:32 am

My kinda place! Looks amazing…

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10 jennifer @ peanut butter and peppers September 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

What fun! I have to say I’m afraid of horses. The first and only time I rode a horse was on the beach in Monterey, CA. Sounds romantic doesn’t it? When I tried to get on the horse, it started to kick it’s bag legs and started to freak out. The owner said it ws my fault because my foot touched his butt. He helped me on the horse and then I rode. But I was terrified, to terrified to enjoy the ride. I know so many people who horseback ride, maybe one day I’ll give it another try?

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11 Marla September 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Jennifer, it is really tricky. Once you have had a bad experience on a horse it can be really scary to ride again. Sorry to hear about what happened. That would freak anyone out! Yes, horses can be very sensitive when we least expect it. If we touch them wrong, that’s one thing. They can also trip….see a rattle snake or simply just get spooked. Unpredictable. Perhaps one day you can try it again with a much more serene experience :) I do hope so. It is such a freeing and fun experience.

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12 Lyn H September 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

Curious as to why the horses are muzzled like that. Is it to stop them from eating along the trail, to stop you from feeding them or to keep them from biting? lol

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13 Marla September 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Lyn….I think both of your reasons are correct. Weird looking when they have that muzzle though.

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14 susan September 28, 2011 at 9:55 am

so beautiful and looks like such fun!

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15 Esi September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

What a beautiful place!

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16 teresa September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

I hope you brought that Circle K mug home!
So cute!
This post is totally breathtaking ~ I just can’t take it all in!
My sister and I were chatting just yesterday about booking a dude ranch for us all! My niece and nephew are 12 & 15!
Don’t think I don’t notice how DISCIPLINED you are with your eating.
No bread~no taters!
I seriously need you to come and train me for a week!!!!
I wanna LIVE as disciplined as you with my eating Marla!
You are an inspiration!
And how bout’ that COWBOY!!!! Whoa Daddy!
There’s just NOTHING like a COWBOY!
I dated several in college…so I KNOW! ;)
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoox

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17 Marla September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Teresa, now I am kicking myself that I don’t have that mug in my possession. Bet I could have bought one huh! Perhaps I will have them ship me one. Want. Now.
For the most part very little bread or taters for this gal. All that stuff slows me down too much. When I do eat it, moderation is key. When I eat bread it is always whole grain. I prefer sweet potatoes to white ones. That said I am posting a recipe for taters on Friday that are some of the best I have ever had. Also one of the my most simple preparations. My kids can’t get enough potatoes & bread! Pasta too.
I am very disciplined in my eating & exercise. I would train you anytime :)
Cowboys….love ‘em. Yet another thing we have in common my pal :) xxoo

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18 Amanda September 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

So cool Marla! It looks like an amazing time!!!

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19 Angie September 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Yeeeeeeeee ha cowgirl! What fun! You can go anywhere and do anything and always be mindful of what you put into your body. I LOVE that cowboy!!!!
Beautiful photos, as always!

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20 Brooke @ Food Woolf September 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Git it!

What fun. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous trip!

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21 Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair September 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Love these ranch photos! Cowboys and cowgirls are always dreamy. Makes me want to get out to the west!

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22 Courtney September 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Looks like you had a wonderful time – beautiful pictures!

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23 Nancy@acommunaltable September 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Gorgeous scenery!! I love to ride although it’s been quite a few years since I was on horseback – but it something you don’t forget, right?????

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24 Marla September 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Nancy, you don’t forget at all. Hop to it girl!

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25 Katrina September 29, 2011 at 3:15 am

How fun is this!? Love this! I am a tad obsessed with horses. You are a lucky girl!

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26 Kimby September 29, 2011 at 4:10 am

I loved the Cowboy Ten Commandments and the fact that cowgirls need to drink LOTS of coffee. :) Sounded like a fun trip and such beautiful scenery.

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27 Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking September 29, 2011 at 5:56 am

That looks like a lot of fun, Marla. The scenery is so beautiful!

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28 Cajun Chef Ryan September 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

Yeah, this looks like a great way to enjoy yourself! I bicycled through Dolores, CO way back on a solo touring bike trip I took through New Mexico and Colorado back in the summer of 1983. I love that place!

Bon appetit!
=:~)

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29 Marla September 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

Ryan, your solo bike ride sounds like a total blast! That part of the country is so stunning. To think you rode through all those hills….quite the workout huh. At least there is plenty to look at along the way. I have never been to New Mexico but it is on my “must travel to” list.

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30 Carolyn September 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

Haven’t been to Circle K, but I HAVE been to Delores. My husband and I met at the archaeological center in Cortez, nearby. Fun to see all that scenery again in your photos!

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31 Louise September 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Marla,
How majestic! I’m from Colorado- vacation and honeymooned there. How fun this must have been for your family.

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32 Andrea DiGeronimo September 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Awesome!!! Love the travel pictures and details of what looks like an amazing vacation :-))

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33 Kitchen Belleicious September 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

There is a similar type ranch here in Texas that we have been wanting to go to and after reading this post I think we shall try it out! I love all the pictures and its so beautiful. Glad ya’ll had a great time

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34 Trish September 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

How fun! I think I’ll put this on my “stuff to do” list :)

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35 aida mollenkamp October 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Oh, a dude ranch! We used to go to one in Oregon when I was little and I absolutely adored it.

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36 lea October 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm

the scenery is so stunning, you can almost see how clear the air is!
… the combination of god-fearing and hunting scares off my little european mind, though… ;-)

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37 Kim Bee October 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

Great fun, cutie cowboy. We have our own horse but our scenery here is nothing like what you enjoyed. It’s all corn fields here and really flat. Would love to move somewhere where we could ride and see mountains. Glad you got back in the saddle. Looks like great fun and great food.

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38 jenjenk October 21, 2011 at 7:48 am

not to totally get off-topic but i love your boots. :)

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39 Sharon June 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Loved your blog! My family and I will be at Circle K Ranch next week! Really looking forward to it. Loved seeing your photos!

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