There are few things more iconic in America then the cowboy. The Ranch defines the west where open land was settled and cattle roamed and were gathered at roundup time. In the modern era the cowboy is thought to be a thing of the past – but the culture is alive and well. At The Resort At Paws Up there may be a few more amenities (and a leisurely time schedule) but the active outdoors defines this stretch of Wyoming.
A ‘dude ranch’ vacation is a step away from the tech age and into a place where time goes at it’s own pace. If you haven’t experience a dude ranch vacation it’s a must-do for any bucket list. And for a wild west luxury experience that can’t be beat – visit Paws Up. Here there’s the option of staying indoors in your own private vacation home or camping like royalty in ‘glaming’ campgrounds. The ‘big sky’ greets you on sunny mornings and starry nights. Babbling brooks, towering pines, the same cliffs explored by Lewis & Clark, and 37,000 acres of nature made available for you and your fellow bucket-list seeking friends. Add to that a cattle drive where you learn an art that’s stayed more-or-less identical for the past hundred plus years and you’ll leave with a lifetime of memories.
Ever seen the City Slickers film? It’s a movie that the youngest generations might not know, with a release date in 1991, and the old type of special effects – none – but this film does a great job of explaining why a visit to the wilder parts of the west can do us city slickers some good. The Resort At Paws Up makes a point of being much tamer than the Dude Ranch from the film, don’t worry about having to face a stampede or handle the birth of a calf. What you can expect is a range where you can take in the nearly tangible peace or engage in mind-sharpening and verizon-widening activities like the cattle drive, archery, horse riding and more.
The Cattle Drive is led by Mike and his dog sis, who’s so swift at following commands that she seems nearly human herself. And we can’t forget Max, Mike’s faithful steer, who joins every outing like one of the family. The horses you ride are highly trained and respond to neck commands, leaving you one hand free to cast your ropes or high five your fellow cowboy trainees. Once your horse is saddled-up and you’re in place it’s an afternoon of gathering the cattle and trailing them to the working corrals, sorting them, then trailing them back to the home pasture. The Ranch at Paws Up is a working ranch with a couple of hundred head of black angus cattle and over three hundred head of elk, so when you’re out with Mike you’ll be experiencing the real thing.
Whether we recognize the impact of city life or not, taking a breather into the simpler (well…less digitalized) life is a must do upon occasion. While wifi is available and cell service is present, try putting it all away for a weekend and joining the expert guides at Paws Up. And there’s no shame in a little victory dance as you check off one more thing from the bucket list!