Stella’s Eatons’ RanchWyo RodeoI think we all have moments in our lives where we dream about escaping our current life and moving to a place where nobody knows you and you can be free. I felt this way shortly after graduating art school. This is where my first personal journey began.
I spent some time shooting weddings, portraits, trying to find myself. It just never seemed to come together for me and in a desperate state I decided I needed a vacation. I wanted to go out west and figured, hey. Nobody lives out there it will be cheap and I can rent a little cabin for pennies! Well, I was very wrong. People live there, it isn’t cheap, and I could not afford a vacation. So, plan B. I decided to find work. I went to ranch websites and applied to a bunch of dude and cattle ranches as anything I could find. Cleaning cabins, working at the front desk, cooking, whatever they wanted I was it.
Finally, a ranch hired me and I was on my way to Wyoming! I knew noone, and it was perfect.
Things to do around Sheridan:
Go to King’s Ropes and get yourself a real lasso! I still use mine, it lasts forever if you aren’t actually roping cattle with it. I practice on a dummy and it’s great to bring me back to these happy days. They also have hats which you’ll see everyone wearing.
Visit during the Wyo Rodeo! It is in July and a ton of fun. You dance into the evening and all the bars are lively and packed with cowboys and cowgirls. It’s an amazing atmosphere and a ton of fun.
Go to Eatons’ Ranch! This is the oldest dude ranch in the country and still family owned. The owners are extremely involved and live on the ranch still! They do things traditional, with excellent service, if I do say so myself. The food is beef heavy but have no fear. I was vegetarian during my stay there and never went hungry. The chefs aim to always please!
If you’re there in May, Eatons’ Ranch drives their horses through town in the famous Echeta trip! Hundreds of horses walking through town with cowboys keeping them in line and safe. It’s an incredible sight to behold.
Drive to Billings! This is in Montana but only an hour or so trip away and it’s a beautiful drive. If you go, eat at Stella’s for an excellent meal.
You’re in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Go explore them! There are several popular mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking trails all over. Take U.S. 14 past Ranchester and Dayton to 14A for the Medicine Wheel passage, or continue on 14 to go higher up. I liked the high up drive but be cautious coming down! It is not what I would drive a large vehicle up. It is extremely steep so be aware when renting a car. Look for something with power to go up, and perhaps gears for coming down. I drove a large van and it was not pretty on the drive down!
See a polo match, they happen often in the summer and are nice for a lazy day.
There is lots to do and see. Enjoy!