Blog of an RTR Guest

By RTR guest Frances Hampson-Jones on March 29th, 2012

My name is Frances, and I have been lucky enough to visit RTR three times (2007/9/10), and I am very excited about my next visit in September this year. I am even more excited about 2016 when I am planning to bring my whole family to celebrate a BIG birthday. I won’t tell you which birthday, as a lady never talks about her age, but as I am planning on bringing my four daughters, their husbands/partners and children, you can tell it isn’t the big three oh!

I am planning to write about the build-up to my next holiday and to share with you some of what is involved in a trip to the place I call Heaven on Earth. If you haven’t guessed it already, I am probably RTR’s biggest fan (although I think there are a few of us around! )Anyway, I am probably the biggest fan on Facebook, as I visit and comment on a regular basis. Now, for someone who doesn’t ‘do’ Facebook, that’s a pretty big deal. Indeed, I have the sum total of 7 friends! That isn’t because I don’t have any friends, just that I choose to talk to the real thing, so I save Facebook for my family so I can see their photos and RTR so I can daydream. I work on my computer on a daily basis. I’m writing a thesis and it’s a long and lonely road and not always terribly exciting (statistics for example), so my main outlet is a quick look at the RTR Facebook page. I say to myself, ‘Come on Frances, do two hours work this morning and then you can have a look to see how beautiful Colorado is today’. And it usually works.

Today I am thinking about what I will need for my next holiday. Now I know it is 6 months away, but I like to be organised. I started with the RTR website and Jane’s list:

Since nights can get down around 40 degrees, you will need jeans, sweaters, sweat shirts, and a light to medium weight jacket. On the other extreme, days will normally be between 75 – 85 degrees so don’t forget your swimsuits, short sleeved shirts, shorts and tennis shoes.  You might like to know that we have a “fancy dinner” for adults during the week. Casual dress is fine, but if you’d like to show off some of your fancy Western clothes, you are more than welcome to do so. Short rain showers are common, so bring heavyweight raingear (lightweight raingear like ponchos can cause problems in windy conditions). We don’t let the rain stop our activities!

Other items that will be useful:  sunscreen, cowboy hat or baseball cap, chapstick and a canteen or water bottle. We stock these and other basic items such as candy bars, pop, t-shirts and a supply of fishing equipment.

I’ll start at the beginning. Jeans. And after experimenting a little, I think the best jeans are the Q-Baby Wrangler Ultimate riding jeans, approved by the American Quarter Horse Association no less. They are designed with women in mind. You can check them out at http://www.wrangler.com/store/WRG_WESTERN_STORE_US/en_US/style/wrq20.html.

The first time I needed some I sent for them from Sheplers, only to have to pay an absolute fortune in brokerage and customs duty when they arrived on my doorstep with the man from UPS! (If you haven’t already guessed from my spelling, I’m from the UK). The second time I got a pair I found a friendly American to bring them over in his suitcase – much cheaper. But just in case you can’t find a friendly American (in which case you have never been to RTR), I did discover that they sell these amazing jeans at The Big R in Alamosa, so you can pick some up on your way to the ranch if you’re coming in that way. As we aren’t coming through Alamosa this trip, I have ordered a pair from an e-bay seller in Texas who ships with the USPS, not UPS, and I’ll let you know how I get on .

So, that’s jeans dealt with. Unless of course, you can tell me of any more fantastic jeans out there? My very good RTR friend from Castle Rock tells me that she wouldn’t be seen dead in Wranglers! Apparently,  they are rather ‘non-u’. However, I am rather more interested in comfort than fashion – comes with being of ‘a certain age’ I think, so I’m quite happy to wear my Wranglers and let her laugh at me. She’s going to be there in September too, along with two or three other couples we have met on our various stays. We’re all getting together again. RTR is that kind of place.

Frances on favourite RTR horse Holliday

Frances on favourite RTR horse Holliday

Cowboy Boots