Can't do the entire write up here, but the food, the people, the amenities were talked about for a week after our visit up there. Can not recommend Tarryall RR more profusely. There were 11 of us, and we loved it. All 11. But then we had to leave. Bummer.
Want to know the full scope? Read below:
The son and his family came up from Texas for the week. The eldest daughter and grandson came down from Denver. The local daughter skipped over every other day and our grand daughter stayed with us for the most part. Thanksgiving Day was going to be a little different this year. More so than we thought.
The wife decided to do something different this year. Instead of slaving in the kitchen for several days, she looked up and booked a day at the Tarryall River Dude Ranch in Lake George, Colorado. We were supposed to leave at 0900 to get there for the ‘walk around’ that brought us up to the ‘Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner’ at 1230. While we were gone, the wife was going to put a turkey in the oven to slow cook while we were gone.
We got started late and the daughter from Denver got hung up in a traffic accident on the way down, and sat for over an hour behind a belching truck, and ended up almost passing out and puked all over herself. Since the traffic wasn’t going anywhere, she got out of the car and cleaned herself up and walked to the side of the road to get away from the truck in front of her. When traffic finally started moving, she got back in her car and proceeded on her way. Since she didn’t know the directions, and since we were fast approaching the phone cutoff area of the mountains, the youngest daughter read off the directions and then sent her an e-mail with the directions on it. We arrived at 1238 and the other people had sat down for dinner, so they waited for us for a whole 5 minutes. Not too bad. The daughter from Denver finally got there after we had already eaten and headed for the hay rides. They saved her food and she ate when she arrived.
The dinner was outstanding. Everything was good…even the gravy and stuffing. There was turkey (no logs), mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, green bean casserole, yams, cranberry sauce, etc. all home made. Fresh baked bread that almost melted in your mouth. Then there was coffee, water, lemonade, milk, and hot cocoa to wash it all down with. After dinner, the whole complex was open to us. Horse shoes, playground, petting the horses, etc. kept everyone busy until their turn at the 40 minute horse drawn hayride, three trips in all. The last one was in the shade as the sun was over the mountain and it got chilly I am told. I was on the second trip. The young lads that were the hired hands were as pleasant as one could ask for. The big workhorses calmly ate hay from the kid’s hands so they were happy as could be. The kids that is.….as they kept dropping most of the hay as the horses put their mouths by them. A couple games of horseshoes and a hike back up to the dining room for desert and all were about ready to go home. The pies that the owner’s daughter in law(?) made, were perfect. Cheesecakes (regular with cream on top, chocolate and pumpkin, and Chocolate alone), Pumpkin pies, one that I had to try was pumpkin with strudel topping (wonderful!). I don’t remember what other kind, but everyone had their fill and then some.
“The Dandurands” Photo by “Cody”.
We went to the cars and Jeannette said, I am almost on empty. So we figured to stop at one of the first gas stations that we came to and climbed inside, stated the car and departed. There were three vehicles, our own little caravan back to the Springs. Ma and Pa, and local daughter with two granddaughters in the front car, the Denver daughter in her car was next, then, the son from Texas in his van loaded with most of the kids and his wife. We bid the ranch adieu and headed back down the lane to the gravel road and then to the repaired blacktop with holes everywhere, and finally to the good black top and then to the highway.
We made good time and when we passed two gas stations, I told the wife, “You better stop and get gas!” “No”, she replied, “it cost too much here!” So we kept driving. Some day she will learn to listen to me…but not on this day. No, we did not run out of gas. We had enough to make it to Woodland Park, so we just drove in the dark mountains…and enjoyed the double lane highway with little and I mean little traffic.
We were about 5 miles from Woodland Park when I could just make out a deer crossing in front of us and Jeannette hit the brakes just as the deer passed in front of us. Then I could make out another deer face just barely and ‘thunk’, it hit us. It happened too instantaneously to even say anything to each other. I looked in the side view mirror and seen my daughter’s car lights veer into the left lane and figured that she had swerved to miss the deer we hit. As we came around a bend there was a lighted intersection with a stop light so I told her to pull over. She did, and I got out checking the car, as the other two in our caravan pulled up behind us. There are two stories here, but after rechecking everything that happened, we finally got the truth out. OK, we missed the first deer. The second one apparently tried to jump over us and we upended her. My daughter seen the deer with legs every which way and swerved to miss another deer that was crossing in front of her but ended up running over the same deer we had hit. Then the son comes along and missed the next several deer and he said he then saw a deer face too close to his side to do anything about it but grip the steering wheel and the deer ran head first into the side of his van. Fur was all over all three vehicles.
Next, a vehicle pulls up behind us and a guy gets out and asks if we were the ones that had hit the deer. We replied yes, and he asked if we were all ok and we replied yes. He said to wait there as he was going to go back and remove the deer from the road. He was gone about 10 minutes and came back. Is everything that I wrote here the truth? Yup, IAW Sgt. Blevins of the Teller County Sheriff’s Office who had just pulled out behind us in his POV from the substation that was alongside the road. He called it in on his phone and a local Deputy in his squad car came up with lights on to warn other vehicles to slow down. He said that he had seen the whole thing and made out his report.
The wife finally decided to stop in Woodland Park for a gas up. The others didn’t see us pull off, so they continued home. After gassing up, I called the others and said to take the turkey out when they got home and put it on the patio and air the house out. Guess what? They put it on the patio, but didn’t have to air out anything. The turkey was done perfectly.
Bottom line? Our car and my daughter’s car were fine. No damage at all. The sons van? Dents, all the way along the driver’s side, and his rear hub cap broken to smithereens…. No personal damage to anyone. Repair cost for the van?, $2200.00. Expensive meal? Maybe, but we may well go back up next year. We really enjoyed it.
The next day he called it in to his insurance company, and I taped a hand mirror glass to his rear view mirror as it was shattered and his window would not go up, so I removed the inner panel and popped the sheet metal and door handle out an inch or so to allow the window to go all the way up.
A complete checkup later revealed that he had a leak at a Y in his coolant lines. Getting to the Dodge dealership 40 minutes before they closed on Saturday did not make the son too happy. They were well aware of the problem and said they do a thriving business selling the same part. The Cost? $186.00 plus tax. Got to love them highway robbers. Got home and put it in, so he was good to go on Sunday AM. No leaks, and 9 hours later they were back in Wichita Falls. End of another holiday. But I don’t want any more like that.
Now to reduce one turkey into soup containers.
SUMMATION OF OLDEST DAUGHTER, as posted on Facebook: Amazing day, tragic night!! Spent the day with my family at a Dude Ranch in the mountains...beautiful day! On our way home, we were all driving down the mountain in 3 cars and my mom and dad hit a deer, then I hit a deer, then my brother got hit by a deer.... We are all fine...all of our cars have fur coats now and are ready for the snow...smh. I will mentally be traumatized forever... RIP Bambi and Family.... ='(
We stayed the day, not the night.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.