Deep Canyon Ranch. A place with an intricate history. A place where love grows in abundance and family is at the center of the focus. A place where people come and experience true beauty and peace in the deepest parts of their being. A place that I have come to call home for this summer season.
This family-run ranch is nestled in at the base of the Teton Pass, surrounded by peaks that are currently painted with white snow obscuring the boundary of where the mountain ends and the cloudy sky begins. The May weather seems to be holding nothing back in its desperate attempt to slow the preseason preparation for when the ranch will be bustling with guests. Little does the wind know that the cozy lodge, currently being warmed by a wood burning fire, is just as peaceful inside watching the trees dance in the wind and peaks being frosted with snow. A cup of coffee, the smell of lunch wafting its way from the kitchen, and a beautiful view out the front window by the fire is enough to bring any soul to rest. One must simply look past the little red, purple and yellow flowers dancing on the front porch as they courageously brave the wintery spring weather to see a view fit for a king. Surely if these tiny, well-dressed buds can survive winter’s final attempts to keep summer from coming, we can as well.
The guest season will be taking off in a couple weeks and with it, excitement and energy will be surging through the ranch. For now, the new staff is getting acquainted with the ins and outs of the ranch’s operations and gearing up for the full list of activities that will soon commence. The cabins are being prepped and the horses shod. The off-season stiffness is being worked out of the wood and life is returning to the grass and greens surrounding the ranch. The finches have returned to their arguing over which rung belongs to whom in the feeder and the hummingbirds have returned to their sweet little dancing around the sugar water. Even the pair of ravens have begun their routine of stealing leftover bread tossed in to the lawn and hiding it away in a neighboring pasture. These birds are another confirmation that the summer sun is not far. Yes, there are glints of summer amidst these snowy flurries and angry wind.
This preseason muck has allowed for something very special, however. It has allowed for quality time spent with the owners of this beautiful ranch and their incredible family. Chuck and Sharon Blixrud are two of the kindest most genuine folks I have ever come in contact with. Chuck has a presence of serenity and steadfastness unlike any man I have met. He has a quiet strength that is undeniable, and he truly and deeply cares about each person he meets. Chuck has worked incredibly hard his whole life and is without a doubt, the backbone to this ranch. It is impossible, however, to mention Chuck without his beautiful bride, Sharon. She is in every way his partner and other half. Sharon’s smile lights up the room in the instant she enters it. Her nurturing and giving soul is surely what has kept this ranch in business for all these years. I have truly never met two souls as special as they are. The experience at Deep Canyon Ranch would be more than worth it to simply have the honor of getting to know such beautiful people.
So to the snow that has in the time since beginning this blog become a curtain of white, hiding the tall mountain peaks out the window, I say, “do your worst!” It may be the last opportunity you have to send your coverings until after the guests have all returned to their homes at the end of the season. And I would even thank you for your moisture and cold temperatures, for it has given me the opportunity to soak in the fellowship from the people that call this place home, and to admire the scenery from a fire lit lodge.
And to you who are reading this, if you have never had the opportunity to experience Deep Canyon Ranch, I would say to you that you are truly missing out on an experience you will hold with you forever. The views, the riding, the food, the activities, and most of all, the people are all things you will never forget.