Another great article from Travel Savvy News... Dress Me Once More in a Sombrero that Flaps – Spurs, Flannel Shirt, Slicker and Chaps – Out Where the Sagebrush is Dusty and Gray – Make me a Cowboy Again for a Day – /What is it that attracts so many of us to the allure of the West? Is it the cowboys, horses, cattle, wide-open spaces or just good old Western Hospitality? All of these things and more can be found on a Dude Ranch. Not only do today’s dude ranches supply guests with the real western experience, but they can also provide a family vacation value second to none. Ever since dude ranches evolved around the turn of the century, horses have been one of the central attractions and remain so. Whether hearing the pounding hooves as the wranglers round up the string on a cool summer morning, climbing into the high country with family and friends to enjoy the spectacular views or Loping through a wildflower strewn mountain meadow, a ranch vacation will deliver images and memories of the horse that you will not soon forget. Today’s ranches however, have much more to offer. Dude Ranches have expanded their activity list to include such adventures as blue ribbon fly fishing, naturalist guided hiking, natural water swimming, local history excursions, wilderness pack trips, mountain biking, spa treatments and white water rafting to name a few. What all of this comes down to is flexibility and options. With so many choices you will begin to feel that there just may not be enough hours in the day to do it all. Well…then you have the evenings which may include such entertaining events as chuck-wagon dinners, western dancing, cowboy poetry, star gazing, or just hanging out by the big bon fire exchanging stories with the cowboys. /A Dude Ranch vacation gives parents a chance to enjoy their own pursuits or spend time with their children having the peace of mind that the whole family is being well taken care of. Arts and crafts, pony rides, talent shows, kid’s rodeos and even overnight pack trips are just some of the kid’s activities offered. More importantly however, ranches have a way of reconnecting kids and adults with animals and the outdoors. In addition to diversified activities, Dude Ranches can also supply you with the creature comforts that you have come to expect at fine resorts. Hearty Western cooking with a gourmet flair, fine wine lists, hot tubs, fire places and even massage are beginning to appear at many ranches for guest enjoyment. What really makes a ranch vacation special and unique are the people that you will meet and interact with in an environment that fosters lifelong friendships. Many guests return year after year on the same week each summer to their favorite ranch where the chemistry of family and friends is just right. The gate is always open and the welcome sign out, so come enjoy the Original Western Vacation at its best. For more information about all 104 Dude and Guest Ranches in The Dude Ranchers Association please visit our web site at www.duderanch.org or give us a call at 1-866-399-2339. September 1st, 2011