Found this great article on ExploreThere.com and thought I would share it with you!  In a time where we spend our days in a rush to work and hardly spending any time for ourselves or our families in our bustling cities and suburbs, there still lies some places that try to mainatin the older more simple way of life. Vacations to the beach and other cities around the world tend to be the defacto destinations, but other options do exist and likely more relaxing and exciting than you may give them credit for at first judgement. How does spending a week on a ranch sound to you? How about a ranch in rural Colorado, high in the mountains? Even if you don’t, you’ll likely to be surprised at just how amazing a week escaping from your real world into the real world of our older generations can be. This lifestyle still exists in America, and elsewhere around the world, but most of us are too busy with our modern luxuries to notice. Having spent a decent bit of time on a particular working guest ranch, or dude ranch if that tickles your fancy, I can say that I was overly surprised at just how nice of a change it was from a life I had back at home. Black Mountain Ranch is located in McCoy, Colorado on 11,000 acres of land at an elevation around 8500ft. During the summer months when the ranch is open for guests you will find the weather to be very temperate and pleasing, with some of the most beautiful sunny clear skies. Just what is a day on the ranch like? It can be whatever you want to make it at Black Mountain Ranch. The majority of guest ranches have specific itenerary for your stays, but at this particular ranch they leave the activities up to you and the other guests preferences. Want to fish today? No problem. You can fish in one of the several small watering holes on the property. Want to go rafting? No problem. Gather a boat full and go white water rafting down the Colorado River. Are horses your thing? You can do that too. Feeling a little thirsty? The Ranch Saloon is sure to whet your whistle. To sum it up, you do what you like to do here when you’d like to do it. Ever shot a shotgun before? Step right up and try and shoot the clays. One evening during the week the guests that would like to experience high altitude camping load up on their horses and trail ride about 8 miles to the top of Black Mountain and back down to a semi permanent campsite. No tent building experience needed as the entire camp stays set up for the entire season and all the equipment and food that you will need is included. All you need to do is bring a great attitude for being outdoors and maybe a camera and you’ll surely enjoy this luxury camping experience provided for you. Black Mountain Ranch At Pack Camp you’ll have no trouble staying entertained. At this point you will have made friends with the other guests and will get an even better, more intimate setting to make great friends. If you want a good workout try your hand at chopping wood to keep fueling the fire. Its certainly not required, but its fun. This area also offers some of the best star gazing you can imagine. You escape even the light from the ranch up at this high perch on the mountain. Some people don’t realize you can see the milky way galaxy with your bare eyes, and the look on their faces when they see it just shows you how awe inspiring it really is. All of this while drinking margaritas and eating delicious, dutch oven, fire cooked meals just takes it up a notch or ten. Saturdays are reserved for the weekly cattle drive in which the wranglers guide you through running a real life longhorn cattle drive. This isn’t a test run. The ranch actually does need to wrangle the cattle up from its thousands and thousands of acres every week in order to inventory the herd and check for medical issues. You and the other guests are in charge of making sure that the 40+ pair make it to the arena where you will get the opportunity to rope the calfs after a short lesson on how to rope. Black Mountain Ranch What’s more fun than catching a 200 pound calf and being drug around the arena? Catching a 200 pound calf and being drug around the arena while your friends and family take hilarious photos of you eating dirt. After the group gets done roping, you all get back on your horses and push the cattle back out into a new area of the property. Its a full day and you are sure to be exhausted, but if you’re lucky and you have the energy for it, you’ll be invited up to the owners home for horderves before the final dinner. Last, but not least it’s one thing for a ranch to have a lot for its guests to do, but none of it is worth it if you dont have great hosts, and this family run business has a fun, caring staff that are willing to just go out of their way to make sure that your time here is an amazing experience. This ranch has a beautiful landscape, beautiful cabins, and a multitude of activities, but what really makes this place great is the people you are interacting with on a daily basis. For more great Dude Ranches visit www.duderanch.org. Running Them Out [Photos by Michael Cummings]