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Did You Know This? Long Hollow Ranch History Trivia

I know that not everyone is interested in the same things I am, especially when it includes history. But history that you can see in the form of wagon tracks, old buildings, artifacts, even fossils, arrowheads and antiques can be fascinating. Many of our guests do ask questions about the history of Long Hollow and that is gratifying. Recently I’ve spent some time looking through materials that I’ve gathered over the years since we first acquired the ranch, so today I’ll share some Long Hollow Ranch history with you. Elijah Sparks, for whom the lake was named, used to be an owner of some parts of the Long Hollow acreage. The town of Sisters, originally called Camp Polk (for President Polk), was known as a timber and lumber town, with mills located in the present-day industrial area. The last sawmill closed in 1965. The town of Sisters was twice nearly destroyed by fire – in 1923 and again in 1924. Electricity first came to Long Hollow in 1946, indoor plumbing in 1947. Starting in 1943, Long Hollow Ranch cattle were moved on foot to the Sparks Lake area for summer pasture every year. The story goes that the older cows had done the trip so many times that when summer began to wane, they knew it was time to go home, and the cowboys would meet them coming down the mountain in the fall. John Fremont, Kit Carson (remember them?) and Billy Chinook, in 1843 passed through the present town site of Sisters while developing a map of Oregon. The Squaw Creek Irrigation Company (now Three Sisters Irrigation Company) formed in 1895. Long Hollow Ranch has some 1895 water rights. The first Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show [...]

The Dude Ranchers’ Association

The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) came into being in1926. This January the Association held its 91st annual convention at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Through its history dude ranching has been concentrated in the states of Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. Dude ranches can also be found in smaller numbers in other states, like Idaho, Washington, Arizona, California, as well as in western Canada. Our state of Oregon has a very few ranches that host guests, and our very own Long Hollow Ranch is the only DRA ranch in the state. Membership in the Dude Ranchers' Association has benefits that range from advertising and publicity to support and sharing of community – a shared culture. Benefits to guests include set standards for housing, riding and food service. A few of the member ranches have been in business since the beginning of the association. They really know the ropes, and they are willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us. Some of the ranches are huge, able to accommodate up to 200 guests at a time. Many are smaller, hosting 30 to 40 guests at a time. Then there are a few, like Long Hollow Ranch, who host no more than 20 or so at a time. Each ranch has its own unique history, accommodations, activities, seasons of operation, and cultural emphasis. But the central, unifying characteristic is that of a vacation centered on horseback riding. The Dude Ranchers' Association recently adopted a list of qualities that truly define the unifying culture of dude ranches: Horses – the main aspect of a dude ranch vacation Hats – the symbol of Western atmosphere and appearance Hospitality – a genuine friendly Western welcome Heritage – ranch vacations [...]

Happy New Year to Our Long Hollow Ranch Guests and Friends

Well, the turkey is finished, the trees are down, the gifts exchanged or put to use, the last carols sung, and even the New Year’s Eve fireworks are over. I want to wish all our Long Hollow Ranch guests and friends the best of times in this coming year. Let’s hope for and work toward the realization of good things for our families in particular and our country in general. As for Dick and me, we had a very nice Christmas celebration with at least part of the family visiting for a few days. We enjoyed indoor games, dinner out at least once, and outdoor skating for the kids. Redmond and Bend both have outdoor ice rinks available for the public during the winter months. Just before year’s end Dick and I loaded the Expedition and headed for Phoenix, Arizona, where we spend three months every year. It is a nice break from everyday ranch business and cold Central Oregon weather, and we are enjoying it. Since our daughter and her husband and Dick’s sister and her husband all live here full time we also are able to spend time with them. So our holiday celebrations are now complete. Much of our time away from home is spent on ranch business since many people plan their vacations and many couples get engaged during the holidays. That means that they contact us for information about this year’s vacation or about an upcoming wedding. There is also work to be done in preparation for tax time. Regular chores like bank reconciliations and other business legalities must be taken care of as well. Therefore we are not really on vacation, but our surroundings are more comfortable in the [...]

Holiday Wishes for Guests of Long Hollow Ranch

As 2016 winds to a close we celebrate first our time of Thanksgiving, then everyone’s favorite holiday of all, Christmas, and we look forward to a new year and a time to start afresh in all our endeavors. I am truly thankful this year for all the wonderful folk who chose to visit and be guests of Long Hollow, some for the first time and others for a repeat visit. I’m thankful also for the good people who worked at Long Hollow this year to provide our guests with great food, amazing rides and comfortable clean rooms. It was a great year for us and we look forward to even better times in 2017. At the present time we are in the process of bringing out a new improved and up-to-date website. Watch for new developments in the Activities tab and the Gallery. We will be introducing new packages that should help prospective guests in the booking process. There will be new descriptions of our Accommodations and Activities, as well as a new system for booking your stay. Can’t believe we’ve been in business for sixteen years now! We have met wonderful people from all over this great country and around the world. One who pops into mind is young Noah, a boy from China who entertained us with his Rubik’s cube and his yo-yo, doing things with them that I had never seen before. He also rode while holding a stick out front that had some grass tied to it to tempt his mount to keep moving forward! What fun! Then there was the boy from Japan who presented each one of us with origami swans that he had made in his spare time. [...]

Winding Down the Year at Long Hollow Ranch

Boy oh boy, what a season! We want to send out a heartfelt “Thank you” to all you fine folk who chose to stay with us this year at Long Hollow Ranch. What a treat it is to meet people from across the country and literally around the world!  We especially appreciated Josianne from Switzerland, Sylvia and Sebastian from France, Lizzie and Petra from England, and Nathalie from Germany. What great conversations and insights from folks like Bron and Roger from England, John and Janet from right here in Oregon, Stuart from England, and certainly the Holmes family whose dads, Stewart and John, actually grew up in our guest house and came back to spend a night in their own old bedrooms. These are the perks for us as hosts here at the ranch. Now that the high season has ended and we are hosting just a few people each week through the shoulder season, we have time to do some things that just couldn’t be squeezed into the schedule earlier. And we have time to think, evaluate our facility and our services, and plan ways to make things even better next year. We just previewed our website overhaul and are very pleased with what we saw. There will be plenty of gorgeous photos to show you the beautiful horses, stunning scenery, and comfortable guest quarters here at the ranch. Online booking for a stay next year at Long Hollow Ranch will be much simpler with a sort of “shopping cart” format. This gives the guest opportunity to know exactly what services and amenities are available, and allows us to know ahead of time exactly what the guest is expecting. Our horse and activity directors [...]

Falling into Autumn in Central Oregon

OK, it’s a corny title, but what else can you expect at the end of an exceptionally busy season? Our guest season for 2016 is coming to a close and we are very thankful to all the good people who chose to come and spend some time at Long Hollow Ranch. We enjoyed visitors from around the globe and many states across the country. It’s always fun to meet folks from different areas and get to know something about their cultures, customs, and even various languages. This summer was very warm and dry; we literally had no rain for several months. This last week has been making up for that. It has brought us showers and cool weather so now the ground is quite well watered, the air is fresh and clean, and the buildings look cleaner. Rain is a blessing in this part of the country. As soon as things clear up and the sun comes out again it will be time to clean up the garden and put it to bed for the winter. We are even beginning to think in terms of Thanksgiving and Christmas. And speaking of fall, Dick and I just returned from a much needed getaway. We returned to my former home area near Niagara Falls, Ontario. Spending time with some old friends was fun and relaxing. Visiting the local Harvest Festivals and other attractions was interesting, as well as watching the fall color work its way into the trees and shrubs all around us. The area is very agricultural with beautiful truck farms, orchards and vineyards. It is also becoming recognized as a source of world-class wines. While later driving through parts of Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa the [...]

It is so refreshing to find a B&B like yours

Dear All, You have been so kind to us. We loved your ranch and all it’s beauty. It is so refreshing to find a B&B like yours. Take care and God Bless. Andy, Peggy, Noah, and Cailyn 6/17/2001 University Place, Washington

I can’t get over the beauty of the mountains

A great big thank you to all of you who took such excellent care of us. It was a wonderful week –The horses are great - Wish I could take some home! The wranglers are the best, take ultra good care of them. They have got such wonderful gentle hearts and spirits. God Bless them and all of you! The food was fantastic and fresh and I enjoyed it so much. God gave us such wonderful scenery to experience. I can’t get over the beauty of the mountains. They amaze me as my Savior does. Thank for having us. It was great fellowship and I appreciate all the stories God Bless, Terri 6/10/2008 Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

We didn’t know there was anywhere left on earth that was so peaceful and quit

Thank you so much for the hospitality. It was great relearning to relax. Oh, and to sleep solid through the night. We didn’t know there was anywhere left on earth that was so peaceful and quiet. Even though it rained, we had a wonderful time. We will definitely be back. Everyone was so much fun. Kohl had the best time of his life. Thanks again Love, Ken and Suzanne Wallahan & Kohl 5/8-11, 2005

In the Good Ol’ Summertime at Long Hollow Ranch

Summertime at Long Hollow Ranch seems a bit more mellow this year than in the last two. Temperatures have been relatively comfortable for outdoor activities, and our guests are enjoying riding, hiking, bicycling, fishing (and the fishing is great this year!), hot dog roasts, dinner on the porch, hummingbird-watching and meeting new friends from around the world. A few weeks ago our son and his family came for the weekend, bringing two of our grandsons’ high school friends along. The boys decided to go fishing one evening, and in a little over two minutes, each one had caught a fish! You may recall that the ranch has two fishing ponds; one is stocked with trout and has some bass as well. The other pond has bass only. The trout pond is catch-and-release, barbless hook only but the bass pond is open to general fishing. The horses are in good condition and are traveling the trails regularly. The summer sky is providing some spectacular scenery for the riders, along with the Three Sisters mountains. Our skies are wide open here, and there have been a few storms, making for some impressive sights. The horse trails traverse the length of the ranch and they are also suitable for hikers. Of course there are a number of great hiking trails within a few miles of the ranch as well. Again, our three teenage boys drove to Smith Rock one afternoon and hiked up Misery Ridge, returning with stories of the beautiful scenes available from the top of the Rock. This is also the season for County Fairs. Central Oregon fairs begin with the Jefferson County fair in Madras on July 27 through 30. This is followed by the [...]

What a great place!

What a great place! Beautiful setting, warm and friendly people and terrific meals! You have made our move to Bend far less stressful and we look forward to a long friendship. The cattle round- up and work details were just what I needed and the trip to Mitchell was priceless! Thank you so much for my birthday party. It meant a lot to me. The best thing about our stay at Long Hollow is the great friends that we now have. Thanks again for everything Love, Roy And Daca Thomas 5/3/2005

Read All About It! Reservations Calendar News Flash!

Looking at our reservations calendar, I see that there are a few openings left in July for a multiple-day ranch vacation stay. In August there are still a number of openings which are normally filled by mid-July. So, if you are thinking at all about enjoying a 3 – 6 day getaway where you can unwind, feel the freedom of the wide open spaces in some of the country's most beautiful scenery, meet some fabulous people, ride some of our fine horses, eat your fill of delicious food, and get a good night’s rest in a very comfortable bed, you sure ought to consider spending a few days at Long Hollow Ranch. You will get your batteries recharged with the three R’s - some recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Just give us a call to reserve your place at the ranch today! You will be glad you did. Time is going by very quickly this summer and we are very busy here at the ranch. If you can’t make it work for you in July or August, we provide the same great friendly service through September and October when the nights are cool and the days a bit more balmy. Please check out the possibilities on our website, read the reviews from some of our former guests, and check the blogs for added information about a stay at Long Hollow. Just be sure to mention upon reservation that you want “Full Service” which means you get lodging in a nice room with a private bathroom, three delicious meals each day and trail riding, fishing, hiking, or river rafting. We’ll be watching for you!

Holmes Homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch

Someone once wrote that “you can’t go home again” but the two Holmes brothers set out to prove that wrong by having a homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch. Stewart and John Holmes, who grew up here at Long Hollow Ranch, both went their separate ways as young adults when they finished school and sought their places in the workplace. Many years later when John retired from his career he and his wife, Lois, returned to Redmond for their retirement years. Stewart and his wife, Joann, remained in the vicinity of Washington DC after retirement, where their family still live. Over the last ten years or so they had been in contact with us here though, even visiting Long Hollow Ranch a few times. Last year the brothers decided to make it a real homecoming at Long Hollow Ranch. Stewart would round up his family, come west to join John and Lois and together they would come to the ranch for a short stay. Before they could make that happen, however, Joann became seriously ill and the trip had to be cancelled. With good medical treatment and blessings from above, Joann recovered and the travel plans were revived, and this spring the plan actually materialized. In mid-June of 2016, the Holmes boys “came home”. Stewart and John each were able to sleep in the rooms that were theirs as young boys, and Stewart’s daughter and her family occupied the historic Homestead House. Julie and her dad walked the farmstead, taking note of the various buildings and landmarks, and reminiscing of how things were in the old days and how some things had changed. John checked out samples of old wallpaper that had been stripped from the [...]

A warm and friendly atmosphere

Thank you for providing such a warm and friendly atmosphere here at Long Hollow. We had a wonderful time relaxing, laughing, and sharing many experiences with both of you and my sister and brother-in-law. This was a perfect setting for our reunion and a great beginning of our new adventure in Oregon. The food was fabulous, rooms very comfortable, and the night bellowing of the mother cows very soothing. The ride with Alicia was wonderful. We look forward to returning to the area in April – This makes leaving tomorrow much easier. Love & Blessings Ray 3/15/2005

A wondrous place to relax, recoup and rejuvenate

What a delight to be a guest and experience the other side of the B&B visit. I couldn’t have chosen a more wondrous place to relax, recoup and rejuvenate. Since I own a B&B, I know what work it is to make it all run smoothly. Bud and Marlene, you really couldn’t have done any more to make this such a delightful getaway. The ranch house was charming, warm, and cozy. The breakfasts were exceptional and the conversations we had gave us a view of life on a ranch in Eastern Oregon. The three of us needed a rest for various reasons in our busy lives and I feel the good Lord led us to this beautiful ranch. Thank you again for this delightful visit. Alicia was just the greatest! Being a novice, we were all a little conscious, but Alicia made us feel so comfortable. Our horseback ride will always be a special memory as will our entire stay. God bless you all and thank you for everything. Diane Cole Charleston, Illinois   Elizabeth Cole Portland, OR   Ron Ezetta Portland, OR 10/8-10, 2004

A Dude Ranch in Oregon: What Keeps Long Hollow Ranch Running?

It’s well known and understood that to operate a successful business, one must have a capable, committed and dependable staff. So I would like to introduce you now to the group of people who make Long Hollow Ranch operate successfully. (Of course there would be no need for any of us if it were not for the wonderful guests who come to Long Hollow Ranch from around the world!) Dick and Shirley have been living and working at Long Hollow since the spring of 2000, shortly before the guest business began. With the help of several partners they got the buildings remodeled, attended Dude Ranch School (called Eggshells in the Coffee) assembled a herd of trail horses, and got out the word that there was a new Dude Ranch in Oregon open for business. At that early stage only two other couples were working with them, as business was sparse. Over time a number of others have lent their time, energy and expertise to the operation as Dick and Shirley continued to cook, clean, answer telephone and email inquiries, and of course make regular trips to town for supplies! This year Ron and Pat Jacobson are back for their third summer to coordinate guest services and maintain the grounds. They work hard, do an excellent job and the grounds and buildings always look wonderful. Guests’ needs are taken care of by Pat, and Ron loves to visit with guests, learn their stories and befriend them. Karen Jordan is back for her third year as lunch and dinner cook. She does a fabulous job in the kitchen, and sometimes her hubby comes to man the BBQ at dinner time too. Everyone enjoys Karen’s cheerful demeanor as [...]

Impressions of a Volunteer at Long Hollow

Hi, I’m Josy, 23, from Switzerland and I was a volunteer at Long Hollow Ranch in May 2016. I spent four weeks in the pre-season of this Dude Ranch and B&B. Long Hollow Ranch is placed in beautiful nature between green fields and dry desert. You see mountains and the great vastness of America. This place has a freedom and is very peaceful. But it’s also very quiet, far away from town and kind of isolated. So if you want to have a lot of entertainment, meet a lot of new young people having an exciting active time here - don’t come! But if you want to spend time with very kind, lovely and sweet people, have time to think about your life and yourself, doing fantastic horseback rides on beautiful trails; if you want to help people wherever they need you, then being here and seeing this place is a must. Honestly, I expected more work as a volunteer at Long Hollow, but it was the pre-season and that’s probably why… I had a great time helping in the B&B cleaning rooms, helping in the kitchen, ironing bedsheets, gardening and serving food. What I really liked was meeting very different guests, hearing their stories and sharing meals with them. The group who live and work here are two older couples and a funny guy who made my stay so valuable. We had so many interesting and deep conversations, and I laughed every day with them. At this ranch you have to be flexible. You might make plans for the day, but don’t be disappointed if they change every hour. This was something I had to learn! But you get used to it and it [...]

Dude Ranch Vacations Comin’ Up!

Wow, the season for dude ranch vacations is creeping right up on us – time to think about preparing for the ranch experience. Most people think of Oregon as being wet and rainy, and the part between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon coast is that way. That includes the major cities of Portland, Salem and Eugene. But once you cross the Cascades to the central and eastern part of the state you see a completely different world. Here the air is usually dry, precipitation is sometimes scarce, and the landscape has a more desert-like look. Not that it is empty and drab; not at all. However we do not have the lush greenery, tall evergreens and flowers of the west side. Our scenery is more subtle with calmer colors in the flora, but our skies are a gorgeous blue with fantastic sunrises and sunsets. There are rivers and lakes, forests and farm fields, and of course the beautiful mountains. All this to say that we don’t always dress like the folks in the cities of the rainier side of the mountains, so we thought we should pass along a few tips that might be useful as you are packing your bags for your dude ranch vacation experience. Since even our summer weather can have cool mornings and evenings, you should have a jacket, sweatshirt or warm vest. Because the sun gets hot during the day, you need a baseball cap or cowboy hat, sunglasses, suntan lotion, sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt and chapstick. Horseback riders need proper boots – smooth-soled and with a definite heel. Hiking boots are inappropriate for riding but you may want to hike some of our many trails, in which case you should [...]

A fun and relaxing few days

Thank you very much for such a fun and relaxing few days. Alicia was a great and warm teacher. Roo and I think our lessons here were the very best we’ve ever taken. And it was nice meeting Bud, Marlene, Cathy, Dick, Shirley, Alicia and Howdy too. Thank you for accommodating us so excellently – at the last minute. God Bless, Kristy and Roo Takagi 9/8-10, 2004

Just Like Home – Only Better!

Over the years here at Long Hollow Ranch, we have heard our guests say things like these: “This feels just like home!" "Coming down the driveway, my shoulders got lighter." "This house is just like my grandma’s!" "It’s so peaceful here." "You make us feel like part of the family." I guess that’s one of the ways in which we could say that Long Hollow is unique as a guest ranch. And it warms our hearts and encourages us to keep doing what we do, only better – not differently. Living out here on the ranch in a more or less secluded situation, though only minutes from the hustle and bustle of the attractions of Central Oregon, we get used to the space, quiet, and lack of crowds and traffic. When we travel to town for supplies, church or entertainment, those distractions affect us probably more than they do the folks who live there all the time. So we understand that it is good for people to get away from the busy world for awhile and just breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sound of quiet, and take in the sights of nature, the night sky, sunrises and sunsets. Since our ranch can host only small numbers of guests at a time, the atmosphere is more personal and casual, the pace slower, and the attention more individual. Yet entertainment, attractions, activities, events and outdoor experiences abound within a short drive. That’s part of the appeal of Central Oregon; so much to do, yet it’s possible to get away from it all whenever you want to. Since many people are looking for security, friendly relationships and enjoyable activity all wrapped up in one vacation [...]

A little piece of heaven

What a beautiful place - “a little piece of heaven”! Ron and I had a great time. The meals were superb – better than some of the bay area eaterys. The folks here at Long Hollow Ranch were friendly and a pleasure to visit with. We feel so fortunate to have met all of you! We have a sweet memory of the peaceful time here. Love to all of you and God bless you! Ron and Teresa Hawk 9/3-6, 2004

New Looks at Long Hollow Ranch

Long Hollow Ranch will have a few new looks this year. Hopefully they will also be more helpful to our guests and more efficient for the staff. It’s always exciting when we get something new and it turns out to be a really good thing. We hope everyone will benefit from the changes and new looks at Long Hollow Ranch. First of all, I want to talk a bit about the entrance to our ranch. When coming from Sisters on Holmes Road, the gate is on the left and the driveway, which is paved, goes downhill rather steeply through some trees. The landmark for finding the driveway is the big Old Glory flying proudly from one of the gateposts. There is also a sign with the ranch name and a big mailbox with our name and number on the side. We are attaching solar lights to the gateposts to help at night. Secondly, there are some nifty improvements in the ranch kitchen, which should simplify the serving and clearing of food and dishes at mealtime. Our cooks and helpers are looking forward to the improved system, and hope that it will serve our guests better. Also, the firepit has been enlarged so on those evenings when it is possible to have a bonfire, there will be room for more people. I have noticed that our guests really enjoy spending the evening around the fire, chatting over s’mores or sipping lemonade as the stars come out. If you have never seen the night sky in Central Oregon, it is a sight to behold. There is no “light pollution” here! So, before the season gets too busy for it, we are working to make the place better [...]

I felt at home

I had a wonderful time with the Long Hollow Ranch Family. I felt “at home.” Larry and Chathy make the best meals of America ( I know!) Shirley and Dick are the best host I ever knew – they were even more to me, they are friends, like all the other members of this Ranch: Alicia, Kathy, Kesha, Betheny, Cathy, Larry and Howdy. There is also this very nice women, the friend of Shirley - Philis, who was so nice to help me get a Silverdollar, to buy my horse in Germany. I loved the wonderful horses, especially Bo and Chance, the horses I had in the arena and on this great, never forgettable, trails I had. I saw: snacks, over 50 elks, an owl - what an adventure! I had so a good time here with all of you and it’s hard to go again, but I will come here back – I know I will! We keep in touch, I love all of you, God Bless you! Stay as you are yours Beate Thank you so much for everything! 8/15-22, 2014

This Summer At Long Hollow Ranch

Wow! This is shaping up to be a great summer at Long Hollow Ranch. Weather has been unusually nice this April, allowing us to work outside comfortably. The place is looking better every day: lawns are greening up, garden plots are tilled and waiting for planting time, the horses are getting ready, the pond has been restocked, our main kitchen has been upgraded to be roomier, and we have a great staff ready for a busy summer. Several new people are on board with us this year in addition to Ron and Pat Jacobson, Karen Jordan and Trever Schutte. Alison Wallace is a young lady who grew up in the Powell Butte area not far from here, riding horses and doing what country kids do in Central Oregon. She and her sister were home-schooled, and their mom also taught them to do many other things like sewing and cooking and helping their neighbors. Alison has been busy working the ranch horses and checking tack in preparation for the coming season. We are very pleased to have her on our staff. Kerrie Wallace is Alison’s mom, and she comes to us twice a week to cook breakfast and bake cookies, rolls, pies or whatever we ask for. Yum! She is also a local person and talented in a variety of areas. Kerrie is very smiley and willing to help. I’m sure she will be a great addition to the Long Hollow team. As the season progresses, we will also be welcoming a few young people from other parts of the world. These are our Workaway volunteers who come to experience western ranch life, immerse themselves in the English language and meet people from all over the globe. Over [...]

Frequently Asked Questions About Long Hollow Ranch – Answered

In conversations on the trail, at the dinner table or out on the porch in the evening, our guests ask a lot of questions about Long Hollow Ranch. Most of the questions center around the ranch itself – the buildings, crops, irrigation, how many acres and so on. Some people want to know about the horses and cattle, or how long we’ve been a dude ranch, or even how we became a dude ranch. Long Hollow Ranch was first settled, we believe, in the 1890s. The present-day Homestead House is so named because we believe the first settlers here built and occupied it by 1895. As the ranch became established, it produced hay and grain for the herds of beef cattle, bands of sheep, milk cows, chickens and hogs, all of which were raised either for sale or for consumption right here. The ranch itself covered several thousand acres, which were either “dryland farmed" or flood irrigated, and employed a number of cowboys and ranch hands. In the early 1900s the ranch was operated by the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company who used the present-day Ranch House as their headquarters building, with Mr. A. S. Holmes as superintendent. His riding belt and mail bag are on display in the House. The Cottage was erected in 1904 as a stagecoach stop and a supply depot for the ranch cowboys. The Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Military Road passed through the ranch at that time, and supply and mail wagons would stop at the Cottage. As Central Oregon was developed and times changed, parts of the ranch were sold off, the cowboys rode off into the sunset, and Long Hollow became a family-run working ranch. Presently [...]

Time to relax, refresh, and smell the roses

To all the wonderful people at Long Hollow Ranch… Marlene, Budy, Kathy, Larry, Shirley, Dick, Alicia and Katie, Thank you for his wonderful experience giving us time to relax, refresh and smell the roses… er …horses, actually. We really enjoyed being able to ride so much and “Driving the cattle” was the best! Thanks again for everything. We’ll be back!! Sue and Larry Broder Bellevue, Washington PS. Love also to Doc & Beaux!

The Biggest Little Rodeo in the World

Photo via Sisters Rodeo on Facebook We are in cowboy country. Since we’ve been “discovered” it doesn’t look much like cowboy country anymore, but it definitely has been just that, and in some respects it still is. There are a few ranches left in Central Oregon where cowboy is still “in.” Many locals still wear boots, hats, huge silver belt buckles and long-sleeved plaid shirts on a regular basis. Sometimes they even keep their spurs on – in town! Dress-up means a clean shirt and stiffly pressed jeans with a crease down the front… and a clean hat and shiny boots. You’ll even see the occasional wildrag, the square silk scarf tied into a unique knot around the neck. But I digress. The early culture of Central Oregon was definitely centered on ranching. People spent their lives on horseback, working cattle and riding wherever they needed to go. So it was natural that a person would become skilled at a given activity like roping, bulldogging or team penning. When people become skilled other people take notice and challenge them to a contest. I just imagine that’s how the idea of a rodeo came about. At any rate, Sisters has been into rodeo for close to a hundred years. In 1940, the first official Sisters Rodeo came into being. The locals were big thinkers, so they developed a somewhat makeshift rodeo arena and offered a very competitive purse, equal to those in Pendleton and Cheyenne, which drew both amateurs and professionals. The Biggest Little Rodeo in the World was born. Soon land was purchased west of town for a permanent facility where the annual rodeo was held for the next 34 years. Most of the [...]

A true oasis

You are a true oasis- my parents and I enjoyed an all too brief horse riding stay with you and now it's time to depart. I wish we could stay longer! (although my appetite wishes I stay forever) To Dick, Shirley, Marlene, Bud, Kathy, Larry, Alicia and Katherine – Thank you – you are all a joy and I am glad my path crossed with yours. You can be sure that if my travels bring me back here – I will you have space for me to stay again Love & Blessings Sue Rolfe 5/31 - 6/2, 2015

Quilts and Quilting in Central Oregon

I read about the topic of quilts today and learned some interesting things. For instance, I found that the technique of quilting goes all the way back to the times of the Crusades. Apparently quilted vests were worn under suits of armor. As time went on quilts were made as bed covers, maybe for extra warmth, maybe as fancy spreads. The first quilt that came to America was brought ashore from the ship Angel Gabriel at Pemaquid Bay in 1635 by a family named Cogswell. The next day the ship was totally destroyed by the worst hurricane in American history. The type of quilt created in those days was called a wholecloth quilt. Such quilts were not made of one large whole sheet of fabric, but rather of strips of cloth cut from the original long piece, then stitched together to form the desired shape and size. This is because looms of that time could not weave a whole piece of cloth large enough to cover a bed. Since the pieces were cut from the same strip of fabric they appeared to be one whole cloth. In Colonial America only the wealthy could afford to buy quilts since they were imported from Europe. The few quilts made in America at that time were apparently pieced by well-to-do women using fabrics purchased just for that purpose. These quilts were used only on the “best bed” or when hosting overnight guests. Eventually various methods were used by less well-to-do women to construct quilts, including using scraps left from cutting out new garments, or using parts of worn out clothing that were still usable. Nowadays quilting has become an art form using embroidery, applique, printing, and ornate handsewn or machine-sewn stitches. [...]

A wonderful way to spend our anniversary

What a wonderful treat! We have felt very pampered here at Long Hollow Ranch. The food is fantastic. The accomodations for us and our horses was the best. We will be returning and looking forward to seeing all the friends we have made here. It was a wonderful way to spend our anniversary and I know that Al and Donna feel the same. Riding out from the Ranch was spectacular.   Thank you for sharing this place with us. Dan & Georgia Kowitz 6/11-14, 2004 Harrisburg, OR

Central Oregon Summer Events

Central Oregon is a great place for a vacation. No matter what your main vacation interests are, Sisters Country probably has an option you'll enjoy. During the summer there is something going on somewhere almost every week. Some are western/cowboy themed, others are sport-centered or outdoorsy. There are county fairs and rodeos, arts and antiques shows/fairs, music events, and of course many great eating and drinking establishments. You can hike, bike, golf, canoe, kayak, or go river rafting. And then there is Long Hollow Ranch, where our Central Oregon summer events include riding horses, hiking the area, fishing the ponds (assuming weather conditions cooperate) --- or just relaxing on the porch with a book and lemonade. Maybe your ideal vacation would call for breakfast at the ranch, followed by a morning ride, then lunch, after which you spend the afternoon taking in one of the activities listed above. You can mix and match your activities according to your own interests. Or you can center your vacation time at the ranch, riding, hiking, relaxing, rafting (which is included in our all-inclusive package), dining and mixing with other guests from all across America or around the world. We’ve hosted guests from many states and dozens of countries. On the second weekend in June, the Sisters Rodeo swings into action, with nationally-known participants. On the Fourth of July, our local towns have parades, after which Long Hollow hosts a neighborhood picnic, when most of our neighbors gather to talk and share the great potluck lunch. Later in the evening, fireworks are shown in town. On the second Saturday in July, Sisters hosts a huge outdoor quilt show, a very colorful event. Later in July Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes counties each hold [...]

Our homecoming is complete

Back to the N.W. and once again to the extended family at Long Hollow! So our “homecoming” is complete. We had a fine weekend and look forward to more time here. Peace! John & Elaine God Bless & thank you to the care takers—you do wonderfully! 10/6/2002

Head ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out! An Oregon Cattle Drive Story

One of the iconic features of the Old West is the cattle drive. We’ve all watched movies showcasing the cowboys, the huge herds of cattle, the chuckwagon and “Cookie” as they made their way over sometimes hundreds of miles from ranch to railroad or stockyard. Long Hollow Ranch, until the early 1960s, moved herds from two or three ranches in the area to the Sisters mountains for summer pasture, and then back again in early fall. Cowboys and cattlemen worked together to move cattle on foot about thirty miles cross country, past the town of Sisters, and up into the foothills of the Three Sisters Mountains. It took several days to get the job done. Wives and daughters of the men would drive trucks with camp trailers to the points where they would be stopping for shelter, meals, and water for riders and animals. There was a large corral near Sisters where the cattle were held for one night along the way. Once the herd reached a suitable location in the mountains where there was plenty of grass and water, the work was finished and all the people returned to their respective ranches to take care of their summer work. The cattle were on their own for the summer. In early fall the cattle drive was repeated, in reverse, to get all the animals back home. Older cows that had been through the process many times knew the routine so well they would sometimes start for home along the familiar trail before the cowboys got there. But there were still plenty of animals that needed to be found and rounded up. In the early '60s, the powers that be decided that cross country “on foot” drives were [...]

It felt as if I was back in Hawaii

Hey. My stay here was great. I had so much fun hiking and walking around. Picnicing and my favorite horseback riding. Everyone here was so friendly and it felt as if I was back in Hawaii. You made my stay here very memorable and something I will never forget. I learned a lot and made new friends along the way. My stay here was great fun and I would like to come back and stay here again. Thanks so much again! Aloha! Mychal Hatae PS take care of Mandy (horse) for me… she is so sweet. I wanna come back 2 visit her! 6/12/2013 Honolulu, Hawaii

Yee, Haw! Guest Ranch, Here We Come!

Wow! Here it is the beginning of February already. We are busy getting ready for the 2016 season, answering lots of inquiries about guest ranch vacations and employment opportunities. Dates are already filling up fast! Things are looking good in the “horsey” area since we just hired a young lady who comes highly recommended as a trainer of both horses and riders. We are looking forward to the new aspects she can bring to the whole experience at Long Hollow Ranch. We are also in the midst of improving and updating our website, so you should be able to navigate the site more easily. The whole process of inquiring, reserving, arriving, staying, and departing should be more streamlined this year too. Since we started the guest ranch business in 2000, everything about the way we do business has changed. In many ways we were able to keep up but in others, we didn’t even notice the changes that were happening right under our noses! This year we are taking a hard look at our programs and doing as much as we can to make your dude ranch vacation unforgettable – in good ways! Once again, let me emphasize the benefits you have to look forward to in a guest ranch vacation: Typically guests spend time together at meals and during the evening as well as during the trail rides. This encourages the development of new friendships with people from other parts of the country and often from around the world. A dude ranch vacation also provides security for guests traveling alone; we feel none of the dangers that might be present in a more urban or heavily-populated area. Activities at the ranch occur mostly outdoors where guests can [...]

Why Vacation At a Guest Ranch?

When planning this year’s vacation, should you consider choosing a guest ranch? Of course you should! And here are some reasons why: A guest ranch (also called dude ranch) such as Long Hollow has something to offer almost everyone. A single person traveling alone will meet other folks in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. A family can enjoy games on the lawn, hiking, visiting local attractions, as well as activities on-site, with no cooking for Mom to do. All guests interact with staff and other guests as you ride the trails or gather at the tables for meals. A guest ranch offers complete packages so you know before you leave home how much to plan on spending. When you make reservations at Long Hollow Ranch you will receive an itemized statement. The only increases to your final bill will be for items purchased, or additional activities you desire during your visit. You don’t need to buy a fancy wardrobe. Jeans, casual shirts, a hat and maybe some sturdy gloves are all you need besides riding (read: cowboy) boots. If boots are not in your budget, you may be able to borrow boots at the ranch. We have many “loaners” in a variety of sizes. You should also bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a camera. You will be well-fed with delicious home-cooked food. No problem finding a good restaurant each day where you are kept separate from other patrons. At Long Hollow we are careful to cater to those with food restrictions. You stay in a homey, friendly atmosphere where you can make new friends. You stay in a safe, secure facility with no need to be concerned about your personal safety. At Long Hollow you also have opportunity to [...]

The horseback riding was wonderful

Thank you so much for the wonderful time we had here. We have really enjoyed getting to know all of you. Thank for the golf and lunch Dick. We had a great time. You are all wonderful people and made our time here remeberable. Marlene and Bud thanks for the Diamond B experience. We had lots of fun doing that with you. The horseback riding was wonderful seeing God’s country is amazing. May God bless you and this dude ranch. God bless Jeff and Debbie Simonson 9/28/2002 Clackamas, Oregon

Got Boots? Try a Dude Ranch Vacation!

Do your daydreams include riding across the open western plains and hills on the back of a beautiful animal with a breeze in the air and the sun at your back? Have you always loved the look of a graceful horse, or a racing steed? As a child, was your favorite drawing subject a horse with flowing mane? Do you sometimes wish for the peace and quiet of wide open country and the companionship of down-to-earth homey folks who put on no pretenses? Or do you just long for the chance to relax while others provide activities, comfortable surroundings, and really good food for you? Good news – those dreams and longings can be satisfied on a dude ranch vacation. For decades Western ranchers have been opening their homes and offering their horses to city-weary visitors looking for a taste of the lifestyle of the Western ranch. That’s not to say that ranch life is carefree or easy. It isn’t, but it is more peaceful and certainly less stressful than the hustle and bustle of city life. The most common comment we hear from visitors to Long Hollow Ranch is: “It’s so peaceful here.” One thing that we here at the ranch love to watch is the way guests mingle and begin to develop new friendships. They end up exchanging addresses and inviting each other, and ranch staff members as well, to come and visit them. Sometimes they make plans to meet at the ranch again the following year. This is a safe and easy way to nurture new relationships. It clearly takes time to develop friendships, so we recommend that guests plan to stay at least four nights, but a six-day week is even more [...]

A highlight to our vacation

Bless you Dick & Shirley! What a highlight to our vacation. Another memory to enjoy and a friendship to cherish. Going on the trail ride was a BIG victory for my fear of horses. Josh was superb! Meeting Jim and Sandy was so neat too. This is prophetic but don’t be surprised if we bring our 5th wheel down sometime to visit and for helpyou here at the ranch. We just loved it! Thank for all your hard work and your giving spirit. Please know that you are always welcome at our house.

Ring in the New for 2016

Christmas 2015 is history. What a great way to end a year; celebrating one of the greatest events in human history. I sincerely hope that each one of you now harbors a new hope and optimism in your heart. With all the nastiness going on around the world, we need a time of joy and hopefulness to buoy our spirits. Our home was blessed this Christmas with the presence of our son and his family, including our two young grandchildren. What a joy it was to watch the two young ones sit on the piano bench together and play the songs they have been learning; Pachelbel’s Canon, The Entertainer, Christmas carols and many others. And this with no formal musical training! Grandpa and I decided that natural talent like this must be encouraged and supported, so their Christmas gifts included help to start piano lessons in the near future. We feel very blessed to be the grandparents of two such fine young people. Our grandson, Jacob, is 15 years old, a good student, soccer player and drummer. His 12-year-old sister, Patience, is also athletic, creative, and just plain fun. Needless to say, our Christmas visit was most enjoyable. Now it is time to get back to work. We have plans to improve service to our guests in 2016 in a number of new ways, so during the winter months we will be developing and finalizing those plans and preparing ourselves and our staff to bring those plans to reality in the new season. During the winter, when Dick and I are on R&R in Arizona, a friend will be staying here at the ranch to take care of the horses, and watch over things in [...]

A quiet, restful atmosphere

Greg and I came here to celebrate out twentieth anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better place. It provided a quiet, restful atmosphere. We were able to enjoy this beautiful country and sped some time to step out of our too hectic lives to talk and set some goals for ourselves and our family. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality and friendship. We hope to come here again. May God richly bless your ministry here! Greg and Carol Vanderwall 10/1/2001

Two wonderful days at your farm

It was a pleasure for us to meet you and to enjoy your kind hospitality. We had two wonderful days at your farm. Many thanks for all and best wishes. Gilta and Paul Stocklin 7/8/2001

Tis the Season!

Summer and Autumn have come and gone here at Long Hollow Ranch. It is definitely winter now. The pace is much slower now than it was just a few weeks ago. About eight inches of snow fell last week and the temperature dips well below freezing every night. The local deer have made many winding trails through the snow across the yard on their way to and from the hay piles. They seem to be very happy with the wintery scene. I don’t blame them; it is very beautiful when the sun is shining brightly. Thanksgiving weekend is over. We had guests for turkey dinner on Friday. Ron and Lisa, who are regulars now, came bringing pies and veggies for the dinner. They also have been helping with cooking, cleaning and even chores outside. I told them they will be put on steady if they keep that up! They make me thankful for good friends. There were other guests too –first-timers who said they will be back next season. We’ll be happy to see them. The thing I enjoy most about this business is all the nice people we meet. Speaking of nice people, 2015 has brought us so many lovely guests from all over the world. This year we counted sixty different countries of origin for guests who have come over the last fifteen years. As I have mentioned before, one of the purposes of the dude ranch business is to help people develop relationships. I also have learned that relationship-building is high on the list of wants when people go on vacation. A dude ranch is the perfect place to do just that. Here at Long Hollow the groups are small enough that [...]

An unexpected wonderful surprise

This has been an unexpected wonderful surprise. I will spread the word about your wonderful spread. You helped make my mom’s Birthday special. Thanks loads Excellent breakfast Patty Bradley 7/4/2001 Philomath, Oregon

What a treat!

What a treat to meet some of your neighbors at the open house. The Booker family was delightful. Bless your hearts, Dick & Shirley, for your love and support of those kids. Bob & Debbie Stephens 3/18/2001 From Brightwood, Oregon

Autumn Comes Quietly

Autumn has come upon us fairly quietly this year. We have actually had some rain, which was badly needed and much appreciated. But still there is the occasional warm balmy day with light breezes, very much enjoyed. We still eat lunch on the porch whenever possible since soon that will be suspended indefinitely. There have also been some glorious sunsets and sunrises. Did you ever stop to think that the best sunsets include some clouds in the sky? Clouds aren’t all bad… The last few weeks our friends Milo and Larry have been doing some building projects for us: new barn doors, cellar steps, porch roof, and freshly painted verandah floor. They did a great job and the buildings really look good now. Best of all, the improvements have increased the use and safety of the buildings. Now if they would just come back and clean up my garden….. The guest business has slowed way down. This last week we hosted our last dude, a gentleman from Kent, England, who was kind enough to teach me some interesting things about English agriculture (not to mention pronunciation!). Years ago hops was a common crop in the south of England. To prepare hops for processing into beer, the crop had to be dried. This was done in a large tower-like building, called an oast-house, with a conical roof topped with a device which allowed for ventilation while keeping the rain out. Nowadays these drying towers are seldom used for hops anymore, so rather than destroy them, people are converting them into housing units. Interesting and attractive homes can be made out of these towers, but I’m told they are hard to keep warm. Also, did you know [...]

Harvest Time on the Ranch

Here we are at my favorite time of any year – Autumn. I just love the way the air feels; crisp in the morning, softly warm by noon. Everything just looks and feels different. My favorite tree is casting its beautiful golden leaves all over the ground. Sadly, once those leaves start to fall, they are gone in a day or two. But in the meantime, what a treat! A few of our trees are clothed in richer crimson colors, and they last longer, but the golden-leaved one is glorious in its heyday. By now the flowers are all gone except for one or two very hardy little roses, and the vegetables are regularly finding their way to the dinner table. Yum! We are finding that our guests really enjoy the flavors of our homegrown veggies; earthy beets (even people who don’t like beets seem to make an exception for these), crisp cabbage in slaw, broccoli and cauliflower. Have you ever eaten cabbage steak? Just cut one-inch slices of cabbage from top to bottom (not across), lightly butter a cookie pan, lay the cabbage slices on it, add a bit more butter on top, and roast in the oven until the cabbage begins to brown around the edges. It will be crisp-tender. Add a little salt and pepper. Good enough to eat! Fall is also the time to accomplish some long-overdue tasks that just had to be delayed during the very busy summer weeks. Currently we are updating the front porch of the manager’s house, building doors at the back of the barn, and completing the dining porch so that it can be used in almost any kind of weather. Guests love that porch and [...]

The Guest Ranch Experience

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, guest ranching (formerly known as dude ranching) has been around for around one hundred years. It began when wealthy young men, and some women, from the Eastern cities started looking for adventure in new and different places. Perhaps they had heard the call, “Go West, young man” and decided to give it a try without actually pulling up stakes to begin a new lifestyle. Anyway, they ended up at various western ranches where the owners gave them board and room in exchange for working the livestock with the local cowboys. Well, things have changed a bit as with everything else, and now some western ranches are dedicated to the business of entertaining guests from around the country, and internationally. Many of these ranches are not even “working” ranches anymore; they are simply guest ranches or even resorts. Western ranches usually are located in the midst of beautiful mountainous scenery, with trees, streams and wide-open country. The lifestyle is casual, less complicated, and wholesome with plenty of time outdoors, great food, and quiet, starry nights………just what many work-weary city dwellers are looking for. In the August issue of Sunset magazine, an article titled Cowboy Quarters tells all about a guest ranch in Wyoming. It includes photos of the ranch and tells the story of the family who own it. A sidebar on one page lists several more western guest ranches, and tells about the unique features of each one. Our ranch, Long Hollow, is one of those mentioned. We are very gratified to be included, and have actually hosted guests already as a result of that article. Of course each ranch is different and special in its own way, so [...]

Stay & Play in Central Oregon

Are you looking for something entertaining, artistic, outdoorsy, or just plain fun to do for a weekend in Central Oregon? How about a nice place to stay, away from the madding crowd but still close to many of the activities taking place in the area? We call it “Stay and Play”. Choose an event or sets of events for a weekend, and do a Bed & Breakfast stay here at Long Hollow Ranch. That’s right. Spend the night in one of our comfortable rooms, eat a scrumptious breakfast on the porch and then scoot on out for a day of fun at the activity of your choice. Here’s a sampling of just some of the events in Central Oregon taking place in July: July 16 6-9 PM at Faith, Hope and Charity Vineyard; music by Appaloosa, and food truck; $5 cover charge July 17 also at Faith, Hope and Charity, High Street Band in concert. Food trucks; $30 July 17 and 18 10 AM to 5 PM at Creekside Park in Sisters; Antiques, collectibles, crafts, food, and entertainment; free July 18 in Sisters, 8 AM to 3 PM; Classic Car Show on Main Ave. July 18 9 to 11 AM; Geology Wander in the Metolius area July 18 10 AM to 1 PM; Kids’ Butterfly Walk also in the Metolius area July 23 6-9 PM at Faith, Hope and Charity Vineyard; music by Long Tall Eddy July 29 through August 2 in Redmond; Deschutes County Fair opens at 10 AM daily with exhibits, rides, food, and entertainment. Exhibit halls are air-conditioned and carpeted, arenas are comfortable; shuttle carts run all day July 29 High Desert Rendezvous in conjunction with the Fair Aug 2 11 AM- [...]

Summertime on the Ranch

Wow! Is it hot or what!! The extra-warm winter and spring, and the few good rains that came in spring made everything just jump out of the ground – hay, lawn grass, flowers, and now the garden vegetables, not to mention the weeds! They all seem to be about a month earlier than usual. Makes me wonder when fall and winter will hit……….but then, winter came quite early last year. Time will tell. Otherwise, things are moving right along here at Long Hollow. The lawns and gardens are requiring extra water during the unusually hot weather. Fortunately for us there is a good supply of domestic water since we are fed by a huge underground aquifer. It just keeps us hopping to be sure all the areas are receiving enough moisture. But all of this has not slowed down the flow of guests; they are still arriving from points around the globe. This week we had a lady from Malaysia, and a few weeks ago, two others from Thailand! Add to that a number of return guests, and some of them from overseas as well, and we are kept entertained by very interesting and loyal friends. Our thanks go out to all those people. Something is new at the ranch house this summer. Concerned about having enough room to serve our increased numbers of guests at mealtimes, and aided and abetted by the warm weather, we have enhanced our outdoor dining area. The existing porch just off the dining room had been furnished with a couple of heavy wooden picnic tables which seated 18 to 20 people, although not very comfortably. People had to climb into the bench area, and of course there were no backs [...]

Here We Go Again! What’s New at Long Hollow Ranch

The 2015 season has definitely begun. As I write this, there is a group event going on in the barn. The garden is taking shape as more plants go into the ground and we get rid of a few more weeds. Guests are coming and going, and we had a full house over the Memorial Day weekend. There are new developments in the Long Hollow Ranch staff this year. Our well-loved wrangler, Katie Williams, has taken a position at a salon supply store in order to have more time with her family. She is engaged to be married, so we wish her very well on both counts. We are grateful for the terrific job she did here at the ranch for the last five years. Bruce and Sally are staying closer to home this summer as they offer help and friendship to their neighbors and to their church. They will also be sorely missed for their wonderful attitudes and their tireless efforts to make Long Hollow Ranch a really great place for people to visit. One new addition to the staff this season is Tami, our wonderful breakfast cook. Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, biscuits, lemon bars, and all sorts of other goodies, Oh my! Tami really knows how to put on a spread. Another newcomer is Kelly, Tami’s daughter, who will be taking over Katie’s riding duties in between summer classes as she becomes more proficient in the areas of outdoor activity and safety. She is full of youthful energy and has many ideas for exciting activities for our guests. Sarah is a young teacher who has time during the summer to work with the horse riding program, and Lance, our next-door neighbor, has been up [...]

Memorial Day: A Time to Remember

pixabay/Matt Sawyers Here in America, we just recently observed Memorial Day 2015, a time to pause and ponder what it takes to build and preserve a great nation. Through the sacrifice of time, family happiness, health, personal goals, and even treasure, the founding fathers of this great land produced one of the wonders of their time – a nation built for, of and by the people; a nation dedicated to the freedom of the individual, a government in service to the people, and powers moderated by a balance of responsibilities among administration, legislature and courts. Gone were the days of the “divine right” of a monarch, the tyranny of a few over the masses. These principles were demonstrably based on teachings found in the Bible and the belief in a sovereign God. And the fledgling nation flourished, grew, and became great. The Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America to tour the country, visiting the people and observing how things worked here, and how the people lived and conducted their lives. He would say, “America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” We all know that sad and terrible things have happened here in the intervening years. Wars, Depressions, class clashes, natural disasters, to name a few, have caused heartache and trouble. Through it all though, America has been the shining city on a hill, coming to the aid of other countries in their time of need, and welcoming the down-trodden and the freedom-seekers of the world. So it is only fitting that we take a little time to think of the thousands of people over the years who have again and [...]

The Homestead House

In earlier blogs I have recounted some of the history of Long Hollow Ranch and the Holmes family who were early and long-time owners and residents of this property. However, I have never discussed any of the details of what happened at this location before the time of the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company, which owned and operated the ranch in the early 20th Century. We know that something was happening here by 1895 because our irrigation water rights date back to that year. When we first acquired the present-day ranch in the mid-1980s, I began a research project to follow the chain of ownership back to the beginning. It was fairly simple going back to the BBLLC ownership, but records before that time were meager to nonexistent. By the time we arrived on the scene here, the main house, the barn, and the present-day Cottage were here. There was also a smaller, simpler, and more modest building near the barn that was called the "bunkhouse." It was nearing dereliction and was used only to store irrigation equipment. Since it was obviously as old as the barn and was called the "bunkhouse," we assumed that it had been built as a home for the ranch hands and cowboys who worked here in the early days of the ranch. My research had ended with a question mark because I was unable to find any records of the original homesteaders of this property. The County Clerk in Prineville where the old records are stored - Deschutes County was originally part of Crook County, where Prineville is the county seat - told me that it was not uncommon for the original homesteaders in Central Oregon to “starve [...]

Outstanding vs Valuable: The Qualities of a MVP

Years ago when I was a public school teacher, I was often moved to speak with my students about their personal performance - not only as students but as human beings. We talked about responsibility, honesty, and respect for each other as well as for teachers, parents or others in positions of authority. I encouraged them to see themselves as members of a team who were willing to work together and individually for the good of others as well as themselves. Recently, someone shared the following qualities of a valuable member of any given group. I think these qualities sum up quite well what I was trying to teach. Vision – seeing beyond the obvious, claiming new objectives Unselfishness – releasing the controls and the glory Teamwork – involving, encouraging and supporting others Faithfulness – hanging in there, in season and out Enthusiasm – bringing affirmation and excitement to a task Discipline – modeling great character regardless of the odds Confidence – representing security, faith and determination Initiative – self-starter with contagious energy The MVP takes into consideration not only superb individual performance but also the ability to inspire and involve ones’ teammates, encouraging and enabling them to excel. Whenever an MVP is engaged in the action, good things happen. Here at Long Hollow Ranch, we consciously put our staff together with people who demonstrate MVP characteristics. That makes it more likely that the day-to-day tasks around the ranch will be performed in an exemplary way, and that your stay with us will be pleasant and satisfactory. Good things do happen here!

Is It Spring Yet?

Can you believe the weather this winter? There have been plenty of records set all over the country, I think. Ninety degree weather in March in Phoenix, Arizona, where we came to escape the winter up north. Sixty and seventy degree weather up north, with very little snow or rain. And it's usually in the forties or fifties at best. But, I can still remember a winter at least twenty years ago when Oregon’s ski resorts did not operate until Easter weekend, so we could still have a chance for winter this year, too. Speaking of Easter, have you ever wondered how the dates for Easter are determined? Inquiring minds want to know, so I Googled it. It turns out that the first day of spring, March 20th, is called the Vernal Equinox. The date for Easter is on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. However, when the first full moon occurs on a Sunday then Easter is the following Sunday. Who sits around thinking all these things up? But anyway, this year the first full moon after March 20 is on Saturday, April 4th, so Easter is on Sunday, April 5th. Funny, my grandson actually learned that at his high school about the same time I found it on Google. They never taught us that when I was in high school. So, back to spring. The fruit trees are blooming, daffodils and crocuses and tulips are in their glory. Does it mean that we will have an early spring and a long summer? Who knows? But life goes on, and Long Hollow Ranch is preparing for a busy summer season. We have some plans in mind to make [...]

Attention Art Lovers!

And artists, hikers, golfers, foodies, etc, etc, etc. The beautiful little town of Sisters in Central Oregon is really the Biggest Little Town in the West! Oh my! There is truly something for everyone -from skiers to bikers to hikers, horse lovers, golfers, food, wine and beer lovers, and even to lovers of fine art. And that’s just the beginning………. Something you may want to check out is the 2015 Wild River Project Juried Community Art Show opening on March 27th. As you can imagine, Sisters is home to a number of fine artists whose creations can be seen on canvas, in pottery, iron sculpture, and needlework, just to mention a few. We even have a wonderful clock shop where clock cases, as well as works, are built. There are enough galleries and studios to keep you busy touring for at least two or three days. Of course you need a place to lay your head at the end of a busy day, so what could be more appropriate than the historic and scenic environs of Long Hollow Ranch? It’s only a fifteen minute drive from town. Several local artists have spent time at the ranch capturing iconic scenes of the old West. They like it, and you will too. If you are into photography, bring your camera and capture some of that ambience yourself. After a good night’s rest in our comfortable guest rooms, you will be served a delicious home-cooked breakfast that will easily carry you through your tour of the wonderful work of our local artisans. For more information on local art events and other activities and attractions, visit the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce. You will find a full calendar of [...]

Spring Fever

Now that we are back on Daylight Saving Time, winter must be winding down, and spring should be right around the corner. It means the daffodils are breaking out in all their cheerful glory, trees will be leafing out, and I will have to get started on my gardening. My seed order has been mailed. I have notes on all sorts of ideas for the yard and garden, so let’s get going! It’s really been a very warm winter at Long Hollow, at least since the New Year. And it looks like we could have an early spring. At the very end of April we’ll have our annual cattle drive, pushing them up the hill to the rangeland. There are still some rooms available. We require a three-day minimum for cattle drive guests. If you’re interested, call for details. Of course, Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10, so it’s not too early to start making your plans for that. We will plan some nice things for that weekend so keep in touch, call or email for details on a special Mother’s Day weekend at Long Hollow. We are also making plans for some added activities this summer. The cooks are planning their menus and adding some new “ranch style” foods.  Yum! I can’t wait to see all the good things. And of course Katie will have some added activities for the horse enthusiasts, too. And spring seems to be the time to clean, paint, repair, replace, etc. By the way, if you read these blogs fairly regularly, you may remember the contest we had a few weeks ago. Next year will be the 50th playing of the Super Bowl. The question was, “What [...]

What is a Dude Ranch Vacation?

At the Dude Ranchers’ Association convention we attended recently, someone brought up the idea that the term “dude ranch” may be confusing to some people. Given that the word “dude” does not have the same definition in our minds that it had a few generations ago, those of us in the business need to give special attention to what our words may be saying to our audience. When dude ranches first appeared, a dude was simply a nattily-dressed man from “the city”. When these city dwellers first started visiting the west and staying at ranches, they were referred to as dudes. The ranches that hosted them were dude ranches. But nothing ever seems to stay the same, even our language (think back to high school and Shakespeare!). So we in the industry are batting about terms like “guest ranch” and “ranch vacation” in an attempt to make ourselves more understandable and relevant to the modern mind. Dude ranching itself is quite different from its early days. When the dudes first began spending time at the dude ranches, they would typically stay most of the summer and literally become part of the staff of the ranch. In other words they entered into the daily chores and jobs of the ranch, working alongside the ranch hands. This is very rare nowadays. Dude ranches have become vacation options. Some ranches still allow guests to help with the grooming or feeding of the horses, but no guest is actually expected to work at the ranch. So, what is a dude ranch today? Why would you want to spend a week’s vacation there? Well, at Long Hollow Ranch, you can still live some of the romance of the old West. [...]

Planning the 2015 Garden

It’s the time of the year when the incurable gardener spends hours poring over seed catalogs and gardening books and magazines. I know, because that’s what I do. I’m always looking for new ideas for the design of the garden and new plants that could be used in either the flower garden or the vegetable patch.  Objects used in new and different ways as garden art are always intriguing. Some objects can even be used in very practical if not conventional ways. I love the way perennials are so dependable in the garden. About the only thing they require is some trimming of dead foliage or the occasional dividing and replanting. That saves me a lot of work and money because I can fill a blank space with plant material that I already have. On the other hand, annuals are so easy to start, they grow quickly and fill spaces with lots of color. Last year I planted an experimental patch, only about 100 square feet. I laid out a design that was reminiscent of a quilt block, and planted it with patches of bright pink petunias, golden yellow marigolds, and bright green lettuce. The idea was great, but I learned that it could have been much prettier had I done a few things differently. So this year the plan is to make the perfect quilt block garden. Hopefully it will be in its glory in time for the weekend of the Sisters Annual Outdoor Quilt Show. Each year we serve our guests salads and vegetable dishes using the produce of the greenhouse and garden. Not everything grows well on our Central Oregon ranch. But we can grow cabbages, broccoli, carrots, beets and potatoes outside, [...]

Super What??

Well, here it is the Friday before Super Bowl XLIX, being played in Phoenix, Arizona this year between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. I just heard a sweet young lady on TV talking about “sunny Arizona”. Well, I’m in Phoenix right now for a little respite from the frozen North, and I can tell you it is not sunny today. In fact it is raining and looking a lot like winter weather in Seattle, Washington. Could that be an omen? Seriously though, weather can change pretty quickly in the desert, so who knows what it will be like by Sunday? People here are very busy making preparations for the Super Bowl. The downtown areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale are brightly decorated for the event, people are flocking to the stores for their game-time snacks, and the streets are more crowded than ever. I heard that food consumption on Super Bowl Sunday is second only to that on Thanksgiving Day. Wow! My son-in-law, Randy, made his way through the grocery aisles last evening to beat the crowd. He needed supplies for making his favorite salsas and snacks. I can’t wait to try them out. I’m supplying meatballs with dipping sauces. Randy’s super-sized flat screen TV actually makes watching the game easier than being there in person. And we don’t have to fight the crowds. The only thing missing at home is the adrenaline rush you get actually being there. Well, I guess a ranch vacation at Long Hollow can’t really compare with the Super Bowl, but I think the satisfaction of the experience is just as memorable. We have a reservation for this summer from a couple who came last year. They said they [...]

The 2015 Dude Ranchers’ Association Convention – Tucson, Arizona

Everybody has to have a support group of sorts, so we dude ranchers have ours too. The Dude Ranchers Association was started in 1926 as a means for ranchers to share ideas, collectively solve problems they might be encountering, and to set standards for ranchers who were hosting guests from the eastern part of the country. To become a member of the Dude Ranchers Association (DRA), a ranch must pass inspection at various levels, and be on probation for a year or two. Then, after admission to the DRA, ranches are still visited and inspected by a DRA representative every few years. The Dude Ranchers Association headquarters are located in Cody, Wyoming, which was co-founded by the famous Buffalo Bill Cody. The headquarters and town are both worth a visit on their own. The DRA building includes artifacts and histories of dude ranching. The town has a number of historic buildings, including Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel. Cody is also home to a wonderful museum full of artwork, artifacts, guns and history of the old Wild West. These days the DRA receives and forwards hundreds, if not thousands, of inquiries every year from people around the world who are interested in a ranch vacation. The DRA is also helpful to ranchers who are looking for employees, young people who are looking for ranch positions, and even with college scholarships for young students affiliated with the DRA. So, this last week the DRA held their annual convention in Tucson, AZ. Typically southern dude ranches operate in the winter but not in summer, while in northern states it’s just the opposite. Therefore while we northern operators are off for the winter it is convenient to get away for [...]

Winter at the Ranch: What’s Going On This Time of the Year?

There’s more to running a dude ranch vacation and bed & breakfast operation than riding horses and cooking chili. Of course, summer is the busy season with all the guests arriving for their vacations and getaways. But winter is the time to assess the previous season’s activities and plan and prepare for the next season. This month the Dude Ranchers’ Association, which is based in Cody, Wyoming is holding its annual convention in Tucson, Arizona. Five Long Hollow Ranch staff and board members will be attending. There is a great deal to be learned at these conventions as participants share their experiences, insights, difficulties, and acquired wisdom as dude ranch operators. Experts in the fields of hospitality, insurance, recreation liability law, technology, horseback riding, and western décor – to name a few – provide information and insight that we are able take back to the ranch and use to improve the way we conduct business. They also provide information about latest developments in laws, marketing, advertising, taxes, liabilities and other subjects that concern our business. We hope to come away with new ways of thinking about what we do, in order that we can continue to do it better. Something for us all to look forward to is the upcoming issue of the True West magazine. The state of Oregon will be featured, particularly Central Oregon and Sisters. In that issue, Long Hollow Ranch will be featured along with other local western-themed businesses. I encourage you to look for that at your local magazine stand; I’m sure you will find it enjoyable and informative reading. True West is published monthly in Cave Creek, Arizona with a circulation of over 300,000 and is chock-full of western [...]

Looking Back – and Ahead

This is the time of year, when things have slowed down, the weather makes you glad to be inside, and you enjoy taking it easy for a little while each day. I like to sit down with a pen and paper and just jot down thoughts that come to mind about the ranch and what we do here. I think back over the previous year about the highlights and about the things that could have been better. One of the highlights of 2014 was the great staff we had here at the ranch. Our cook, Karen, produced outstanding, delicious and beautifully presented meals. Sally, the housekeeper, kept all the rooms and facilities spotlessly clean and Bruce found all the little things and - some big ones - that needed fixing, and he fixed them. Katie and Awbrey conducted a stellar horse program. They also made sure that the special events held at LHR were carried out in a professional manner. My hat goes off to all of them, as well as to the folks who came in from time to time to help out in any way they could. Of course, the guests who visited LHR in 2014 were delightful, interesting, and a joy to share some time with. Dick and I both feel that 2014 was Long Hollow Ranch’s best year ever. Due in part to the agreeable weather and in part to our local superior irrigation system, the ranch was even more attractive than in the past. The farm fields and lawns were beautifully green, the garden was glorious in its various stages, and buildings were kept in tip-top condition. Our paths, lanes and trails gave people plenty of opportunity to enjoy the [...]

Going International

One of the most interesting aspects of the dude ranch business is the exposure to international culture and custom. At Long Hollow Ranch here in little ol’ Sisters, Oregon, we have actually hosted guests from fifty-five countries around the world! There have been as many as three or four countries represented around the dinner table at one time. Now that is a lot of fun! This Christmas there were people from western Oregon, southern California, and India at the table. These were our first guests from India, a couple that were in Oregon to visit their daughter who has been working in Portland for ten years. During their visit they were taking a mini-tour of the state. All the folks at the table were active and well-educated so there was lively conversation. It was a great experience for all of us. I can’t help thinking that if more people could experience this, there may well be a better understanding leading to less strife in our world. The first year we were open I was at the main guest house cleaning and preparing for a wedding that was to take place that Saturday. The ceremony was to be held on the front lawn and all rooms were rented for the weekend for the wedding guests. I had made it clear that we should take no more reservations for the week because I wanted to keep things in a state of readiness. Around four o’clock on Tuesday the phone rang and the local Chamber of Commerce informed me that they had someone in the office who desperately needed rooms for the next few nights. I told her I hadn’t been planning to take more guests, but she [...]

Christmas at the Ranch

Winter came in with a bang this year, and earlier than usual. In mid-November it snowed for two and a half days and we ended up with about two feet of snow that stayed for over a week. By Thanksgiving things were more normal with sunny days, some rain, some wind – pretty typical fall weather. By the time Christmas rolled around it was wintery, but snow didn’t come again till several days later. Before Christmas Katie made sure the guest quarters were clean and that there was a beautiful tree decorated in the living room. She also strung lights around the verandah and the Cottage porch, making everything look really festive. Christmas was quite jolly at Long Hollow Ranch. Bruce and Sally came in to help with the big meals, and we had fun fixing lots of yummy food. We had as many as twelve guests one day, all of them very nice people. A family with four young children stayed in the Cottage, but had breakfasts in the dining room as well as dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Dinners were very enjoyable with plenty of good food and pleasant conversation. After dinner we gathered around the piano in the living room and sang Christmas carols. Even the young children enjoyed that while sitting on comfortable laps. In the morning when Bruce and Sally went out to feed the horses, the guests rode along on the feed truck. Sally reported that the horses behaved themselves unusually well and the guests had fun getting acquainted with them. The last guests to arrive were from India, just taking a tour through Oregon. That made India the fifty-fifth country to be represented at Long Hollow [...]

Thinking it Over

The 2014 Dude Ranch season has come to an end. It was a great one! People came from all over the USA and from other countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. We enjoyed the interaction with folks from around the world. What an experience! To visit, exchange views, learn about other cultures, and forge new friendships in this way is a privilege we could never enjoy otherwise. And our guests would not get the personal touch or the experience of “real America” as they see it here at Long Hollow Ranch if they stayed in hotels or hit the high spots on a “canned” tour. This Thanksgiving we hosted a family group from the Portland area. They enjoyed a traditional Turkey Day dinner, a comfortable night’s sleep, a hearty home-cooked breakfast the next morning and even a lunch of turkey, dressing, and other goodies left from Thursday’s dinner before they headed home. There was also plenty of opportunity for them to enjoy the outdoors as they explored the ranch and visited the horses or played with Bandit the dog. The evening was spent playing games or reading. So now it is time to evaluate the 2014 season and begin planning for the 2015 season. We would really like to hear from our guests; what you enjoyed the most, and suggestions for things that would have made your stay even better. Plans are underway to make 2015 the best year ever at Long Hollow Ranch, so check back to see what might be coming up. As you consider your vacation plans for 2015, imagine a mother-daughter week at Long Hollow (or father-son, or grandparents-grandkids ) trail-riding, hiking or fishing. What a great way to enjoy [...]

Old Man Winter Brings Our First Snow Fall of 2014

Well, Old Man Winter struck with a vengeance last week. In two days we had two feet of snow all over everything here at Long Hollow Ranch. In fact all of Central Oregon was inundated with the white stuff. That’s really good for snow accumulation on the mountains (read skiing, sledding, snowboarding, etc.).  The peaks had been quite bare until these storms came through. Not only is the snowpack good for winter recreation in the area, but it improves the outlook for plenty of irrigation water for next summer’s crops. It took us a couple of days to get the snow removed from our road and our driveway was definitely a challenge. Those of you who have been here know that the driveway is a bit steep just as you turn in at the gate. Our big four-wheel-drive truck is still not comfortable traveling around the yard; of course by now the soft white fluffy stuff has turned to wet mush. Temperatures are now well above freezing and it has been raining a little, so the snow is melting fast. Since the driveway is paved, accessing the guest facilities from the road is not a problem, but driving around the fields to feed animals is interesting and more of a challenge. Speaking of accessing the guest facilities, let me introduce a thought for local residents who may get a bit stressed out during the upcoming holiday season. Every year, during the winter, some local folks find our website, notice that our B&B is open year-round, and decide to getaway without going away. Rather than spending hours on the road to reach a getaway destination, they can arrive at Long Hollow Ranch in less than one [...]

What to Do for the Holidays?

It is that time of year is here again; Thanksgiving (planning, shopping, cooking, hosting, the list goes on), and Christmas coming up before long (more planning, shopping, cooking, hosting, and the list goes on).  Those are really great times to look forward to but sometimes circumstances make all that activity more than you want to deal with. What to do? Many local hotels and restaurants offer holiday meals, some even to go, which can certainly help. Here at Long Hollow Ranch, we offer home-cooked holiday dinners along with our cozy and relaxing Bed & Breakfast services. Families can come and get away from the hustle and bustle for a day or two of relaxation and togetherness without all that planning, shopping, cooking and clean up afterwards. For Thanksgiving we are offering a special package that includes two nights B&B plus a delicious traditional holiday dinner. You can see the details of the special here. Please make your reservation as soon as you know you will be joining us. For entertainment there are Christmas parades, boutiques and fairs in nearby Sisters, Redmond and Bend. On Friday after Thanksgiving Thursday you can also enjoy the Christmas tree lighting and caroling in Sisters. Long Hollow Ranch will also be open for Christmas this year. You can come with family or friends any time before the 25th for bed & breakfast. We will be serving other meals during that time as well. The house will be decorated and there will be plenty of cookies, hot chocolate and comfy places to relax. There is a piano in the living room so bring your favorite pianist and your singing voices for those Christmas favorites. We have room for a few more [...]

Hey, Dudes!

Did you ever wonder where the term “dude” came from? Who was the first to use it? What was the original meaning? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says that the origin of the term is unknown, but that its earliest use goes back to 1883. Definition number one is that of a man extremely fastidious in dress and manner, or “dandy”. The second definition calls a dude a city dweller, particularly an Easterner, who is unfamiliar with life on the range. The term “dude ranch”, used first in 1921, is defined as a vacation resort offering activities, such as horseback riding, typical of western ranches. These definitions do agree with the history of the development of dude ranches. The story goes that city dwellers back East in the early 1900s who were looking for unusual adventures began boarding west-bound trains and disembarking in remote stations primarily in Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana and heading for the local ranches. They were welcomed by the ranchers who provided them with whatever housing was available, fed them with the ranch hands, and put them to work.  The elegant eastern city-dwellers spent the summer riding with the ranch hands, working with their hands, getting dusty, dirty and sweaty.  By the time they were ready to return to the city they were quite familiar with life on a western ranch! By the way, this experience included young women as well as men. As time went on, vacationing on western ranches became popular with families, too. Families would typically stay at the ranch for at least seven days at a time. Many of the older dude ranches in the west can tell stories of families coming year after year until the children were grown and [...]

Winding Down And Gearing Up

Well, the Halloween goblins have come and gone, the clocks are back on standard time, and the beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves are almost all on the ground here at Long Hollow Ranch. Its fall, my favorite time of year. Actually, I like to call it autumn, even though that sounds a bit more formal. It does give the season a bit more dignity. With autumn come thoughts of the approaching holidays, and those are my favorite times of the year, as well. I love the Thanksgiving holiday because everyone seems to be in such a good mood. The food! Yum! But, most of all, I like being together with family and good friends, just taking the time to enjoy a time of relaxation and fun. And, of course, those are some of the things for which I am very thankful. This year we are looking forward to the house full of guests for the Thanksgiving weekend. Besides enjoying the great food, fun and fellowship around the table, there are many other things to enjoy in Central Oregon for the holidays. Sisters, Oregon, really knows how to usher in the holiday season. On Friday, November 28, a huge Christmas tree will “come alive” with lights as the switch is flipped at 5:30 PM that evening. The next day, Saturday, November 29, Sisters residents and visitors will enjoy the annual Christmas Parade followed by refreshments and a visit with Santa, an event very much enjoyed each year by residents and visitors alike. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are planning a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. Several rooms have already been booked for the weekend and we are looking forward to a wonderful time with good food, [...]

An Awesome Addition: The Homestead House

As you have read in previous blogs, Long Hollow Ranch has been a working central Oregon ranch since the late 1800s. In spite of a good deal of searches of Deschutes county and Crook county historical records, we have been unable to find the historical records predating the early 1900s. We do know the ranch has 1895 water rights so we have concluded that the old house that used to be known as the bunkhouse was really the original ranch house. We have concluded from that information that it would have been erected in the late 1800s. Since we understand that the bunkhouses on the old working ranches were never built two-storied, but with a single floor and since this building has an upstairs, we believe that it must have been a private residence before it was a bunkhouse. Therefore, we have named it “The Homestead House”. When we first acquired the ranch in the mid-80s, this house stood rather forlornly at the back of the farmstead near the barn and corral. There was evidence of an extinct well nearby, and an outhouse leaned wearily to one side behind the house. Irrigation equipment and miscellaneous things were stored in it. About eight years ago, the building was sagging and leaning in a twisted fashion so we decided it was time to either destroy it for safety reasons or restore it; we chose the latter option. The building needed to be moved to a better location, but first it needed a floor and bracing to hold it together for the trip. After the skeleton had been constructed and the house seemed strong enough, it was moved to its present location by lifting one end onto a [...]

Food to Satisfy Any Appetite

There was an old saying, ”The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Nowadays, I believe that applies to anyone and maybe it always did. At any rate, we take that idea very seriously at Long Hollow Ranch. Our meals are designed to feed body and soul. One thing we find that really makes our guests happy is sitting around the dining table as a group, rather than at individual tables. People from around the globe become acquainted with each other, their homelands, lifestyles, and families. They share ideas, beliefs, dreams, jokes, hopes, fears, and questions. Sometimes they even argue politics or plumb the depths of religious tenets. All of this builds community and relationships, which is a major function of dude ranch vacations. People become friends – what a concept! This is especially gratifying for us to watch since we have to opportunity to meet and host guests from countries around the world. Mealtime should appeal to the senses in many ways. We prepare meals that will appeal first of all to the sense of smell (how can you not like waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon frying?) The dishes also need to appeal to the eye, so food presentation is very important. The eating area is clean and attractive, and there are few distractions. Our cooking style is down-home, meant to remind us of Grandma’s house when we were kids. Long Hollow Ranch is, after all, an old western ranch. All in all, mealtime at the Long Hollow Ranch dining table is a very satisfying experience. We have made many friends there at the dining table while enjoying a good, home-cooked ranch meal together.

So What is There To Do At Long Hollow Ranch This Fall?

The summer dude ranch season is winding down; leaves are turning color and falling to the ground, there’s a nip in the air every morning, and it seems everyone is looking for a slower pace of life. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do at Long Hollow Ranch and in Sisters County. Weather is still great for some enjoyable outdoor, fall activities. Our ponds are still great for fishing. One pond is full of Large-mouth Bass and the other is brimming with Rainbow Trout. It’s a good time to spend a few hours with your line in the water while you enjoy the balmy fall air, listening to the Canada geese overhead, and observing the other wildlife nearby. Golfers can have a great time on some of the many local courses this time of year in Central Oregon. Guests of Long Hollow can take advantage of a very special package arrangement with one of the most beautiful courses in Oregon, Aspen Lakes. There are a number other great courses nearby to add to your enjoyment. Although nights and early mornings are nippy, daylight hours are still quite comfortable. Of course, walking and hiking trails are abundant at the ranch and in the vicinity, as well. Hiking is a great way to enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife, not to mention the crisp, clean fresh air for improving your entire well-being. Trail rides on horseback are still available at Long Hollow, even for those that are not staying with us. If you do stay at the ranch for a short getaway, we may even treat you to an evening of hot dog and s’mores roasted around the fire pit in front of the greenhouse. So [...]

It’s Fall in Central Oregon!

We just made it to the middle of September and we have experienced our first significant frost. This is a normal late summer/early fall occurrence in Central Oregon. It freezes just enough to blacken the tops of some plants and completely stops the further development of others. The blackened ones will likely recover just in time for the hard frost that will stop them cold. So, from here on, gardening consists of harvesting the remaining good crops, gathering ripened seeds, and clearing out the old, dead stuff. Katie and Awbrey have already cleared out a great deal of dead material. The flowers have spread scads of seeds for next year and I’m already considering some changes to the garden. This year, it was really getting overgrown. I guess we’ve discovered the plants that like living here! In July and August the garden was remarkably pretty. All in all, though, we consider fall to be our favorite time of year here at Long Hollow Ranch. The daytime temperatures are mellow even though nights can be crisp. The grass is still green and the trees are beginning to show signs of turning to fall colors. It’s really quite comfortable outside and we can still eat some meals outdoors, comfortably. This has been a very busy season for us and we still have a good number of guests scheduled for the next several weeks and into October. We’ve had the great opportunity to meet a good many, really nice and very interesting people from the US and around the world. A significant number of our former guests have returned this year, some more than once! It’s, also, been possible this year to make some significant improvements around the [...]

Got Zucchini?

Well it’s that time of year again; zucchini here, zucchini there, zucchini everywhere!  This evening we had zucchini four ways; two kinds of soup, raw as finger food with ranch dip, and the ever-popular zucchini bread. These were so good we thought as a public service we would share at least some of the recipes. By the way, I found the zucchini version of “the one that got away” in my raised bed the other day (see it in the picture to the left); it must be two feet long and as thick as your upper arm. It’s probably a little too big to be really good anymore. Anyway there are still some nice-sized ones that we can use.  So here goes with a recipe using zucchini. Try it, you’ll like it. Zucchini Bisque 1 medium onion, diced ½ cup butter 2 ½  cups shredded zucchini 2 ½  cups chicken broth ½ tsp dried basil (we used fresh basil from the garden) ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ¼ tsp nutmeg 1 cup light cream In a large saucepan, sauté onion in butter. Add zucchini and chicken broth. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; add seasonings. Puree, in two batches on low in blender. Return to pan; stir in cream and heat through. Makes five cups. We had some nice homemade rustic bread which was great dunked in the soup. Mmmm... We'd love to know what creative and delicious ways you use zucchini and if you have recipes to share, we'd enjoy hearing those as well. Please share with us in the comments below.  

A Home on the Range!

Back in the days when people were coming west to settle the land and make their fortune, a settler’s cabin was established on the land that we now call Long Hollow Ranch. The cabin was of single wall construction, with no insulation -- hot in summer and cold in winter. There were no electric lights, no running water, no bathroom and no electric range in the kitchen. The ground floor had two small rooms and a steep, narrow set of steps led up to a single room upstairs. Near the back of the house stood the outhouse. In time the homestead land was lost and those original settlers moved on. When the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company took over the land in 1904, that settler’s cabin became a bunkhouse where the ranch cowboys stayed. In later years when many cowboys were no longer needed to do the ranch chores, the building became storage space for ranch tools and equipment. Over time it began to deteriorate. About ten years ago we determined that it was time to either restore the building or destroy it. We chose to restore it. And, we are so glad we did. We first remodeled it for use as a gift shop. In 2014 we determined a much better use would be add a bathroom and adapt it to meet the increased demand for guest quarters. The building is now “The Homestead House". The main floor is one large room, containing a queen-size bed, an antique (non-functional) kitchen range and a sitting area. And, of course, the space now includes a modern bathroom. In the main area you can also find a microwave oven, a small refrigerator and a coffeemaker. A [...]

Events Happening This Fall!

Now that summer is winding down, days are shorter again, and evenings are crisper, it’s time to start thinking of all the fun and entertainment that is available in Central Oregon throughout September and October. Here at Long Hollow Ranch, we think of the fall months as our favorite time of year. Typically, the temperatures are more temperate with cool nights and balmy days. The rush of summertime activities is slowing down and a more relaxed feeling takes over the ranch. But, there is still plenty to do in the Bend, Redmond, and Sisters area; street fairs, food tastings, recreational events, art shows, music festivals, cultural events, and just a general celebration of the season abound in Central Oregon. To name just a few of them: Sisters Fall Street Festival on September 13th and 14th : The 7th Annual Fall Street Festival that features an assortment of arts, crafts, and food benefiting the Sisters High School Visual Arts Department. Fresh Hop Festival on September 27th: Located at Sisters Village Green Park, the 5th Annual Fresh Hop Festival features brews from around the state of Oregon. Experience the hops that Oregon has to offer. Harvest Faire on October 11th and 12th : The Harvest Faire features over 200 juried vendors of arts, crafts, food and entertainment. The Faire covers a large area of city streets with color, music, luscious aromas, and good old fashioned fun. It’s a great time to start shopping for Christmas gifts! Redmond Festival of Cultures on September 13th: The Latino Community Association presents the annual festival of cultures. Visit Redmond's Centennial Park to experience a variety of cultures. Oktobercrest on September 13th: Eagle Crest Resort presents Oktobercrest benefiting Habitat for Humanity. With dozens of beer, wines, and mead, [...]

The Historic Long Hollow Ranch Cottage

One of the more interesting units for guest accommodations at Long Hollow Ranch is the Cottage, primarily because of its interesting history. The original part of the building is, likely, older than the main LHR guest house by several years. It was built originally as a stagecoach stop on the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Military Road. Mail and supplies were brought from Albany, Oregon, all the way to Prineville on that road. Of course, its main function was to supply a small military outpost called Camp Polk near Sisters. The Camp didn’t last long, but the road survived and was very useful to the early settlers in Central Oregon. It wound its way from Sisters to Long Hollow, passing right through the ranch and in front of the Cottage. The present driveway is part of that road. Later, when the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company owned the ranch, the building was used as a commissary for cowboys who worked here. Since the Company owned four other large ranches in the area in addition to Long Hollow, employees sometimes had long distances to travel and needed to take supplies along to sustain themselves on the trail in the open range. To this day, we still have some of the rustic wooden bins that contained food items such as rice, beans, and dried apples. When the ranch buildings were remodeled for use as guest ranch accommodations, the Cottage building had already been used as a guest house, so it was doubled in size to contain a complete kitchen and living room in addition to the sleeping quarters and bathroom. It makes a nice, comfortable, and private space for visiting families, yet they are close enough [...]

The Long Hollow Ranch Staff: A Well-Oiled Machine

The horses look forward to their visits from Dick. It’s been some time since we first introduced you to our staff here at the ranch. That’s mostly because business is so good this year we haven’t had the time to do very much except for doing the good work of serving our great guests. The folks who work here haven’t had time to turn in a bio as yet and we haven’t had time to forward it to you. So now we will share how things get done around here, and a little about the people who do the work. Handy-man Bruce can be found in the shop, most days. First, we have Bruce and Sally Marshall whom we met in Sunday school. They are a “retired” couple who were looking for something to do with their time. Bruce is the personification of the term, ”handyman”. He either knows how to fix whatever is in need of repair or he digs through manuals and/or he searches online to find out how. We didn’t realize there were so many things that needed fixing, but he has been busy every day getting everything in good working order. He, also, has a real “servant’s heart”.  He always makes himself available to help whenever he sees a task that needs to be done. Sally brightens our world! Sally is an amazing lady. She cooks and cleans as though those are the most enjoyable things in the world to do. She seems never happier than when cleaning something. Not only that; Sally is a real team-player, and is always there to lend a hand. Then there is our chef, Karen. After graduating from the [...]

A Deal You Won’t Want to Miss: Aspen Lakes Golf Course Package

For our guests here at Long Hollow Ranch, we have an amazing limited time, special offer with Aspen Lakes Golf Course that you won't want to miss! From June 1st until October 15th, for only $75.00 receive:  a golf cart, 18 holes of golf, a small bucket of balls, a 30-minute lesson with Howie Pruitt, and a gift bag from us at Long Hollow Ranch. But wait! There's more... October 15th until April 1st, for only $65.00 receive: a golf cart, 18 holes of golf, a small bucket of balls, a 30-minute golf lesson, and a gift bag from us! Aspen Lakes Golf Course is located at: 16900 Aspen Lakes Drive, Sisters, Oregon 97759 Click here to find out more about the beautiful Aspen Lakes Golf Course and contact us today to book your reservation with Long Hollow Ranch.

News Flash!!! Long Hollow Ranch Featured on French TV

Have you heard the latest news about Long Hollow Ranch? We are feeling very proud and excited right now. During the Long Hollow Ranch annual Fourth of July celebration here at the ranch, two young journalists from France 2, the French national TV station, travelled to the ranch to film for a feature story on “Cowboy Vacations”. They were delightful young people and everyone, staff and guests alike, very much enjoyed the experience of working with them as they were filming for the story. They did a very professional job of interviewing and filming LHR activities including guests and staff. The story was aired on Fance2 TV, the French national TV station, with a viewership of 4.5 million! The segment lasted three and a half minutes. We received a copy of the showing and have distributed it to a number of friends of LHR. If you did not receive a copy, visit our Facebook page or click here to go directly to the program (Some of us may not understand French, but we do know they're talking about Long Hollow Ranch!). They, also, took the opportunity to film a wedding here. A young couple tied the knot here in a truly “western cowboy wedding” during the filming. So, if you had been here on July 4, you might very well have been on French national television. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that kind of opportunity, now would you?

Showcasing the Juniper Room

You may have noticed by now that some of our rooms have names related to geographical regions near the ranch. Well, the Juniper Room is an exception; Juniper trees are all around us in large numbers so any area could legitimately carry the name and a number of local businesses do. In the years that we have operated the ranch, we have actually inhabited all of the various rooms, and the one we now call Juniper has always been my favorite. It is upstairs in the corner, farthest from the rest of the house. The windows give you a nice view of the front pasture where the horses often graze and the room itself is decorated in my favorite colors. Of course, the bed is very comfortable, there are nice chairs in which to sit, and read or gaze out the window at the beautiful scenes. The bathroom is very well appointed. In keeping with the period of the home, the walls are papered in a soft two-toned light green pattern and the bathroom is painted in a soothing shade of green to complement them. So, when you are ready to book a room with us for a nice relaxing time away from home, have a look at the Juniper Room on our web site under “Rates and Reservations” and reserve it for yourself. We think you’ll be glad you did!

Bring ‘em Home!

Summer is moving right along and it’s almost time to bring the cattle home from range pasture. It seems just like last week that we took them up to the range. It’s been a very busy summer here at LHR with lots of visitors from near and far. But there’s still plenty of time to enjoy good weather and time in the saddle, riding the trails. The Bring ‘em Home Cattle Drive is scheduled for Thursday, July 31st. Katie and Awbrey take our guest riders up the rimrock to the pastures where they begin hunting for the cattle which are spread out over five square miles of range country. Some of the animals are easy to find hanging out at the watering trough. Others are off foraging among the sagebrush and Junipers, or just keeping cool under the shade of the Juniper and Pine trees. This is an excellent time to practice your riding skills. Moving cows and calves requires a bit more expertise than just following a trail. Around noon the riders are met up on the range by the ranch kitchen crew for a lunch break. This gives the horses a little rest while the riders, hot and dusty, get off and enjoy some tasty ranch food and cold lemonade, iced tea and LHR’s signature clear, cool well water. Guests who want to experience the cattle drive will need to arrive a few days early to familiarize themselves with the terrain and the horses, and to learn some basics of cattle-moving. We still have a couple of openings for would-be cowboys and cowgirls to come along and help out, so just call us to assure yourself a spot for some old-fashioned fun. We’ll [...]

Summer is County Fair time in Central Oregon

Summer is the time of county fairs, and Central Oregon has three great ones from which to choose. If you love the fun and entertainment of a county fair you can experience it all in a 40-mile radius of Long Hollow Ranch between July 23 and August 9 this year. It all begins with the Jefferson County Fair in Madras from July 23 through 26. This includes rodeo events on the 25th and 26th. Beginning July 30, the Deschutes County Fair in Redmond is the big one and runs through August 3. Then the Crook County Fair rounds out the schedule from August 6th through 9th. The fairgrounds in Redmond are the closest to LHR, about a 25 minute drive from the ranch. They are only a few years old and very nicely done with spacious parking lots, comfortable commercial buildings, attractive landscaping and well-marked walkways. We believe it is nicest fair in the entire state of Oregon and easily the largest in central Oregon. It features top entertainment, a big rodeo and all other aspects of a first class county fair. The facilities at the other fairs are older, but retain the country western charm and special ambience of their earlier years. To experience a taste of the Old West right here in Sisters Country, you can get it all by attending any of these local fairs. Horses, cowboys and rodeo queens are all there, along with the animals, crafts, and commercial displays that make up a great fair. And don’t forget the food! BBQ, corn on the cob, burgers, fry bread, cotton candy – there’s an endless supply. One of the best features of an event in Central Oregon is the night sky. [...]

Let the Fireworks Begin!

Well, here it is summer time again with lots of warm sunny weather and all sorts of great summer activities to enjoy. One of the highlights, of course, is Independence Day. How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? Here at Long Hollow Ranch we have a long-standing tradition that was started back in the early- to mid- part of the 20th century when the Holmes family owned the ranch. They hosted a big picnic for the entire Lower Bridge community every year on the Fourth of July. People would come from many miles around to visit with their neighbors (in those days in these parts, a neighbor was anyone living within 10 miles of the ranch.) When the ranch was sold in the 1960s, the new owners discontinued the traditional event. So after Long Hollow Ranch acquired the ranch and began the guest business in 2000, Shirley decided it was time to renew the traditional neighborhood picnic. Not only is it great fun, but it is the only time during the year that many of the neighbors actually get see each other. Some years a few of the Holmes family members began to attend the picnic too, and that’s always a special treat. To keep up the old-fashioned tradition we do what we call an open potluck, meaning that we don’t plan who will bring what dish. And it always works out very well with a nice balance of dishes from entrees to desserts. Boy, are these local ladies ever good cooks! We love potlucks! Of course the stars and stripes are on display in many ways. The picnic tables on the front lawn under the shade trees are decorated with red, white and [...]

We Aim To Please

Do you use TripAdvisor to check out a place you plan to go? We are finding that many of our guests go to TripAdvisor when looking for a B&B or guest ranch to visit. And, then they choose Long Hollow Ranch based on the reviews they found there. We are very pleased and happy to announce that TripAdvisor has declared Long Hollow Ranch a 2014 Winner of their Certificate of Excellence. Our guests have been overwhelmingly gracious in giving us the top ratings for our food, service and accommodations, and we really appreciate that. It really does pay to do our best to do everything we can to serve our wonderful guests. One of the things guests like about Long Hollow Ranch is the very comfortable and high quality beds in our rooms. We know they are here for rest and relaxation, or they are enjoying strenuous activities liking riding, biking or hiking in Central Oregon, so they need a good restful night’s sleep. Therefore we provide those items that will maximize the comfort of our beds. We also pride ourselves on the tasty meals we prepare for our guests. We use only quality meats, fruits and vegetables, much of it produced right here on the ranch. Most of our baked goods are homemade; waffles, pancakes, scones and corn breads are cooked in our kitchen using only high quality ingredients. In-season fresh vegetables come from our own ranch gardens and the beef is grown right here on the ranch. Another important feature is cleanliness. Our housekeepers are some of the most fastidious people around. Even the lawns and grounds are kept up carefully. Many guests comment on the beauty of the ranch and buildings. So, [...]

Ride ‘em, Cowboy! Sisters Rodeo is Next Week!

Image via Sisters Rodeo It’s only one week until the Sisters Rodeo! That’s right; the Biggest Little Show in the World (they think big in Sisters Country!) is coming right up on June 13, 14, and 15. Riding, roping, and barrel racing are just a few of the exciting events that happen at the Sisters Rodeo. The rodeo has been operating since the 1940s, and draws world champion competitors. Looks like it will be great weekend. The fun starts with Xtreme Bulls followed by a dance on Wednesday, June 11. Actual Rodeo performances will be held on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon. Nationally recognized Rodeo clown, J.J. Harrison, keeps the crowd entertained with his risky antics. There is a Rodeo Parade on the streets of Sisters on Saturday at 9:30 AM, and a Buckaroo Breakfast and Cowboy Church on Sunday.  Something fun here for everyone. Weather is another interesting feature of rodeo week. It may be very warm during the day and very cold in the evening, or even rain at times (very rare), so spectators must come prepared. Long Hollow Ranch (and likely the other lodging facilities in the area) are fully booked for the rodeo weekend this year, but if you decide you would like to attend next year you can book with us anytime for next year. Just Google “Sisters Rodeo” for details. We’ll even reserve tickets for you as soon as they become available. Yee, haw!

Springtime at Long Hollow Ranch

Wow! Spring has arrived and there is a whole lot going on at Long Hollow Ranch. We’ve seen sun, rain, wind, heat and cold – you name it; typical spring weather in central Oregon. The cattle have been moved to the summer range pasture, the fieldwork is done and the new crop seeding’s are coming up. The greenhouse is prepped for planting and the seedlings are up. Dead trees have been removed, the lawn is green and growing, and flowers have burst into bright colorful blooms in the gardens. Everyone here is working hard. Katie and Awbrey are busy tuning the horses, riding and moving cattle and cleaning the flower beds in front of the barn. Bruce is busy making everything work properly after the winter lay-off. Sally is cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen whenever she has a free moment after meal prep and cooking the delicious meals. The dinner cook, Karen, has been on vacation, but will be back next week, ready to work her magic in the kitchen. Dentzie has been cleaning and sprucing up the guest rooms several times a week. Dick answers inquiries each day and Shirley is busy trying to get the garden going. The ranch is a beehive of activity and looking real nice if I say so myself. For the past ten days Ed, a young man from Bath, England, and “Workaway Volunteer”, has been here working with Bruce on projects. He did a fine job and we really enjoyed his company. Yesterday Long Hollow Ranch hosted a potluck dinner for a group of fifty folks from our local church and Saturday six of our most recent guests left for home and we welcomed seven new ones. Today [...]

This Time in Central Oregon History

Ever wonder what was going on one hundred years ago? Have you ever thought you might like to have lived then? I have, but then I lived seventy-five years ago, which isn’t that far from one hundred. In my collection of Central Oregon/Long Hollow Ranch information there are stories of life in the area from the time of the first settlers. It’s interesting to see that, if local residents had access to the news, they might have read that 1914 was the year World War I began, the first traffic light in America was installed in Cleveland, OH, and the Ford Motor Co. was paying five dollars a day! I also found that the Army Air Corps consisted of fifty men, and new that year were the Greyhound Bus, Mother’s Day, and Paul Bunyan. Here in the Lower Bridge area of Central Oregon, life was difficult, but the people were accustomed to hardship. They helped each other out in hard times and worked together to accomplish needed tasks. They enjoyed each other’s company on Sundays at the Sunday School held in the Lower Bridge School and on holidays when they would gather to celebrate and share the bounties of their respective kitchens. There was a bridge across the Deschutes River and that crossing had been dubbed Lower Bridge because it was downstream from the other major crossing at Tetherow. A post office was in operation at the bridge, and across the river, painted on a rock cliff, was an advertisement for the Lynch and Roberts Store in Redmond, parts of which are still visible. By 1914 the irrigation ditches had been enlarged and improved to bring life-giving water to the area. Without this irrigation water [...]

Long, Long Ago on a Central Oregon Ranch: Installment 2

Installment II   No one knows exactly why the BBLLC was dissolved. But by 1918 weather patterns had returned to the more normal dry conditions and farming operations were much more difficult than they had been when there was plenty of rain. At any rate, A.S. Holmes stayed on at Long Hollow and continued ranching. His children attended elementary school locally, but had to board in Redmond for their high school years. Young Priday took part in local agricultural activities with his parents, and the Holmes family was quite well known in central Oregon. An interesting period in the history of Long Hollow Ranch included the annual cattle drives. Ranchers from well east of here would bring their herds as far as Long Hollow to “overnight”.  Then Long Hollow’s cattle would be added to the herd and all were driven on foot by horseback through Camp Polk, just north of Sisters, all the way to the regions of South Sister, Broken Top and Sparks Lake. The cows and calves spent all summer there feeding on the lush grass. In early fall, when snow began to fall in the mountains, the cows would start back home;  --  they knew the way. The cattlemen would arrive on horseback, round up the stragglers and do the same trip they had taken in spring, but in reverse. Ranch wives provided food for the men on these drives with the use of a camp trailer. In the early 1960s the cattle drives were discontinued. The grazing permits now required that the cattle be hauled by truck to and from the range, and this mode became much too expensive for the ranchers. A.S. Holmes died at the ranch of accidental poisoning [...]

Long, Long Ago on a Central Oregon Ranch: Installment 1

Installment I (You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!) Promoters were touting the land as wonderfully productive, covered with waist-high grass perfect for grazing cattle. Water was readily available, and the sun shone beautifully. So they came; immigrants from Great Britain, Germany and other European countries, as well as speculators and would-be farmers and ranchers from the eastern States. Before the turn of the century, the present Long Hollow ranch had been homesteaded, irrigated, worked and lost. The present-day Homestead House and the Irrigation District records are testimony that settlers were here in the 1890s. Then in 1902 the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company (BBLLC) was formed, comprised of five ranches in the Sisters Country. Long Hollow Ranch became the Headquarters for the Company. In 1910 A.S. Holmes was hired as the superintendent of the Company. He lived at Long Hollow with his wife, Ida, and two children, Dorothy and Priday, in the present-day ranch house which had been built in 1905. Two years later he bought shares in the Company. This was remote country at that time. Gardens and orchards at the various ranches provided vegetables and fruit for the many men needed to work all that land and livestock. Cows, hogs, and chickens provided meat and dairy products. Supplies not grown at the ranches had to be hauled in by horse and wagon over the deeply rutted Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Wagon Road, which was the only access to Long Hollow. These supplies were stored in the building which is now The Cottage. Men who worked the range picked up their supplies before heading out to their remote workplaces. The BBLLC ranch operations were in production of cattle, sheep, hogs, horses, hay [...]

Room Showcase – Ochoco

  There’s something about an old house. It seems to have more personality. It definitely is not a cookie-cutter style as so many of the newer houses. Some older houses even have unusual little corners and hidden areas that excite the imagination. I’ve always been intrigued by older houses, especially if they have undergone additions and changes over the years. My Grandpa’s house had a hallway upstairs that went around a corner and then just ended without giving access to any other rooms. It always was dark and mysterious to a kid with an over-active imagination. Later on I learned that hallway was originally a staircase to the downstairs rooms before the house was enlarged. The main house at Long Hollow Ranch is one hundred ten years old. It has no mysterious corners or hideaways, but it does have personality. When the settlers of the early twentieth century built their homes they were looking for practicality and durability - life was hard then. So the floor plan is quite straight-forward and predictable, but still interesting. Of course there have been a few changes to accommodate the guest facilities. The Ochoco guest room is in the southeast corner upstairs, so named because the windows look out toward the Ochoco Mountains to the east. The room has been decorated in a style that evokes the flavor of the early farmhouse style; delicate pastel colored wallpaper, simple curtains, and coordinated bedcoverings. The bed has a comfortable queen size mattress, the floor is carpeted for comfort and noise reduction and the bathroom is painted a soothing soft green tone. The closet area includes open shelves to conveniently store your smaller items. Many people say the Ochoco room is their [...]

Make Your Memorial Day Memorable!

  Time flies when you’re having fun. Suddenly you realize it’s later than you thought! That means you probably should start thinking now about plans for the Memorial Day weekend. That’s the time when it begins feeling warm comfortable outside, the days are longer and you can really have some serious fun in the sun. Not only that, you have a long weekend to enjoy with the family. By late May the horses at Long Hollow Ranch are primed and ready for trail riding, the grass and trees are green and pretty, spring cleaning has been done and we are ready to serve up tasty home cooked meals. So why not check your calendar, then check out our website to see what’s going on here at the ranch, and what events are scheduled in Sisters Country for the Memorial Day weekend. Our rooms could fill up fast, so if you decide to come you’ll want to make your reservation soon. You can come as Bed & Breakfast guests and use Long Hollow as your “home place” when you go off on adventures around the area, or you can reserve for full dude ranch service and enjoy riding good horses on scenic trails, tasty wholesome meals three times a day and other amenities such as the game room in the barn, the hammock or hot tub, horseshoes and other lawn games, hiking, fishing or just sitting back and relaxing with a good book. We’d love to meet you and help you have that really memorable Memorial Day weekend.

Ranch Reunion Retreats

Is it time for your family to have a family reunion? Do you have a group of classmates who would like to spend a day together? How about your colleagues at work? Would a special day’s outing help to build your team, or just give you an opportunity to relax together in a non-work setting? At Long Hollow Ranch we can accommodate your reunion or retreat with a small group for several days and nights, or a larger group for the day. A few years ago a family of 16 spent a vacation week here at Long Hollow Ranch. Grandma and Grandpa brought their motorhome, and the rest of the family members stayed in the main guest house and the ranch cottage. Long Hollow Ranch provided all of their meals, some of them in one of our several outdoor settings on the ranch. They rode the horses, hiked on one of the ranch trails and even spent a day on a river raft trip. They also participated in the other activities provided on the ranch and others nearby. It was a great family retreat experience. They became better acquainted as a family and enjoyed sharing the experiences on horseback, on the river and as they played lawn games, went for walks, watched movies, soaked in the hot tub, and just sat talking or reading, or making music together. The ranch facilities were theirs to enjoy by themselves. Long Hollow Ranch did with meal planning, cooking and clean-up. Yay! A vacation for Mom, too. There are plenty of shows, fairs, musical programs, rodeos, or other recreational activities available within a 40 mile radius of the ranch. Guests at Long Hollow Ranch are able to conveniently take [...]

Alleviating Anniversary Anxiety

Does the question of what to do for an anniversary leave you scratching your head? Do you have trouble figuring out what would really please your spouse on that special day? Would you like to do something different, something the two of you have never done before? Why not consider a stay at Long Hollow Ranch? You can choose a two-night B&B stay for a romantic mini-vacation. Or you can go for a multiple-day stay for full service, including, a nice room, three meals and horseback riding each day, some really great cooking and even the possibility of a river raft trip. If other types of activities or attractions appeal to your sensibilities, our area has plenty of them. There is the quaint little western town of Sisters. Sisters is full of galleries, shops, artisan studios, and an interesting array of eating places. There are outdoor attractions in the area too. These include great hiking or biking trails, lava beds, and local hotspots such as Camp Sherman and the Head of the Metolius. You’ll have to find out for yourself what those are! For the outdoor sports minded there are rivers and lakes to ply in a canoe and or, fish. Nearby is world renowned Smith Rock for rock climb or hiking. Central Oregon, a northwest premier recreational area has all of that and much, much more. The very hip city of Bend might appeal to you as well. Boasting its up-to-date shops at the Old Mill District, the amazing number of fine dining venues or the variety of microbreweries where you can sample your favorite designer suds. Bend also hosts a number of entertainment opportunities. There is the historic, newly updated Tower Theater, the [...]

You Asked, We Answered! Long Hollow Ranch FAQ’s

You Asked - We Answered April 2014 FAQs We know you’re curious to learn more about us, so we thought we would answer some of your most frequently asked questions about Long Hollow Ranch, Dude Ranch vacations, and vacationing in Central Oregon! What time of year is the B&B open? The B&B is available at all times – weather permitting. During the busy Dude Ranch vacation season (April-October) we may be fully booked, but there are often rooms available then as well. When are Dude Ranch vacations available? Dude ranch vacations are available primarily from April through October. Weather permitting, guests can be accommodated on the edges of those times when weather permits and staff is available. Are there airports nearby? The nearest airport is in Redmond (RDM), about 25 minutes from the ranch. Direct flights are available from many major western cities, including Portland, San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City. The Portland airport (PDX) is a 3 ½ hour drive by car.  There is a shuttle bus available between PDX and RDM. Is RV parking available at Long Hollow Ranch? We can accommodate two RVs with full hookups. There is room for additional RV parking, but without hookups. Is laundry service available at the ranch? Our laundry room is located conveniently and is available for guest use. An iron and an ironing board are available. Are guest rooms air-conditioned? Air conditioners are installed in guest rooms for the summer. Is TV available? A primary objective of a dude ranch is to provide guests with the opportunity to “get away from it all”, to enjoy the great outdoors and to relate to other folks. For that reason there is no TV in guest rooms [...]

Must-See Local Central Oregon Outings

Must See Local Events If you enjoy participating in a variety of events, primarily outdoors, then Central Oregon is the perfect vacation spot for you. During the warm weather months (April through October) there are events occurring here every week. Activity options range from sports competitions, rodeos and music festivals to weekly concerts on the lawn, wine or beer fests, or antique and art shows and sales. That doesn’t include the beautiful natural attractions of rivers, mountains, wildlife or lava caves. And the golf courses - oh my! They are beautiful. The nearest town to Long Hollow Ranch is the charming little western city of Sisters. In spite of its modest size, Sisters really does have much to offer visitors. Fine restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and artisan studios, not to mention spas, brewpubs, and great shopping venues are all there to enjoy. One of our favorite spots is Sisters Coffee Company, where you can get coffee, roasted and ground in-house, to go with a tasty scone or muffin.  The Shop is built in the lodge style with beautiful woodwork inside and out.  You can enjoy your treat at a table inside near the fireplace, or outside under the trees when the weather allows. A well-known local and historical event is the Sisters Rodeo, held usually the second weekend in June. At Long Hollow we always have room for guests who want to come to Central Oregon for the rodeo –“The Biggest Little Rodeo in the World.” Our guests can stay with us during these events as bed and breakfast guests. And, some choose to add extra meals and/or trail rides to their experience. The biggest annual event in the area is the Sisters Outdoor [...]

We Love to Hear About Your Experience

Since the Long Hollow Ranch business opened in 2000, we have enjoyed visitors from most of the 50 states and 49 countries! What a wonderful experience it is to get acquainted with and share experiences with people from all over the world! We could never have imagined being surrounded by such a variety of guests and all of the unique places they represent, and we certainly would not have been able to enjoy all the diverse stories of their unique corners of the world. What a privilege it has been to meet all of you, to hear your own personal stories and to learn about your communities. Each of us here at Long Hollow is richer for these experiences and we appreciate your sharing them with us. These blogs are written to share with you the varied aspects of our Ranch, our community, and our lives as we operate the Dude Ranch and Bed & Breakfast. Now it is your turn! We would love to hear from you and to learn more about you, your experience at Long Hollow, Central Oregon and the greater community of the Pacific Northwest. We would also love to hear about your own life experiences since your visit here, especially if you have news of changing conditions and circumstances in your life. If you can share a photo or two, so much the better! We firmly believe in the value of travel to parts of the country or world that are different from our own. How much fun it is to sit around the table sharing stories from England, Italy, Japan, Oregon and Mississippi all in one day! Talk about education, diplomacy, and adventure! Talk about learning to understand and [...]

A Look Inside Our Rooms at the Ranch: Metolius

The 1905 historic ranch house at Long Hollow Ranch has five guest rooms, one on the ground floor and four upstairs. The room known as Metolius is right at the head of the stairs, in the northeast corner of the house. Since that corner most nearly points to the location of the Metolius River and the tiny village of Metolius, the room takes its name from those geographical places. The windows overlook the lawn, which is shaded by several large trees, as well as the back yard, though a large Vine Maple mostly blocks that view. Metolius is decorated in colors of gold and maroon. It has a queen size bed with a headboard handmade of re-finished barn wood from an abandoned ranch building, two nightstands and a quaint country-style bench. The en-suite bath includes a private closet, storage shelves, and a roomy shower. There are electric heaters in both the bedroom and bathroom. An air conditioner is added during the hot summer months, as it is not a necessity during most of the year. Makeup removal towelettes, a hair dryer, and shower amenities, along with plenty of towels, are provided for each of our guests. Visitors often comment on how well they have slept on the exceptionally comfortable mattresses. The style of the house is reminiscent of traditional Midwestern farmhouses. Since it dates back to 1905, significant remodeling and updating were necessary to adapt the rooms to accommodate guests at the Ranch. Unlike the occupants a hundred years ago, our guests are able to enjoy private bathrooms and the comfort of insulated walls, heaters and air conditioners. For a taste of authentic Ranch life in the Old West, come join us in Central Oregon. [...]