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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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!
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 [...]
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 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 are all about horsing around here at Long Hollow Ranch and making sure you have the best trail riding experience while you enjoy your stay with us. We can accommodate all levels of riders from those who have never been on a horse, to the folks that have their own horses and are experienced. Our trails are scenic, peaceful, and adventurous that span for miles all around the ranch. When we’re not out riding the trails, you might find us moving cattle to another pasture or driving them up to the summer range ground. Throughout the summer, we ride the range checking the cows, their water, and minerals and making sure everything is in good condition. In late summer you will find us gathering the cows off the range ground and bringing them home. At Long Hollow Ranch we have a total of 17 horses and even 1 mule. Yes, we do ride the mule, Ginger, after a good ear scratching first! Our horses are always happy to take you on a ride, especially if they know they might get a treat when we get back to the barn. Here at the ranch, we can also accommodate our guest’s personal horses! So feel bring to bring them and take them out for a ride while you stay with us. If you want a peaceful get-away vacation that offers amazing food, stunning mountain ranges, and you’re looking to get a lot of riding in, come stay with us! Book your vacation HERE.
Fly Fishing At Long Hollow Ranch Have you ever gone fishing at Long Hollow Ranch? If you haven't, you're missing out! Long Hollow is home to some truly amazing fly fishing opportunities. We recently restocked our ponds with fish. One pond is catch and release Rainbow Trout, and the other is a catch and release or catch and keep Bass pond. We've already had some fishermen come out this year and have a great time! If you love to fish, come spend some time on the ranch this summer enjoying the peace and quiet of a day fishing!