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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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!

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 [...]

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.

In the Spotlight: March Edition: Katie Williams

If the horses are the stars at Long Hollow Ranch, Katie Williams is the director of the show. She runs the Horse Program, caring for the horses’ health, feeding, and foot care, as well as purchasing and re-homing horses, planning and guiding trail rides and other horse activities. Without Katie there is no horse program. She knows her horses by name, their history, their “personality”, their individual characteristics, and how they behave under saddle. She works with them to improve their manners, and knows how to match riders with the right mount. Katie grew up in Woodburn, Oregon, with two sisters and a brother. She began riding horses at an early age at her grandparents’ small farm outside of town. By the time she was 10 years old, she had her own horse, joined a local 4-H club, and began competing at the County Fair. In high school Katie was active in FFA, showing pigs and sheep at the County and the Oregon State Fair, as well as enthusiastically participating in many other competitions.  She also participated in basketball and softball throughout her high school career. After graduating from high school in 1997, Katie moved to Central Oregon and worked at Black Butte Ranch Stables as a trail guide. In 2002, she attended Phagans' Beauty College in Bend, where she graduated in 2003, passed the state board exam and received her hairstylist license. Katie began working at a salon in Redmond until she moved to a large cattle ranch in the small town of Paulina where she opened a salon in her house. While living on the ranch in Paulina, Katie got her first taste of helping to brand and process cattle. She lived there [...]

Dude Ranch Getaway

Long Hollow Ranch is located in the heart of Central Oregon. Lush green fields, wooded areas, rim rock, and neighboring ranches surround the Ranch. The Ranch is located a mere 15 minutes from the picturesque little western town of Sisters, yet our nearest neighbors are about a mile away. There are thousands of acres of wild land all along the north side of the Ranch. This gives you the reality of getting away from it all, while still being within easy reach of all the conveniences to be found in town. “What will we be doing all day?” You ask. Well, a typical day at the Ranch begins with a delicious hearty breakfast, served family style. Our cook arrives early to prepare such delicacies as luscious French toast made from scratch, waffles or pancakes, bacon and all the trimmings. Coffee is always available. In the meantime, the wranglers are doing morning chores and bringing in the horses for the morning ride. Some guests are eager to participate in preparing for the ride, under Katie’s watchful eye, of course. The ride will last about two hours, after which the horses will be allowed to rest until the afternoon ride. On really hot days the afternoon ride becomes a Sunset ride when the air is a bit cooler. Though there is an afternoon trail ride most every day, one afternoon in mid-week guests will have the option of a river rafting experience. Or, some choose to expand their riding skills with some arena work, again with the expert help of a wrangler. Of course, the riding trails and other trails on the Ranch may be used for hiking. In addition two small lakes on the Ranch are [...]

Then and Now: Ranch Facts

I wanted to take this time to answer some of our most popular questions, and to walk you through some of our Ranch facts. Long Hollow Ranch was acquired in 1984. Our herd of registered Polled Herefords was moved here from western Oregon, and Erik Bloomfeldt came along as the manager of the cattle and the farming operation. In 1997 the idea of developing a Dude Ranch business was forming. The buildings were remodeled to accommodate guests, horses and tack were purchased, and in August of 2000, we hosted our first guests! Dick and Shirley Bloomfeldt, Bud and Marlene Aldrich, and Allan and Kathryn Godsiff made up the original Dude Ranch staff. The Ranch consists of ~560 deeded acres used for pastures and hay crops and ~15,000 acres of leased federal and private-range land. The Polled Herefords were replaced with Red Angus in the late 1980’s, and now we manage a small herd of Angus (both Red and Black) for production of Natural Beef. About 290 acres of the Ranch are irrigated with water that comes from snow melt runoff of the Middle Sister Mountain via Whychus Creek and the Three Sisters Irrigation District system. The irrigation system is piped, which eliminates water loss from seeping into the ground and evaporation. The water comes to us under pressure so no power is needed to put it on the fields. Horses are the featured attraction at Long Hollow and for a good reason! Our guests come here to ride. They want to know all about their mounts and often become good friends with them during their time in the saddle. The herd currently consists of seventeen horses and one mule, which range in age from 8 [...]

In the Spotlight: February Edition: Shirley Bloomfeldt

Shirley, Dick’s wife, is an only child and a transplant from Canada. Born in British Columbia, she lived in Saskatchewan before moving to Ontario. At the age of 12 Shirley moved with her parents from Vineland, Ontario to Niagara Falls, NY then Michigan before settling in Oregon just in time to begin her college education in Longview, WA. She earned a degree in Education at Seattle Pacific University, became a U.S. citizen and pursued a career in Elementary Education beginning in Kelso, WA and then in Rainier, OR. This lasted for the next 35 years while their two children, Debbie and Erik, were growing up. Shirley spent much of her life in the country, around farm animals, fields of crops, orchards and gardens. In fact, gardening is almost an obsession with her. Perusing garden catalogs is a favorite winter pastime. When the Long Hollow Ranch buildings were being remodeled to accommodate the guests, Shirley insisted on including a ranch garden in the process. She decided to include a greenhouse in the plan so that cold-intolerant plants could be grown, which resulted in seedlings starting in the spring. Now tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, broccoli, herbs and a variety of other vegetables are grown in the garden for serving guests with fresh, healthy faire. Shirley works with the Long Hollow Ranch cooks, housekeepers, and gardeners, to provide tasty, nutritious meals, comfortable clean rooms and attractive surroundings for our guests. She does much of the meal planning and grocery shopping. When the original conversion to guest quarters was being done, Shirley was intimately involved in the designing and furnishing of the guest buildings, always being careful to maintain the historical Western ranch ambience. She continues to oversee the update [...]

What Is A Dude Ranch Vacation?

Dude Ranch vacations began about a hundred years ago when the west was still a pretty wild wide-open country. City dwellers back east became enamored with the idea of seeing the Wild and Woolly West for themselves. They caught a train headed for Wyoming, Montana, or Colorado and found their way to the nearest cattle ranch where they might stay for as long as a month, riding, roping, and in general living very close to the earth – like a cowboy. Usually living conditions were quite primitive. Dude Ranch vacations have come a long way since then. Most Dude Ranches are still what we call working ranches, meaning there are still cows, horses and cowboys. However, living conditions at the Dude Ranches are much improved over those available in the old days. Spending a week at a Dude Ranch is a great way to unwind, get away from it all, enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people - oftentimes from other countries - enjoy some beautiful scenery, sleep soundly in the quiet countryside and enjoy some delicious ranch food. Guests will often develop new friendships during their stay and many will return year after year to their favorite ranch! The most important activity on a Dude Ranch is the riding. First time riders, intermediate riders and those who have ridden all their life will find a variety of riding activities to choose from. Anyone with an interest in horses and riding will fit right in, so you need not be concerned about your riding experience. We do offer riding instruction for guests who have never ridden or would like to improve their skills. Horse safety is a priority, so you will be matched to the [...]

Purple Mountains’ Majesty

Central Oregon is a beautiful, scenic place to come for your vacation. There is such a variety of things to do and see.  The climate in Central Oregon is conducive to winter sports as well as summertime activities. And Sisters Country is also horse country! Trail riding, rodeos, and arena competitions are very popular activities. There are still real live cowboys living and working here, and they even dress and walk like cowboys should! But I digress. Mountains. Yes, we have mountains: the Three Sisters (from which the town derives its name), Mt Washington, Jefferson, Broken Top, Three-Fingered Jack, and Mt Bachelor to name the major ones. Mt Bachelor is a major skiing destination and is about one hour’s drive from Long Hollow. Dotted among these peaks are numerous lakes and rivers great for fishing, camping or water sports. To the east of Long Hollow is Smith Rock, a world-class rock-climbing area. Here at the ranch, there is a variety of great scenery from various locations. Vacationers can view all these peaks and more from horseback as they ride the trails. A ride to Whychus Creek (formerly Squaw Creek) takes you down into a rocky canyon lined with towering Ponderosa pine trees. Back home around the ranch buildings, Gray Butte and Grizzly Mountain can be seen rising up behind Smith Rock to the east. A ride or walk to the east end of the ranch gives you a gorgeous view of the Three Sisters and our green valley in the foreground. The original ranch house, dating back to about 1895, sits on the lawn behind the garden. It retains its original look on the outside but is nicely updated inside. The guest Cottage, near the [...]

In the Spotlight: January Edition: Dick Bloomfeldt

Greetings from Long Hollow Ranch! Since you asked! During the winter season we have decided to take the opportunity to introduce you to the folks on the Long Hollow Ranch staff. We’ll begin with Dick, who manages the business operations of the ranch. Dick was born and raised in Longview, Washington and grew up in a rural neighborhood near Kelso, where he attended school. He and his wife Shirley later moved to a small farm on the Oregon side of the Columbia River in 1963. Dick comes from a background of working with livestock. Even though he did not grow up on a farm, he was active in high school agriculture classes and FFA. After two years of college, followed by his marriage to Shirley, he got more serious about raising purebred cattle. After a few years raising sheep and hogs, they were eventually dropped from the program and we concentrated on raising registered Polled Hereford cattle. We were always on the lookout for the perfect place to raise those cattle. It was in 1984, in partnership with some friends, that we purchased the Long Hollow Ranch. Dick’s entire working career was in the paper manufacturing business. He worked for Longview Fibre Company for five years, transferring to a new Crown Zellerbach facility in 1966 where he worked until he retired on December 31st, 1999. During Dick’s tenure, the company changed ownership a number of times, having been subsequently owned by James River and Fort James. It is now Georgia Pacific. Dick was a Quality Manager, prior to spending his last 20 years as Manager of Product Performance and Development, which involved managing new product development and representing the manufacturer and consumer. In the meantime, [...]

Happy New Year To You From Long Hollow Ranch!

Here we are at the start of a New Year, looking forward to the coming season with renewed anticipation to an exciting and fun-filled 2014. When our Dude Ranch vacation season begins in spring, we always kick it off with the branding weekend. Prior to moving the cattle out to the range pastures, they must carry the LHR brand. Through the range pasture season we have three cattle drives; the first is in spring when we move the cattle to the range pasture, the second is during June when we move them to the second pasture and the third is when they come home about August 1st. A number of our guests come each year to participate in these cattle moving events. A few of the other activities Long Hollow Ranch guests will enjoy this season include bass fishing, fly fishing, cookouts, river raft trips and golfing at the beautiful nearby courses. We are in the process of setting up LHR golf packages for 2014, so stay posted! Our next special Bed and Breakfast event scheduled here is our February Couples Special. Because of your schedules, winter weather driving conditions, etc., we are offering the Special Bed and Breakfast Valentine Package through the entire month of February. Details will appear in later blogs, in the Monthly Enews and on our website at If you are one of the many folks nowadays who have limited time to relax and recreate, Long Hollow Ranch will be offering what we call a “Daycation”. If you just can’t get away for more than a day or a weekend you can come and enjoy a trail ride or fishing and lunch. More details to come – watch for it [...]