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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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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, [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]