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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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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!

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 [...]