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Happy New Year to Our Long Hollow Ranch Guests and Friends

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

Winding Down the Year at Long Hollow Ranch

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

Falling into Autumn in Central Oregon

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

Read All About It! Reservations Calendar News Flash!

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

New Looks at Long Hollow Ranch

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

This Summer At Long Hollow Ranch

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

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 [...]

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

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

The Homestead House

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

Is It Spring Yet?

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

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 [...]

The 2015 Dude Ranchers’ Association Convention – Tucson, Arizona

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

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

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

Looking Back – and Ahead

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

A Home on the Range!

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

The Long Hollow Ranch Staff: A Well-Oiled Machine

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

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

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

Welcome to Our New Home Online

We've just finished a beautiful new website redesign and development project!  What do you think?  We've made it easier to navigate and find information, and have made it more dynamic by adding galleries, testimonials, a calendar of events, and a blog! Keep a close eye on this site by subscribing to our RSS feed or bookmarking us!  We'll be sharing fun updates, exciting events and beauty that will take your breath away - regularly! Thanks for visiting our new online home and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our activities or booking a stay at our wonderful ranch! -Howdy