Blogger Layouts

Welcome to Our Patch of Heaven!

Howdy friends! In honor of our 100th year in operation (it's incredible!), the Bar Lazy J is going high-tech! Now not to worry--there's still none of that allowed here while you're on vacation, but while you're away and anxious to keep up with what's going on (or you just need your "ranch fix"), come check in on our ranch blog where you'll find hoards of photos, we'll follow our staff and you'll hear all the latest happenings first! Of course reading about it isn't nearly as good as the real thing, so we hope to see you out on the trail real soon, but until then, check out what's happening and leave your comments--we love to see that our friends have stopped by! Happy trails everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Everything’s Grand in Grand County


Our piggy has arrived! In 181187_4262347241228_182302111_nyears past, we sometimes have had two, but this year, this old boy is the sole recipient of all the ranch leftovers—that’s one lucky pig! Here, Carolyn takes a break from Gymkhana to welcome him into the Bar Lazy J fold.  As far as pigs go, we have to say this one is pretty dang cute. Welcome little porker!



**Disclaimer: All imagery and “war paint” is symbolic ONLY of the lack of artistic ability in our wonderful staff and their uhhh…..silliness.**  


*Please also note that when you tell children, “You can paint whatever you want,” you are subjecting yourself to having them laugh at you. Here, “Q” was given the Indian name  ‘Mike’s Twin’.


Followed by a photo that was destined to end up on the ranch blog….(“Q” and Mike are two of our wranglers who have spent every week explaining to everyone that one is not the other. They are similar in build, features and demeanor, so it has become the topic of many laughs while they retrain each new week of guests!) They’re BOTH fantastic, though, so it’s a compliment both ways!


Sometimes you have to grin and BEAR it—even when you have a bear!

In years past, we’ve had our share of encounters with these usually docile guys. Some who wanted grain—some who even wanted our pig! This time of year, the younger bears will often make their way into public places (since they have yet to fear humans) to fill their empty tummies after a long hibernation. Usually, once their food source is blocked, they move on, but this year, our buddy has spent some extra time (apparently enjoying the ranch life like any vacationer would!) And we’ve found he has a particular weak spot for Eddie’s cookies…(but who doesn’t??)…. Let’s just say there have been more than a few missing rolls of frozen cookie dough out of the walk-in freezer the past few nights!  (Hmmmm….how long can we blame this on the bear do you think?)



We’ve been moving further into the high country to clear the trails and last week we took some long-time returnee guests with us along for the job. Meaning, they watched while we worked, and we were able to get them up to one of the most incredible spots around. We had our work cut out for us getting there, but it was worth it!


So, what is it about being at 12,000 ft above the whole world that makes a regular old sack lunch taste like the finest feast you’ve ever had? Perhaps it’s feeling like the king of the world or maybe just the pure peace and happiness that rises up inside you. But whatever it is, it’s the truth! Best meal EVER.


And just as a side note, many folks have asked about the fire situation and we are a good ways from any of that thankfully. You can see the skies are still Colorado blue in our neck of the woods, but our thoughts are with those who have lost a great deal and the firefighters who are risking their lives to help them. Here, Jerry is actually looking off in the direction of the fires in Ft. Collins and the plume of smoke above the mountains there to the far left is what you can see of the fire three hours away from us. It is on the other side of the mountain pass, but you can still see the smoke from where we are so high. We hope rain will come to come to all of them very soon. It’s been one dry summer.


Our wrangling staff! Not a bad lookin’ bunch!



Oh and the bears aren’t the only bold animals around here lately. I think this one is the fiercest one yet.


Here he is harmlessly nibbling at the mixed nuts bowl, but he too has been seen ransacking the cookie box! He’s no dummy! (The clincher was one day when he ran back 4 or 5 times to retrieve cookies and then went and “hid” them in his tree where one of the ranch dogs was waiting to steal them as soon as he left for the next cookie. It was quite a show. And perhaps for a moment, we all wondered if they weren’t working together. But then what’s in it for the squirrel? Wait….protection! Mystery solved. Hence the bold squirrel sitting at the nut bowl!!)



Last, but not least, Cheri is doing great and healing much faster than they thought (the doctors thought—she knew she was gonna kick this thing in the rear). She’s moved to using crutches now and can bear weight as she feels comfortable. We can expect her back in the saddle by the end of July at the latest and you can bet she’s gonna try for even sooner than that!


Now don’t go thinking we forgot about that big surprise happening here pretty soon. Just a little bit longer and we’ll let you in on the news—it’s worth the wait! Trust us!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Little People Have Arrived! Yeehaaw!


Our first family week was SO much fun—what a great group of kids we had to kick it off!


Aaron, here, caught this trout in our pond and Chef Eddie cooked it up just right!



      This year, as part of our 100th year celebration, we took the “on your own time” that folks usually had on Wednesday afternoons, and added a croquet tournament and a “high tea”—complete with Oreos! (Did you know it was Oreos’ 100th year as well? So we decided to pair up!) This is what guests were doing here 100 years ago (well….minus the Oreos probably….but maybe!) and besides giving guests a taste of the Old Days, we’re finding it also is a wonderful social gathering time before dinner. It’s also been fun to watch the kids learn how to play a game that most would otherwise never be exposed to!



      In case anyone had any doubts about Cheri’s ability to perform some of her ranch traditions….you’d be WAY wrong. Music Conner anyone? (With a little “horse power” from Chad.) After all, it IS Carnegie Hall we’re practicing for—we can’t miss a rehearsal!


Our staff is complete! Electra graduated from her schooling and arrived last Friday at last. We don’t typically have staff arriving so late, but in Electra’s case we make an exception because she is well worth the wait! So glad to have her here at last!


If you’ve been to our Staff Show, you will certainly recognize the characters in this skit—and Katie here, who is new to the Crew this year, makes a marvelous Cinderella! “Alright”….


      So, we all know in life there are sometimes…..mishaps? Wrong turns? Being lost on the trail for 3 or 4 extra hours? Well, sometimes when there are new trails to be learned, it’s easy to get a tiny bit mixed up. Wednesday, one of our new wranglers took an extended Extended Ride! But if you’re gonna get lost in the woods for a few extra hours, make sure it’s with THESE people! (Personally, I think this was all just some hoax to steal a few extra hours out on a ride with them…they are rather exceptionally fun folks.) And they all returned with a big smile and a good story, so that’s the important thing!


  But it couldn’t be let go without just a liiiittle razzing from the bosses…..then it wouldn’t be any fun! Good sport Alexis!


wire The return of the Candy Store Ride! 

Ever since Miss Dorothy passed away, many of you (and us too) have truly missed the Saturday morning ride to her General Store where kids got a special treat and a sweet smile from Dorothy. It had been a tradition for years and years. A year after Dorothy was gone, the General Store caught fire and, unable to salvage it, we were all sad to think the days of the Candy Store Ride were over.  But then our good friend Katie who owns the PI offered to open up her doors early on Saturday morning and provide a wide selection of soda pops, candies and ice cream to all our kids! So pre-season we installed hitching rails in the front and this past Saturday we were all quite a sight as we made our first ride up to the “candy store”! The kids loved it and we are thrilled that we can continue this much-loved tradition in honor of Miss Dorothy. She is loved and missed.DSC_3221


We have a great Kid Program staff this year (like every year!) and Collin, as you can see, gives the other counselors and wranglers a run for their money for the best Gymkhana outfit!


And I can’t reveal all of the details of some of our new kid Gymkhana games, (I know some of you adults would be practicing…..cheaters!)  But I’m just going to say…….you’re gonna get laughed at . A lot.


We’re into our third week now, and we have a big (I mean BIG) addition coming soon that we’ll be announcing, so keep checking in!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Buckles Have Arrived!



     Our limited edition commemorative belt buckles are finally here, so we will be getting them in the mail to those who asked to have them shipped. Or we will have it waiting for you if you’ll be making your way out here to see us this summer! They are a beautiful pewter finish (the copper color you see is a reflection) and the cost is $75 plus $6 shipping if you request it. We’ve have tons of orders already, so we’ll be having a second batch made very soon. Please let us know if you’re interested in one or more by emailing us at or calling the ranch line (970)725-3437.

      Jeff and Denise from England were the first to get their new buckles and here they are showing them off!   They joined us as guests for our first two weeks of the season and even came early to help us open. They hold a very special place in our hearts and we can’t thank them enough for all their hard work . Both are truly a special part of our ranch family—so THANK YOU Jeff and Denise!  Hurry back!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Had Babies!


KITTENS to be exact!


Chef Eddie’s cat “Mousy” and her three new little ones!


      As you can see, they are teeny tiny and still haven’t even opened their eyes yet, but once they do and are up and about, we’ll post more pictures. We typically adopt several kittens every year to be a part of the ranch kid’s program, but this year, since we knew we would be welcoming some babies soon, we held off. These little guys have several weeks before they’ll be ready to be part of the kid’s program, but we’re excited to have some actual ranch babies!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Kid on the Block


     Just LOOK at this handsome boy! We are proud to introduce Spirit—the newest member of the Bar Lazy J family. This past week, Chad drove to Texas to pick him up from our dear friend Randy Gray who has been a guest here at our ranch for years and years. He raised Spirit from a baby and now that his girls have grown up and no longer ride him as much as they did before, Randy, Kolbee and Baylee knew the perfect little spot for their beloved horse here in this little valley along the Colorado River. What a tremendous gift and we are so honored that they chose us as his forever home! We know it was no small decision!


     He has specifically been given to Cheri to be a personal riding horse for her, so you can bet where she’ll be sitting in a few months when that leg is better! Until then, he’ll get time to settle into his new surroundings and enjoy the cooler summers here in Colorado—we are so happy to have him here at last and once again give a huge thanks to the Grays for sharing him with us. He will be well loved for the rest of his days!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fit For a “King”

BLJ Web Pics 056

          The ranch lost a much loved member of it’s ranch family this April. King was 17 years old and lived a long, wonderful life at the Bar Lazy J. He passed quietly in his sleep one night, but his memory lives here at the ranch among the tales of his adventures over the years and the countless number of lives—both young and old—that he touched.                                                

DSC07035      In honor of that sweet pup, the Bar Lazy J has planted it’s first ever maple tree—a King Maple to be exact! The Crimson King is a gorgeous shade tree with dark purple foliage. It grows 35-45 feet and turns beautiful colors in the Fall. We happen to live it the highest zone that’s it suitable for, so it’s a gamble on how it will do, but thought it was worth a try. So we’re gonna give it the best shot we can!  You’ll find our newest addition close to the main lodge as you come down the driveway. We hope it will decide to “take up root” here—literally—and will offer our guests it’s beauty, a nice shady spot and a smile when they hear it’s story for years to come.


     You don’t see too may maple trees around these parts, so it’s a proper tribute to our 4-legged son…..

                                        …..he too was truly one of a kind.


Happy Trails King-a-Ling. Til we meet again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Opening Week-ers!

     Opening week was a BLAST! Seriously we had so much fun with our returning guests and welcoming new ones. And from what we hear, they enjoyed it as much as we did! Look at this good lookin’ bunch of cowpokes!



     There are lots of new things going on at the ranch this year—some in  honor of our big centennial anniversary and some just to change things up a bit! One is our Wednesday afternoon activity --which I will highlight later this week—but the others are some extra musical entertainment!

Tammy will be alternating Tuesday’s with the Cowboy Entertainers on stage in the Rec Barn and since Cheri is not quite up to teaching line dancing yet (sarcasm), we’ve invited Washboard Annie to come entertain on Wednesday evenings as well! She’s a local favorite and we are excited to offer you a show we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen before! Here’s one photo as a teaser, but  you’re gonna have to come see it for yourself!



A few more pictures from the week:


Cheri is on the move! And look! She’s still training young athletes!


     Mary and “Kiowa” coming back in from their high country ride and Steve Tom teaches the ranch kids a thing or two about fly fishing. (He’s a good one to do it--he caught 20 one day--including a 17 incher! Whewwee!)


     Hey! I thought this was an all adult week! Oh wait…..sorry. That’s our wrangler.   Alexis is new to the barn crew this year. She’s 5 foot tall but as tough as they come—love them cowgirls! (It’s the little ones you gotta look out for! And we can tease her cause she knows we love her! Now please don’t hurt me Alexis….*wink* P.S. It’s hard to type while you’re laughing.)





     On adult weeks, we offer a special Friday night activity that visits the Old West.  Buckhorn Saloon was full of wild poker-playin’ cowfolk this week! And one thing about Buckhorn is, you never know who might show up or what shenanigans might go down! (Let that be a warning to ya!)


Bar Lazy J: Home of the BraveDSC06977

     We’d like to thank (thank? <----depends on how you look at it!) the lovely Mrs. Kelly Donahue—who has been our guest for many, many years--for introducing some of the Bar Lazy J staff to her all-time-favorite sandwich combo: peanut butter and pickles! Yep! You heard it! Here you see Abilene and Sue chowing down—so before you knock it, you may want to give it a try! Who knows—maybe it’s the next PB&J!

      Aw yes….I can just hear it now…. “Honey, we go together like peanut butter and pickles…..” Sounds like a winner, don’t it?!