About two years ago Kim from Mill Iron Ranch invited me down for a site visit. I never made it down there back then, you know how summer passes so quickly. So I was super excited when she gave me a call after reading about my blog launch and not only invited back for a site visit, but also invited me to join a group for a horseback ride. Giddy up, I love horseback riding! I was literally counting down the days until I got to spend time working by horseback riding, since most days I spend siting at my desk. To make the situation even better it was on a Monday morning. What better way to start the week than on a horseback ride through the Bridger Teton National Forest? Mill Iron Ranch is located in Hoback Junction, which is about 20 minutes from the town of Jackson Hole, so it was a quick and easy drive. For years I had seen their sign on the highway up to Jackson Hole, so I am confident that any tourist can find the ranch. I followed the signs to the ranch, got checked in and met my horse.
Sadee was our guide. She is a legit cowgirl rock star. When I asked how long she has lived in Jackson Hole she said "I was born and raised on this ranch." Wow, it is not everyday, or even every year that you meet someone born and raised in Jackson Hole. She is on the professional rodeo circuit, in her spare time she participates in the Jackson Hole Rodeo and also works on the family ranch leading trail rides. Plus the Mill Iron Ranch has been in her family for four generations. It was clear immediately that this trail ride was not her first rodeo. She talked to everyone, was full of information about the area and genuinely enjoyed being out with horses and people. I could go on and on about how gorgeous the scenery was, that we didn't see any other people buildings or sign of civilization or how the horses comically kept farting, but instead you can look at these photos.
About two hours later we were back at the barn. I tipped Sadee (local's tip: pretty much all Jackson-ites work on tips) and headed up to the lodge to meet Kim and learn about the event options. The lodge is a large room decorated with authentic western items, a stage and a bar in its own corral. Kim showed me where they cook their tasty steaks (my boyfriend claims they are the best in town) in an open kitchen, the stage and lawn for wedding ceremonies. Since they are not located in the town, there is not a 10:00pm curfew, like other locations. The prices are certainly competitive so this is an option for many types of wedding budgets. I can imagine a group using this facility for a trail ride and then rehearsal dinner or a wedding with a western touch and dancing all night long.
As I drove home from the Mill Iron Ranch with dust in my hair, I thought about how hungry I was from the morning ride and how unique it is to find a ranch that has been in the same family for generations. For a two hours got to feel like a cowgirl.