It’s not everyone who can say they are spending two months in Paradise. And the name really isn’t an exaggeration - it’s so friggin’ beautiful here, it makes me swoon.
For those of you wondering where I’ve disappeared to, let me put it into some sort of geographic context. Paradise Ranch is located 16 miles (that’s 25 kilometres for you enlightened folk Down Under) from the town of Buffalo, in northern Wyoming. It’s on the scenic route to Yellowstone (and for those of you in the area, I heartily recommend this drive - it is simply spectacular, with high mountain passes and some really interesting canyons along the way) and borders the Bighorn National Forest.
The ranch itself is nestled in a green valley, cut by the fast-flowing French Creek, where wildflower-studded meadows are flanked by pine forest. It’s not unusual to see herds of elk grazing on the hills under the distinctive Fan Rock; and moose are a common visitor in the wetlands of the creek.
Over 100 years old, the ranch is one of America’s original dude ranches, with guests first checking in as paying guests in 1906. It’s been luring city slickers ever since, its rustic ambience and western hospitality something straight of a Hollywood western. Today, it’s one of Wyoming’s leading guest ranches, offering quality cabin accommodation, a full horse riding program and other activities such as hiking, fishing and western fun. It’s great for families, and a tranquil escape for people who want to chill out in a beautiful mountain location.
I first discovered this place two years ago when I was on a media famil with the wonderful Caroline Davidson. We spent two days here, but it well and truly got under my skin and I promised myself I’d be back. So here I am ... soaking up nature’s majesty as I attempt to write two books and a summer blog!
My sincere thanks to Clay and Leah for indulging me, allowing me to make up my own job as I hang out with the Paradise crew. I’m looking forward to sharing more of this wonderful slice of heaven over the coming months ... and I hope it inspires you to follow your dreams and to run away to Paradise like I have!
(Once again, thanks to Ramona Swift for the use of her photography. Pictures speak louder than words, huh?)