The Good, the Bad, and the Chubby at Diamond Horseshoe Ranch

We didn’t have time for a long vacation this year, so we decided to spend a few days on a dude ranch in Arkansas.  It was a terrific vacation!

The Good, the Bad, and the Chubby

Day 0

We traveled to Diamond Horseshoe Ranch in Arkansas.   We arrived on Sunday afternoon in time for dinner in the mess hall, a little time in the game room, and some time in the pool.

The entrance to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
A view of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. Goats and horses ran wild around the ranch.
The bedroom in our cabin
The loft in our cabin
The main part of the cabin from the upper floor
Sam, the Ping Pong hustler
Tom, the pool shark
Surveying his domain…
The view from our cabin

Day 1:

The first day began with a large breakfast.  Then we went to the barn to meet our horses for the week.  Candy had Jon Snow.  Sam had Butterbean.  I had Scout.  Tom had Dramamine.  After a short trail ride to get familiar with our horses, we walked over to the range where we shot bows, rifles, and pistols and threw axes.

The first trail ride
A view of the ranch from horseback
The lodge building
Sam throwing axes at a tree
Candy Oakley on the rifle range
Robin Hoodlum shows his skills with a bow
Sam showing off her mad archery skill
A few pistol shots

After lunch we did some rock climbing.

Tom and Sam scaling the cliff
Sam and her mad rock climbing skills
An old mountain goat

We even had time for a game of frisbee golf in the evening.  The course was quite challenging, and we had to actually search for the holes at times.

We even had time for a game of frisbee golf

After another terrific dinner meal (the food was universally terrific), we went to the barn for some games for an hour or so.

Candy and Sam playing a game involving trying to get the other player to step off her platform

Day 2:

On the second day we split up in the morning.  Tom, Sam, and Candy went for more rock climbing.

Breakfast the second full day
Candy starting her climb
Tom climbing
Sam most of the way up the cliff

I had only been on a horse a few times before, and I was enjoying getting more comfortable and learning how to actually control the horse, so I went for another trail ride with some other campers.

Happy trails to me…
An example of the scenery we rode through all morning
I think I saw that guy in a John Wayne movie…

After lunch we suited up for the adventure course.  This involved rock climbing through a cave, around cliffs, and one of the top five zip lines in North America.

Suiting up for the adventure course
Inside the cave

There were portions of the cave that were very tight.  There were also portions that dropped pretty deeply.  It was an interesting experience.

Tom and Sam on a portion fo the adventure course
Working our way around a cliff (Tom, Sam, and me). Candy is just off to the right of this picture.
Tom and Sam
All of us getting ready to zip. I didn’t get a picture of myself in the harness.
Sam getting ready to zip
Tom getting ready to zip
Candy getting read to zip

In the evening, during the camp fire and s’mores, we went back to the barn so the kids could work their way through the cave simulator.  It was narrow, winding, and dark.

About half way through the cave, there was this window that gave you a glimpse of freedom
A long shot of the cave simulator
Tom completing the cave simulator

Day 3:

Day 3 began with a trail ride to a secluded location where we ate breakfast cooked over an open fire by the ranch staff.

A view of the ranch during our breakfast ride
The morning ride
Goats along the trail
The four bandits ride!
Trail breakfast of scrambled eggs and grilled ham steak

In the afternoon while Tom and Sam did more rock climbing, Candy and I went down to the Buffalo river to lounge in the water and hiked to the twin falls.

The twin falls
Two movie stars at the twin falls

Day 4:

We travelled home.  It was a really good trip.  When we planned this short vacation, I was worried that just three days would be too short.  It was a very physical vacation, so after three days we were ready to go home.  A fourth day might have been fun, but more than four days would have been too many.