We left my brother's house fairly early on Monday morning to drive to the ranch. We had to arrive between 12 and 1pm and it was several hours away. We hit the road and it didn't take long for Stella to settle into the road trip routine.
Antimony, UT is a tiny town and it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere. After a few hours of driving, we arrived at the ranch. We were a little early, so we decided to head into town and check out the Antimony Mercantile store. That took about two minutes. After checking out the Merc (which was not only a mercantile store, but also a gas station and restaurant), we went back to the ranch. We had to arrive there first since my sister was with us and she had to arrive first since she was the coordinator for our family. Before long, though, the rest of the family started showing up. We had lunch at the ranch and, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. One of the great things about staying at the dude ranch is that all of our meals were provided. I had fairly low expectations for the food since I know it can be difficult to prepare good food, buffet style, for a lot of people. However, the Rockin' R definitely exceeded my expectations in the food department. Nothing was totally spectacular, but everything was pretty good. And the fact that we didn't have to worry about making food or cleaning up after meals was fantastic.
After lunch, we had a brief orientation to the ranch and how our activities would work and then we got right down to the business of having fun. Since Stella was too small for most of the activities, Mr. Frisby and I usually had to split up the activities with one of us going and the other staying to watch Stella. The first activity was a trail ride on horseback. I went on the ride and Mr. Frisby stayed with Stella. They couldn't accommodate our entire group for most activities, so they would have sign up sheets with the number of spots available and we would just sign up for the activities until they were filled. It was fun because then we were always doing activities with different family members. The trail ride was fun and the scenery was quite pretty.
This picture is one of my favorites from the trip. My nephew was one of the first to get on his horse and get ready, so while the rest of us were saddling up, his horse got a little restless and started wandering. I snapped this pic and he just looks like a total city slicker trying to ride a horse. Makes me laugh.
That's me on the ride, also looking very city-slickerish.
The ride took us by this awesome abandoned cabin which the cows took over.
And through cool, sagebrush-covered hills. Good times.
When we got back from the trail ride, they had just started archery lessons. I didn't get any pictures of it, but I did shoot a few arrows and then headed back to the lodge to relieve Mr. Frisby of Stella duty. They were just getting the pony rides started for the little kids, so I was super excited for Stella to be able to do it. I put her up on the horse when it was her turn and she was so excited that she had trouble remembering to hold on as the horse walked around.
Stella absolutely loved the horsey rides. Here she is protesting loudly when I tried to take her off the horse at the end. She wouldn't get off and insisted on another ride. Fortunately, nobody was waiting for a turn, so she got to go again.
I think the horsey rides may have been the highlight for her. After that first ride, every time she saw a horse (which was often since we were at a dude ranch), she would scream, "Horsey! Horsey! Hop on, hop on!" It was pretty adorable.
After the horseback riding, it was time for a hayride through the sprawling town of Antimony.
Stella enjoyed it. After the hayride, we had dinner and then had the evening to do whatever we wanted. We opted to take over the lodge common room and play the Sign Game. It was a busy first day, but we were having lots of fun and the reunion was off to a great start.
The next day we were scheduled for lawn games in the morning. We played various games and hung out as a family. It was fun, but we were primarily shooting video, so no photos of the activities. The ranch did have a decent playground area with swings and a couple slides, so that was great for the little kids.
After the lawn games, they had another trail ride scheduled and more pony rides for the little kids. I ran around snapping photos of everything.
Stella made sure not to pass up another opportunity to ride the horsey.
After lunch, Stella went down for a much needed nap. I knew she would sleep a long time. Mr. Frisby was signed up for a trail ride after lunch and there were still spaces open. My mom graciously agreed to listen for Stella in case she woke up so I could join Mr. Frisby for the ride.
Stella was still asleep when we got back from the ride. After the ride, they had us scheduled for tubing down the river. Upon hearing about this activity, neither Mr. Frisby nor myself were excited about it and had planned to just skip it. However, everyone else who had gone kept coming back saying how fun it was and that we really should go. My sister said that it was a blast and told us to go that afternoon since there was still space to go and said she would watch Stella for us. We agreed and hastily got ready to go. Stella woke up, so we grabbed everything she would need and left her with my sister. I have no pictures from the tubing since we didn't have cameras with us, but it was, indeed, a blast and we were glad everyone talked us into it.
After the tubing, we had dinner and then had time to take family pics after. I don't have one of our whole group since my brother was taking them, but we did have someone snap this one of us afterward.