Our original plan for our drive today was to take a scenic drive through the Big Horn mountains to get to Big Horn, but we were anxious to get to the Ranch and see our friends so we opted the quicker drive on the interstate. We left Red Lodge by 9:00 and drove north to catch Interstate 90, which would take us to Sheridan, Wyoming. We arrived around noon in Sheridan and stopped at a very nice information center to pick up some brochures on the local area. After that we drove into downtown Sheridan to look for a place to eat.
Sheridan seemed like a nice town with an interesting looking downtown. We decided to eat at a restaurant called the Cowboy Café, which looked like it was a favorite of the locals. There was nothing fancy, but we had a very good lunch and were glad we stopped. After lunch we found a grocery store to buy our supplies for the week. By this time it was around 2:00 and check-in for the Ranch wasn’t until 4:00. We called the owners and they said come ahead whenever you like so we headed south to Big Horn and the Canyon Ranch. It’s about a 20 to 25 minute drive from Sheridan to Big Horn and we were soon on the Ranch.
They have two homes they rent on the ranch and we are renting the Hay Meadow House. Although we had seen pictures of the house, we were surprised at how nice it was. It was much newer and nicer than it looked in the pictures. The ranch is beautiful, it is 2,000 acres and at the base of the Big Horn Mountains, with streams running through it feeding various ponds. The view from the house is an open field (hay meadow) with the Big Horn Mountains in the background. There is a very nice patio with a small lawn and there were two deer resting in the shade when we drove up.
There is an interesting story about the Canyon Ranch, which you can read about here, it's well worth a read. Briefly, the ranch has been in the same family for four generations with the founder, who immigrated here from England and was the son of an English earl. The son, and owner of the ranch, became the Earl of Portsmouth when his father died. The Queen of England actually stayed on the ranch for a week in the 1980’s.
By 2:30 we were unloading the truck and settling in. No one else was expected until 6:00 so we had plenty of time to get things put away, and it was Val’s turn to prepare dinner the first night, she started on that. Jack and Steph arrived around 5:30 and by the time we had them all unloaded, John and Greg showed up and the party was on, at least what passes for a party for us old people. It was great to see everyone and we spent the evening eating Val’s wonderful dinner and catching up. Everyone was pretty tired so we all called it a night by 10:00.