The HF Bar Ranch is old, historic, classic, iconic, rustic, western and great in all the ways an authentic cowboy would want it. It is not a dude ranch, and it doesn’t desire to be either. It is the real deal. And each morning, after hefty serving of eggs, bacon, fruit and fixins, you are greeted by over two hundred horses ready for a ride.
This is ain’t no city boy pony ride either.
As soon as you’re out of the holding area, the wrangler pushes each guest to open up into a trot or lope. It is exhilarating.
Alongside miles of trails is a stable of world-class fly fishing guides. A wild trout on a dry fly delivers an energetic euphoria unlike much else. Even if you miss the fish, which most newbs often will, the hit is the drug.
After fishing and riding, there is biking, skeet shooting, river dunking, hiking, and so much more.
But all that is not even the most important part. There is a unique thing that happens when the sun goes down at HF Bar that is hard to describe.
It’s some sort of werewolf syndrome.
Each evening every person on the property turns from being a guest, staff member, cook, and guide into one equivalent type of creature.
It starts outside the Rod & Gun where the Rock Creek Angler band plays your favorite jig. Soon after, crowds of people line up one after another to attempt the Cowboy Challenge, where an individual attempts to drink a full beer waterfalling off another cowboy’s hat. If you fail – which you always do – the entire crowd yells, “YOU GOT COWBOYED!”
The best part is that everyone at the ranch joins in. There is no class separation or guests-versus-staff highbrow baloney. Each evening it’s one big happy family enjoying the western stars the way they were intended and then each morning it is back to the whole staff / guest dynamic.
But you don’t make eye contact so it’s cool.
Back to the night*
Just when the entire group is dancing and having the best night of their lives, it’s time for Salt Creek Country Club.
Salt Creek is both where the night ends and truly begins. It’s a room near the staff village that is meant for one thing, and one thing only: full contact and without inhibitions release of energy through dancing, yelling and general uncontrolled jumping.
It is one of those places where everyone sings each song at the top of their lungs in unison even if they don’t know the words. It doesn’t matter. The Salt allows you to be yourself because there is so much love in the air that you couldn’t possibly be afraid to let yourself go.
It is perfection, but only temporarily. Eventually, the night must end and guests will be guests and staff will be staff again.
Rinse, repeat, werewolf love at Salt Creek.
*They even provide babysitters for cowbabies.
Heard enough? Book your stay here: http://www.hfbar.com/
It’d be a lot cooler if you did.