Triple Creek Ranch Klicks for Chicks Horseback Ride Part 2

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Klicks for Chicks Women's Horseback Ride at Triple Creek Ranch

Klicks for Chicks Women’s Horseback Ride at Triple Creek Ranch

Recipe for Women’s High Adventure
Triple Creek Ranch Blends a Dash of Excitement, a Pinch of Merriment and a Sprinkling of Wonderment!
by Viv Chapleo and Jill Hoelting

Triple Creek Ranch Klicks for Chicks Horseback Ride – Part 2

Day 3
After breakfast we again met at the lodge, this time for a short 15-minute drive to Triple Creek’s sister ranch, CB Ranch, just east of Darby. Again the horses patiently awaited our arrival on this crisp and misty morning. Today I was paired up with a chestnut quarter horse with a mild manner, smooth gait and plenty of stamina.

Early Morning Ride at CB Ranch

Early Morning Ride at CB Ranch

Our journey would take us to high elevations on the 26,000 acre CB Ranch, and as we rode above the mist on the valley floor, the breathtaking Montana Rockies stood out majestically in the distance with Trapper Peak, the highest point, dusted with fresh snow and sparkling in the crystal clear skies.

Our 33 klicks (20 mile) ride was completely different from the previous day. We rode through a more open landscape while exploring the ridges and canyons of CB Ranch, moving past cattle roaming the range while we frequently encountered the surprise appearance of deer, elk and the occasional soaring hawk. With the wide open spaces we had the opportunity to ride side-by-side, instead of tandem like the previous day’s ride. Lively conversation and gales of laughter filled the air as we cemented what would now surely become long-lasting friendships.

Leslie McConnell and Barbara Barrett

Leslie McConnell and Barbara Barrett

Our lunch stop was a surprise visit to the former hilltop hunting lodge on CB Ranch, which now provides summer housing for Triple Creek Ranch employees. Waiting to serve us a scrumptious lunch in the dining area was Chef Nick and two TCR waitresses. We satiated our hearty appetites with fresh salads, veggies, crab and hard-boiled eggs, warm corn bread, Nick’s Famous Chili, stuffed mushroom caps, and salmon wraps accompanied by a perfectly chilled Chardonnay.

After a most agreeable repast, it was time for our group to ride back down to the valley floor, in what continued to be a lively procession surrounded by picture-perfect vistas. Arriving at the trailers, the wranglers promptly loaded up the horses and in short order we were en route back to Triple Creek Ranch.

Klicks for Chicks Women's Horseback Adventure

Klicks for Chicks Women’s Horseback Adventure

Arriving back at my cabin a bit earlier today, gave me ample opportunity to take a soothing  and relaxing soak, followed by lazing next to the fireplace with my glass of Merlot as I delved into my current book. The down time was perfect for recharging my batteries for the evening’s events.

At the Rooftop Lounge for cocktails, riders again found themselves gregariously reliving the events of the day with our new-found friends and their spouses. As the days progressed, we were flying high on all the excitement and were increasingly eager to pencil in next year’s “Klicks for Chicks” event on our calendar.

Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman, trained in classical French cuisine, wowed us with yet another beautifully presented, divine tasting 4-course feast featuring one of my favorite foods, Canadian lobster tail. To complete the meal, Jake recommended the pumpkin-spiced bread pudding with Port wine and creme Anglaise – a fine conclusion to a perfect day.


Day 4
Today we were to meet on the ranch to cowgirl-up at the Riders’ Roost for our 23 klicks (15 mile) journey. Not needing to trailer to our destination provided extra time to enjoy our slumber a little longer, take pleasure in a more leisurely breakfast and linger over our coffee as (the now typical) exuberant conversations continued.

Picnic Lunch on the Trail - Klicks for Chicks

Picnic Lunch on the Trail – Klicks for Chicks

Paired with my first horse, Cole, our final day of riding yet again provided widely-contrasting and varied scenery than that of the previous days. Upon reaching our lunch spot high in the mountains, our custom-made sack lunches were doled out (mine was the Triple Creek Ranch BLT – their bacon is other-worldly). While we sat among the pine trees, a most vivid and vibrant rainbow came peeking through the branches.

Each ride was unique and impressive in its own right and each of us cowgirls agreed that we wouldn’t have missed or changed any of them. The collective and individual sense of accomplishment was immense.

Our group of merrymakers would be attending a fireside roast at Barbara and her husband, Craig Barrett’s ranch home, Elk Meadow, for this evening’s cocktail hour.

Cocktail Reception at Elk Meadow

Cocktail Reception at Elk Meadow

Entering Elk Meadow, a glass of bubbly greeted me along with a selection of tasty hors d’oeuvres. Barbara was to be found in her closet graciously assisting fellow cowgirls while they tried on various pieces from her wardrobe. “After all,” Barbara stated, “it is Halloween and we should all dress up for the occasion.” Quickly we were cloaked in gorgeous cowgirl outfits, donned with turquoise jewellery and topped off with Jimmy hats from her collection. What an amazing sight we were.

Then it was time for the fireside roast led by Leslie with K-1 as her assistant extraordinaire.  Along with gentle ribbing, goodie bags with souvenirs to commemorate the event were appropriately distributed. Mine included a cowgirl calender, long-sleeve cowgirl waffle shirt, chocolate, large bottle of pain killers and anti-monkey butt powder!!! Could somebody be making fun of all my aches, pains, chaffing and knock-kneedness? I think so.

Difficult as it was to break up the cocktail party, dinner was awaiting our arrival at the lodge dining room. We were enthralled with the beautifully decorated tables and the kitchen crew had pulled out all the stops tonight with the Chef’s wine pairing 4-course menu.

Roasted Georgia Quail

Roasted Georgia Quail

Starting with curried CB Ranch pumpkin and pheasant soup, chased by fresh Alaska weathervane scallops, followed by roasted Georgia quail, the grand finale was mango brulee with passion fruit cream and shortbread cookies. Everything was delicately and perfectly presented, and executed with such skill and care, with wines from Washington, Germany, France and Australia that enhanced the flavors of each course. What a sublime way to put the icing on the cake! A magical evening and one we didn’t want to end.

Chicks Gussied Up

Chicks Gussied Up

Day 5
My transfer to the airport wasn’t slated to leave the ranch until mid-afternoon and even though I certainly wasn’t hungry following last night’s feast, I went to the dining room early to bid my fellow cowgirls adieu, as most were departing early.

By mid-morning everyone else was on their journey home and I was the only guest left at the ranch, which was closing today for a break until Christmas. Even though it was sad to say goodbye to my compadres, I revelled in having the ranch to myself – my own private ranch so to speak.

Exploring Triple Creek Ranch

Exploring Triple Creek Ranch

Catharine Reed, the Activities Coordinator, inquired if I wanted to go out for another ride this morning, take a hike or borrow one of the ranch vehicles and explore the area until my departure.  I was very content just to wander around, take my final photos, spend more time enjoying my cabin and then when I finally was hungry, return to the dining room for lunch. There was even a solo menu printed out just for me. I chose the Triple Creek Ranch Burger with truffle French fries – amazingly delish. Now, that’s service!

We arrived as strangers from vastly different life experiences and diverse backgrounds. During our time at Triple Creek Ranch we rode spiritedly, laughed hard, lent a shoulder, shared secrets and bonded as only women do after such a life-affirming rendezvous.

Willingly and full-heartedly we had thrown ourselves into a soup pot of adventure, which culminated in dreams being fulfilled and lifelong friendships being established. With “100 Klicks for Chicks“, Triple Creek Ranch had cooked up the consummate recipe for a women’s horseback adventure. The proof had been in the pudding as TCR flawlessly rolled out one heck of a ride!

Cowgirl Poem: Tribute to Klicks to Chicks
In Darby, Montana, beneath Trapper Peak
Nestles a place that bucket lists seek.
T’was Barbara’s inaugural all-women ride,
And, as cowgirls we came from both afar and wide.
Seasoned riders we gathered at Triple Creek Ranch,
Golden with aspen and many a pine branch.
In the Bitteroot Valley with K-1 & K-2,
Wranglers superb, for this all-female crew.
We gussied all up in chaps and new hats ~
We just didn’t want our butts to look fat!
Some sun, some rain and yes hail, too…
But even with snow the rainbows came through.
“Dress Me Women”… was the cowgirl’s cry,
As we all did our best to stay warm and dry.
Cowgirls, tall in the saddle with lipstick applied on this
Klicks for Chicks” ~ one heck of a ride!


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Calling All Cowgirls!
If you’re interested in participating in the next “Klicks for Chicks” ride at Triple Creek Ranch, details can be found on their website.
Triple Creek Ranch
Location: Darby, Montana, USA
: [email protected]
Click here.

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