Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Journey to the Ranch

I know many of you are awaiting to hear about our trip to Montana. For those of you who don't know, we won a fully paid trip to the Crazy Mountain Ranch, sponsored by Philip Morris. It was one of the best 4 days 3 nights of our lives! We had a chance to experience the cowboy/cowgirl life out in the wild wild west for those 4 days, amidst taking in all the beautiful scenery that Montana had to offer. In the next few days, we will be blogging solely about the trip (hang in there if you are here for the recipes and other stuff that we usually blog about). So sit back and take a ride with us, as we bring you inside Marlboro's Crazy Mountain Ranch!

We left our apartment at 3:30am in the morning, cos our plane leaves La Guardia at 7am. It was a pleasant 50 min drive to La Guardia, really funny to drive thru the city at this hour. The funny thing is, Times Square was filled with people, like how it would be at say, 10pm. I guess NYC is truly a city that never sleeps :P Since we checked in online earlier in the day (we flew United all the way) at home and already have our boarding passes, we just needed to check in our luggage (it's $20 per bag if you check in at the airport but only $15 per bag is you do so and pre pay at home). The flight to O'Hare in Chicago was uneventful but all the 'fun' began in Chicago. I will not go into details in this post (it's so stupid, I would need a whole new post dedicated to that), but our flight to Bozeman was delayed for close to 5 hours! Let's just say the whole plane cheered when the plane finally took off from O'Hare.

After such a long long day, we were so glad to see this out from our plane window. Yup, that's rite! The Bridger Range! It's part of the Rocky Mountains and it separates Bozeman and Clyde Park (where the Ranch is located). The view from the plane was just breathtaking, the beautiful blue skies, the vast plains and the rocky mountains. I guess it's "Welcome to Montana!".

Upon arrival, we realized that the Bozeman airport is really really small. There were only 5 gates but I just loved the decor of the airport. It had a wildlife influenced theme, reminds me somewhat of the airport in Anchorage. We saw a few cowboys in red shirts and tan hats, standing arms akimbo with big smiles, waiting for us the moment we got out from the plane. Yup, those were the friendly guest relations staff from the Ranch!
They told us not to worry about our luggage, they will take care of it. The next time we will see our luggage will be in our room, at the Ranch! How cool is that? :D They then brought us to a special room that had a "Private Party" sign out front. Yup, that's when the party begin...and it went on for 4 whole days!

We had to fill in some forms and once that's done, we could help ourselves to some pre packed lunch/snacks and chill for a little. We had a choice of BBQ Chicken Pitas or Ham Pitas. Of course we could take both if we wanted...lots to go around! In the box was also some chips, potato salad, some dessert and a huge yummy chocolate chip cookie.

Once we were done with our food, we piled into a huge motor coach for the 1 hour ride from Bozeman to the Crazy Mountian Ranch. Of course (in true Marlboro style), there were more food/snacks and drinks for us in the motor coach. I was a really pleasant ride in the big windows motor coach. The scenery was just breathtaking, with the rolling mountains and beautiful countryside. We even crossed over the Yellowstone River a few times. Jimbo, one of the guest relation staff made the ride interesting by pointing out interesting sights and telling us all about Montana and the Ranch.

After about 45 minutes or so on the bus, the motor coach pulled off the main road and we saw the famous Crazy Mountain Ranch gates. Yes, the Ranch is real...it's not some urban legend made up marketing people from Marlboro :P After clearing security (yes, security is tight here at the ranch), we were finally in! As we made our way down the road, the Marlboro theme song (theme from Magnificent 7) came on. With the Crazy Mountains ahead of us, whip cracking cowboys on horseback riding beside the motor coach and as we watch the town slowly emerge from the horizon, it was definitely a surreal experience. I found a short vid on YouTube, showing the cowboys riding next to the motor coach. Pretty cool huh?

What a welcome to the Crazy Mountain Ranch. From that point, it just gets better and better. Lots of food, fun activities and gifts! Stay tuned to see what our room looks like (and also what we found in our room!!)...it rocks! :D
* Click here to be directed back to the Crazy Mountain Ranch Homepage. You can check out other ranch related posts as well as look at photos from the ranch during our Summer 2009 trip!


Jason said...

My girlfriend and I just returned from the ranch last night. What an amazing time. We too stayed in the Bank(Washington). A memory that will last forever. We looked at your pictures and laughed, because we have about the same exact ones. You'll never be able to explain the experience to people who don't get the opportunity. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing.

Jay & Lisa

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post on this! My husband and I are going soon. He is one who likes surprise, I am the type who likes all the details first:)

.•:*¨¨*:•. Mel .•:*¨¨*:•. said...

I found out I was going on 10/25/10 so we have just started our Adventure. I have started my own blogspot as well! You have inspired me to share with my friends and family. Were celebrating our 11th anniversary together and this trip was just what we needed! http://melbunker.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for this whole site!!! I got my pre-trip forms a few days ago. My husband and I are going. YAY!!!! This is the best info I have found on thr whole trip. I really cant thank you enough. I think I have looked at everything a dozen times. Thanks again!!!

Matthew Boedecker said...

My friend an i just got to the airport and we can't wait to get there

Rodger said...

Seeing otters always fascinates my kids. Those semi-aquatic mammals are really good at opening shellfish. Have you seen them do that? It’s natural for them to be chasing prey in the water. That is why they follow the rocks you throw at the river. You know, at the ranch where we spend most of our weekends has a wildlife management program. Ranch owners like us are allowed to participate in behind the scenes ranch management. They organize annual wildlife censuses and predator control. Isn’t it amazing?

Rodger Ciliberto

Anonymous said...

I am in tears reading your blog. We just won a trip to the ranch today!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience. I can't wait!!!

Ben Morgel said...

Hello, I also recently won the trip and this may be a dumb question but do they have alcohol? Lol jw.