Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Town @ Crazy Mountain Ranch

Firstly, I must apologise to all our readers for the long silence. We have been pretty busy lately after we got back from the Ranch and with the recent Labor Day long weekend, I just didn't have time to blog. With that said, I'll continue with another post about the ranch (part of the Marlboro Ranch series). So far, I've blogged about our journey to the ranch, where we stayed and our room, what kind of gifts we got and what kind of food was served at the ranch. Today, I'm gonna take you on a stroll along Main St of the little cowboy town, situated in the heart of the Crazy Mountain Ranch.

Crazy Mountain Ranch

Before I do that, let me tell you a little about The Crazy Mountain Ranch. The Ranch itself has been around for about 140 years. It spans over 18,000 acres on the foothills of the Crazy Mountains and it basically has two different parts - a working cattle ranch with over 500 head of cattle (black angus and long horns) and a guest ranch. In the mid 1980s, the third family that owned the ranch decided to move a few homestead cabins to a central location, hence the beginning of the town. When Philip Morris bought over the ranch in the mid 1990s, they added in more buildings,rebuilt and refurbished the whole town to make it feel of an old cowboy town, set in the 1890s. Now, follow me and let's take a stroll thru the Main St of the town...

The first building everybody will see when they arrive is the Stage Stop. This is where the motor coaches that pick you up from the airport will drop you off. You'll be greeted by the friendly ranch staff and this is where you check in to get keys to your room.

The Stage Stop is also the place to go to if you need any help throughout your stay at the ranch. You can drop by to change up your activities, request for more toiletries, if you lose something or just to get some snacks and drinks. This is also the departure location for various activities like the Backcountry Jeep Tour, Fly Fishing, Mountain Biking, the Hummer Off Road Experience as well as Sporting Clays.

From the Stage Stop, just follow Kevin across the Spring Creek Bridge and this will get you to the heart of town.

The first building you will see on your left is Chins Laundry. Back in the day, every town needed a laundry shop. Trust a Chinese to see the potential money making business opportunity and set up shop in a strategic location :P This building is currently used for the same purpose, only instead of washing dirty, smelly and soiled cowboy clothes, you can find piles and piles of linen, towels and sheets from the guest rooms.

Across from Chins Laundry is the Rock Creek Bank. This is where we stayed in. You can read all about the Rock Creek Bank and it's famous vault doors here. The bank is one of the buildings added on by Philip Morris later in the mid 1990s. Eventhough it's a new building, they did a good job in retaining the 1890s charm and architecture.

Next to the Rock Creek Bank is the Rock Creek Post Office. This building is over 120 years old and it used to be an old home! It was later made into a post office and word has it that the postmaster moved the entire building from it's original location to a spot closer to her home, to cut down on commute! Philip Morris then bought over that building and moved it to it's current location today - with all it's original building materials. It now houses the Ranch General Manager's office.

Opposite the Rock Creek Post Office is the Sheriff's Office. This was once a real jail, located a few miles away from the Ranch. Philip Morris tore that down and rebuilt the whole building in this current location, with the original building materials and retaining it's original layout. The building is now used by the ranch security folks as their office. I've never seen so many CCTV camera monitors in one place before - remember, Big Brother is always watching :P

Another cool thing about the Sheriff's Office is the original jail cell located inside the building. It's been said that the jail cell once held a horse thief named Harry Longabaugh and his stay earned Harry a name he was better known for, The Sundance Kid!

Moving on....hmm, where do we go next? Wow, looks like Manhattan is 2177 miles away. We sure are a looong way from home :P

Old cowboy shops, lodges and building line the sides of the street. Currently, it holds guest rooms for all of Marlboro's guest.

Across from that is the General Store. No, you cannot buy anything from this general store. Well, actually, the only thing you can buy here are batteries for your camera.

You can however come in here to get some coffee,tea or water. You can also hangout and play some board games here.

This is the best part of the General Store. There is a wide variety of candy and guess what? They are all free! You can just walk in here and help yourself to as much candy as you like, throughout the day. If you are sick of candy, you can get some beef jerky and cookies too!

Next to the General Store is the Crystal Palace Hotel. This is a fine example of how an old west hotel would have looked like back in the day. This is also the famous spot where all the groups will take the official ranch group photograph. This is the group photo for the Aug 19-22, 2009 trip. Can you spot us in the group photo?

Just next to the Crystal Palace Hotel is the Saloon. This is where we have our breakfast, lunch and certain dinners. It's also the departure location for the Archery Adventure as well as the Early Riser Hike. It's really big inside, apart from a nice huge bar, there are pool tables, a cosy fireplace with lounge chairs, dining tables and a patio that overlooks the horse stables. Calamity Jane and Poker Alice are some of the reputable people who was known to have a drink or two, while sitting at the Saloons bar. I will blog more about the Saloon in one of my future posts.

The Livery is just next to the Saloon (well, it's sort of connected but the doors are locked and are only opened on the 3rd night for the Ranch Party). Back in the day, people would board their horses at the Livery for a fee. For some extra dollars, you could even get them fed and trained! Today, it's party central at the ranch!! Some of our dinners are held here at the Livery. There is also a huge dance floor, stage for live bands, a DJ booth, darts at the back, card tables, karaoke machine as well as a fully stock bar. This is where the party's at every night at the Crazy Mountain Ranch!

Across from the Livery is the Barber Shop. Back in the day, it only cost 5 cents for a cut and shave. You can find a nice pair of antique barbershop chairs at the lobby. Really cool. Of course, now it just holds a few guest rooms. The cool thing about those guest rooms are that each room is marked with it's own brand. So, you would need to know your brand to find your room :P It's just next to the Fire Station (also holds guest rooms).

This is the last building in town. Another hotel. Kevin looks happy in front of the 25cents a room sign!!

Here is the view from the other side of town. If we were to continue walking down the street, it will lead you to the Activity Barn as well as the horse stables. The Activity Barn is the departure location for the Adventure Trek, Cattle Drive, Horse Basics, Horseback Qualification Ride and the Scenic Horseback Ride. With that, it concludes our little stroll thru Crazy Mountain Ranch's town. We hope you enjoyed this little trip down Main St as much as we enjoyed taking you. I'll be blogging about the activities that we did at the ranch in the next post. Stay tuned!

* 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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am just curious what you mean by the rooms in the barbershop having their own brand? We are staying in the barbershop and now i am curious.