Thursday, March 15, 2012

Endless Spa and Snowcat Views at Three Forks Ranch

I love my job. I get to travel around the world and see great places and eat (and drink) great things. But, it is still a job and most of the time I have interviews, meetings, early mornings and late nights. Ask anyone who has come with me.

My trip to Three Forks Lodge and Spa on the Colorado/Wyoming border broke all those rules. It was feeling like a vacation (a word I rarely use since traveling for a living). Both myself and my friend Lynn felt like we were being spoiled rotten, but that’s what they are trained to do at Three Forks. And they did it quite well on our final full day on the ranch.

I didn't quite work, or get on the phone (there is no cell phone service in the lodge), but I did check some emails as I had my morning coffee and looked out at the snow drifts. Then I turned on the heated floors in my bathroom and loaded up the Jacuzzi. Can there be a better way to start the day?

I met Lynn in the breakfast dining room a few hours later and couldn’t resist checking out the French toast with some fresh fruit on the side. We relaxed and chatted for a while before I headed down to the spa for my first treatment of the day – the High Altitude Aromatherapy Wrap.

As with all the spa services we had at Three Forks, the wrap was complementary and wonderful. I loved the blend of oils and the foot and head massages were especially relaxing as I lay in my cocoon. When we were done, my skin felt soft and my muscles were relaxed. I kept that momentum going by reading in the lounge while Lynn had her reflexology treatment (which she raved about later).

Lunch was a turkey, brie and avocado sandwich on sourdough. Lynn created her own salad from the multitude of options available. We shared some fruit salad (and couldn’t resist the homemade cookies) and were more than full as we got ready to make the the trip up the mountain.

Three Forks Ranch has its own snow trails. That may not seem like a big deal for a resort, but this is an exclusive property for up to 32 people so skiers are going to get ultimate time on the mountain. Unfortunately, skiing is one of the things my back problems of the last year has kept me from. We still decided we wanted to take the ride to see the trails and the view of the ranch.

We had deliberately waited a few days before going up in the snowcat. Neither of us had any experience with altitude sickness and had felt the headaches and dehydration a bit when we arrived. Though we recovered quickly, everyone felt it best to give our bodies a few days to get used to it before climbing another 2,000 feet.

Levi and Jessica commanded the snowcat. I had never been in one before (even when I did ski fairly regularly as a teen, I wasn't quite good enough to hit the high mountains). I was quite impressed with the comfort. Even though we had brought heavy coats, gloves, scarfs and coffee, it was not very cold and we had a lot of fun checking out the fantastic views of some of the 200,000 acre property.

When we came back down we saw the cabin that is kept for fisherman and skiers to change in. It’s well-equipped, with lockers and refreshments, so you don’t have to worry about carrying everything back and forth from the lodge.

Back at the ranch (always wanted to say that) we got ready for our afternoon spa treatments. We each got a a hot stone massage that finished the afternoon to perfection. I showered and dressed for cocktails. Lynn, Jenn (the Lodge Manager) and Shannon (the best bartender you could ask for) were waiting for me. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoyed the hors d’ouerves – a cheesy artichoke dip and Curry Chicken – then lingered for a bit with our Three Forks friends before we were told dinner was ready.

We started with a Caprese Salad, made a bit differently with chopped tomatoes and cheese rather than sliced ones. I then had some Chicken Scampi in a light lemon/wine sauce, and a yummy Asian Vegetable Stir Fry with jasmine rice. Dessert was a favorite of both of ours that we had enjoyed many times when we were on the Celebrity Cruise, Crème Brulee.

After dinner, Lynn and I went back to the bar and had some Chambord as we chatted with Shannon for the last evening.  Although we still had some time to come here in the morning, we knew it was going to be a long time before I had a full 24 hours like this. The whole concept of an all-inclusive ski lodge and ranch had been foreign to me before I came. Now, it is something that I think everyone needs to take the time to experience. 


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Manu said...
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