Saturday, March 10, 2012

Luxuriating through Snow and Spa at Three Forks Ranch

I knew before I even arrived with my friend Lynn that my stay at Three Forks Ranch Lodge and Spa was going to be much more relaxing than any trip I had taken in a while. That thought was intensified when I woke up to the view of the snow-capped mountains and knew that I didn’t have phone service or anything that had to be done.

It was simply a day for fun and relaxation. The range is located on 200,000 acres straddling Wyoming and Colorado and just couldn't be a better place for mind and body rest. It started early with some yoga at sunset followed by a knock on my door with the early morning coffee and pastries I had requested. I took a leisurely bath in my Jacuzzi and met Lynn two hours later for an egg white omelet full of spinach and tomatoes. 

Jennifer Brenneman, the lodge manager, came to check on us during breakfast and confirm our plans for the day. They were simply a sleigh ride through the property and then another visit to the spa (with lunch in between).

There was not enough snow on the ground for skiing or snowmobiling, but there was more than enough for a sleigh ride. We headed up to the barn. Ciara and Levi were waiting for us, with the horses all ready to go.  It was a beautiful ride through the grounds and we got to see the mountain ranges from a different angle. We saw coyote and fox tracks along the way, but it appeared all the animals were tucked away in the woods for the day.

The ride was just breathtaking and it was the perfect weather for it, about 30 degrees and partly sunny. We talked about exploring more and decided a snowcat ride up to the mountain would be great for the next day and maybe we would even find some time for light hiking (though extra spa treatments sounded even better). Just about everything is included at Three Forks so sometimes it is tough to decide.

Back at the lodge, it was a perfect winter’s day lunch of grilled cheese with avocado and tomato, along with a fruit cup. Lunchtime was also the time the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and we definitely sampled those.

I grabbed my book (which I was determined to finish this trip) and relaxed in the spa while I waited for my Chocolate Scrub appointment. Kathy did a wonderful job. My skin felt great and my body was so relaxed I decided it was time for a nap before cocktails and dinner.

We had some great conversation with the Three Forks staff during the nightly cocktail hour. They are from all over the U.S. and it was interesting to compare travel stories. We also found they were all very interested in our experience and anything we wanted to do.  I sipped my Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and we headed into dinner, starting Chicken Tortilla Soup. It was delicious and could have been a meal by itself had I finished it.

At the end of dinner each night at Three Forks, you are given the dinner menu for the following day so you can make your choices. When I had a hard time making up my mind, I was told that I could pick two different things and get a half portion of each.  That’s what I did for the entrĂ©e this night, settling on a tender and tasty seared lamb chop with carrots, potatoes and house-made mint jelly, as well as a portion of Eggplant Lasagna, which tasted to me much like one of my favorites, moussaka.

Bananas Foster with vanilla ice cream was for dessert and it was excellent. Lynn and I decided to have a nightcap at the bar with Shannon, the resident mixologist and enjoyed a Bailey’s Irish Cream (me) and Amaretto (Lynn) before retiring for the night. 

Our first full day at Three Forks Ranch was complete and I couldn’t imagine feeling more relaxed.


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