Three Forks Welcome

I obviously travel a lot to wonderful places, but my trip to Three Forks Ranch was probably one of my most anticipated. I have very few trips that aren’t scheduled for me and the idea that I could do what I want during four days for myself and my friend Lynn was an exciting one. It became even more exciting when we actually saw this incredible place.

Lynn was coming from New York and I from Illinois so we took our first flights together and met at Atlanta airport. It had been awhile since our Celebrity Cruise adventure and we knew that this one would be at least as fun.

The scene was beautiful as we landed at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, airport. There was just a slight chill in the air when we walked off the plane, but it felt exhilarating. Lodge Manager Jennifer Brenneman was waiting for us to drive the hour to the Three Forks Ranch. It was an incredibly scenic ride, filled with hills, mountains and increasing snow. She told us a bit about the property, owned by David Pratt (CEO of Gander Mountain and part owner of the St. Louis Cardinals).

Three Forks is divided between Colorado and Wyoming. The property is 200,000 acres and includes a working cattle ranch. As we climbed, I started to get a bit of a headache and Jenn told us about altitude sickness and how it doesn’t last. I drank lots of water and felt better quickly, but was made aware there was portable oxygen in my room if I needed it at any point.

Before we hit the ranch, we had a beautiful stretch through a winding snow-filled road. I couldn’t believe how breathtaking the property was when we arrived. Levi Kempf, Recreation Director, greeted us at the car and a half a dozen more of the staff said hello and took our luggage. Jenn took us on a brief tour of the lodge (we would have a full tour the final day), which was filled with fine art everywhere.

We each got our own spacious suites, with bay windows, fireplaces; bathrooms that had heated floors and Jacuzzis; and hot tubs on the deck. Before we even arrived at Three Forks Lodge and Spa, we were sent questionnaires by the hotel to make sure they had our rooms prepared just the way we wanted. I had my size seven slippers, small robe, chardonnay and bottled water waiting, along with a basket of chips, cookies, granola bars and other snacks that everyone gets every day. The staff was also made aware that we both had seafood allergies and the menus for our visit were prepared accordingly

Lynn and I were the only guests so we had the entire lodge (which I’d probably refer to more as a mansion) to ourselves. The staff was ready to dote on our every need and there didn’t seem to be a better way to get started than in the spa. It was as relaxing as you can get, with lounges everywhere, hot tubs, and an indoor/outdoor heated pool. While Lynn had her massage, I went into the Jacuzzi for a bit and then sat in the comfort of the lounge with cucumber water and a book.

I had a perfect massage with Kathy and talked about the other treatments I would get during my stay (the spa is unlimited for all Three Forks guests) before returning to my room to dress for cocktails and dinner.

The cocktail hour is a nightly ritual with the staff. We enjoyed getting to know each other and talking about what we would like to do the next day. Wrangler Ciara was there and she said she would set up our sleigh ride (unlimited activities are also included for all guests) for the next day while we nibbled on excellent appetizers.

David, who is in charge of the fishing program, joined us for a delicious dinner. My French Onion Soup was rich and cheesy. The Chicken Penne main course was very good, but nothing could top the Chocolate Soufflé with crème anglaise.

After a long day, we retired to our rooms early and hit the pillow, dreaming about sleigh rides, spa treatments and another day in mountain paradise.  


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