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Just Back From: The Resort at Paws Up!

Our very own Jessica Foreman recently returned from The Resort at Paws Up. Check out her recap of this incredible trip to “Big Sky Country!”

Holding on for dear life, I couldn’t suppress the giddy laughter that came over me every time Colorado ignored my dainty attempt to control the reins and instead, took off in a dead-sprint across the valley. I was at The Resort at Paws Up roundin’ up cattle, ya’ll, and I ain’t a cowgirl. My horse Colorado knew it, too, but his need for speed was thrilling and feeling western, wild & free (and wind-blown), I channeled my inner ranch-hand, grabbed those reins, and with NYC attitude directed us back to the others to be a contributor in the task that lay ahead. Little did I know, if you think a horse won’t listen to you, then it’s nearly impossible to drive forty cattle back to homeland!

Seasoned ranch hands teach you to be a wrangler during the adventurous cattle drive.

Seasoned ranch hands teach you to be a wrangler during the adventurous cattle drive.

I spent three days at Paws Up, Montana’s premier luxury resort and a working cattle ranch to boot! The first night my colleague Ashley & I stayed in the gorgeous Wilderness Estates, complete with a large deck featuring rocking chairs, Mother Nature’s soundtrack and views for days. We then moved over to River Camp for the rest of our stay, which has six tents located right on the banks of the Blackfoot River. Rustic decor, The Last Best Bed® (with heated sheets!), room temperature control & electricity, a spacious deck with a hammock right outside, en-suite bathroom with heated floors, twice-daily housekeeping service, scrumptious meals and even your own personal camping butler… this is a city gal’s kind of camping!

Nadine Lipson, owner, is the visionary behind the interior design for the wilderness estates and all accommodations on property.

Nadine Lipson, owner, is the visionary behind the interior design for the wilderness estates and all accommodations on property.

While we were there, Cowboy Steve, the head ranch hand on property and owner of horses Pete and Repeat, told us about the newest activity on property: wagon team driving lessons! In a one-on-one session, Steve teaches guests how to direct a team of two horses to drive a wagon, from strapping the horses up to the wagon to giving commands. Steve’s advice… confidence is key!

Cowboy Steve showing Pete & Repeat who’s boss!

Cowboy Steve showing Pete & Repeat who’s boss!

We met two other notable cowboys during the Chuck wagon dinner on our last night, one of whom taught me how to hit a bullseye with an axe (before we even had appetizers!). The star of the dinner was Chef “Cee Dub” who specializes in outdoor cooking innovations using Dutch ovens. The outdoor buffet was something out of a catalogue, complete with baked beans, fresh vegetables (sourced locally!) and brisket. Steve made another appearance to read “cowboy poetry” during dinner and let us in on some stories of the West!

Cee Dub churning home-made butter to accompany buttermilk biscuits made from scratch!

Cee Dub churning home-made butter to accompany buttermilk biscuits made from scratch!

There were many factors that made that weekend unforgettable, including conquering the Grizzly Man Fitness Trail, taking 124,385,987 photos, and indulging in the ultimate s’more prepared by my very own camping butler fire-side (he used Reese’s! Brilliant.)

And of course, that cattle drive. Colorado might not have listened to me, but our guide Teresa, wearing a metallic blue feather in her cowgirl hat and custom-made leather chaps with elk-horn detail, was a force to be reckoned with. We drove the cattle back to home pastures faster than you can say “The Last Best Place.”

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