At The High Lonesome Ranch, getting up early for yoga is easy, especially when you’re bound to encounter roaming horses and a picture-perfect sunrise. Tessa McInnis, one of the ranch’s yoga teachers, suggested we incorporate a back bend into our morning yoga practice because she says, “Back bends help reduce anxiety and stress, improve breathing, help relieve chronic back and neck pain, and open the front of the body. The best way to approach the pose is with solid footing and a strong supported foundation. Engage the legs and the core as you gently bend backand don’t forget to open your heart up toward the sun. What better way is there to prepare the body and mind for the day ahead? kind you see out of airplanesand a lucky encounter with a ladybug nest that exploded into a flurry of red and black polka dots, reminding us that the mountains are home to creatures large and small.
This congenial atmosphere is de rigueur at the ranch, and no one embodies it more than Aunt Linda, the 76-year-old cook whose homemade English muffins, corn cakes, biscuits, waffles (gluten-free, if you ask) and famous granola make waking up early for breakfast worth every bite. With her bold Louisianan hospitality, she extols the virtues of her motto: I say you have to keep moving if you want to keep moving. Such boundless energy is an infectious way to start the day.
If Linda is all about intrepid inspiration, Chef Matt Chasseur’s more subtle style brings a delicious sophistication to the fine dining program.
A veteran from the Michelin-starred Alinea restaurant in Chicago, Chasseur traded the big city for the wilds of Colorado for creative culinary freedom and an opportunity to hunt, fish and raise his family in a small town. With an organic vegetable garden 50 yards from the kitchen, he can pick fresh kale and transform it into a Caesar salad lunch, smoke ranch-grown cauliflower over hot coals and then sear dry-aged sirloin from cows raised on the ranch.
But for Chasseur the real attraction is the staff. He had reservations about moving to Colorado, but his prejudices melted away after his first visit. When I watched how everyone worked together, I was blown away. It was the people that brought me here, they were so welcoming. Ranch operations manager Smith attributes the allure to both staff and guests this way: The ranch is an out-of-the-way place, so you have to want to be here and you have to love it.
We couldn’t agree more.
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