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Best. Weekend. Ever.

Posted on August 2, 2015 by under Relationship, Things to Do.    

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As you all know, Brian and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in a few days. We started our celebration early because we wanted to do a moonlight horseback ride and we couldn’t dictate the moon’s schedule so we had to be flexible. LOL.

This moonlight horseback ride adventure was even made more special by the blue moon. Blue moons occur when you have two full moons in the same month. It’s not really blue. I’m not sure why they call it that. It was pretty cool, though.

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Brian and I both took Friday off because we didn’t know how long it would take to get to the ranch and, having never stayed there, we wanted to scope out our accommodations.

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We were supposed to stay in this solitary cottage called Calaboose but the previous guests busted the blinds so Gwen moved us to the Tallgrass Suite, which is on the West side of the cabin. It actually worked out better because we got to look at both rooms and, for the same price, the Tallgrass Suite is way better.

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This is the inside of the Calaboose. It’s a tiny cabin consisting of just a sleeping area and a bathroom. It’s cute and cozy and would have worked out just fine but the Tallgrass Suite is definitely an upgrade.

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The Tallgrass Suite is attached to the Prairie Room. While we initially wanted to be by ourselves, the spaciousness of the alternative room more than made up for the location. In the photo above, the Tallgrass Suite is on the left and the Prairie Room is on the right.

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Our room had a full-sized kitchen, complete with range, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and full-sized fridge. We got dishes, pots and pans, utensils, dish towels, and even wine glasses. We had a sitting area and everything. If we were staying longer, there was a washer and dryer and detergent. We also had a small back deck with a gas grill.

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The bedroom had a closet and huge attached bathroom with a separate tub and shower. It was really a lot nicer than I expected. I mean, I packed a hair dryer because I wasn’t sure there would be one there but our bathroom had one. Had I known our accommodations would be so comfortable, I would have reserved two nights instead of only one. LOL.

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Here’s the outside of our cabin.

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Other accommodations on the property include the bunkhouse, pictured above, and the lodge, below. The lodge is super nice. The pictures that follow really don’t do it justice.

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This is the living room area of the East side of the lodge.

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The large dining room is big enough for 40 people.

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This is the living room area of the West side of the lodge.

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Another view of the living area.

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Full kitchen.

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The West side of the lodge has two private bedrooms on the ground level and additional sleeping areas upstairs. Overall I think it can comfortably house ten people. It’s perfect for families or small groups.

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I love the rustic look of the outside.

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Our experience started with dinner at the lodge.

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Our dinner consisted of salisbury steak, roasted potatoes, corn, and tomato cucumber salad prepared by chef/rancher Josh Hoy, followed by homemade raspberry and blueberry pies (which I didn’t get any pictures of).

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After dinner we sat and listened to Josh’s father Jim tell stories. He’s like the Bob Ross of prairie stories. I could listen to him for days.

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Jim Hoy is a celebrity in these parts so I had to get a photo with him. 😉

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Actually, Josh is a bit of a celebrity too. He was on Master Chef and showed Chef Gordon Ramsey how to cook like a cowboy a few years ago.

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We stayed on schedule and saddled up around eight o’clock.

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They put Brian on Rufus, the clumsiest horse of the group. I think they did it on purpose because Brian was the most experienced rider of all the guests. Brian said he was a good horse, even though he found all of the pot holes in the trail.

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I ended up getting Phatty. Josh did tell me ahead of time that they might call me by my horse’s name, as they’re prone to doing because they sometimes can’t remember all the guests names, and not to be offended. I guess one time they put a portly man on Phatty and forgot to tell him in advance so he was getting really upset each time he got called Phatty. After they explained to him that the horse’s name is Phatty, he felt a lot better.

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In this photo you’ll see their niece Piper, Jim Hoy’s wife Cathy, Brian, and Jim.

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Brian, Jim, and Cathy waiting for the rest of us to get on our horses.

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Piper may only be thirteen but she looks like a pro. She was going to help them with shipping cattle the next morning.

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We took off in time to watch the sunset.

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We took some photos while we were waiting.

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Here’s a picture of our wonderful hosts, Gwen and Josh Hoy.

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There are few things as breathtaking as the sun setting in the Flint Hills.

The first time I ever saw a Flint Hills sunset was during the Symphony in the Flint Hills several years ago. It’s kind of a spiritual experience.

Photos don’t quite do it justice and beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it.

When the sun finally set, it was time to look for the moon.

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We stopped at a few spots to admire the beauty of the Flint Hills and learn some stuff but the moon was definitely the star of the show.

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She was full, bright, and majestic that night.

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I’d been horseback riding before but this most recent horseback riding experience is one that I will remember forever. It was truly something special and I’m glad that I got to share the experience with Brian.

The next day we met John Plots from Boston as we were leaving. He and his wife and two kids were supposed to be on the moonlight horseback ride with us but they arrived at the ranch late. We also met Bones, ranch hand and blogger.

Others who went on the moonlight horseback ride with us besides, Piper, Jim and Cathy Hoy, and our hosts Josh and Gwen Hoy, include Sheila Townsend who actually works for the same company as me. She’s in the real estate department and works out of our Topeka office. We also met Steve, Alice, and their son Charlie. We had a great group. I also liked that it was small because I’m not an experienced rider and I appreciated that there were enough people to keep an eye on all of us.

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The next morning, Brian and I wandered around Cottonwood Falls before heading home. We ate at the Keller Feed & Wine Company (formerly Emma Chase Café). I will write more about our Cottonwood Falls adventures next time.

For now, I hope you enjoyed my account of our horseback riding adventures at Flying W Ranch. Perhaps you can join us next time.

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  • Symphony in the Flint Hills on June 12, 2010
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  • More Pictures from the Symphony on June 15, 2011

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