Can a city slicker teddy bear like Cherrie find happiness on a Montana dude ranch? More important, can they even begin to accommodate her special needs? Gladly the answer is a resounding yes. To that end, here’s a short report and a few photos on her recent dude ranch experience. Look for expanded coverage in an upcoming issue of Emerging Horizons.
Cherrie’s favorite stop of the day was the Beartooth River Ranch, near Belfry, Montana. This small family-run operation had a spacious guest room that met all of Cherrie’s access needs. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, and it’s a great place to get away from the maddening crowds. And although there are a few access obstacles here and there, Cherrie could also access most of the evening activities, which range from a cookout to the pig races at a local watering hole. It’s a fun place to kick back and enjoy the rustic side of Montana.
On the other end of the spectrum, the 320 Guest Ranch near Big Sky Montana offered a very luxurious riverside cabin, with doable access for most folks. It was spacious, quiet and homey. And although some wheelchair-users may not be able to use the bathroom; with a little advance planning many folks will find it very doable. Top it all off with a very filling buffet breakfast and you have all the makings for a very relaxing getaway.
In the end there really are a lot of accessible dude ranch options out there — some of which even offer adaptive riding. So if you long to experience a slice of real western life, then rest assured you can do it, no matter what your disability.