Wednesday, September 4, 2013

road trip: phipps la garita ranch

After much deliberation via many family emails, the Taber family agreed to have our reunion at Phipps La Garita Ranch.  I stumbled upon it when searching for vacation rentals. Since they were able to accommodate our big group and it seemed not only reasonable, but beautiful, we decided it was a good choice.  We were all nervous about what it would actually end up being (especially me since I found it), but none of us were disappointed.  
In case you are a millionaire and want to buy it, it just happens to be for sale so I will give you a quick tour.

The Main Lodge:
(with Dining Room, Kitchen, and Inn Rooms where many of us stayed)
The Stardust Cabin: Where Dad, Danny, Ty, and JT stayed
The Waldorf Cabin where the Burches stayed (and also Dwight D.Eisenhower) and the Inn Room where we stayed.
The Pool and Recreation Room
When we arrived the Burches were already there and sitting on the dock so we immediately joined them.
The boys were excited to check out the different boats.
Gus wanted to go meet the horses.  We never made it for a ride, but we enjoyed having them around.
We all went for a little walk to go exploring.
Once all the families arriving we headed out to a restaurant in Creede.  We had made a reservation for our large group, but it was crazy!!  I won't go into the details, but at least things could only get better from then on.  The next morning the sun was shining and it was beautiful.  My dad organized a hike, while some of us lazier folks sat around to stare at things.
A large group left for the hike, but they kept slowly trickling back.  I think about 4 or 5 made it to the top.  
You can see their little silhouettes if you look close. 
Zach and Uncle Tom had bought fishing licenses so they opted out of the hike. 
Gus couldn't wait to go fishing with Dad for the first time.  He had been asking about it for months.
Let's just say fly fishing is interesting with a 2 year old.  They didn't catch anything, but Gus had fun.
Lucy, Jimmy, and Finn took to the dock to try some boating. 
Jimmy had his first ever kayak ride and he did it alone!  He was so proud.
The boys all practiced the row boat and attempted to catch Uncle Pete in a kayak.
The first evening was lovely enough to swim, but the next two nights were a little rainy so we all opted to hang out in the Recreation Room which was the perfect combination of cozy and entertaining.
We taught everyone how to play Polish Poker courtesy of Nana.
My cousin Brooke's daughter, Lily, took quite a liking to Nora and wanted to hold her at every possible opportunity.   She was far better at it then a lot of the grown-ups around.  She was convinced that Nora would fit in her American girl clothes.  We put them next to each other to compare and I concluded that Nora's chubby belly might not squeeze in there.
We had some cozy nights in our cabin, too, since we had a fireplace of our own.  The boys got to sleep in front of it. 
These pictures are definitely not in any chronological order partly because the days all kind of just blur together now.  We just did a lot of hanging out.  The little boys were in heaven just playing with sticks and rock... literally.  Sure it was because Aunt Emmy helped them make them into axes, but still.
Skipping rocks (or attempting to) was a new past-time. 
I love boys just being boys.
Jimmy and Finn are always great buddies, but they loved having a new buddy in Max.
Gus and Dot are great buds, too.
Hardly a moment went by that Lucy, Sybil, and Lily were not with each other.
We all had fun at the "old creaky bridge" as Jimmy dubbed it.  You had to walk carefully over logs to get there which was apparently really cool.
Max's dad, Josh, helped him build an awesome boat out of sticks and reeds. 
We were lucky enough to be there when it set sail.
This picture below is one of my favorites because it really captures the spirit of those little boys as they run happily through a field.  As I took it, Josh told me, "They should be able to do that everyday."  I agree.  It makes me want to move to a ranch in Colorado... but only a little bit.
While pools are hardly a novelty to us, we still loved having one around for some fun cousin time.  It was slightly heated so it was nice enough to get in and Jimmy loved it because he could walk in the shallow end.
The bigger cabins had there own kitchens, but the smaller ones and the inn rooms were given space in the community kitchen.  We were able to share it easily with other guests and still have be able to cook dinners for our large group.

A little Trivial Pursuit went on before and after dinner one night. 
Nora was never lacking for attention on this trip.  In fact I was rarely the one holding her at any given time.
The boys helped ring the dinner bell.
The kid's table:
We managed to get a group shot together.

The oldest and youngest generations:
How can I take so many photos and still not feel like I got some I would have liked.  For example, my dad with all of his grandkids or with his own kids for that matter.  A cousins picture of my generation?Emily and I agree that next time we need to make a list.  I did get one of my family though:
I still think Gus looks like Uncle Tom although you can't really tell here. 
They both love hammers so that is another thing they have in common.
I forced a siblings picture on our last morning. Your welcome guys.
Before we left Zach took Gus on one last boat ride since he hadn't been in the kayak yet.
I think it was one of his favorite parts.
And a few more family shots just before we left...
We had so much fun with all the family we rarely get to see and didn't want to leave after only three nights.  Hopefully, we don't wait another 10 years before we are all together again.  At least there were still a few more adventures left on the way home...


  1. A good story told well. Thanks!

  2. I stayed here many times as a kid, it's the most magical place. I'm sad to see the property sold (earlier this year) but hope that the new owners will appreciate this stellar piece if land and keep it charming and unique.

  3. You "Weisse Guys" were so fortunate to have spent this wonderful time at La Garita. Like Ashley, I stayed there a few times long ago, and I'm devastated to learn the new owners have demolished almost all the buildings, at least some of which should have been on the Colorado Register of Historic Places. Your pictures are great and make me so nostalgic!!

    1. Break my heart! I was hoping to go back someday. It could have used a few improvements, but tearing down some of those buildings is tragic. Some people don't see the value in old things.

  4. this is heartbreaking. these pics are gems and i'm so glad i came across them. I worked a summer at La Garita ranch in 2000 and I can't fathom that this is what happened to this very special place.

    1. I was so sad to hear it, too:( Glad you liked the pictures.