Ahhhh history.  We recently had a guest stay with us from Germany, Ziggy, who, around 17 years ago had worked a winter on Big Bar Ranch.  This visit she came back and had some stories to tell, and with her she also brought a book of poetry - written by a woman called Claire Gardner. 

Claire and her husband Al lived on the cattle ranch next to ours in the 1980's, and she's written a number of poems telling tales of her life on the Ranch.  Some of her poems hit pretty close to home here with life on Big Bar - so over the next few months we'll be showcasing some of our favourites.

Today, we thought we would start with one, that sounds like Claire is referring to the original owners of BBGR from decades gone by.  What do you think?  


The Dude Ranch - by Claire Margorie Gardner


The neighbouring ranch across the creek,

Had been vacant for many a year.

Then one day some folks moved in,

And they’re straight from the city we hear.

My god, they’re starting a dude ranch,

Here in our neck of the woods.

Our cattle communities going to hell,

We murmured as we stood and

Looked up at their signboard

That welcomed all dudes in.

We’ve a pool room and a hot tub,

So you can warm your skin,

And thirty gentle horses

If it’s riding you desire

And Saturday night if the weather’s right

We’ll sing around a campfire.

Well, we finally quit our frettin,

Cause we knew they’d never cope.

They’d probably get lost on the first trail ride,

At least that’s what we hoped.

And when the temperatures drop to forty below,

And the pipes are all froze in the biffy.

And firewoods buried in three feet of snow,

They’ll be heading back to the city.

Time went on and theystill weren’t gone,

They were actually starting to learn.

To masterthe trails and horses that ailed,

With colic and strangles and worms.

Then one day they came a callin,

And on our branding day no less.

By God, we’re in for trouble,

When they see this bloody mess.


Dudes ain't used to ranchin ways,

They'll call animal rights

Or the S.P.C.A.

They stood there watchin,

Eyes open wide

As we dehorned and castrated

And burned the hide.


Complexions turned pale

Then a shade of green.

They swallowed their bile

As they took in the scene.


But when work was all over

Much to our surprise,

They asked if next time

They could give it a try.


That kinda broke the ice that day,

These dudes weren't such bad folk.

They're now welcome at our campfire

To laugh and sing and joke.

About dudes that pay good money

For a two hour trail ride,

Then sit in that old hot tub

And cook their sore behinds.