Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honeymoon: The Eco-Friendly Dude Ranch

I always find it a little funny that honeymoons are so synonymous with white sandy beaches, pretty pina coladas with umbrellas, and balmy breezes swaying through the palm trees..... Ah, sounds nice. If you like pina coladas and getting da de... Oh, wait, sorry, where was I? No, I was not just daydreaming about balmy breezes and sandy beaches! *smoothes hair, looks shifty*

Not that there is anything wrong with a beach side honeymoon. They are the ultimate in relaxation and a great way to un-wind after planning your eco-friendly wedding, but I'd like to present an alternative to you: the honeymoon on a dude ranch.

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa

Dude ranches aren't exactly for everyone, but there are varying degrees of "luxury," ranging from rustic and simple to spa like retreats. You most likely won't be able to sip a dainty cocktail poolside while texting on your iPhone, but here is what you will be able to do: enjoy beautiful (perhaps even amazing, jaw dropping) scenery, campfires and smores, participate in adventurous activities, indulge on amazing food, be mesmerized by starry night skies, and the chance to get your chaps dirty and ride the land like a wild west cowboy. In addition, most dude ranches are eco-friendly by nature and provide a true eco-tourism experience.

Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch (Number One Dude Ranch on Trip Advisor)

I had the opportunity to visit a dude ranch when I was about 16 with my dad and my brother and I honestly loved it. We rode horses through winding trails and bordering cliffs of the New Mexico desert and, at times, the trails were so narrow I could've sworn we were teetering on the edge of death. 

My goal is to one day bring my hubby to a dude ranch, who I know would absolutely love it. The closest he's come to one was riding a horse to, and through, the beach on our honeymoon in St.Lucia. I'd post pictures, but he looks rather awkward, as we both do. (For the record, pictures of people riding bareback - because, yes, we all had to ride our horse bareback in the water - should be restricted to male and female swimsuit models, or at least people who can pass as one. Otherwise, it just looks really, really awkward.)


Got an eco-friendly honeymoon idea or place you'd like to share? E-mail me at jen (at) ecoandelsie (dot) com to send me your news!

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