Live Out Your Cowboy Fantasies With BlissWood’s New Dude Ranch Experience
It’s six days of horseback riding, shooting clays and drinking around campfires
The cowboy lifestyle continues to be portrayed, championed, romanticized and recontextualized in countless movies and television shows, from Yellowstone and its spinoff 1883 to The Power of the Dog and the John Wayne canon. To this day, we remain fascinated with this not-so-distant past, particularly Wild West outlaws and the tough men and women who thrived on the American frontier.
Now, there’s a Texas bed and breakfast that’s letting you live out your cowboy fantasies, albeit in a comfortable setting and without the fear of being murdered by a Westworld host.
BlissWood Bed and Breakfast Ranch is located in Cat Spring, about an hour west of Houston, two hours from Austin and San Antonio, and four hours from Dallas. The property sits on a 350-acre private ranch that’s teeming with animals, including horses, cattle, blackbuck antelope and bison, and its landscape is dotted with meadows, oak forests, creeks, lakes and other reminders that you are well and truly in nature. Lodging consists of 14 cabins and cottages of varying size, with woodsy furniture, full kitchens, sitting areas and porches.
It’s a fine spot for a weekend getaway with your partner or family, but if you want to experience ranch life to its fullest, enlist some friends and book the new Dude Ranch Vacation Package, a six-night, seven-day all-inclusive adventure that will have you riding horses, shooting clays and otherwise living like a cowboy. Call the property directly to reserve your stay. They’ll get you all situated, and let you know which cabins and cottages are available during your desired dates.
“This gives people a chance to really experience the ranch, outside of just coming for a night or two,” says BlissWood owner Carol Davis. “Everything is packaged together, so you don’t have to worry about food or anything else. You can just enjoy the experience.”
Once you arrive, you’ll have full run of the property, so venture out there to explore your surroundings and the several miles of hiking and biking trails. Then, steady yourself for some wilderness survival skills (aka party tricks). The package includes archery lessons, as well as expert instruction on throwing tomahawks and knives. You’ll also receive a trapshooting lesson, with pro tips for blasting clay targets out of the sky. Afterward, take comfort in knowing that, should you ever fall into a time portal (or hitch a ride on a time-traveling DeLorean), you’ll be marginally more self-reliant than before.
When you’re ready for some less active activities, you can partake in animal experiences. Hop aboard an ATV for an animal safari tour, in which you’ll spy on some of the property’s wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for bison, antelope, fallow deer and red deer, plus the occasional peacock. If you’d rather hop aboard an animal, your stay comes with three one-hour horseback riding sessions. You can also cast a reel for catch-and-release fishing in BlissWood’s professionally stocked and maintained lakes. You can’t eat your catch, but you won’t go hungry here. Three meals are provided each day, from continental breakfasts to grilled steak dinners.
At night, you can sit around the fire eating s’mores, drinking whiskey and telling tall tales from your day on the range, before waking up the next morning to keep living that cowboy life.
Oh, and we almost forgot the best part: The package also includes a one-hour photo session with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer (and great-name-haver) Skeeter Hagler. This feels like a natural win if you’re traveling with your significant other or family, but it might be an even better perk when you’re traveling with a group of guys. Because nothing immortalizes a guys trip like a moody album-cover photo of six dudes riding horses.
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