Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch Blog
100th Year Milestone at Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch
Who would have guessed that the purchase of the Tom Hawley homestead by the Jarrett family100 years ago would result in the present day guest ranch at Hawley Mountain? 2017 was certainly a year to remember up here at the ranch. A large group of family and friends gathered in July to help celebrate this important part of ranch history.
Over 130 guests gathered to celebrate with us, and it was a great time for conversations with old friends and share a lot of "memories.
An amazing dinner was prepared by the kitchen crew while the rest of the staff scurried with the rest of the preparations to make the event so enjoyable. Music was furnished by a talented local group from Big Timber entertaining the guests during their evening meal and afterwards.
That same evening owners Ron and Phyllis Jarrett were totally surprised to discover that their 50th wedding anniversary was being celebrated as well. What a memorable time for all of us!
Best Cook in the West!
Hawley Mountain Ranch has found a real treasure in our cook, Nancy. Returning for her 5th year
she has prepared tasty meals for a hungry group of guests and staff with amazing variety and effeciency. Ranch meals are served buffet style, and there are always plenty of choices for everyone's preferences.
Check out these two loaves of sour dough bread fresh from the oven. Don't they just make your mouth water?
Cookout Food is the Best!
The best thing about cookouts at Hawley Mountain is the big burgers and brats! Sometimes it can be a real challenge for small mouths to get around their sandwich.
But where there's a will, there's definitely a way!
Horseback Ride to High Meadow
Off to a high meadow go the Hawley Mountain horseback riders! Placer Basin trail is popular for hikers, as well as horseback riders, because of the spectacular view when looking up the Boulder River valley. After a short stop to overlook the impressive Hells Canyon, the riders continue on up the trail to reach a lush meadow often covered with alpine wildflowers.
Dirty Faces....a Sign of a Great Meal!
"Guess what I ate at the cookout?"
Bet you can't guess what I ate!
"After a wild game of volleyball I'm ready to enjoy a s'more, dirt and all!"
Hawley Mountain Wranglers Work Hard!
A “wrangler” is defined as a person who herds or cares for livestock on a range. That’s exactly what our wranglers at Hawley Mountain Ranch do….and they do their job well.
Getting to the Other Side Works Well on Horseback
Why did the horses cross to the other side? Because it's loads of fun!
Horses are wetting their whistles before heading across the pristine Boulder River.
The horses know their way, so they are able to avoid some of the larger boulders in the river. Guests enjoy the experience of actually being in the river...without getting wet! Early in the season the river level is high enough to cause wet boots or pant legs to occur if you have long legs...or a short-legged horse.
There is nothing more enjoyable than taking a river ride on a foggy autumn day. Beauty is all around you.
Sand Hill Cranes Are Sighted at Hawley Mountain Ranch
Look what was spotted by the keen eye of guest, Karen Elliott. Two elusive sand hill cranes were hiding in the sage brush below the lodge. Karen was able to photograph these unusual birds, but off they flew once they discovered that they were being watched. Beautiful animals in flight, and it's entertaining to listen to their unique call.
100th Year of Jarrett Ownership of Hawley Homestead
This year we celebrate the 100 years that Hawley Mountain has been owned by the Jarrett family. This little piece of paradise was purchased from homesteader, Tom Hawley, bythe present co-owner’s great-great grandfather, Ralph Jarrett, back in 1917. This photo shows Tom Hawley's original cabin once located near our present day barn and corrals.
The 160 acre property was used by the Jarrett’s for decades as a “stopping off” place for their bands of sheep while making the 80 mile trek from the Jarrett sheep ranch west of Big Timber into the higher elevations of wilderness to graze on government permits for the summer. The first photo below shows the bands of sheep grazing at Hawley Mountain before heading into the summer range in higher elevations. The second photo is present owner's grandfather, Tom Jarrett, heading into the mountains with supplies on pack horses.
In 1972 Bill Jarrett (another great-great grandson) and his wife Sadako visualized that this property could be a special place for others to enjoy, so he established the present day guest ranch that is still in operation today.
Many changes and improvements have occurred over these past 100 years, but the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and pristine Boulder River continue to awe visitors as they experience the uniqueness of Hawley Mountain. Let the celebration begin!
Got a Hankerin' for a Great Cup of Cowboy Coffee?
We know just the place to enjoy this tasty brew. Cowboy coffee is prepared twice a week at the Hawley Mountain Ranch cookouts.
This "coffee making" duty is done by Ron Jarrett every week, and he prides himself on knowing just how to get the job done. First the water has to be heated until it's boiling in the blue enamel coffee pot that has seen its share of open fires. Coffee grounds are then stirred into the boiling water, they simmer for a couple of minutes, and then a cup or two of cold water is added to hopefully settle most of the grounds.
Ready for a little cowboy coffee with your dessert? Ron happily serves his special brew to whoever is willing to give it a try.
This hot coffee is a great way to finish off a steak.....or sip with a brownie or some other yummy dessert that is served at the cookout. It especially "hits the spot" on those chilly September evenings when it's a little harder to stay warm. A few coffee grounds left in the bottom of the cup is a sign that this beverage was a truly a cup of "cowboy coffee"!
"We're Watching You!"
When our horses are tied to the hitching rails waiting for guests to arrive, they have some time to look around and assess their "soon-to-be" riders. Our little Annie is checking you out right now!
Here is a double stare from Flinch and Dozer. Don't you wonder what they are thinking as they are checking you out?
Here is an "eye-to-eye" moment with our horse, Archie. And there are about 40 other horses in the herd that watch as guests arrive at the corral. We think by doing the assessing our horses have figured out their riders and are processing the best way possible to take good care of everyone while out on the trails.
Not much is known about the early Boulder resident, Tom Hawley, but it’s a fact that he had a definite role in the settling of the Upper Boulder river valley. Hawley was a daring frontiersman in the 1880’s exhibiting reckless courage and matchless endurance like many of the pioneers of that time. It is stated that at the age of 64 he walked the 42 miles to Big Timber in one day…...no small feat for even the fittest!
When the Boulder River valley was ceded to the government by the Crows in 1882, this area became a “home seekers paradise” for future ranch owners. Being a prospector, hunter, trapper, and mountaineer, Tom Hawley was one of nine settlers who had homesteaded property in the valley before 1884.
Boulder valley pioneers possessed a high degree of intelligence, honesty, and sturdy independence. Hawley was no exception. Tom raised some livestock and crops on his homestead, but he was a miner at heart. He also assisted in the discovery of valuable mineral deposits farther up the river valley. The photo shows Tom Hawley's cabin built near our present-day corral.
Happy Times for Happy Children
What great experiences for children of all ages who come to Hawley Mountain with so much to do in one short week! The days pass quickly as they are filled with lots of outdoor activities and things to explore.
Riding to Higher Places
Off to a high meadow in the Montana wilderness go the Hawley Mountain horseback riders! Placer Basin trail is popular for hikers, as well as horseback riders, because of the spectacular view when looking up the Boulder River valley. After a short stop to overlook the impressive Hells Canyon, the riders continue on up the trail to reach a lush meadow often covered with alpine wildflowers.
A saddlebag lunch is enjoyed while taking in the surrounding mountainous scenery. It’s a perfect place to throw a Frisbee, shoot some great photos, or better yet, take a relaxing nap before heading back towards the ranch. This ride has provided many lasting memories for our ranch guests (and countless Christmas card photo opportunities!) for our guest ranch vacationers.
“Big Sky Country”
No other place (in our opinion!) shows off the sky like Montana, thus named “Big Sky Country”. You can’t help but notice the rainbows (which are sometimes double in size) and the various cloud shapes and colors depending on the time of day or weather patterns.
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