Getaway Goal: Reconnect, Fitness, July/August 2014

fitness ranchThis travel essay ran as part of a six-page feature entitled "The Fit Girl's Getaway Guide."

It had been a month of unfinished sentences. With my husband’s job hogging 60 hours a week and deadlines that had me burning the midnight oil, neither of us was making what I would call scintillating conversation at the dinner table—assuming we sat down together at all with our 3-year-old daughter, Simone. So I turned our next unscheduled weekend into a reservation at C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colorado. I figured that the horseback riding and fly-fishing in 8,500 acres of mountain scenery would give us time to talk.

After sneaking in our morning workouts, we convened at the ranch’s weathered barn. Head wrangler Bill Fisher paired us greenhorns with easygoing horses that inspired our confidence, then we paraded into the open valley, where we chatted while basking in views of knifelike summits piercing the turquoise sky.

Fly-fishing at meandering Willow Creek filled our afternoon. Strapped into our waders, Ben and I occasionally exchanged smirks at how ridiculous we looked. As we waited to fish to bite, we passed the time with actual conversation. When a footlong fish gulped the grasshopper Ben had floated along the grassy bank, my hoots of glee matched his own. As we squeezed our faces together for a celebratory selfie, I felt a rush of our former selves, young and falling in love.

After dinner at the ranch house, with the surrounding sagebrush glowing in the setting sun, we sat on our cabin porch for a nightcap. With no phones or internet readily available, we had each other’s undivided attention, and we talked about our hankerings, made plans for upcoming holidays and laughed. Looking back on it now, I call it our family reunion.