The Bar W Guest Ranch offers families a chance to reconnect with the Wild West, with nature, and with each other.

“The kids learn to run free without looking over their back every five minutes,” said owner Dave Leishman. “The parents learn to let go and let the kids run free and actually enjoy themselves”.

Everyone was having a great time and then a stranger arrived... The Tacoma Kid, come to ride the high country.

“So these horses have already been fed horse food I'm assuming?” the Kid asked guide Nick Schatz.

“Yep," responded Schatz. "They get grain.”

The Kid didn't seem to know much about "cowboying". He thought the bridle might have been for him, but at the Bar W, every activity is tailored to guest's abilities, and Schatz seemed to be the patient type.

People in town said The Tacoma Kid was too scared to gallop. Not true. He just agrees with the legendary western writer Louis L'Amour who once wrote "The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for."

The Tacoma Kid may not be much around horses, but the Bar W gives roping lessons, too. And once a week, families gather around local legend Gary Weller for some square dancing.

At the end of the day, there's a lot to ponder for The Tacoma Kid. Like that moment earlier on a ridge overlooking the ranch, under the Big Sky itself, when the Kid asked Schatz “ Do you think I'm a cowboy now?”

Schatz replied, “Do YOU think you're a cowboy now?”

“I asked you first," said the Kid.

“Well,” Schatz said leaning back in his saddle. “Cowboy is more of an attitude than an ability most of the time."

Yes sir. Folks in these parts may never have a kind word for The Tacoma Kid's abilities, but he’s coming around with the right attitude.

The Bar W Guest Ranch
(406) 863-9099
2875 US-93, Whitefish, MT 59937

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