In the movie, Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sings this song to entertain and amaze the Von Trapp children. She sings about all of the special things that surround her. In like fashion, at Madrone Springs Ranch, we are surrounded by so much that we cherish. Here are just a few of my favorite things:
The ranch has 400+ feet elevation change. This provides both vistas of the Texas Hill Country for 30+ miles as well as ravines, hills, and valleys. Each area has its own beauty, plants, flowers, and grasses. From rock formations and their fossils to springs bubbling water, I am amazed at how much there is to see and the beauty of all of it. I can sit for long periods of time and just connect with nature.
There are six miles of trails that we explore, streams we swim in, and exotic animals to enjoy. After being in the beauty of nature, we return to beautiful accommodations, a lodge with a spa wing (hot tub, yoga studio, fitness center, sauna, cold plunge, and massage. Gail and I regularly take a sauna followed by a cold plunge. It relaxes, wakes us up, and rejuvenates—all in just a few minutes.
This year in Texas, we had extreme drought with less than half of our usual rainfall. Despite the lack of rain, we were blessed that our 2/3 mile on the Flat Creek remained flowing because of the rich set of springs bubbling water into it. We swim in three 100 yard swimming areas within the creek, relax on a raft, and sit by the creek’s edge and be in wonderment.
The deer (Fallow, Axis) and the antelope (Addax, Blackbuck) do actually play together! We love our animals, feel happy when they thrive, and feel very sad when something happens to one of them. Our menagerie also includes alpacas, miniature donkeys, chickens, ducks, and bees. We enjoy the eggs on a daily basis and the honey throughout the year.
Just being on the ranch, walking from here to there, swimming, or hiking, we seem to get all of the “steps” that we need—and w/o thinking about it. Add in the typical ranch activities of feeding the animals, solving the problem of the day, and we get plenty of exercise. And, when we want, there are trails to jog or mountain bike, and a fitness center to do Peloton, rowing, weights, elliptical training, yoga, or Pilates.
We are set apart, which provides us peacefulness and quiet. Amazingly, a 5-10’ drive takes us to beer gardens, restaurants, and even a first class bakery.
We cherish the time with our family at the ranch when they visit, and the opportunity to share this very special place with guests. Seeing smiles on folks’ faces, utterances like “oh my gosh”, and the recharging of emotional batteries that is clear in everyone, just makes our days.
Having moved from a lovely home in Beverly Hills on a very tiny lot…to Austin….and then to Madrone Springs Ranch, we daily count our blessings. And, there is so much more. But, these were just a few of my favorite (ranch) things…
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