The following article is from AAA Living Nebraska, July/August 2006, pg 25.

You don’t need to be an experienced equestrian to have a great time at the Double R Guest Ranch in Mullen, where you can observe the ranch’s various seasonal activities during your stay. Guests with horseback riding knowledge may use horses at the ranch or are welcome to bring their own. In July and August, ranch hands will check cows, fences and windmills around the property daily.

In addition to observing the ranch’s operations, you can hike, fish, horseback ride and bird watch. Hunting for sharp-tailed grouse, deer geese, prairie chickens, pheasants and ducks also is a popular activity.

The ranch, with clear skies and rolling pastures, is a stargazer’s dream. Pollution from smog and city lights is practically nonexistent, making the number of visible stars utterly stunning.

The Double R Ranch, owned by Jim and Pat Bridges, has been in the family since Pat’s grandparents homesteaded the property in the Sandhills region of Nebraska back in 1908. Folklorist Roger Welsh has said, “Any days you spend in the Sandhills are not taken off your lifetime allotment. It is so restful that God just gives them to you for free.” Thanks to the generosity of the Bridges’, other people are able to share in the history and beauty of this sanctuary.

“We started this lodging business because we had several empty houses on the property,” Pat says. “Rather than just letting them sit vacant, we decided to remodel them and rent them out.”

Since then, they have built a new cabin and remodeled Pat’s grandmother’s house as well as the building her grandfather used as a doctor’s office. Currently, those three buildings make up their visitor lodging, but they are adding a fourth building near one of the property’s four lakes. Since each cabin has its own cooking facilities (the renovated doctor’s office only has a microwave), visitors to the Double R Ranch take care of their own meals, whether they prepare them at the ranch or drive to town to eat.

“Our ranch is a watching and unwinding kind of place,” Pat says. “You can do whatever you want while you’re here, even if that’s just hiking around the property, enjoying the peace and quiet.”

If you’re looking for something different to do this summer, try a week on a working ranch. In addition to a relaxing getaway, a working ranch lets you participate in new, exciting activities in a beautiful, rustic setting.”

Karen M. Alley

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