Bar D Chuckwagon

Back in June, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, my hubby planned a great trip for us to visit Durango, CO. Knowing how much I love the history of the west, we visited several museums, rode a steam train to Silverton, and even stayed one night in an 1800’s hotel.

One of the highlights of the trip for me happened at the very beginning of our trip. We spent an evening at the Bar D Ranch for their Chuckwagon Supper and Old West Cowboy Music Show. It was FANTASTIC!

The Bar D is more than just a ranch. It’s a western village complete with chapel, blacksmith shop, mercantile, chocolate shop, art gallery, and even a train depot. We made sure to get there early to have lots of time to explore.

This adorable little chapel is rented out for weddings. It contains lovely stained glass, and on the night we visited, a couple of cowboys were using for a cowboy poetry reading. The well was right outside the chapel, and since I’m currently working on a westernized Snow White tale, I couldn’t resist a photo by the wishing well.

They also had a large smithy where a local blacksmith was busy plying his trade.

We took advantage of photo ops by the covered wagon and cowboy cut out as well.

I bought a few souvenirs, perused the art gallery, and we even dared spoil our dinner with a sweet appetizer from the chocolate shop. So good!

Then it was time for dinner and a show.

This gorgeous mural was on display as we lined up for our grub. In true cowboy fashion, they served us on tin plates and filled our water/tea/lemonade cups with giant galvanized coffee pots. All the shops close down winner starts, and the staff become our servers. Even the cowboy performers we’d soon see on stage. Everyone wore period western costumes to add to the experience. The costumes were more 1950’s TV western than actual 1800’s western, but I didn’t care. It was too much fun!

The food was delicious! You could choose chicken, roast beef, combo plate, or pay extra for a rib eye steak. Several of the people at our table ordered the rib eye, and it looked amazing. I had chicken and loved it. Wes went for the combo plate. We both ate every bite. Meat, baked potato, biscuits, homemade applesauce, and a slice of spice cake.

As we finished eating, the Bar D Wranglers made their way onto the stage. This was the true highlight of the evening. Fiddle, string bass, and two guitars with four-part cowboy harmony. Everything from Tumbling Tumbleweeds to The Devil Went Down to Georgia. We even had an instrumental version of the 1812 Overture highlighting Gary Cook, one of the Wranglers who is a 2-time National Flat Pick Champion on the guitar. So impressive!

There was comedy too. One of the songs they did was Old MacDonald’s Dysfunctional Farm. It included a lisping snake, an asthmatic cow, and a foul-mouthed chicken just to name a few. We were all in stitches.

A fifth wrangler joined the show for about four or five songs. He was a yodeling cowboy who held us all spellbound. Wow! He flipped between registers with the agility of a a concert pianist. So fast and so clear. I loved it!

What a great way to kick off our vacation! We were grinning the entire night.

If you were going to eat a chuckwagon dinner, what is the one cowboy dish that would be a must to include?

Don’t forget about the P&P Birthday Party on Thursday. It’s going to be so much fun with some great prizes!

 

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

40 thoughts on “Bar D Chuckwagon”

    • It’s hard to think of cowboy supper without beans, isn’t it? They did have beans at the Bar D, but I’m not a fan of that particular cowboy classic, so I passed on that side dish.

  1. how fun. so glad you both had a great time. thanks for sharing where this is. I would love to have beans with ham pieces and biscuits

  2. Sounds like an excellent place to visit. I’d be asking for some beef stew biscuits. Making my mouth water now!

  3. Hello Karen! I would definitely think of beans, as some others have said but I would add biscuits – just not burned!

  4. I love those places! I went to one years back and I think it was the same place. Either way, looks like y’all had too much fun!

  5. I would have to say biscuits. Thank you so much for sharing. I loved the pictures. It sounds like a fabulous time. God bless you.

  6. We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years back in the 1980’s. There they had the Flying W Ranch. It had a similar village, a chuck wagon dinner, and the Flying W Wranglers singers. They had a steak house which they used during the winter months instead of the chuck wagon dinners outside. We went at least once a year and brought any company there for the evening. Any time we go out West we try to stop in the Springs and go there. Sadly that wasn’t possible the last time we were there.

    They started as a working ranch and did a chuck wagon dinner for friends every so often. From there it grew to a regular dinner, performance and village. The Flying W Wranglers date back to 1957 with Roy Rogers’ Sons Of The Pioneers playing there at times prior to that. They are the second oldest group in the country. This page from their website gives a good history: https://www.flyingw.com/aboutus. Sadly it was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012.

    They have finally rebuilt and reopened in 2020. There are several videos showing the new facility. It doesn’t have as many buildings (they had 29) but is a lovely place. The new main building is beautiful. We will definitely be going back next time we are out West in that area.

    We did a chuck wagon dinner on the trail in Yellowstone National Park one year also. They are out there and there are many good ones. You just have to seek them out. The Bar D sounds like a good one. Thank you for sharing.

    • What a wonderful recommendation, Patricia. The Flying W sounds like something I would love! I’m so glad they rebuilt after the fire. I might need to take another trip to Colorado to check them out. πŸ™‚

  7. That looks so fun! I enjoyed your pics. Reminds me a bit of the cowboys we’ve seen at Silver Dollar City. πŸ™‚
    I think I’d go for some good ol’ baked beans with chunks of smoky bacon or ham in them. Mmmm! πŸ™‚

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