Looking for the ultimate ladies weekend? Sign up for the Cowgirl Spring Roundup and spend a weekend with members of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
There’s no better place to find your inner cowgirl than Montana, aptly called “big sky country.” Imagine the scene: the stark and snowcapped Rockies provide the backdrop, your horse’s ears frame the foreground. Before you on the lush high-country meadow ambles a herd of cattle, the occasional moo harmonizing with the creak of the leather saddle and the steady rhythm of hoofbeats. Riding alongside you are your fellow cowgirls, and you know all at once that you are among friends.
That’s exactly the kind of atmosphere that the Cowgirl Spring Roundup seeks to create annually with its spring retreat hosted by the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana (in 2015, the retreat is held May 14-17). Called “the ultimate immersion into cowgirl culture,” the Roundup welcomes 40 women (the minimum age is 12) to the resort for a weekend of riding, herding cattle, shooting clays and spending time alongside members of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame to get a working glimpse at the western lifestyle. The resort ranch includes 37,000 acres with 100 miles of trails.
While my immediate impressions of the retreat were that it would be a fun way to spend a weekend with some girlfriends at an absolutely stunning location (seriously, check out the photos of the accommodations below) I did some research into the notable members of the Hall of Fame that would be in attendance: ranch photographer Barbara Van Cleve, cutting champion Barbra Schulte, former trick rider Audrey O’Brien Griffin, western artist Donna Howell-Sickles and polo phenom Sunny Hale. Just to spend time listening to these women tell stories would be a treat in itself, but the opportunity to ride alongside them is even sweeter. These cowgirls are not only in attendance to speak and visit, but also to instruct: Barbara Van Cleve teaches an early-morning photography workshop, Donna Howell-Sickles leads a drawing workshop and Audrey O’Brien Griffin is more than happy to teach everyone how to rope.
The Cowgirl Hall of Fame formed in 1975 with the National Cowgirl Museum, first in the Texas panhandle and then to its current and permanent location in Fort Worth. The museum and hall of fame were formed to preserve the contributions and impact of women on the American West throughout history and into the present with four to five women admitted each year out of hundreds of nominations. Members of the Hall of Fame include ranchers, artists, writers, competitive performers and trailblazers in various forms. (Learn more about the museum and Hall of Fame online.)
Combine the opportunity to spend some time with these living legends of the American West with world-class accommodations and food and the Cowgirl Spring Roundup is a weekend you won’t soon forget. To learn more and to book your stay, visit the Cowgirl Spring Roundup website.