Dude ranch trip can capture life in the Old West

Q and A

Q&a

April 30, 2006|By SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

I am thinking about going to a dude ranch this summer. Do you have any suggestions or Web sites I can check out?

If you want to live the City Slickers experience, look for a ranch that includes a cattle or horse drive in its itinerary (not all do).

For instance, Rock Creek Pack Station, south of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada (rockcreekpackstation.com), offers four-day drives in which guests help move horses between ranges in June and September. It also has trail rides of three days or longer that include fishing and camping.

Most dude ranches provide a variety of activities, from fishing and horseshoes to swimming and massages, and all will have plenty of riding. For listings around the country, visit duderanches.com.

In an answer to a recent question, you said that no airline boards passengers from front to back. But I was flying home from Aruba on Delta Airlines and they did it this way. Can you explain?

Delta said it boards its coach section back to front, just as most airlines do. But, like many carriers, it also gives elite-level members in its SkyMiles frequent-flier program first priority in reserving seats, and the seats they usually choose are near the bulkhead, on the aisles and in the exit rows.

Those same elite-level members also are permitted to board the plane first, along with first-class passengers. After that, the plane is boarded back to front. So when most fliers are entering the aircraft, the front is usually full - or is filling up. It's likely there were a lot of passengers who had this privilege on your flight.

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