Most of our clients here at UCO are repeats guests. We are thankful and blessed to have so many loyal people return to our home year after year.

We believe that there are a few distinct reasons people return to our hidden gem in the Ruby Valley. One is the fishing. We offer a unique opportunity to have an intimate fishing experience in which you can catch anything from a rainbow trout to a grayling, all while enjoying the serenity of Montana.

Our horseback rides offer some of the most breathtaking views a person can imagine, and people never leave the dinner table hungry.

But another reason people come back year after year, is the people at UCO.

We like to say that UCO is “where here feels like home,” and we mean that. We want people to feel as though they are part of the family as soon as they walk through the front door. One of the people that have made many lasting impressions is Jake McDonald.

Jake is Donna’s partner in business, marriage and shenanigans. He is often in the background of UCO, keeping things running smoothly. Not all clients have the opportunity to spend time with him, but those that do tend to remember him for the long term. So, in honor of Jake’s birthday coming up on January 22nd, we thought we would write a blog about some of his Jake-isms.

  1. Awesome. According to Jake, this is the most overused word in the English language. There have been countless times that a guest will be admiring the beauty of the Ruby Valley and will say with a an awestruck expression, “This is awesome!” This phrase is quickly followed by Jake’s response of, “well I wouldn’t say that. It’s nice, but not awesome.” He believes that the word awesome should be reserved for miracles, great acts of bravery, and perfectly baled hay.
  2. Outfit. If Jake tells you that he likes your outfit, don’t be flattered by your meticulously put-together, stylish, western-influenced ensemble. Instead, he will be referring to whatever vehicle you drove in with. In Montana, we have our own way of referring to things and calling vehicles outfits is one of those vernacular tendencies. Another reference Jake made up is one he reserves for rangers and 4x4s and that is Noodlebuggy. No one is really sure of the origin of this nickname, but it has stuck. So when you are at UCO and request a 4×4 tour in a ranger, don’t be alarmed when your guide tells you they are going to run and get a Noodlebuggy.
  3. Nicknames and horse names. Jake, with very little effort, has managed to rename every employee and horse that has graced UCO. So if you are assigned to ride Cherokee, our trusty herd leader, and Tymbre, our head wrangler, goes to get him for you, don’t be alarmed when Jake tells you, “Here comes TSS (T-Double S, Tymbre) with Camanche (Cherokee). If you are given a nickname by Jake, know that it is one of the highest honors at UCO.
  4. Handshakes. Along with nicknames, Jake has created a unique handshake with many clients and staff. Some of these handshakes have reached levels of complication, that would require an instructional YouTube video for an outsider to learn. Jake manages to remember them all with little effort.
  5. Don’t Panic. Anyone that has spent any amount of time with Jake has learned his number one rule: Don’t panic. Jake applies this rule to every situation. Are the horses out and headed to Alder? Don’t panic. Is a noodlebuggy rolling down a mountain? Don’t panic. Jake can be heard asking people around the ranch, “What is the number one rule?” The correct answer here is: Don’t panic.

Upper Canyon Outfitters is a guest ranch in Montana that offers some incredible activities and experiences, but we would be nothing if not for the people that helped create us and continue to work hard to make us the best we can possibly be. Please feel free to share any of your Jake-isms that we may have missed.

A new type of resolution for 2019

Planning and preparing for an exciting Montana adventure can inspire life-long healthy habits that not only create a better vacation experience, but create a healthier and happier version of yourself.

Are your fishing waders feeling a little tight? Perhaps your riding pants are not buttoning as easily as they once did? This time of year often inspires well-intentioned, but fleeting commitment to strict diets and extreme exercise routines. Often times this pledge is followed up with throwing in the towel after a couple of slip ups due to fear of failure and guilt.

Why not try something new this year? Rather than throwing yourself head first into a new lifestyle, why not plan an adventure that will promote health and happiness throughout the entire New Year?

There are two forms of motivation: Extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is being motivated by external forces, something outside of oneself. This type of motivation includes things like wanting to look better, winning an award/trophy, or getting praised for looking like America’s Next Top Model. This form of motivation does not often result in long term changes, as it is difficult to keep striving for something that is outside of oneself. Intrinsic motivation is more correlated to long term changes. This is being motivated by something inside oneself. To be intrinsically motivated means you want to accomplish something because of personal satisfaction; the reward comes from inside oneself.

Climbing a mountain is a great example of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. You may be climbing the mountain so you can show off your rippling muscles as you pose for a photo on the summit; that would be an extrinsic motivator. On the other hand, you may be climbing the mountain to celebrate the fact that you have the health and stamina to climb a mountain and be present in nature. These would be intrinsic motivators.

So how do we create this shift in mindset? One way would be to plan a long term goal based on what creates happiness for you. Perhaps you are motivated by the thought of casting a fly rod in the small intimate Ruby River and reeling in a Grayling, or the excitement of landing a big rainbow trout on the larger, faster-flowing Lower Ruby. Maybe it is the adventure of backcountry horseback riding and seeing the rugged mountain ranges and wildlife of Montana that moves your soul. It could be reaching the summit of a Rocky Mountain peak and feeling like you’ve conquered the world.

Whatever it may be, planning and preparation for an exciting Montana adventure can inspire life-long healthy habits that not only create a better vacation experience, but create a healthier and happier version of yourself.

May 2019 be a year full of happiness and adventure.

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