Here we are in the first part of November and already the ranch has been transformed into a winter wonderland. Yes, we have made the transition from fall colors to an Idaho winter guest ranch. Winter seems to have moved in early with no sign of retreat. Each tree has been carefully decorated with the fluffy white trimmings of winter. The barns, cabins, and fences have taken on their coats of white. Inside the log lodge, the crackling fire holds a new power over anyone who walks into the great room, drawing us to its side with its warm, relaxing glow. The bustle and chatter of ladies organizing for their weekend quilting retreat fill the lodge. Soon their laughter and excited voices will give way to the hum of sewing machines. Outside, the last preparations for winter continue. Flower boxes, mountain bikes, and yard games are replaced by Nordic equipment, sleighs and snow plows. The last of the winter’s hay delivered just before the latest snowstorm, has been packed away in the hay shed. The horses, who are still out on pasture, receive their daily ration by feed wagon. Soon we will move them into their winter quarters near the barns. The shoes of the saddle horses will be removed, signaling the start of the horses’ winter vacation. Bells jingle and harness parts clink as the heavy footfalls of our five draft horse teams start out on another training run preparing their bodies and their minds for sleigh season. The scene is set for another north Idaho winter on the ranch.