The game of Cornhole has two governing bodies that can’t resolve a half-inch difference in the size of a Cornhole board. But that’s nothing compared to Washers. Washers is anarchy.
There are one-hole games, three hole games, box games, board games, and pit-in-the-ground games. Is a washer in the hole is worth five points, or just three? A washer in the box is normally one point, but some say in-the-box is good for two, with one point for the closest washer out-of-the-box. Should the holes be 21 feet apart, or 25? Does each side throw three washers, or four? (Some say only two!)
La Joya Dulce has opinions about Washers. Our game is the box game. Each box is 12 inches square (on the inside), with a scrap of carpet on the bottom.
Each box has one hole, and that hole must be a metal can.
The metal can is important. Wayne was disappointed to learn that the International Association of Washer Players (IAWP) recommends PVC pipe: “Repeated hits of the tin can will distort its shape and necessitate regular restructuring while the PVC remains almost impervious to damage. White or light-colored PVC is recommended as an aid to aiming….” It is sad that IAWP members will never hear the satisfying metal-on-metal CLANK of a well-tossed washer smacking a can. Also, the IAWP fails to understand that the distorted shape of a tin can is a feature, not a bug.
The distance between the boxes should vary according to the skill and patience of the players. (If everyone is always missing, move the boxes closer.)
We like three washers per player for each round. 5/8ths inch flat seems like the right size (1” washers are sometimes recommended, but those seem huge to us).
Scoring is one point for in the box, and five points for in the can (it is really hard to toss the washer into the can). No points for out of the box, and no points for a washer balanced on the edge of the box. If the washer hits the box and bounces out -– too bad, no score. But if a washer bounces from the ground into the box or can, that counts!
Scoring is subtractive for each round, and only one player can score in each round. For instance, Player One gets one washer in the can (5 points), and Player Two gets two washers in the box (two points). Player One scores a net three points. Of course it is possible that no one scores in a round – if both players put a washer in the can, they cancel each other out. First to 21 wins, unless others are waiting to play, then its first to 11.
La Joya Dulce makes Washers and other silly games available for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding for no extra charge.
Do you want games for your Steamboat Springs Ranch wedding? La Joya Dulce has games, including Cornhole.
We were a bit surprised to find serious rules and regulations for Cornhole. In fact, we found two sets of rules, one from the American Cornhole Organization, and another from the American Cornhole Association. Fortunately, the rules are pretty similar. Both the ACO and the ACA:
However, the ACO and the ACA don’t agree on the proper size for a Cornhole board. The ACA insists that a regulation board must be 48 by 24 inches. The ACO shaves a half inch off both dimensions -- a regulation ACO board is 47 ½ by 23 ½. When Wayne made the La Joya Dulce Cornhole boards, he didn’t mean to take sides in the Great American Half-Inch Cornhole Board Size Civil War. But a standard plywood sheet is 48 inches wide, so our boards were made to the ACA standard. We hope any ACO loyalists can forgive us.
We’re glad the ACA and ACO agree that Cornhole bags should be 6 by 6 inches, and weigh 14 to 16 ounces. Traditionally, the bags are filled with 2 cups of feedcorn. But feedcorn can spoil if the bags get wet, so the modern substitute is plastic pellets. The ACA website clearly says that’s OK (“Due to the recent shortage of feedcorn, we will allow the use of plastic pellets (All Weather Cornhole Bags) in lieu of feed corn.”). The ACO rules don’t say anything about bag fill. La Joya Dulce supplies all-weather, plastic-filled bags.
By the way, you can check the ACO’s World Cornhole Rankings by clicking here. (At the time of this post, Kentucky’s Eric Zocklein topped the world rankings.)
La Joya Dulce’s games, including Cornhole, are included at no extra cost for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding.
We keep our eyes peeled for ways to improve La Joya Dulce. We recently added a beautiful dance floor.
We weren’t actively looking to buy a dance floor. We responded to an ad for tables posted by a couple living about an hour from our place in California. We drove the hour to their storage unit, expecting to buy a dozen five-foot round tables. As we were loading tables onto our truck, the seller asked if we might have any use for a 16-by-16 foot portable hardwood dance floor, “with a few extra pieces.” Yes!
As it turns out, they had 24 pieces, each 4 foot by 4 foot, plus a wheeled rack to hold the pieces.
Twenty-four pieces is almost enough for a 20-foot by 20-foot dance floor – missing just one piece for the full 20-by-20. So Wayne made the 25th piece.
Wayne’s skills and patience are not adequate for him to create a hardwood floor, so he worked in pine. But at Kathie’s suggestion, he inlayed the single diamond logo of La Joya Dulce.
The dance floor we bought in California is now here at La Joya Dulce in Colorado. The dance floor is included with our bookings at no extra charge.
Come dancing for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding!
The “main” ceremony site at La Joya Dulce is the huge flat area outside our indoor arena. But we have alternative sites for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding, especially the area near our pond. We strapped on our snowshoes yesterday to take some shots.
The top of the dam can accommodate about 100 wedding guests, and we can move chairs or straw bales there for seating.
The area below the dam forms a natural amphitheater, with a view of the Sleeping Giant. Seating would be very casual (straw bales and blankets), but the amphitheater can accommodate a big crowd.
There are established aspen stands near the pond, and we planted new aspens in the spring of 2017. Its a little hard to see, but the picture above shows tape around the newer aspens to protect them from hungry ranch animals. The tape will come down in the spring of 2018.
Access to the pond is easier after the snow melts, including vehicle access as might be needed for guests with disabilities. Just imagine the snow you see is the green grass of summer …
Steamboat Springs was a ranch town before it was a ski town, and ranching is still a big part of Steamboat. The Cowboy Downhill is Steamboat’s blend of skiing, ranching and rodeo.
It is entirely fitting that the Cowboy Downhill was started by the man with the most famous cowboy hat in skiing, Billy Kidd. Kidd was the United State’s first Olympic medalist in skiing (slalom silver, Innsbruck 1964), and he’s been Steamboat’s director of skiing since 1970. Kidd started the Cowboy Downhill in 1973, and he was actively working the crowd during the 44th running on January 15, 2018.
The racers in the Cowboy Downhill are all professional rodeo riders. They brought their clown:
The first race is a dual slalom, including a jump:
Bad skiing is expected:
Near the end of the course, racers must show their roping skills on an apprehensive cowgirl...
then saddle a calm and well-behaved horse...
before charging across the finish line (on skis or not).
No fancy stuff in the second race. The entire field lines up and goes at once:
The blend of cowboy and skiing makes Steamboat Springs feel different than most ski towns. If you’d like some of that feeling for your wedding or special event, our beautiful ranch, La Joya Dulce, is available year round.
We were bragging to a prospective bride about the great views from our main ceremony site (especially since our new trees hide the equipment on the next ranch over). “I’d like to see photos,” she asked nicely. A reasonable request!
Our main ceremony site is about 4,000 square feet in front of our arena. The photo below shows the site after we prepared for a new lawn, but before we planted:
And here’s the view:
The highest spot you see is Elk Mountain, also known as The Sleeping Giant.
You can’t tell from this angle, but you are looking at the soles of the giant’s feet. According to legend, the giant is responsible for the so-called “Curse of the Yampa Valley.” This is the gentlest curse imaginable – those who leave the Steamboat Springs area are “cursed” with a desire to return.
La Joya Dulce sits on a bench above the Elk River Valley, and the view is panoramic. Here are a few more shots:
La Joya Dulce isn't just a wedding and event venue, it is a (small) working ranch. Our neighbors are ranchers too. But we don't think couples are going to want to look at ranching equipement while exchanging vows. Our own equipment is stored out-of-sight for events, but we can't expect our neighbors to do that.
We found a solution: 8 new Colorado Blue Spruce trees at the edge of our ceremony site. Now when you look north from our main ceremony site, you see sky, mountains, the Elk River Valley and beautiful trees. But not the equipment on the next ranch over.
Our new trees are already big and full -- compare them to the size of the tractor on the right of the shot above.
La Joya Dulce can host a Steamboat Springs ranch wedding any time of year, but we expect that most weddings will be in the summer and fall. The snow is all but gone at the ranch, and the Steamboat ski resort has shut down for the season. The grass is starting to grow on our beautiful pastures.
But if you want snow – lots and lots of snow – in April and beyond, Mammoth Mountain in California is still buried in snow.
Kathie and Wayne spent last weekend in Mammoth for the Professional Ski Instructors of America (West) conference. Kathie is a Level 2 certified ski instructor, and has the official badge to prove it. (Badges? Wayne needs no stinking badges.)
Mammoth is a fun mountain, though we expect that most Steamboat skiers would find it a bit crowded. We are excited that Steamboat, Mammoth and Aspen will soon have the same owners, and we hope that leads to some great combined deals on season passes.
Mammoth Mountain skiing is great, but in all honesty, the town of Mammoth Lakes can’t come close to the charm of Steamboat Springs. Do you want a ranch wedding? Its not going to happen in Mammoth. On the other hand, La Joya Dulce would be pleased and honored to host your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding.
We like to roam through consignment stores looking for little ways to improve La Joya Dulce as a Steamboat Springs ranch wedding venue.
Every wedding needs a guest book, and your friends and relatives are going to want to fill your guest book with their memories of your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding. When your guests arrive, they will see your guest book displayed on a pretty book stand we found at our local consignment store.
Is this a big deal? No, but use of the book stand is just one of the little details we include with your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding at La Joya Dulce.
Kathie and Wayne are in California for outrigger canoe racing season, but we are still working to improve La Joya Dulce for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding.
Our fully equipped bride's and groom's preparation areas set La Joya Dulce apart from other Steamboat Springs ranch wedding venues. “Fully equipped” means a place to clean up (including a shower if you want to use it), to change out of your casual ranch wear and into your wedding finery, to make your hair and makeup perfect (brides), to make your hair reasonably acceptable (grooms), and to put your feet up and relax before your wonderful Steamboat Springs ranch wedding.
Are you superstitious? Or maybe just traditional? According to bridalguide.com, the number one wedding superstition is that the groom should not see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. La Joya Dulce can indulge your superstitious (or traditional) side for your Steamboat Springs ranch wedding -- our bride's and groom's preparation areas are entirely separate.
The groom's preparation area perfectly fits the theme of a Steamboat Springs ranch wedding -- it is the trophy room in our fully finished barn. It features a bathroom with shower, sink and mirror and a separate room with a mini fridge, coffee maker and microwave.
The latest acquisition for the groom's area is a new leather sofa. (The photos above show the sofa in our California garage -- not the prep area! We are going to bring the sofa to the ranch when we return to Steamboat Springs in June.) With the new sofa, the groom and his party will have a place put their feet up before the ceremony. (And maybe there will be a few bottles from a Steamboat Springs micro brewery in that mini fridge.....)
A Steamboat Springs ranch wedding should be big. La Joya Dulce is big. Bigness means the bride's preparation area can be far from the groom's preparation area -- fully a quarter mile. So if you want to keep your dress a secret before the wedding ceremony, La Joya Dulce has you covered. The preparation area for the bride and her party is the entire downstairs of the main ranch house. That's two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and a large common room (with its own mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker). Plenty of room to achieve hair and makeup perfection. (And you might just find a bottle of wine in that mini fridge....)