Once upon a time there lived a boy mom outnumbered by three sons and her dear husband. Instead of a beach getaway, the family took a trip to a secluded spot in northern New Mexico: The Costilla Lodge located at Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve flaunting over 550,000 stunning acres of picturesque land.
The family spent four days doing all things boy- a guy’s getaway with a gal in tow. And boy, was it amazing.
Here’s what they did, and why you should add this crown jewel to your bucket list.
In the eyes of a child, there are not seven wonders of the world. To a child, there are seven million.
When you travel with kids, you are giving them things that can never be taken away; experience, exposure, and a way of life. It’s a lesson to instill, that not all classrooms have four walls.
And so begins the story of experiencing Costilla Lodge, a private 12,000 square foot logged humble abode located far from the main lodge at 10,000 feet elevation. The atmosphere is warm, wonderful, and grandiose with a fireplace taking centerstage in the main room. Dressed in luxe ranch-like décor, there’s a bar, full kitchen (with a personal chef), plenty of private rooms, and a vast patio overlooking pristine terrain where you’ll likely spot elk. There’s a TV, but you won’t turn it on. Instead, you’ll opt for game night or the sound of silence.
It’s a little boy’s paradise, and admittedly paradise for adult “kids” as well. You’ll feel far-removed and safe from the world- it’s your house for a moment in time and the staff will fast become friends. After waking to fresh-cooked breakfast – incredible culinary ensembles made with immense TLC – you’ll start your day. The activities will wow you.
Depending on weather and season, opt for a snow-shoe hunt for antlers. “Shed Hunting Season” is the ultimate scavenger hunt, and if you’re surrounded by boys, it becomes quite the competition. There are few things as thrilling as finding a freshly shed antler from the male elk on property and searching for sheds through snow is invigorating.
Here’s a fascinating fact: some antlers can grow up to one inch per day and they drop annually (this process does not hurt the buck). But if you find one, it’ll look great on your mantle, and guests may keep up to four antler sheds found during their visit.
Next, get the guys out for bow hunting.
Steps from your home at Costilla Lodge are an assortment of lifelike targets- elk, bear, fox, and sheep. The boys can show mama they can morph into archers… but mama might impress them with her skills as well.
Vermejo activities are built for adventurous nature lovers; the Costilla backyard will become your playground. Plus, you’ll get overly accommodating, knowledgeable guides that’ll walk you through every activity, like handling the bow and aiming. In turn, your male posse will learn persistence and the satisfying fulfillment and feeling of a perfect shot.
Notably one of the coolest property expeditions will be ice fishing at the Costilla Reservoir.
Upon arriving at the reservoir, you’ll aim to catch Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, once nearing extinction before the conservationists at Vermejo stepped in. In fact, Vermejo partnered with the state of New Mexico to bring back the species- an extremely successful initiative.
Guides will pitch an ice fishing tent in the middle of the frozen reservoir – surreal and insanely awesome. After setting up and drilling holes, you’ll park with patience swirling your rod. With some skill and a ton of luck, you’ll score some fresh catch, and the feeling of reeling in trout is indescribable. Vermejo is the largest Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout fishery in the world and standing on frozen water is a rush.
You can also fill your time with horseback riding and shooting- give your guys a lesson in safe gun-use and watch them go for the targets. Or, you can fill your time doing nothing at all, like sitting peacefully spotting wildlife.
To conclude the story of Costilla Lodge: the most important mark us boy moms will leave on this world are our sons.
That is why, as moms, we hope our sons are good to this world.
And thanks to Vermejo, boys have a place to be wild and free among the wild and free.
Give me a little log cabin, and I’ll be happy.
Give me a private log lodge solely for me and my boys, and I’ll be happily ever after.