Monday, August 01, 2005

Marlboro ~ Crazy Mountain Ranch Trip ~ Montana ~ 2005


My wife Edyta and I were on Marlboro's mailing list for almost 7 years. We have received birthday cards, gifts, outdoor equipments since 1998, but this year everything was a little bit different. In April 2005 we have received small box from Marlboro which included a little WELCOME mat for our front door and a letter that was saying "Call this number and make a reservation for your trip". My wife Edyta called the number and Marlboro representative told her that she won a trip to Montana. They gave her some information about the trip and told her to wait for more information to be mailed to us.

In a couple of weeks we have received a FedEx package with all kinds of documents to sign. We have just realized that we really won a trip for two to Marlboro’s Party Ranch in Montana. Four days, three nights, airfare, food, activities, and $1150 cash!

We have read all these legal documents and my wife even asked a lawyer friend to review them and make sure there is "no catch" to this trip. Basically all these documents were about promising not to sue them if we got injured thru out the trip, and promise to let them use our names and pictures for possible commercials in the future etc. etc. Anyway, we would find out that it would all be worth it to sign all those documents. The date for the trip was set for July 28th thru July 31st. We were already excited about the trip.

We were telling everyone that we have won a trip to Marlboro Ranch in Montana. Everyone was telling us, "There is got to be some strings attached" or "It has to be something to do with Time-share".

The paperwork was going back and forth thru out all month of May and June. A couple of weeks before the trip, Marlboro has sent us our flight tickets and the check. At that time we had no doubt about this trip at all. We were so happy that they picked us for something like that. According to our flight tickets, we were set to Depart from Long Island Islip McArthur Airport at 5:30 am to Cincinnati, OH than departing at 8:40am from Cincinnati to Salt Lake City, UT than departing at 11:00 am from Salt Lake City to Bozeman, MO.

We could not sleep the previous night because we were so excited. We left our dog in a pet-hotel for four days and at 3:45 am we left home. We have arrived to Bozeman, MT airport and Marlboro staff was waiting for us. They have welcomed us and told us that they would take care of our luggage. They told us that we have to get our name-tags and sign couple of more papers. We have signed the papers and got our name-tags and there were refreshments waiting for the guests at the airport. We weren’t the only couple to spend four days at the Ranch. About 50 winners and their guests arrived during that afternoon so altogether there were about 100 guests at the Ranch.

We got on the bus to go to Crazy Mountain Ranch. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the Ranch. Within this hour we had at least 4 Marlboro Staff members to give us refreshments and information about the area. They also talked about the ranch regulations and rules. Emily, our guide also has mentioned that we can not tip anyone on the ranch, plus, as we learned later we didn’t have to spend a dollar there. We have learned that Marlboro owns a 36 miles radius, (2million acres) of property in Bozeman, Montana and only 10% of the local people know that it exist. It was almost 3:00 pm when we have arrived at the Ranch. As the bus entered the Ranch they put on the grand music theme from Magnificent Seven and three wranglers (one of them was Mark, from Brooklyn, NY) on horses were riding next to the bus and waving at us. It was all very American, like taken from a movie. Before we got out of the bus, we had to yell "Yeee-Haaaaaa".

We were assigned to room called "Gold Creek". The room did not even smell like smoker room. On our beds there were some gifts for us. We got cowboy hats, two rain jackets, two winter jackets, digital cameras, sunglasses, Swiss Army watches, t-shirts, pair of pants, ashtrays, cigarettes, pouch bags, bandannas, whistles, a lot of stuff!! We were in heaven, I was saying to myself, "God! Please don't let me wake up". We have not seen anything like that in our lives and I don't think we will ever see again, unless we win another trip from Marlboro!

Click Here for Photo Album

Day 1: Thursday July 28th.

Click Here for Day 1 Photo Album

We have started to walk around this old American town. We went to "General Store" for "Trading Post" and register for activities. We have registered ourselves for Adventure Tour to Yellow Stone National Park, rafting, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and full body massage. I recorded pretty much everything and took some pictures. Than we went to Saloon, shoot some pool and had a drink. Than we have met our new friends Tommy and Melanie, they were from Corpus Christi, Texas. We became very good friends with them. They just got married and this was their honeymoon. We went to our rooms and found a letter that was saying "We have to wear our red jackets and cowboy hats for the photo shoot at 6:30 pm. Photo shooting took place on front of Hotel, where we were staying. After the photo we hung out in the Saloon and shoot some more pool. At 7:00 pm dinner was served, food was delicious. Service was amazing. There was also live band. So far, everything was overwhelming and amazing. It was just like a dream. After dinner we went to bed.

Day 2: Friday July 29th.
Click Here for Day 2 Morning Photo Album
Breakfast was served at 6:30 am. Our first activity was 7:30 am Adventure Tour. We were ready at the "Stage Shop" and got on the bus for the trip. After 1 hour of great information and jokes from our Marlboro guides, Chris, Chris, Nancy and our bus driver Doug we were in Yellowstone National Park. We have learned that Yellowstone National Park is a size of the State of Connecticut. Isn't that amazing.

We went to the park from the North gate which was in the state of Wyoming. We loved the trip. We have seen the hot springs, mud pools, and the wild life. We saw elk, a bison, and a lot of birds. For lunch we made our own snack boxes. Marlboro gave us sandwiches, fruits, chips, drinks. Then, we had 1 hour to do the shopping at the park. We bought some souvenirs for family and friends. At 12:30 pm we left the park and went to rafting.
Rafting was great; we had the most experienced guide by the name of Point. After a small lesson we were in the water and fighting the waves. According to Point, it was "Class 3" rafting. We also had water fight with other rafts, and needles to say, we were soaked. Water was cold but we were drying quickly. After 5 miles of rafting we got back to the Ranch. After quick showers, we joined the block party which included snacks, drinks and various shows and activities. We have learned bull catching with lasso, watched magic tricks and branded “Ranch Logo” into leather.

Click Here for Day 2 Evening Photo Album
Than it was dinner time again. After dinner my wife took Line Dancing class with Sarah (we are from Melville, NY and Sarah was from Melville, MO) I also had to do Line Dancing because my wife made me. Don’t tell anyone though. After Line dancing there was karaoke. Our friends Melanie and Tommy sung couple of songs. Linkin Park and some cowboy songs; they were phenomenal. After many Margaritas, we went to bed.

Day 3: Saturday July 30th.
Click Here for Day 3 Morning Photo Album
Breakfast was served at 6:30 am. Our first activity was Horseback Riding at 8:30 am. We rode a trail in the mountains behind the Ranch.

The horses were so beautiful and mellow. We took some photos as usual. Edyta's horse name was "Jet" and mine was "Peewee". Our friends Tommy and Melanie were with us too.

Than at 10:00 am, we all went to do Fly-fishing. We went to "Stage Shop" and got our 2 day licenses to do fishing in the State of Montana. We have walked to the lake, and put on fishing gear (waders and wading boots) to get in the water. Tommy and Melanie jumped in to the little car to get to the other side of the lake and Edyta and I jumped into the small boat. After 5 minutes, we had a small lesson about fly-fishing, which we have never done before. After all we were in the water up to our waists and fishing. Well, after a good hour we did not catch anything. It was kind of boring for me, but Edyta loved it and even mastered the fly fishing technique.

Watch a Movie on Edyta's Fly-Fishing Experience

At 12:30 pm we had our lunch at the Ranch, and as always, it was delicious. We had "heart-shaped-chicken" and all kinds of cheese...etc. We ate and went back to "General Store" to register our selves for more activities. Edyta registered herself for full body massage at 1:45 pm, and I registered myself for the same massage at 2:30 pm (by the way, the masus was from Melville, NY – what a small world). While she was getting her massage, I recorded basically every detail of this little town. I knew that when we get back and tell the story to our friends and family, they will not believe us, so I recorded everything and took almost 500 pictures in 4 days.

Click Here for Day 3 Evening Photo Album
After my massages we went to Mountain Biking at 3:00 pm. It was the hardest activity of all and it was not that popular either. There were only 7 people registered and 2 did not even showed up. We went to the top of the mountains by the Marlboro van, geared up and basically came down the hill most of the time. There were a couple of points that we had to climb up or bike through the stream. The guides were very nice and courteous people.

After mountain biking we went to our rooms and we have found out that we have more gifts. They gave each one of us, leather address books and notebooks. At 5:00pm carriages took us from the ranch to the party by the lake. Then we walked back to the ranch just in time for the dinner. Marlboro Guest Services Manager Josh was at our table with us. Dinner was awesome. Then, live cowboy band entertained us. Josh presented all the staff, from Guest services to Chefs to Maintenance to Security. Then, they all danced and it was quite an impressive show. After our deserts we have exchanged addresses with all the friends we made. We went back to our rooms and packed.

Day 4: Sunday July 31st
Click Here for Day 4 Photo Album
We got up at 6:00 am and put our luggage in front of our door, which was then picked up and delivered to the airport. We returned our keys and received yet another gift - Zippo Lighters. After breakfast we said goodbye to our new friends. It was quite sad to leave. We had had such a great time during our stay. A bus took us to the airport at 8:30am and our first flight was from Bozeman, MO departing at 11:05 am to Minneapolis, MN. Our flight delayed an hour and we took of around 12:30 pm. After arriving to Minneapolis we had to make a connection to Cincinnati, OH in 5 minutes, however, our luggage did not make it. After arriving Cincinnati we had some time to eat. At 7:50 pm our flight departed from Cincinnati, OH to Islip, NY. We have landed at 10:00 pm and it was not a surprise not to get our luggage. We drove back home sad…we were back to the reality and life was busy again. Here I am, a day later, creating this website while waiting for our luggage to be delivered home.

Everybody from the wranglers and the owners of Ranch to the staff from Marlboro was very friendly and accommodating. They really treated all the guests as royalty. If you ever win a trip there, take us with you - we know all the Marlboro Staff members so we will get all the drinks for FREE!

Cruise to Caribbeans, $5000.
Vacation to Europe , $3000.
Trip to Marlboro Ranch at Montana, PRICELESS.


Anonymous Erica said...

Thank you for sharing your photos. My best friend won the trip and I was the lucky person she invited, we went July 4th weekend. We had a BLAST!!! It was nice to see someone elses pics and to know the some of the people in the pics (the staff)Anyway, thanks again.....damn I miss that place!
Erica from Winter Garden, FL

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I can't believe you were able to explain everything in detail! We had such a difficult time explaining to everyone how AWESOME this trip was! I really do miss it all! Thanks for the the kindness you guys showed us! Ya'll are awesome!
Corpus Christi, TX

5:57 PM  
Blogger kevinprice69181894 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Courtney & Jeff Spidle said...

Hey guys! Your crazy ranch buddy Courtney from TN here! I LOVE the site, and may just have to jack a few pics for my scrapbook (you guys take WAY better pics that we do! lol) Anyway, great work on the site, great pics and descriptions of everything! I had a great time partying and dancing with you guys, ya'll are great! Hope u guys are well. Take care!!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across your site. I've won gifts from Marlboro thru sending miles but always wondered what the trip would have been like.
(Now that I think of it I remember that promotion) But your site was very enlightening and I am now one very jealous kinda guy! And now Im wondering how I could get so Lucky! God knows I've been a loyal enough customer and have probably spent enough on their product that I could have possibly paid for the whole groups package expenses for what I've put out for smokes since I started! And all I got was... you know, A stupid cap and a couple
Big Red Bags (which I still do have and use!) BUT IT WAS'NT NO
But thanks for the very detailed description of what LOOSER like ME
Would have LOVED to have done but never got invited !!

(Then I Yell as if im Sam Kinison)



7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out I won yesterday...didn't think I could get any more excited, until I looked over your web page. It looks amazing. I am amazed that I have won a trip like this. Nice web page, thanks for the info.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I can't beleive you get all that stuff!!!! A trip, cash and gifts!!!!! All for just smoking!! HAHA nice page and it looks great! I can't wait to find out when we get to go!! We need a little break from our kids.

10:11 PM  
Blogger kriscxxx said...

Hi, Your site is very informative. I won the trip to the Ranch. I'm going in Feb. I recieved my letter a few weeks ago. I am so excited, I understand there are some different activities in the winter, such as snow dogs, snow tubing, cross country skiing, snowboarding. I will let you know what it's like in the winter. I do have a question though, what do you have to pay for when you get there. Just drinks?? Or are there other things you have to pay for?? Just curious why they give you a check to. Believe me I'm not complaining. I am so excited Feb. isn't coming fast enough. I will send you some pictures of the Ranch with all the snow, I'm sure it will be beautiful and I won't want to leave either. I didn't get there yet and i already don't want to leave. Looking forward to a great time.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Christal said...

We recieved our trip date and are set to leave in August. I am so excited I have never even been on an airplane let alone to a state as beautiful as Montana.Thanks to the website it has given me an even greater excitement. You guys took some awesome pics and described everything so well. I am just counting down the days.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Buy Levitra said...

Great article! Thanks.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband just won the same trip and will be leaveing in about 10 days, and now after looking at your site I'm so jealous that I can't go! (I'm pregnant and the baby is due in 4 weeks) It sounds like a great time! Thanks for all the details!

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Nice! Nice site! Good resources here. I will bookmark!

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Maxwells said...

I see first time your site guys. I like you :)

2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Crystal & Steve-Oak Ridge, TN said...

Just found out yesterday I was invited on the trip to the ranch. We thought it was a scam but it looks as real as it can get. I can't wait to get my info package. I am very nervous about flying but I also can't wait to see everything the Ranch has to offer. Thanks for your great webpage and all the info!

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! My Fiance and I will be attending the winter ranch this year and your site is very encouraging! We went to Talladega this year and are soo excited about Montana!! Everybody keeps telling me its a hoax and I keep telling them go check out your Website, I know it's free! Thanks, Lisa

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that I RSVPed b/c your site made it much more realistic. I can't wait to sign those papers.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife got the invite. Got our paper work in the mail today FEDEX. I can't wait to go. It will more than likely be the winter trip. Looks so cool.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous said...

I won the Winter Ranch Party. What a blast. I did the tour of Yellowstone, Went dog sledding, tubing and best of all...snowmobiling! What I wouldn't give to go back!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

i just got the paperwork in the mail yesterday can't wait to go. i'm debating on whether to bring my girlfriend or my best friend. i think i'm going in july 2008

2:05 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

My husband and I just got back from the ranch on march 7. Looking back the time there went too fast and now, not even a month later it all seems like a dream! While we were there we did the winter activites, which included skiing, tubing, dog sleding, snow shoeing, snow mobiling and ice fishing! Ice fishing was my favorite and both me and my husband caught fish, his was even a state record! Reading your story and seeing your photos was just a little reminder that it wasn't all a dream! But just to let you know, we got way more gifts than you did!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:04 PM  
Blogger stephduvall07 said...

I am so excited i am waiting on my paperwork. Thanks so much for your site i am soo excited!! My husband is going with me. We both can't wait!!!:)

1:53 AM  
Blogger stephduvall07 said...

I am waiting on my paperwork and i am off to the ranch I can't wait thanks for your pictures!! I am taking my husband for our honeymoon (two years later)

2:02 AM  
Blogger bmoneyfoall said...

YOUR SITE IS GREAT! I go in oct. My huspand is in Iraq and cant come with me. My best friend Chelle says she will love to fill in. Every thing looks great and fun. I hope this will be a trip of a life time even though my boo will not be there. I am still looking forward to it.

1:28 AM  
Blogger tonya dobbs said...

my sister won the trip and i am the lucky person she is taking we cant wait since we look at ur pic cant wait till get there we leave on july 31s and com back on the 3rd we r from michigan. fun fun i will post some of my fun times there too.... bye and thanks for the info tonya dobbs and tracy poturica

1:39 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

I just got home from the ranch yesterday...and the experience was grand...I would not change one second of this except maybe for a chance to live/work/re-visit the ranch...And that can happen...People that were there with me had been previously..Oh my God that is the most beautiful counrty...I was treated like royalty and the food was completely five star...Fit for a king...Thank you for preating this page...Everyword of it is the God's honest truth...Thanks again, Margie

11:38 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

My sister called me this morning & asked me if I would want to go on this trip with her. I said of course I want to go to Monatana!! Well, here at work Ive done some research on this & came across your website...I AM SOO FREAKING EXCITED!!! We are going in the winter. Still have to fill out paperwork & all that business, do not know our exact date but IM SOO FREAKING EXCITED!! :D Thanks for your pics!! They were awesome & cannot wait to get there myself!! ~Dawn Sloan~ Humansville, Missouri

4:11 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My husband and I get to go on the trip in Feb. '08. We leave 2/14!
We've reviewed the CD and sent in all of the paperwork so far. Can't wait to get the rest of the info.
Kristy & Lisa, if you are going in Feb, shoot me an email. My husband and I have been so excited about this for a while now, can't wait to participate in all of the activities! Have a great Holiday Season and see you in Feb.!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

My husband and I get to go on the trip in Feb.'08! We are very excited. One of our friends won a trip like this a few years ago and also said they got a lot of stuff free! Kristy & Lisa, if you are going in Feb., send me an email!
Thanks Marlboro, Yee haaaa!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Disguy74 said...

4/2/09: My wife and I FedEx'd our paperwork back today. Not sure when we will be going yet but your site was great in getting us all kinds of excited. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

Kevin and Christen McCoin
Jay, Oklahoma

9:32 PM  
Blogger scootter said...

my wife and I are leaving in 3 Day's for the ranch!!! july 10-13 09'. Soooo exited!!, Althought some of the gifts seem to be different. no luggae or welcome mat. but 1250 in cash!!and everything on the ranch is FREE!!! Any body else going at this time??

8:29 AM  
Blogger David said...

I just got an email today that im invited. I cannot wait to looks like a friggin BLAST!!!! I'll be arriving there either Aug or Sept. 2009 :-D

6:49 PM  
Blogger Cara said...

I was trying to explain the trip to a friend of mine and just couldn't put it into words. Unfortunately I've not yet won a trip, but I do keep trying. A friend of mine won a trip about 6 or 7 years ago and she and her husband had a blast. They went during the winter, dog sledding, ice fishing. Oh what fun! I'm jealous. Thanks for the pictures and the wonderful explanation. I could feel the fun through your words!

5:53 PM  
Blogger Stefanie03 said...

Wow sounds like a blast! I just recieved the e-mail that I won today! I just hope I qualify to go, now?! My next question then will be who will the lucky one I bring?! Thanks for all the pictures of the free gifts you recieved! I am poor yet, I still buy cigarettes so this will be perfect trip for my budget! I love traveling, never been to Montana. Im so excited if I get to go!

7:27 PM  
Blogger imarcher said...

Thank you so much for blogging about your trip!! I just received my papers via FedEx it is like a dream come true so to read your story puts my mind at ease and adds to my excitment all at once!!!! I am nervous about the paperwork though. I don't want to get all excited an then be denied for some reason. I haven't looked over it to much yet. I have a stack of paperwork for my new health insuranc at work & figured it would probably be good if I could include that in my trip info. Anyways I am going of on a tangent so I'll stop lol!!! But again thank you!!!!!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

My mom told me about the 100 Days of Summer promotion a few months ago and I figured I was lucky to just get a few bottle openers. After the contest ended I figured I didnt get anything big until I got an email saying I would be going to the ranch. I sent off my paperwork, but I am still awaiting for the official word. Your pictures are beautiful, and I was glad to hear about the rooms not being smokey (an issue with my girlfriend). Thanks for the page

5:38 PM  
Blogger bones677 said...

Hey been looking at your blog for tips and pics of the Ranch. Just got a package from Marlboro Ranch saying i won a trip to the marlboro ranch winter 2010. Sent all the paper work back to them and now im waiting 4 weeks to get the travel package. What kind of flights did yall take, where they coach or first class flights. Just wondering because, how uncomfortable i will be. would you email me back at

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be getting our tickets 2moro, and I have a question for you I'm sorry I didn't read all of this if u already answered it.
Do they have WiFi (internet) service up there?
Appriciate ya bud!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just got the paperwork and we're nervous about it being a scam since they ask for so much personal info. I hope I'm not being naive by sending it in and hoping I am just lucky to have won a trip. Your website makes it sound legit and like a lot of fun though! If they asked for the info and we fedex it back, did we win the trip or not yet?

2:20 PM  
Blogger Tolga said...

I guess my two stories were not enough for you. Sign and send anything they want and prepare yourself to dream vacation.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for all the info. I am going in 3 weeks and this helped out alot. Also great job on the construction of this site. Was put together really really well. Glad yall had fun but now its my turn haha

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Awesome blog! Beautiful pics! My husband and I went in July '05 still talk about that trip all the time to people today. It really is "the trip of a lifetime!"

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this blog of your trip and I read the one of the winter trip as well. My husband and I won and are going in Feb! I didn't think we could be so lucky! I read somewhere though that if the temps were too cold they wouldn't let you do your activites, is this true? I've also read that if that happens, you might be lucky enough to get a summer invite back! Cool!

Again, thanks for the blogs!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Tolga said...

That is not true. You will do all the activities you have signed up for unless there is a life threatining snow storm or something like that, than it might change the plans. Enjoy keep us posted.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just recived a fedex package that we won the trip to the ranch i was very skeptical because they ask for a lot of information but i have researched and called and read all the comments and i am sending my documents back today we are so excited and can't wait to go thanks for all the information and great website!!!!

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won the trip too! Fedexing my info back 2morro! Couldnt believe it. Sounds selfish, but I hope we get cameras too. Dont want to miss a single shot@

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going July 19 with my mother n law . We are so excited and can`t wait to go.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Tolga said...

Enjoy, you'll have the best vacation in your life ever.

3:09 PM  

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