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Sep
19

Apache Spirit Ranch

In search of visions with Indians

In southern Arizona, where once the Apache people, led by Geronimo and Cochise, fought against US troops, the Apache Spirit Ranch came into being on more than 110 hectares of land steeped in history.

For visitors, staying on the ranch is like taking a journey in time to the Wild West, with real cowboys, hours-long rides and a mug of coffee by the crackling camp fire. What’s more, they can immerse themselves in the fascinating world of the Indians, gain interesting insights into the Indian culture, way of life and spirituality and commune with the Apache Spirit. On the so-called Vision Quest guests in search of the meaning of life learn to transcend their own limits and respond to the answers of nature.

For this, under the tutelage of an experienced instructor, they retire to the solitude of nearby Dragoon Mountains during a trip lasting several days. In the Indian culture the quest for vision is an important rite of passage, marking young men’s entry into adult life. Adults, too, still undertake vision quests taking them on a voyage of self-discovery and as a means of confronting and addressing major challenges. Surrounded by nature and in a state of transcendence, guests at the Apache Spirit Ranch can, on request and by individual arrangement, set out on a thrilling and insightful trip to discover their inner self – accompanied by Charlie “Onehorse” Hill, an experienced Yaqui Indian.

Even beyond the traditional Vision Quests, the profound links to the Indian culture are all-pervasive on the Apache Spirit Ranch. Close by the main buildings an original Chiricahua Camp is located, featuring traditional wikiups, straw wigwams. Nde’ Gowanii is the name of this spiritual place, which is still visited even today by the Apaches. Over shared evenings by the camp fire they will tell guests interesting stories of their people’s way of life. Visitors can also take to the trail with Indians, learning how to recognise the tracks left by pumas, coyotes or rattlesnakes.

Further insights into Apache life are offered by such activities as archery, horse painting and Indian energy massages. Hours spent riding through the uninhabited vastness of Arizona likewise enable guests to come that bit closer to fulfilling their dream of spiritual growth and to recharge their batteries in communion with nature in preparation for their day-to-day life. The areas all round the ranch are an absolute paradise for riders – perfect for endless tours on horseback through ruggedly romantic landscapes abounding in dried-out river beds, along traditional Indian trails.

The Apache Spirit Ranch’s altogether 17 guestrooms, lovingly decorated in keeping with the period, perfectly conjure up the atmosphere of a typical Western town. Visitors can stay in jail, for instance, in the marshal’s office and even in “Miss Kitty’s Bordello”. The original features hark back to the Wild West era, creating a genuine feel for the period – but without forgoing modern-day creature comforts. In its catering, too, the Apache Spirit Ranch remains faithful to its motto, serving up premium Best Western Food and Mexican specialities, such as deep-fried cactus. For further information visit www.apachespiritranch.com