Welcome, to the Platte River Fort- blog! Until recently, I didn’t know what a blog was. And honestly, I didn’t really feel like I needed to know. One of our tag lines here at the Platte River Fort is “where rustic old west hospitality meets new west luxury!” I guess I’m part of the rustic old west. I’m someone who feels more comfortable with a paper calendar than all of those fancy electronic gadgets. I have those gadgets; I just don’t always know how to use them.

Just about the time I figure out how to create a contact, or save an appointment, or accept a friendship request from someone I’ve never met before (?!? What happened to being afraid of strangers?) – there is a software update and the last two years of learning goes down the toilet.

So, yes- I’m old. I believe in old fashioned, western ideals. I believe in creating a comfortable, peaceful, welcoming environment for friends- old and new. I just prefer to meet my friends in person.

When we bought the Platte River Fort in 2013, I had a vision to bring kids and families going through the process of divorce from urban areas out to the country. After working with high conflict divorcing families I believed that if we could get them out of their normal environment and out in the country they would be able to see a bigger picture. A picture of families working together to achieve common goals. I was hoping to offer a new perspective.

Initially, that’s all we were planning. I wanted to do family retreats and a kid’s camp. I wanted city kids to learn how to milk a cow, feed a baby calf with a bottle, and load fifty pound bales of hay.

The Platte River Fort had bigger plans for me. My life has been transformed the last three years. Instead of going to work in a black suit and high heels, I get to wear jeans and cowboy boots! Or, my Birkenstocks. I am still a little bit country and a little bit hippie.

I also get to bear witness to people creating new lives together in front of their families and friends. It’s a dramatic change to be planning weddings in a barn rather than terminating marriages in a courtroom.

At first it seemed ironic. But now I understand that it is just part of the big plan.

I grew up in Kersey, just across the highway from the Platte River Fort. I left home thirty years ago and had the opportunity to do some amazing, challenging, and rewarding things. But the rustic old west hospitality called me back. I love that I am able to give my son the opportunity to experience part of the world I grew up in.

This great community has welcomed us with open arms. We have had the privilege of hosting weddings, baptisms, Quinceneras, memorial services, retirement parties, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, class reunions, family reunions, corporate retreats and school field trips. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so grateful!

My new life challenge will be to blend rustic old west hospitality with new west luxury and technology. My first attempt is this blog. Stay tuned. Next week I might learn how to run the remote controls at the fort!

– Warmly, Dori DeJong, Owner & CEO