Lazy T Ranch Adventures' owner Ron Wilson is, to say the least, prolific. Serving on several government agricultural committees, he has described himself as a 4-H member, radio broadcaster, Sunday-school teacher, and hay-bale stacker?and his poetry, in a wry nod to the lasso hanging from his saddle, has earned him the title of Kansas's Poet Lariat. His wife, Chris, is equally accomplished, currently serving as deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Together they invite visitors to their cattle ranch?owned by the family for three generations?to tour attractions such as Sugarloaf Hill, with views of the Kansas River Valley, and a collection of horses, cattle, goats, and chickens. The farm also hosts an annual autumn festival every October, during which guests can ride across the meadow on a haystack ride, pick pumpkins at the onsite patch, and sip on the tangy apple cider that dairy cows produce only in the fall.
Familiar with all types of steeds, trainer Rebecca Snavely trains horses for full-fledged careers in ranch work, dressage, or jumping. Rebecca brings her talents to starting horses under the saddle, accommodating young ones with a place in the stable and plenty of hay and grain ($18/day). After a 30-day stay, Clearwater’s horses can stand quietly to mount and dismount, stop, back, and turn while exhibiting good ground manners and offering to escort ladies across muddy puddles. Horses can shack up at Clearwater ($180–$280/month) in comfort, since quarters are cleaned and bedded each day with shavings. Long-faced tenants neigh with glee at a diet of 14% protein sweet feed and hearty, quality hay while enjoying accommodations in a stall with a run, box stall, or semiprivate turnout.
The glass wine cave stands squarely in the middle of Scott Benjamin's 4 Olives Wine Bar. Within the crisp, translucent walls rest 800 types of wine and 500 fine spirits, 40 of which are available by the glass. The wine accentuates the fresh fish, wild game, and artisan cheese that Scott uses to craft his Mediterranean-American-style dishes. From chicken breasts encrusted with kalamata olives and served alongside gorgonzola polenta cakes to canadian salmon glazed with mango-peppercorn sauce atop a bed of mixed greens. Scott is so dedicated to making every bite its best that listed alongside every menu item—be it cheese plate or mac 'n' cheese—is a suggested wine pairing.