As we’re all doing our part to maintain social distance in light of the pandemic, some increased-risk and older populations are homebound, and virtual events are providing a much-needed outlet for those who find themselves unable to participate in some of the things that once kept them busy and fulfilled. That’s where Dunrovin comes in.

Dunrovin’s webcam catches the ranch’s first snowfall of the year. Photo: Dunrovin Ranch

Dunrovin bridges the physical world with the virtual world. Dunrovin Ranch, located in Lolo, Montana, 15 miles south of Missoula, is a family-owned guest ranch “where horses are partners, guests are friends, the Bitterroot River runs free, and fun and adventure are a way of life.” is Dunrovin Ranch’s virtual front porch—where webcams bring people to the ranch in real time to socialize while sharing Dunrovin’s world and their love of animals, nature, science, and the arts. This virtual front porch is a subscription-based social engagement platform that has created a growing community of individuals, many older and living alone.

A kestrel strikes a yoga pose in front of Dunrovin’s webcam. Photo: Dunrovin Ranch

To provide people with online opportunities to escape their physical isolation and loneliness caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Dunrovin has set aside Mondays to host an open house at its DayAtDunrovin virtual village. welcomes everyone to visit Dunrovin’s virtual front porch for special, free, livestream programs every Monday.

Virtual visitors can spend time socializing with the Dunrovin Ranch crew onsite and with DaysAtDunrovin’s virtual community members while enjoying all the sights, sounds, and activities of the ranch along the beautiful Bitterroot River.

Master horseman Brandon Carpenter trains a Dunrovin colt during a Monday social. Photo: Jes Krumm

Dunrovin Ranch has collaborated with its virtual DaysAtDunrovin community members to offer a full day of featured programs, animal training, nature viewing, friendly conversations, and more as they explore all the nooks and crannies of the ranch, meet the ranch’s many animals, and get to know both the onsite ranch crew and the online community members.

Monday socials take place from sunrise to sunset and provide a virtual “life on the ranch” experience in one of Western Montana’s most scenic valleys. The day begins at 7:30 a.m. Mountain Time with a guided, interactive sunrise webcam tour. Tag along with the ranch crew as they feed breakfast to the hungry herd. Watch the donkeys, ponies, and horses as they are put through their training paces, play along with their riding partners, get new horseshoes, or simply enjoy long grooming sessions. Help direct the webcam operator’s tour of the ranch in search of Farmer Freddie, the traveling pig. As the afternoon rolls on, tune in as ranch owner SuzAnne highlights the life histories of her many different avian neighbors, and accompany Ranch Manager James as he attends to the never-ending list of chores and building projects that make Dunrovin hum. End the day with the happy sound of the horses munching on their dinner hay as the sun sinks below the mountains.

Visit and catch a sunrise on the Bitterroot River. Photo: Dunrovin Ranch

This program is offered on Mondays to coincide with Caregiver Mondays, a national program encouraging caregivers to take care of themselves and start each week off right with healthy practices and self-care. Dunrovin’s hope is that caregivers and their charges will experience some relief and joy by connecting with the natural landscapes, animals, and people at Dunrovin for fun and fellowship predicated on kindness and respect.

November 16, 2020

Related: COVID-19, Events, Lolo, Montana