October 24, 2008: First of all, I love the dude ranch. Like, everything-I-imagined-it-would-be-plus-more love. Post Glacier Park panic attack, I drove to the ranch around dinner time and pulled up to an unlocked but dark and vacant office. Key phrase = it was dinner time. I look up on the hill to the lodge/house and someone is out on the deck ringing a very large bell. Then I notice a second gentleman, ahem, in a cowboy hat, sauntering (because cowboys don’t move in any other way) in my direction.
Cowboy: “You must be Nancy.”
And here we go. Game. On.
Cowboy: “Have you eaten yet? We’re just about to sit down to dinner.”
I’m led to up to the lodge, introduced to the family, the staff and the one other guest couple (hailing from Jacksonville, FL) and immediately sit down to sup. Unbelievable. Daddy Warbucks, I think I’m gonna like it here. Despite being the new face to a table of folks that know each other very well, conversation was easy, funny, casual; they all learned my name and actually used it to address me. A welcome embrace following my stand-off with nature a few hours earlier.
*Why* haven’t I been here all along?