Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Painted Desert

– The Setting

I don’t know why, but when I think of dude ranches, I think of Arizona. I lived in that beautiful state for the first two years of my marriage. My husband had just entered the Air Force and Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson was our first assignment. I remember the bold sunsets with a mixture of every color on the ROYGBIV scale, as well as the surprising blooms on the cactus in springtime. Of course, other things factored into the experience: The dry heat when it wasn’t monsoon season and the 150% humidity when it was; the caution from locals that everything in the desert has either thorns or fangs; and the inability to grow a green lawn.

Zadie Fitzpatrick and Royce Rutger meet at the dude ranch owned by a famous novelist. One is excited to paint the scenery, the other is simply trying to learn how to be a cowboy. But both appreciate what the desert has to offer. That is until an incident near a mesa nearly derails one of their plans.


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