A summer to remember

After a disastrous winter storm that wiped out half of their cattle herd, the Martin’s ranch is in serious trouble, until Erika Martin decides to turn it into a dude ranch. Fool’s Paradise Dude Ranch is about to open with their first guests, a rock group from Northern Ireland who booked for a whole month.


About lytlem

I am a retired librarian now working as a substitute teacher in several districts around me in the Kansas City metro area. Reading is my passion.
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49 Responses to A summer to remember

  1. Maybe I should have my head examined committing to a month on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. What was I thinking? My manager, Billy, is barely speaking to me but the guys in the band seem indifferent to the idea. I just felt like we needed time to regroup after a tiring tour through twenty-seven colleges in fifteen states. School’s out for the summer and no new bookings scheduled until late July. We desperately need some new material, but my muse seems to have deserted me.

  2. John Old Coyote says:

    I’m not sure what I thought I’d do with a philosophy degree from Haskell Indian Nations University. It didn’t prepare me for any real world jobs. Two days back on the Crow reservation and I was bored out of my mind until my grandfather suggested I apply for a cook’s position at Fool’s Paradise Dude Ranch. He’d recently sold them a dozen horses for their new business. I did have two years experience working as a cook at Applebee’s in Lawrence, so what the heck. It sure beat sitting around the reservation all summer.

    • Kylie Martin says:

      John, I’m so glad you came to work at the ranch this summer. It’s nice to have someone near my age to talk to. I think we’re going to have a great time and while you’re at it, can you teach me to cook?

  3. Kylie Martin says:

    I’m still not sure about my sister’s idea of a dude ranch, but then I remember riding my Arabian stallion, Satan, up to the high pasture while I was home on Spring Break from Montana State. The carcasses of hundreds of our cattle lay rotting in the field, many ravaged by wolves, coyotes, and bears. The stench was unbearable. Her plan might be the only thing to keep our ranch afloat. It’s been in the family for five generations afterall. Even though my future career as a preservation architect might lead me far from home, I want something to come back to and pass on to my own children.

  4. Erika Martin says:

    I wish my sister Kylie would believe in both me and my idea for our ranch. She’s been home from college less than a week and already second guessing all my decisions. If she’d just relax and get use to the idea I think she’d have the summer of her life. She did perk up after checking out the website for our first guests, the Harp and Shamrocks, but I worry about her being around a group of rock musicians. She’s rather naive when it comes to men.

    • Kylie Martin says:

      Sorry I was so grouchy before about the dude ranch. Dad and I checked out the Harp and Shamrocks website and maybe it won’t be so bad after all. I’m actually looking forward to their visit now.

  5. We’re way behind schedule getting to the dude ranch. Already past midnight. It’s my own fault letting Declan drive, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open another minute. If Danny finds out he’ll blow a gasket for sure since Declan doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, not to mention he went the wrong way on the interstate and had us almost to North Dakota before I woke up and corrected our course.

    • It’s nearly 2:00 a.m. Why aren’t we there yet? Great first impression we’re making arriving in the middle of the night.

      • Billy McGuire says:

        You’re probably better off not knowing, but we’re about twenty minutes out if my calculations are correct.

      • Kevin Borders says:

        Everyone knows guys don’t like to ask for directions.

      • Renee Huber says:

        Danny, why haven’t I heard from you? I’m back in Paris for a week before my next film project in Switzerland. I thought we had something … that week on the Riviera was a good time for both, I think. Now you just vanish. Poof!

  6. Sandy says:

    Marsha, your characters sound interesting.

  7. Heck, Billy should drive! Declan needs a crash (no pun intended) course on driving in the US but he sure needs a driver’s license! So…are they there yet?

  8. What a wonderful and unique idea! I loved finding out about your characters this way and the premise sounds very interesting. Good luck!

  9. Helen says:

    Looking forward to finding out if Kylie becomes the bands muse.

  10. Erika Martin says:

    I’m giving up and going to bed. It’s nearly midnight. You’d think they’d have had the courtesy to call and say they were running late.

    • Kylie Martin says:

      Go ahead. I’m sure I’ll see the lights from my window when they pull in. I can’t believe they wouldn’t call ahead and warn us they were running late. Not making a very first good impression.

      • Judy Hollaway says:

        Hi, Kylie, has your dude ranch started up yet? I sure wish you’d been able to come with us on vacation instead, but I know family comes first. We are leaving for New Zealand in the morning. See you back at college in August. Hope you get to have a little fun this summer.
        P.S. John does sound nice, but so not your type.

  11. Renee, glad you caught me when you did. We’re minutes away from passing from civilization as we know it into a black hole where we’ll be totally out of touch from the world for the next thirty days. That said, text me if you need a date to the Golden Globes this year.

  12. Heather Landal says:

    I want to know if rocker skinny jeans are comfortable to wear when horseback riding?

  13. Well, Heather, now that you’ve asked, I kind of wish I’d bought a pair of chaps when we went to the western store in Billings.

  14. Heather Landal says:

    So, I’m guessing your jeans left you chapped?

  15. Danny, we just passed under the gate to the ranch, probably five minutes out. Want to wake the guys on your way up to the front?

  16. Kylie Martin says:

    I see the lights coming up the driveway. OMG, what should I do? Wake Erika? Handle it myself? Erika deserves some rest, but I’m so not the person for this job. I’m just the horse wrangler.

  17. Well, I must say it’s an honor to meet all of you. Such interesting folks! Thank you for welcoming us into your world. 🙂

  18. I could hear the tour bus pull in from my room in the dorm. Loud voices quickly followed speaking with such a strong accent I could barely make out what they were saying, except for the numerous curse words. I should get up and help, but I don’t when I realize it’s not Erika out there directing things, but Kylie. I want to remember her as I knew her the last few days when we formed a fast friendship. I want to remember her smile directed at me, her laughter in response to something funny I said, her acceptance.

  19. Kelly says:

    Has it been a record hot summer in Montana or is it staying cool up north?

  20. Erika Martin says:

    In Montana in early June you really never know. It could be in the thirties and forties at night, fifties to seventies during the day, but even that is subject to change. If you are coming, bring clothes for every season.

  21. Just heard that Eternal Press wants to see the whole freakin’ book about our lives. Good thing I have nothing to hide.

  22. Kylie Martin says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about other people reading about our private lives. There’s some really personal stuff in there.

  23. Kylie Martin says:

    I’ve heard rumors that we’re going to be published. I’m trying to decide what I should wear on the cover.

  24. I hope they get my good side.

  25. Billy says:

    Not to feed your overinflated ego, Danny, but I don’t think you have a bad side, unless it’s your rear end, and I doubt they’d be showing that angle.

  26. Just got the news the book will most likely come out in September 2011. I best start preparing my folks that I’m not the saint they imagined all these years.

  27. Kylie Martin says:

    Danny, I doubt your parents are that niave. My father, on the other hand, might be sorry he ever went on National Guard duty last summer, when he reads what we were up to while he was gone.

  28. I have to admit, I was surprised. You’re not usually so immodest around the ranch. Danny has been a bad influence on you.

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