I was born in 1927 on the first dude ranch to open in Oregon or Washington. For the next nearly 40 years dude ranching played a major part in my life. When I married, I married---who else?----the handsome dude wrangler. After starting our family, we left the dude ranch to try something new, only to be drawn back again to join my parents in the business we loved.
Next to being a dude rancher, I wanted to be a writer. When I could, I attended writing classes and wrote some articles. I could have asked for a job at the local newspaper but I was afraid I couldn’t meet the deadline. Then when I was 60 years old, an editor contacted me and I became a professional writer---I was a stringer writing features and covering the goings-on in three small towns for two different papers. It was a dream-come-true but for a pittance. I had to keep my day job.
At almost 91, I’m still working a few days a week but my writing is now devoted to telling the dude ranch story.
-- Pat Woodell