We’re working our tails off here at Vickers Ranch, and the guests have just started arriving. In about two weeks, Lake City’s short, spectacular summer will be in full swing as the cabins start filling up with long-time visitors, some of whom have been spending their summer vacations here for generations.
While Jim works on everything from painting cabins to plumbing issues, and I handle everything from reservations to laundry in the busy front office, our Wyatt Ray waits patiently for our long day to end.
In the meantime, we are having a blast being surrounded by living history.
As one of the first homesteaders in this section of gorgeous Southwestern Colorado, the Vickers family’s ties to the land and dedication to hard work for over 100 years leaves us awestruck. Few people are made from this kind of stock any more, fewer are as kind as they are, and it’s an honor to be a part of this circle of tradition.
Unfortunately as the years go by, things do have to change. One of the biggest changes around here has been the absence of the patriarch of the family, Perk Vickers. At 97 years old, Perk recently moved to the “big city” of Gunnison, to live in the old folks home.
Not only did this hearty cowboy live during the prohibition years and farm hay with teams of mules and horses, but he also fought like hell to keep this 2,000+ acre property from being overrun by government regulations, which at one time almost swiped it out from under the family. It literally took a U.S. congressional act in the 1950s to keep Vickers Ranch alive and prospering.
In this video, we ask Perk (who is deaf as a post) to share some of his tales about farming hay, life during prohibition and ranch living before electricity and conveniences like motorized vehicles. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed getting to know this one-of-a-kind gentleman.