Hay, Reveneurs and Drunk Pigs Galore at Vickers Ranch

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.

For nearly his entire life, Perk entertained ranch guests with his tales of the old days while sipping on his nightly mason jar of fine whiskey.

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.

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2 Responses to “Hay, Reveneurs and Drunk Pigs Galore at Vickers Ranch”

  1. Eric Auckerman June 21, 2012 at 11:39 am Reply

    Aloha from the land of BMWs and screechy Orange County housewives (as an aside, that behavior you see on that show, it’s all true, too true as it turns out).

    It’s always satisfying to read about your semi-hardscrabble woodsy lifestyle you two. Takes me back to a time when I used visit friends who lived on the Hoopa indian reservation, where sidearms and fishing poles where never far from each other.

    Ah, the country life, I can smell the pine scented air, hear the branches bend and sway against a northerly breeze, see the trout dash between rocks, whilst slapping those damn mosquitos as I spill my mojito, yes people, I call that living at it’s finest.

    But nay, I doth not live said life, I live in southern California where complexity in human relations and the scramble for resources make water moccasins seem cuddly and sweet.

    Fourth of July is coming up and the neighboring town of Costa Mesa sells fireworks that are 120% illegal here Newport Beach to raise funds for their after school programs (music, athletics, etc.). Tis true that all is for sale in the U.S. and that everything within our borders has a price, may the Vickers never, ever, ever, never sell their land of promise.

    Also, may the coyote sweeten your evenings with it’s prairie lullaby and may the snort of thirsty horse on the trail tell us what’s good and praise worthy in this ever demanding world.

    Enrico strikes but with melancholia…

  2. Hey, interesting about Vickers. Love it. Sounds like you are having fun. I want to see this place!
    I am so worried about Jerry’s Acres. Hope your place is ok.

    Tkae the greatest care you two.
    I am in my alpine setting….
    Mt Tamalpais State Park!!
    Cheers,
    Cindi

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