The Mountain Gives and Takes

I’m not sure which was worse, Rene killing me for losing our new insulated water bottle, or me killing myself trying to find it. But let me step back a few days…

Earlier in the summer a coworker at our ranch workamping job gave us a very nice black insulated Clean Kanteen bottle. It fit nicely in an old CamelBak pack we had.

The Mountain Taketh Away.

One day after pulling old fence wire along miles of rugged back country on “Perk’s Road” at Vickers Ranch, I came home without both.

Old Barbed Wire Fencing

Pulling old fence wire along Perk’s Road.

I was devastated. The large bottle kept water cool for days, and the pack had additional insulation. I was determined to find them. I mean, how hard could that be? It was only a few miles of rough mountain terrain, and the blue pack should be easily visible having lost it only a couple days prior.

Did I mention I almost killed myself losing the bottle? Or so I thought…there was one steep narrow spot where I had to crawl over a couple downed trees in Paul’s Chariot. I nearly rolled off the side of the mountain, and thought for sure I’d find the bottle and pack there. No such luck.

Upper Vickers Ranch

Searching the Upper Ranch

After clearing the trees and re-tracing my route a couple times I went home defeated, but re-framed the situation. I figure my loss was the sacrifice for me surviving that trip back along Perk’s road, somewhere above Upper Alden lake. After all, as ol’ Perk said, The Mountains Shall Bring Peace.

The Mountain Giveth.

The next day, I found my cap that I hadn’t even realized I lost. Later that week, I was cleaning a Jeep I had put off for a couple days. Still bummed about losing my bottle, I checked under the seat and found a black and blue insulated CamelBak bottle! We’re still out one pack, but got an even better insulated bottle…so I lose a black insulated Clean Kanteen bottle and Blue CamelBak pack—only to end up with a black and blue insulated 40 oz. CamelBak Chute bottle.

CamelBak Chute Bottle

Our New CamelBak Chute Bottle

Coincidence? I don’t believe in such things. Later that day, I lost my sunglasses while logging on the upper ranch—somewhere near the area I lost the first bottle.

So if you’re ever visiting Vickers Dude Ranch, hiking around the woods along Perk’s Road, and happen to score a sweet find or two, let me know!

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4 Responses to “The Mountain Gives and Takes”

  1. Great blog….hope to someday share my own stories of life on the road.

    • Don’t Hope Cliff. Make it so!

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

      • Thanks Jim. I didn’t see anything on the Vickers Ranch website or Facebook Page where you might get more information about workamping opportunities. On average, how many workampers do they have? If you want or prefer, you may email me directly at

        Thanks, Clifford

        • Anyone interested in workamping at Vickers Ranch should contact the ranch directly, by phone and email. Ask for Paul or Larry. If no answer or response, try again. Keep in mind that the office is not staffed much this time of year and not at all during winter months.

          The Vickers always need Summer housekeeping help and at least two couples for office, maintenance and field work.

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