Ernie & Kim Barker of JJJ Wilderness Ranch

Life on the Ranch

We are often asked what we do in the “off-season” and Ernie usually says, “sleep” but in truth, there is no off season on a ranch, just different seasons – and we’re always ready for each one.  We are the ones who take care of the horses and mules, do the repairs, paint, stain, build, answer the phone, answer emails, social media, run the office – including all of the paperwork….the list goes on.  We also get to enjoy each of the seasons on the ranch and while some think we are brave to live here in the winter, it is actually very beautiful with lots of sunny days.  And we love to ski, snowmobile and snowshoe!

So we don't take our blessings for granted, even when the wind is howling, it's below zero, snowing and the horses are crying for more hay...or at 2 in the morning when we can hear bells indicating the herd broke out and is headed to the lake! There have been days when I think, "no one would believe I am doing this..." but also know everyone has stories of real life - the ups the downs, the heartaches and the joys.  We've been told "you must be so happy all the time", which makes us smile, as oh, the stories we could tell!  But yes, we do laugh instead of cry and try to choose to be happy in any circumstance. (now remind us of that when the next time the pipes freeze!)