From My Window: Staying at area hunting, fishing lodge a bargain—in the 1960s

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
I received a letter the other day with just a short note from its sender, Elmer Reed, who comes to Rio Blanco County each year to hunt, but he hails from Punxsutawney, Penn.
Reed’s note stated, “Enclosed please find a 1960s flier on Adams Lodge. Your readers might get a chuckle reading this. The original will be given to your local historical society when we arrive for our elk hunt with Bruce Clatterbaugh of Adams Lodge.”

From way back in the 1960s, the brochure makes Adams Lodge sound pretty nice. (I must admit I am not familiar with Adams Lodge now or then, so I will not attempt to compare the place/services to what is/are offered now.)
The brochure offers the name of “Adams Fishing and Hunting Lodge” with “Bob and Katie Hilkey, your hosts.”
The brochure states that “Adams Lodge is located in one of the best trout fishing and big game hunting areas in the Rocky Mountain region. The lodge (altitude of 7,500 feet) is located on Marvine Creek, 30 miles from Meeker over good roads.
“You will enjoy the friendly relaxed atmosphere assured you by your congenial host and hostess, Bob and Katie Hilkey.
“Prepare your own food, if you wish, or keep your wife or a pet, and dine—family style—at the lodge, where you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the tasty meals served at very reasonable rates.
“For privacy … your own cabin. The clean comfortable cabins are all equipped with innerspring mattresses. Cabins are available with or without a bath. The modern cabins have a refrigerator, as range and gas heater. All cabins are equipped with sheets, bedding, bath and hand towels, cooking utensils and dishes. Bring your own dish towel and your favorite soap.
“There’s fun for the kids too. Your children will enjoy the wholesome, exciting safe facilities provided for their pleasure, such as: gentle horses, swings, slippery slide or teeter totter. There are no poisonous snakes, so you can turn the kids loose and sit back assured of a completely relaxful vacation.
“Take a pack trip into the splendor of the Rockies. For the vacation of a lifetime, you can arrange for pack trips into the primitive areas. There are 10 breathtaking lakes within an eight-mile radius of the Lodge. There is a permanent camp maintained at Marvine Lakes. The camp consists of a kitchen, and sleeping tents that are equipped with steel beds, mattresses and sleeping bags. These lakes offer the best in fishing, either by tackling or by fly fishing. Boats are also available.
“Calling all big game hunters. For the big game hunter, in the fall of the year, there is available the best of facilities at the special ‘big game’ camp. Fourteen bull elk were packed out of this camp last fall, plus numerous deer.
“It is a good idea to make your reservations for the season as early as possible so we may be able to provide the best facilities of facilities for your hunting success and personal comfort. During each big game season, numerous elk and deer are packed out of your hunting camps.”
I am stopping the quotes now, because the last part of the last information gives away why this flier is so entertaining.
The last written words before going into the very end of the brochure make this sound like heaven on earth. When you know what the rest of the brochure states, you are convinced it is heaven on earth. As a matter of fact, I would be ready to move up there for the rest of my life.
IF the prices had remained the same.
The last written words before I get to prices, makes this place sound too good to be true. They are: “Rates of $40 a day include food, lodging, horses, packing of game and some guide service. We do have a five-day minimum.”
What a deal! What a steal!!!
Where the brochure makes its impression of days gone by is with its prices.
Meal prices listed on the brochure are: “Breakfast, $1.50; picnic lunch, $1.25; lunch at lodge $1.50; and dinner $2.75. (Meals served to guests only. Children under eight years of age—half price.)
“Horses: Saddle horses, $6 per day; Pack horses, $6 per day; guide, $20 per day.
“Camp at Marvine Lakes: $20 a day per person, including meals, accommodations, horse and boat.”
Now if those prices don’t thrill you, nothing will ever make you happy. I could stay up there a month with food and accommodations, and it would be cheaper than what most people pay in rent or mortgage for a month in Rio Blanco County.
Consider these housing prices offered at Adams Lodge back then.
“Two room modern cabins: 2 persons, $10 a day; 4 persons, $12.50 per day; 6 persons, $15 per day,
“One room modern cabins: 2 persons, $10 per day.
“One room modern cabins (with twin beds): $11 per day.(Extra cots $1 per day.)
“One room cabins(without bath; some with sink and refrigerator): 2 persons, $5 to $6.50 per day; 4 persons, $7 to $9 per day.”
The entire back of the flier is a very easy-to-follow map to Adams Lodge.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if prices even close to those existed today. Even twice what they were 50 years ago—or three times, or four times.
When I was a child, even, which was about the same time as this brochure came out, I wish my parents had known places such as this existed for our family to vacation.
Come to think of it, throughout the mid-1960s, my parents took me and my six older siblings to Trappers Lake for several days each summer. I wonder if prices were like these prices at Trappers Lake back then.
If so, the parents were wise shoppers when it came to vacation time because we would spend the day fishing after small breakfast of fried eggs and toast, we brought luncheon meat for lunch and we ate the trout we caught and German fried potatoes for dinner.
There may be those who would argue that those were the good ol’ days. Others may think that the best days lie before us. I agree with those of the former, those who believe those days of the late ‘50s, the ‘60s and even the ‘70s were as good as it is going to get in my lifetime.

On the sports front, it was great to see the Broncos return to good form for much of Sunday’s victory against the Kansas City Chiefs at a rough Arrowhead Stadium in K.C.
Many sports pundits said they felt it was Denver’s best “overall appearance of the season,” but I don’t think so. Manning was throwing too long, so it was important to get the running game going, which, thankfully, they did, and the Broncos’ receivers were somewhat wayward in the first half.
The running game was great, which meant the offensive line was doing its job. The defense either played a terrific game on a cold night on the road, or Chiefs quarterback Smith was dismal, and I think that was obvious except for a few hot spurts by Smith.
Either way, it was good to see the Broncos succeed on the ground just in time for the Buffalo Bills to come calling this weekend.
Good luck, Broncos.

It will be a good thing to see the Meeker Cowboys boys and girls and the Rangely Panthers boys and girls open up their respective basketball teams in the next two weeks.
The boys’ teams will open season play next weekend while the girls’ teams will open tonight in Meeker at the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout.
Good luck this season, teams!