Bales of help |

Bales of help

SILVERTHORNE – Silverthorne car dealer John Hickey recently did his part to help Colorado victims of this summer’s drought. Hickey and one of his employees recently drove two of Hickey’s semis to Oregon to transport donated hay to Trinidad ranchers in south-central Colorado.

Hickey, who drove trucks during his college years and now collects them, said he learned of the need for truckers to transport the hay while reading a Denver paper last month. According to the story, farmers in Oregon’s Klamath Basin – near the California border – had donated hay to drought-stricken Trinidad ranchers and needed help getting the product to Colorado.

Many of Trinidad’s ranchers, now in their third year of drought, can no longer harvest hay from the dry fields. Lacking feed for their cattle, some of the ranchers face the prospect of selling the stock.

Hickey said he saw a chance to lend a hand.

“I had the trucks and trailers available, and it helped some guys that were really in need of it,” he said. “The drought has affected all of us. It’s been a difficult year for a lot of people.”

Hickey got in touch with a Trinidad man who was coordinating efforts to bring the hay from Oregon.

On Sept. 12, he and Hickey Motors employee Carroll Marcus headed west to Oregon in two of Hickey’s Kenworth semis. They returned to Summit County late Monday, and Wednesday, Hickey drove to Trinidad to unload the hay.

Hickey estimates the trip cost him “a couple thousand” dollars in fuel and hotel rooms, though he did get two free tanks of fuel in return for his help. But the cost of the trip wasn’t a factor in his decision, he said.

“I could afford to do it,” he said. “I just thought it would be a helpful thing to do. I drive the trucks whenever I can anyway because it’s fun to do. I didn’t do it for the publicity.”

If he’s able, Hickey said, he might take another trip to Oregon, but for now, the demands of his dealership are keeping him close to home and off the road.

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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