Ditch Rider for Howard, Goodhue, Dry Creek #2, Marshallville, McGinn, South Boulder Cañon and Cottonwood #2 Ditches
82 year old Bob Pherson was born in Victor Colorado. When Bob was 10, his father, a hard-rock miner, moved the family to Boulder, very close to the Anderson Ditch headgate. As a teenager, Bob got a job cleaning the Anderson Ditch from the mouth of Boulder Canyon out to Baseline Reservoir, for 25 cents an hour, which he thought was pretty good pay at the time.
Bob has run his own excavating company for the last 41 years. "At one time I had 7 or 8 guys working for me and 110 wheels on the ground. These days it's just me and one machine," says Bob. Before that, Bob was a construction foreman on road projects, airports and shopping centers. Bob owns shares of South Boulder Cañon, Marshallville and Cottonwood #2 which he uses to irrigate 23 acres of pasture and hay fields for sheep and cattle.
In 1976, Bob became ditch rider of the Howard Ditch, with no training. He must have done a real good job because later, he became ditch rider for 6 other ditches: Goodhue, Dry Creek #2, Marshallville, McGinn, South Boulder Cañon and Cottonwood #2. Bob figures he took care of 45 miles of ditch with more than 30 trash racks, and did all the maintenance for these seven South Boulder Creek ditches for years. "Their headgates are all real close, so I could drive in one gate and check my markers as I crossed each ditch, to tell if there was a blockage upstream," says Bob.
Bob has also served on the boards of the Marshallville, South Boulder Cañon, Howard and Cottonwood #2 Ditches, and has worked under 6 of the last Water Commissioners. These days, however, he is cutting back on his ditch responsibilities and is looking forward to doing some traveling. The City and County are finding that it will take several people to replace Bob.