Couple hoping to move to Arizona will miss the community |

Couple hoping to move to Arizona will miss the community

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos

— They will miss Marilyn honking outside their window when she drives past.

The homegrown fruit and vegetables given to them by their realtor Lerona McPherson.

Their house they built by hand.

It could be a week. It could be a year.

But in the end, Mike and Vicki Crackel plan to sell their 53-acre property and leave Craig.

But when they do, they will miss you.

Craig has been home to a new business – Crackel’s Cabin Rentals & Photography – as well as new friendships and new opportunities for the Crackels.

And when asked how the couple’s involvement has benefited the community, friend and co-worker Kathy Vanatta is left speechless.

“Where do I begin?” Vanatta said. “They were always so involved. They put themselves and their business on hold just to give a helping hand.”

She shook those hands when they were strangers seven years ago at a Craig Chamber of Commerce meeting. Now as friends, she leaves them with a hug.

“Our friendship bloomed beyond a working friendship,” Vanatta said. “They were just always there for me and the community, and I am really going to miss them.”

As Chamber of Commerce ambassadors, it was the Chamber mixers, the ribbon cuttings and the Wake-up Craig breakfasts that introduced them to the community.

Mike and Vicki moved to Craig 10 years ago from Rapid City, S.D., and today you wouldn’t know they weren’t locals, said Vanatta. Still, a decade ago, they didn’t know anybody.

“We started building our house when we first moved here. Five months later, I realized we hardly knew anyone in Craig,” Vicki said. “Someone told me you would make a great ambassador. I wanted to give back to the community so I got involved.”

“Being an ambassador was very social, and dealt a lot with public relations,” Mike said. “It gave us a chance to meet a lot of people and create great friendships.”

One important friendship they found was theirs. There is no Mike without Vicki and no Vicki without Mike, they said.

It is a rare occurrence to see the couple go solo, because they consider themselves a duet.

“If I go out to an event and Vicki is not there, people are concerned because we are always together,” Mike said.

Mike, a photographer and elk outfitter, Vicki a bridal shop owner, combined their talents together to make a business. A business that has kept Vicki away from home 35 years and Mike from exploring colorful Colorado.

“We are always so busy with the business and rarely get a break to have a little fun,” Mike said.

This is the reason the couple hopes to sell their estate and move to Arizona.

“We are going to relax and do some of our favorite hobbies like scrap booking and pottery,” Vicki said. “I can’t wait to hear my grandchildren say, ‘Grandma teach me how to do that.'”

Vicki hopes she can tell her family she will be home for Christmas, somewhere she hasn’t been for Christmas in 27 years.

In their future backyard in Globe, Ariz., you won’t find a herd of 50 elk or log cabins. You will find a pool, grandchildren and an endless summer.

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