Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adventure 4.1 June 2003

Neighbor- Gaylin Stucki

Monday, June 30, 2003

This AM after greasing the flail chopper, the John Deere and finding out that the well generator is not well, again, I find that my computer refuses to open up my saved Adventure 4.1. The second time this month this has happened and there is No Way I remember all of what has happened. I’ll try and give you a synopsis.
This month started out HOT & DRY, our highest temperature if I remember right was 98.5 and our lowest was 31.1 . We had 2 days where we almost had measurable precipitation. Damp & cool down in the 40’s & 50’s for almost a week. Enough moisture to help green things up again. It is now back to hot & dry weather.
Our biggest event, until yesterday, was Sally taking the bus to go to her grandson David Herin’s high school graduation in Michigan. In fact she is due back today at 2 PM.
We’ve done a lot of spraying for noxious weed (burdock, houndstongue, thistle) which are growing rampant out in this neck of the woods.
Our main gate (which is on the collage) was sagging on one side about 3 inches and I volunteered to try and fix it. The way I understand it and from observations each side of the gate is set in cement. In fact one ready mix truck load was split between the 2 sides. Which I figure was about 11 yards of cement. Each hole was 36 x 36 inches square and I guess about 12 foot deep. I took our 6 inch hydraulically operated post hole digger and drilled holes as close as I could to the cement on 3 sides. I was able to get 8 holes (I had a ditch to contend with) on the perimeter and proceeded to soak them (try) to help loosen the whole kit and kaboodle up so that I could tilt the pipe (6 Inch) back towards the north and raise the sagging gate up. 5 of the holes would not hold water but 3 would. Upon closer checking I found water running into the ditch from my post holes. Our wonderful cute, antic performing ground squirrels had tunneled all around the gate posts. I soaked it down for a good 24 hours and then ran a chain from the top of the post to the dozer and gave it a GENTLE TUG!. I was surprised how easy it moved. I’m glad it moved or else I probably would have broken it. By using the dozer as an anchor and Sally with a level I set the gate pretty darn good. I went and swung on the chain and just about croaked. The whole thing acted a if it was on an axis and if I messed with it to much it might sink out of sight. If it would’ve sunk I don’t know what we’d done as we have no equipment for lifting anything that heavy. Leaving the dozer as an anchor I filled the post holes with some gravel and let it dry out. The next morning it was really quite stable and I was beside myself with relief. As it was it worked out quite well and saved calling a welding, fabrication shop out here to rebuild the gate, which would have cost plenty. I’m hoping that by me doing this the Fish and Game Dept won’t raise their hunting and fishing license fees for awhile.
We have 2 interns this summer both named John, Young John and Old John. Old John is a 5th grade school teacher and has been farming most of his life. Young John just graduated from college and he and I don’t get along at all. He has a hot rod Toyota p/u that must spin it’s tire on each takeoff. A hot little ATV that has the same problem and several times I’ve had to go out and kick him off the lawn. He has dug ditches all over. He went over on the neighboring ranch and did some shooting with out asking permission and when he uses a generator and forgets to turn it off, time after time I found them running and I was the only one around, he’d gone someplace. I keep wondering if it is because I might have been just like that is why we clash so much. I hope not, if I was I’m asking for forgiveness now, for all of my past acts, mom.
I did take Aimee to the groomer in Rigby last Wednesday and while I was waiting I finally found a place where I could get my hair clipped also. I felt better and she looked a lot better(DIFFERENT PLACE).
Also this month we found out the well generator was putting out 280 volts instead of 240 and had slowly cooked the pump and controls into unusable junk. So for 2 ½ days we were with out water. The good thing about it was at least it happened through our cool spell.
I also spent some time spraying and some of it was back towards Cove Creek. I took a ATV with a 20 gal tank and sprayer. It was on a cold day and I started at 6 AM when there wasn’t any wind. I’d gone over on the other side of Ryset Mountain and got a large patch of burdock and hounds tongue. I was quite cool and I was hunkered down out of the wind as much as possible when I noticed some small chicks of some type running all over. At first I thought they were quail but I soon noticed mother Sharptail Grouse running ahead of the flock, she was way ahead. I stopped and she then went into the weeds on the side of the road and headed back towards her chicks. There had to be at least 10 chicks and they weren’t more than a day old. It was nice seeing them because I’d been wondering if there had been any hatches this spring. Soon I was back by Cove Creek looking for a large patch of houndstongue that I’d seen earlier. As I spotted it something else showed up in the corner of my left eye, a moose, mother moose to be exact and her hackles were raised and she was prancing around a little. I looked to my right and there was a calf moose a few weeks old and I was in between it and mama. Disgression is the best part of valor and I found cowardice real fast. I pulled back on the handlebars while giving the ATV the gas (trying to fly) and yelled like a cowboy who was just coming into town for the first time in 3 months. I stopped up the road a little ways and mama was then in the road watching me. She swung around and they meandered up the hill. Also I forgot all about the hounds tongue. Now I’ll have to go back and finish that job.
Yesterday we had our first uncontrolled fire since I’ve been here. In the canyon between Cloward’s Crossing and where Willow Creek and Tex Creek come together some partiers. evidently left a fire going. When Young John spotted the smoke it was still down in the canyon next to the creek. When we got there (I thought for sure it was a farmer burning brush) it was burning up the canyon walls. I reported the fire and immediately drove back to headquarters where John fired up the 6X6 with the 800 gallons of water on it and headed back towards the fire.
 I hooked up to our trailer mounted sprayer and filled it with water and followed him. When we got back the fire was just reaching the top and we were able to contain most of it from going into the farmers field. Soon maybe, a ½ hour, the BLM helicopter arrived with 3 men, dropped them off and then proceeded to get water out of the creek and dump on the fire down in the canyon. Next thing we knew one of the firemen told us to get out as 2 planes were on their way to dump fire retardant. The 2 planes were crop dusters and it was interesting how they worked dumping their retardant on the fire. Within a couple of hours the BLM had about 8 fire rigs and two tankers with about 35 to 40 personnel. Yes I even have some pictures. But I forgot to take a picture of the chopper.
Also this month we lost our friend in Del Rio, TX. Chuck Richards (Mr. Integrity) to lung cancer. We wish the best to his wife Del and we’ll be seeing her soon. Also up in Tenstrike, Minn. Mae Dufserth succumbed from heart and lung problems. She was the lady that would play the fiddle for us every once in awhile down in Del Rio and she just loved to go look at the deer and wild sheep also. She and her husband of 62 years were a wonderful couple. We wish Rolf the best also.
Sally made it home today safe and sound with all kinds of stories of the people she saw while back home. She was non-stop news as to who is and is not coming out this year and etc.
You know what I got to tell her “we’ve got NO WATER” again. The generator has an “relay emergency latching” button with a nice big, bright red light and I refuse to run it and maybe do more damage to it. I sure know how to make the help happy. What really gets them mad is when I say “this is my day off, I’ll fix it when I come back to work Friday”.
Love to all
Darrell and Sally and Aimee (dawggie)

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