Finally, help arrived!
Above: The Drilling Rig!! Yes!!! According to them, drilling should take "2 days to 2 weeks". Whoopee!!
Above: Two weeks later. Still drilling. Notice the sand between the rig and the blue pipes? That's the problem. The drillers told me it was like drilling "into a sugar bowl". The sand kept caving in around the pipe and preventing them from drilling. The original hole was 310' and they got to 325' before the casing snapped off and killed the hole. Meanwhile, of course, I'm still hauling water.
Above: Since the first hole was dead, they moved to a new location and started drilling again. Here we are, about a week into the new hole, 325' and no water yet. They think there's water, but the sand keeps causing problems, so they poured concrete into the hole and started drilling through that. But, unfortunately, it was "no go" and around late July, they finally had to give up until they could come in Sept with "the big rig" which puts casing and drills simultaneously. By now, I've got a routine going where I haul water from 6 am-10 am-ish, then work on guitars until 2-3 pm, then haul water until dark. I'm getting a little work done.
Above: In late July, we took a break and went to an AMA Motocross National in Lakewood, CO. This was the first National I've ever attended and I really wanted to see Ricky Charmichael ride. Ricky is unquestionably the greatest motocross rider of all time. Here we are sitting on the side of a hill overlooking the track.
Above: And here's our view of the track! Ricky made 1 pass right here and we had a good view of proceedings. Charmichael won, of course, and Ivan Tedesco- a native New Mexican- took his first pro win (and later won the championship). It was a lot of fun and a very welcome break from hauling water.
Above: Back home, it's beginning to be snake season. Here's the first sighting- a bullsnake. Bullsnakes are no problem. They help keep the rattlesnakes away and hunt mice and such.
Above: It's these that I don't like hanging out around the house! I killed this one on the road just in front of the house. I was driving back with the feeder in tow, saw him on the road, and skidded right on him. Ripped his head clean off! This one didn't show up until Sept. but here he is. We killed another one just a week or so prior to this in the yard, heading toward the kid's playground.
Also in July, I preached once again at the Sierra Grande Rancher's Camp Meeting. I did 3 sermons again, all in the afternoon and had a good time. Attendance was way down, though. There's just more and more things competing for people's time, I guess. Still, we'll have the meeting as long as a few show up.
Right around August 1st, praise the Lord, it started raining . The creeks filled up, the potholes filled up, and I was finally able to quit hauling water...and start feeding cattle instead! In fact, in the rattlesnake picture above, I'm hauling the feed wagon instead of the water truck. But, the difference is that I don't have to feed and I did have to haul water. What a relief it was (and what a savings on the gas bill and truck repair bill) to finally stop hauling water.
As my workload eased a little, I started riding my dirt bike again. The owner of Capulin RV Park (and an attendee at my church) bought some dirt bikes and we went to Red River to do a little riding. This was the first time I'd ridden my KDX200 in the woods since I'd bought it and the first time I'd been to Red River since 1999. We went 2-3 times and had a lot of fun.
Above: On the road to Red River, NM. And you thought New Mexico was just a desert?
Ranch 2005: Part 3- Winding it up!