Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Running Waterline #2

It rained all night Sunday night. It was with great trepidation that I looked out the window in the morning, and sure enough there were huge puddles down by the barn. I didn't even want to think about it, so I averted my eyes as I left to go to work. Monday turned out to be a lot of running around for David - little things like getting more diesel for the myriad of machines we had going.

Fortunately the rain didn't have too much effect on the other trenches. The section down in front of the barn was far too muddy to clean out the bottom of, but that could wait.

Tuesday I took off work and Dave and I dug the jog trench underneath the irrigation pipe. This little section of trench took a huge amount of work. Even after we'd took a much steeper angle between the two trenches than originally planned - in order to bypass that section of the trench the trencher couldn't get through - we still were right in the midst of that hard layer. Much was the packed clay and shale we've been hitting about 3 foot deep elsewhere, but part of this was actually grainite. Dave had bought a pick axe and we were just barely able to get through that stuff. But with all the other trench dug we just didn't have the opportunity to try elsewhere! By Tuesday night we had open trench all the way - but parts were still less than 42 inches deep. Ginger and I laid out the pipe sections.

Wednesday he manually cleared more trench and was just beginning to cement pipe together. OH, and it was also snow/raining. With Ginger holding flashlights, me holding pipe ends and Dave weilding the primer and cement, we got all of the straight sections assembled.

Thursday morning Dave and I got up early to put in an hour before I had to leave for work. This was fruitless. I was so frustrated with the whole thing that it didn't take him very long to thank me for my help and wish me a good day at work. And yes, that is the watered down version. That night, thank goodness, the pipe was connected, pressurized, and at least superficially inspected for leaks. The storm was still upon us so, again working under flashlight we backfilled all of the pipe with pea gravel and prayed the trench depth would keep it from freezing. It did.
Friday, being Good Friday, was a holiday for Ginger so she and David worked on filling in trench. Saturday and Sunday we continued this work - though we certainly didn't put in full days either day. We've found that we can't get all of the dirt that came out of our trenches back in the trenches. HUUM. So we have a sizeable mound of dirt that still needs to be moved somewhere else. We also really need to run the scraper to make things somewhat smooth again.

The part that we totally didn't anticipate is that now we've pulled all this dirt up and scattered it EVERYWHERE - what gravel we used to have down is... useless? We don't know - that whole area desperately needs to be regraded anyways, but we were hoping to put that off a year or so. But, the next big rain will tell whether we can survive without immediate resurfacing or not.


In the good news department - because we have been sorely lacking in this area: Our driveway-entry work was completed this week and is FANTASTIC. We had the first 50 yards of our driveway re-graded and surfaced. All three of us got horses out for riding this weekend - we really need to get them back into the habit of behaving like good little lesson horses. Went well. I actually got three rides in on Jordan in the three days. I really enjoyed riding before work on Monday - kinda reminds me why I wanted to live at home with us. Unfoturnatly much of the next two weeks I'll be in ABQ to deliver on our project there, so little chance for before-work rides for a while yet. We also looked at 2 more horses for sale. Didn't go so well. These super sweet horses that they can throw their toddler on? UM, I was actually frightened just trying to hold on to one of them. Ginger got smacked by the other - and was thankful she already had her helmet on. Goes to show you shouldn't try to sell horses who haven't been handled for 6 months without some pre-work! We passed.



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