Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Friday, October 14, 2005

Now, THAT'S a way to start the day

Up at 5:30, reach into the shower to turn it on while I turn to put my contacts in... only to have the water dwindle to not much more than a dribble before I could cross the room.

A few weeks ago Dave and I were madly cleaning up to get out of the house for an Oktoberfest party. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon after a full day of fencing - so like the shower was not an optional step. All of a sudden, the water stopped. I knew that Ginger was feeding the horses, so I called her and sure enough, she'd turned on the water to fill the stock tank. Usually one open spiggot won't completely rob the house of water, but she gracefully turned it half way off and that was sufficient to get our shower going again. It wasn't until later that I remembered I also had a hose going to water a tree - so mystery solved.

But at 5:30 this morning, I knew we didn't have any spiggots intentionally running. Dave jumped up with me and we went out to inspect the hydrants (after first opening the basement door to verify we heard no rushing water sounds down there.) I drove by the 3 nearest hydrants and ran into the barn to check on the horse waterers and the hydrant there. (making for 3 ponies who were mighty surprised to see me that early) Nothing running - and I could get water out of them. I went back up to tell Dave that I'd drive down to the one on the road, when he said there was no need - the hydrant closest to the house was completely broken off and spinning freely in the ground - surrounded by a huge, gurgling puddle. It had struck me as strange that the hydrant handle had been pointing in a different direction when I'd checked it first, but it never occured to me that it might be totally broken off underground.

How in the world could that happen? Just as it was getting light enough to see, the neighborhood donkey and mustang came ambling along. They get out 2 or 3 times a month but have only recently discovered our property. Our only explanation is that they decided the hydrant looked to be exactly the right height for a good scratching post, and they leaned on it too hard. What with the cows and mustangs, we really are going to have to fence off what remains of that one small unfenced part of our property line. You see, Colorado is an open range state, meaning that it is our job to keep unwanted livestock off of our land. Oh joy, more fencing.

So, at 5:50 we turned off the main water to the property. Inconvenient at the best of times. But tonight happens to be Ginger's son's wedding! Ginger's mother arrived to stay with us on Wednesday, and Roger came over last night. Dave and I rearranged our plans to shower and dress this evening at my work, maybe Ginger and her crew will be able to use her daughter's house. Who knows, but this surely isn't one of the challenges anyone was anticpating for the big day.

As I was leaving there still were no lights on at our neighbor's house - the neighbor with the backhoe. Alas, I fear it will be another day (or 2?) when no fencing gets done.



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