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Saludos Compa, pt. II
Category: Live from the Ranch
Can you say badass?
Posted by Cooper H. on 12/01/2011

Saludos Compa
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Duke and I looking tired after a long but always fun day.  (photo compliments of Kerry Petrie)


Dear Readers,

Sorry to say, but you won't have the privilege of reading Duke Jr.s posts for a while.  He's completed his apprenticeship, packed his bags and headed off on his next adventure today.  Australia bound.  He's hired on to a mustering outfit where they camp out in the Bush for months on end and round up wild cattle.  We had a big shindig last Saturday in his honor, bringing everyone together to send him off in the best of wishes, and we did it right.  Great food, even better people, and lots of laughs.  He's gone for a year and we'll all miss him greatly, but hope he'll send us a telegram every now and then.  

It's been fun Duke!  We miss you already!  Seriously though, Jonathan and I are in tears, we're a mess without you.  Glassy too.
Posted by Cooper H. on 12/01/2011

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 I almost want to drink it.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/27/2011

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 I'm not the only one who gets excited about the new tanks.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/27/2011

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 The Pipeline Rig.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/27/2011

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 This is what it's all about.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/27/2011

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 One of the new tanks.  I can't tell you how good it feels.  

My days are still spent full speed at trying to wrap up the water project.  Putting in valves, burying pipe, fixing any leaks, etc.  A fog has rolled in thick this morning and the gang is out bringing in the open heifers to ship to our neighbors, where they'll get grass-fattened and sold locally as grass-fed, all natural beef.  I'll be headed out to glue together some more pipe, tucking in just another loose end.

A storm rolled through yesterday and muddied up the ranch, a cold sleet, the first snow of the year, and froze overnight.  The horses are stacking on their winter coats and after getting run in this morning they were blowing big frosty breathes with their eyes wide and looking around.  Excited.  The first cold always makes them feel alive.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/27/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 For Rapha's going away party we grilled up a goat and made fireside tacos, fresh from the flames.  Allan's showing how incredibly excited he is to eat goat, and Jonathan and Duke are tending fire in the background.  Look at that lovely irrigation in front of May Camp.  Wow.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Classic Rapha.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Rapha, Maggie, Stuart, and Duke.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Making the pad.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 There's a little work that goes into one of these things.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 A tank Stuart and Elliot bolted together and leveled.  They've been going ahead of me, bolting the tanks up and leveling them (perfectly) and I'd follow along behind, digging a trench around the outside and getting the inside pad exactly how we want it.  A little more touch up work and this 40 foot tank will be ready for some concrete.

We've been going at it hard, for nearly two months now, and are scheduled to pour concrete in 2 of 6 tanks this coming Monday.  A project that's going to bring the whole crew together.  It's been a non-stop week, getting all the tanks put up and ready for concrete, some days working from dark to dark.  It's like we've all become machines, in the groove and just going and getting good at what we're doing.  Getting lost in it.  Yesterday we started at 5am going around tamping all the pads in 4 of the tanks that needed tamping, starting early so we could get the tamper back to the rental store by 5pm.  We made it there with 4 minutes to spare, thanks to Stuart's Dale Earnhardt Jr. like skills.  Tuesday I was out doing dirt work around a tank and my puppy was bitten by a rattlesnake in the head.  Her head swelled up like a balloon and by the time I got her to the vet she had big trails of foamy slobber coming out her mouth and her throat was starting to swell.  They stuck her on an I.V. to flush the toxins out her system and now it's like nothing ever happened.

Antelope season started this morning so Jonathan is busy receiving hunters.  The crew is going out to move yearlings and I'm getting ready to  turn water on to a branch of new pipeline we dug this summer.  Moment of truth.
Posted by Cooper H. on 10/01/2011

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Dang.  Look at that handywork.  Rapha and Elliot building a new gate for the corral.  

It socked in and rained most of yesterday afternoon, a slow seep, and dumped buckets just north of us.  The creek running through our neighbors property completely swelled and blew over the banks, flooding some of his farm fields.  Today we were scheduled to sort bulls out of the heifers, but decided against it due to the danger factor of the prairie being so slick.  I took the opportunity to run into town to get parts to keep the pipeline project humming along.  Rapha and Elliot spent the day building lumber racks and the gate pictured above, and cleaned out and organized a good portion of the Quonset.  Duke Jr. spent much of the day fixing things up around headquarters, like welding patches on broken spots along the raceway in the corral and enlisting Jonathan's help in getting the dump truck (the Silver Dragon) up and running again.

Last night the temperature dropped and the wind blew all night.  A nice change from 90 degree nights.  I think everyone slept well.
Posted by Cooper H. on 09/15/2011

Friday, Sep 09, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Wow.  What a beauty.  This is the ranch dump truck (or the "Silver Dragon" depending on who you're talking to), a vintage 1963 piece of bold steel that steals across the prairie in a slow, loud, determined rumble.  It's been about as reliable as they come.  However, Duke Jr. and Elliot, one of the new interns, have been doing dirt work out in The Sand, hauling dirt to water tanks and pushing it up around the tank to fill in the compressed or eroded ground.  The sand is so unstable, and the water tanks are such a huge point of traffic, that in time the earth is slowly pushed and moved away from the tanks, to the point that the cows have to crane their necks over the tank to get a drink.  So Duke and Elliot are busy bouncing around out there getting dirt back around the tanks, trying to grab soil that has a little more silt and clay in it so it will hold better.  So the dump truck has been put back to work in full form, and has had only a few early-game coughs.  The coolant reservoir gave up and cracked, then it blew a tire.  But try as it can and try as it might, it's not giving up yet.  Duke and Elliot rigged up a new reservoir (with some different materials and a lot of ingenuity) and have gotten another tire underneath it to keep it rolling.

Stuart and I are busy plugging away at the pipeline project, we've got nearly 9 miles of pipe in the ground and only have a little more to go, then it's on to putting in all the valves and constructing the water tanks.  We're just starting to put a dent in our plate.  But lucky for us we're eating our vegetables first.
Posted by Cooper H. on 09/09/2011

   
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