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Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:53 AM

the old windmill part 1 and 2 NOW with ***PART 3*** !!!

Last edited Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:47 PM - Edit history (3)





that is my artsy intro picture


When I was a kid, the ranch water supply consisted of several dirt stock ponds that would hold water most of the year, and two hand-dug wells about 20 to 25 feet deep. The one up the road had a gas motor attached by a belt to a lightweight pump jack. the water in it has sulfur bacteria or some kind of problem that makes the water taste like shit although it is ok for livestock or bathing (and I suppose one might eventually get used to it but...bleh. It never got used much other than in the summer to water the old apricot tree and supplement the water storage for the corrals. Grampa would fill the gas tank and start it up once a day and that was about all it produces - 4 or 5 hours of pumping. (no idea of rates anymore)

The main "house well" was down below the pecan trees. It is a concrete lined box about 6 foot sqquare. There was always a windmill over it but I have no memory of it pumping. The tower seemed to exist to temp kids into scaring their Grandmother to death. We weren't allowed to climb on it. You can imagine the reality.

It had a much heavier pump jack that also ran by belt only off an electric motor in my life time. It was covered with old bridge ties and was not the most "sanitary" situation in the world. It was my job until too recently to climb down inside to recover various deceased wildlife. Sometimes not deceased. Ever try to fish an angry racer out of a well with a stick?

This well supplied the house and the corrals both up until just a few years ago. OK more like 10, I am getting old. The southwest entered what was predicted to be a 20 year drought about 24 years ago. The well hung in for about half of that. We eventually dropped a little submersible in there and sealed the top up with concrete. About 5 years ago we had a collapse and the bottom filled in about 6 to 8 feet with soil and rock from the sides down low (that were not cased with concrete - and I always thought it was solid rock when I was hanging off that damn ladder) and buried the pump.

That was also about to where the water level had dropped, so without somebody going down in there to clean it out we were done with it. Because of the way it had caved I had extreme safety concerns - and if you know me and the sort of normal risks we live with you will read that as I was majorly askeered of going down there, or letting anybody else do it.

Jump ahead a few years and the talk of getting it cleaned out picks up - knock the concrete off the top and start watching it. It will show a little water through the year, if we could do something - clean it out someway, maybe we could at least use it for house water again - it was good tasting water (when there wasn't dead squirrels in it). The thought was to maybe drop a 20 foot length of 4 foot diameter culvert pipe down there and then start shoveling and pulling it out with a bucket like the bad old days. And there it sat - on the back, back back burner.

THEN...a couple of weeks ago...the livestock storage tank drained out one night. The husband went down to see if the cattle had broken a float or some pipe had finally rotted through. He couldn't find any mud or overflowing troughs and was standing around scratching his head when he thought he heard water running. Over by the old well.

too be continued...

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply the old windmill part 1 and 2 NOW with ***PART 3*** !!! (Original post)
Kali Jun 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2012 #1
bluesbassman Jun 2012 #2
texanwitch Jun 2012 #3
Kali Jul 2012 #4
Kali Jul 2012 #5
Flaxbee Jul 2012 #6
struggle4progress Jul 2012 #7
struggle4progress Jul 2012 #8
Phentex Jul 2012 #9
corvidsupply Feb 2013 #10
Kali Feb 2013 #11
corvidsupply Apr 2013 #12
Kali Apr 2013 #13
corvidsupply Apr 2013 #14
Kali Apr 2013 #15

Response to Kali (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 02:08 AM

1. Sounds pretty interesting, my dear Kali...

I look forward to reading the rest of the story.

I don't think I could live the way you do...

I'm a city girl.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 04:57 AM

2. Looks like a dumbass dog to me...

But hey, if you say it's a windmill, who am I to argue?

Can't wait for the rest of the story.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:30 PM

3. My Grandparents had a old wooden windmill that provided all the water until the late 40's.

After the war they received electric power so they put in a second well with a pumb.

I can still see the old windmill with the bailing wire around one leg.

The bailing wire was to hold down the handle when the water tank would over flow.

That well water was cold, always got a bath pulling down that handle.

The old wind mill is long gone, lack of repair.

I use to climb it sometimes for a good view of the land.

Good memories.

My job was to water the cattle at noon when they came to drink.

It is not a good idea to get in the way of thirsty cow.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 01:27 PM

4. part 2 ***HERE*** PART TWO!!!

Last edited Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:01 PM - Edit history (2)

About 20 feet away from the old well is a water trough for the livestock. I am not sure when it was built originally but about 15 years ago the plumbing rusted out and we replaced it and added a short half inch pvc line back over to the corner of the well box so a garden hose could be used down there.

I am not sure what happened first - the chicken or the egg - a collapse and leak or a leak that caused the colapse, but this is what we saw:


note how the steel gate is tilted





closer view of the outside of the well box and gate corner





and...





finally, THIS is what we see INSIDE the normally dark well (heh a dry well can have water in it if you drain several thousand gallons from a storage tank back into it!)





hmmm bit of a dilemma eh?








stay tuned, there is more

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:52 PM

5. PART THREE - really into dial-up warning territory now

A few years ago my neighbor (the good one) started a side business doing windmill and well work - everything except drilling new wells. He has also helped out with countless neighborly "emergencies" - everything from rescuing me in broken down vehicles to keeping an eye on certain other neighbors if you know what I mean.

I owed him a bit of a favor for some extra work he had to do on our main well last year so I offered him the old windmill if he could come take it down before it fell.

Here he tries to climb it for a look see, but there is a definite tilt towards the collapsed corner. He came back down when he felt it start to move.





OK we will need to park this big truck right next to the hole and we will just stand on the edge while we plan how to disconnect the electric line and hook the crane to the tower.





First, let's get this gate post and gate out of the way. Hell of a lot easier than a pick and digging bar, eh?













Then we will run the hired kid up the side of the tower on the crane cable to disconnect the power line.





Pry the breaker box loose (while standing right at the edge of a sinkhole )





OK now time to go up for a look.









Just wrap this chain around here. (note lack of saftey equipment - cowboys and bikers: crazy mofos)





unbolt the legs





aaannnnddd we have lift off!













just set this over here... (yes the crane has a remote control )





and gently lay her down













too be continued (stay tuned all you old machine freaks, also you young ones too)

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 02:14 AM

6. Hmmm. Quite intriguing!

Kali.

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Response to Kali (Original post)


Response to Kali (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 11:44 AM

8. the pictures are fun. i look forward to part 4

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2012, 11:47 AM

9. So cool!

I must have missed this thread before. It's fascinating. I'm glad you updated.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:16 PM

10. ? from Jerry in Bowie

hunters shot up the old windmill,then pulled it down for some beer related reason.So I want to put a solar pump in but need to remove the existing pump rod in the standing casing without a truck...50 feet of rod tops..any idea cowgirl?

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Response to corvidsupply (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:40 PM

11. Hey, Jerry

we used to pull 25 or so by hand with an oversize pulley I would think if you set up some kind of a tripod like for pulling an engine you could manage pretty easy with a come-along or even pulling with a vehicle (or horse/mule).

You may have to cut it into manageble pieces if it doesn't flex over or binds when it does (the well in the story was only 30 feet (and has collapsed even more now . I sure would like to find somebody local who would like to put in a shallow well)

make sure the pump comes up with it, I remember dropping and fishing was a PITA.


If you want I can PM my well guy's info - he goes out your way pretty often, he could do that pretty easy, I am sure. I think you need to have 10 posts on here to do that and I bet this isn't your political persuasion, but its all good I get along with plenty of my neighbors.

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Response to Kali (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 7, 2013, 10:10 AM

12. Well Hell. another Progressive in the county!

Thanks for the info Kali.I was trying to help my neighbor on this but he moved back to Tucson.It is sort of funny living out here and dealing with the varied schools of right-wing crazy that has roots in the area. big Ag. Guys that need the Mexican labor,family ranchers that do it all and resent the first guys subsides etc.Then the 40 acres and a disability check crew that wants Obama to keep away from their Medicare check plus in our area we are blessed with meth head Rand Paul types and the Kali worshiping Diamond Mountain cult...yikes.... I tell the locals I am so far left I am pretty much on the right....sort of seems to smooth things out.

Jerry

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Response to corvidsupply (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 7, 2013, 03:35 PM

13. sure there are a few of us around - heck Bisbee is full of 'em

there is even a guy from Hereford posting here on DU and there are several from Tucson

I hear ya about the Bowie area, good descriptions add in the Klumps and it would make a good reality tee vee show LOL

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Response to Kali (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 8, 2013, 01:53 AM

14. a stay in Club Fed

Seems to have slowed Wally down a bit.He has not shot at a Blm helicopter again.The bridges they built back in immigrant canyon with old stuff and labor from the teenagers ,Wayne and Matt to the old Marble quarry are amazing.To bad they are being messed with by the Feds on the deal...Permits? Who needs permits!

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Response to corvidsupply (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 12:12 AM

15. I know Kieth and John. Met Wally at a few meeting back in the 90s

They have been around a long time, my Grandfather bought an old mare from Keith that they called Tina and we called Grandma Klump.

John and one of his boys came out a few years ago to help a cousin gather some wild cattle and I have chatted with him at the sale. I respect their stand against the BLM, I have had enough experience with that agency to have sympathy with anybody that has to deal with them.

I don't know any of their country at all, I mean I have been around Dos Cabezas by and over Apache Pass and to the Fort, but don't know the area very well.

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