In my first blog in September, I talked about the washed out head box and broken pipeline in Horse Canyon. Over the fall and winter Dave and his cowboys, and even one day of help from the local high school track team, packed up pipe and materials and worked on the pipeline. They thought they had it fixed, but it quit running. The rising water from the spring run off caused the head box and pipe to fill in with sand and the water shifted two feet away from where they built the head box.
So the other day Dave and I packed up tools and shovels, and of course lunch and hiked up the not so great trail to the head box. We had a plan to move the head box to a new location that hopefully wouldn't fill in with sand.
We got the box moved and seemed to have a good flow of water. So we packed up and headed out, checking the pipe along the way to see if water was in it. We got a about a 100 feet and realized it was empty. It was back to the drawing board. This time we filled some sand bags to pack around the box and hopefully raise the water level going through the box into the pipe. This seemed to work. Again we headed down.
Dave and his help had run the pipe down the canyon. They were quite resourceful in how they did it. We'll have to come back up and replace the pretty yellow twine with something that looks a little better.
You might wonder why we just don't let the water flow down the canyon? Well, that would be great if it actually would. But it sinks into the ground just a little ways down the canyon. So the water up here doesn't benefit the livestock or the wildlife down in the valley without our help to get it there to the troughs.
We got the water to the top trough. The cows were happy and got a nice fresh drink.
We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves, so we went on down to the next trough.
Dang, just a small trickle. Oh what to do? So we watched it for a while as the cows tried to get a drink one at a time. This just wasn't going to do. We didn't have our horses, so on foot we tried to take the cows up the hill to the upper trough. We got about half way up and they came back down around us. We were missing our horses. At this point it was getting late. We went on home and went back out the next day with horses and Clay to help.
There was still just a small trickle, so Dave and Clay (and Cash) dug up the pipeline in a spot between the two troughs. There must be a plug in it somewhere between the two.
I went on over to yet another trough and saw that no water was there either, and brought a few cows and calves over to where they were working.
They were unsuccessful in finding where it was plugged up, so we pushed the cows that were there on up to the upper trough that had water.
Dave went back out again today to see if he could locate the spot that the pipe is plugged. Keeping cows watered in the desert is not easy.