This spring and summer has been a time of incredible rains on the ranch. Mom (Joan Wink) wrote this piece and the original is featured on her blog here. If you haven’t seen Mom’s website yet, I do encourage you to head over there. Whether you’re a reader, a teacher, a writer, a learner, or someone who loves the prairie and ranching, all can be found there — www.JoanWink.com. You’ll see why for most of my life, I’ve been known as ‘Dean and Joan Wink’s girl.’ And proudly so.
You may have heard of all of flooding and erosion near our ranch. For example, the primary East/West road (Highway 34) is closed, as the erosion is weakening the road. The detours around add 75 to 100 miles, which is not always a happy surprise to motorists.
However the purpose of this blog post is to share a very specific problem, and how we solved it. Near one of our dams, the spillway eroded and broke a major waterline, which goes to the truck washout. Wink, who was 4 weeks out from 5 broken ribs, 2 fractured ribs, and collar bone broken into 5 pieces, was sure he could get down into the water and join the two pieces of pipe. Here he goes into the depths, which he says will be about a foot. You’ll note that I was guessing 6 feet. So, that did not work.
Let’s go to Plan B, which included crawling back out of hole, taking off the hip waders, sliding back down into the cold water, and walking through the chest-deep water until he came to the broken pipe again. Next we had to get a homemade iron ladder, 2 steel posts, post-hole pounder, and some pieces of wire for tying it all together.