Water catchment – phase 2, day 2

12 11 2022

Work resumed this week on the water catchment in Spring Creek Basin’s northwest valley. We were ahead of the snow that came Wednesday, and although we had an absolutely beautiful day, it was windy. We joked that Wyomingites would consider it merely *breezy*. We did gratefully note that there were no gnats. 😉 By Wednesday (and even Tuesday afternoon as we left the basin), I thought maybe we shouldn’t have joked about the wind, as it got *really* strong. … But … no gnats. There’s always a silver lining!

Once we got out to the site, the guys used the laser level to start measuring the heights of the steel pipes to ensure they would level length-wise (across the hill) and sloping width-wise (down the hill). We all converged to mark them by laser level, string and tape-measure methods at the appropriate heights, then Daniel Chavez (front right) and Garth Nelson (on the step stool) started cutting while Mike Jensen (left) and I stood by to help. … But shortly, they realized there was a problem with the nifty cutting tool that Garth is using in the pic above: The blade wasn’t really getting the job done. And I’ll be the first to tell you that THAT tool is one of their favorite tools for the *usual* ease with which it cuts through that heavy steel pipe.

One of the greatest things about Spring Creek Basin is, of course, its distance off the beaten path. But that also makes it a far distance from things such as, say, shops that sell tools – including new/sharp saw blades that don’t go dull within moments!

But our guys are as resilient as they are creative and engineering-minded and hard working! One of the other tools they had was a grinder-type of thing. While it wasn’t quite the tool for the job, they did have a cutting disc that could slice into the pipes, to be followed by the bigger saw. So they did that for several pipes … changing blades on the bigger saw a few times. Then, finally, the last blade was the ticket. Garth still cut into each pipe at the appropriate mark, and Daniel finished them off.

Here, they worked together: Daniel had gotten most of the way through one of the pipes, and Garth returned with the grinder tool to get through the last little bit … and then …

Look out below!

When all the pipes were cut to the right length/height, it was time to bring in the little orange muscle – the tractor! Last year, you’ll remember that the guys welded the purlins to the pipes, then screwed down the roof sheets onto those. This time, they brought out five I-beams. Those are the step between the pipes and the purlins the guys added to this year’s project. The I-beams will give them a wider and steadier base on which to set/weld the purlins in the near future. But those suckers are much heavier than the purlins, so some mechanized muscle was needed.

The first beam went to the middle, then we worked outward from either end.

With the beam supported by the tractor, the guys were able to get the beam(s) in place atop the pipes. Then it was just a matter of shoving (!) the beams forward to the mark(s) Mike and I made so each had an overhang of a foot from the front pipes. Along the front of the tanks, just below the roof – soon – we’ll run the gutter.

Once the beams were in place atop the pipes, and the level and slope checked, Daniel welded them in place.

Daniel did most of the welding, but he had to leave early, so Garth donned the welding gear and finished the job. (How great is it to have not one handy welder but two!)

The day’s work started with some camera issues (in addition to those tool issues mentioned above), so I used my phone … then (fortunately) checked my camera again and noticed and corrected a couple of settings. The above are all from my phone (which did a respectable job!). I’ll process some of those camera pix to post soon – just because I love to highlight the good work our BLM guys do in support of our mustangs!

In the meantime …

From last week’s work ^ – note the pipes …

… to this week’s progress ^ – note the beams atop the pipes!

It’s all coming together. 🙂


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6 responses

12 11 2022
Sue E. Story

This catchment is really taking shape! Thanks again to our special BLM guys for all their hard work AND all their clever creativity! This future source of water is such a cool addition in that part of the Basin.

12 11 2022
TJ

We have made such significant achievements here, it’s sometimes amazing to think about them all. 🙂 Our BLM guys are a huge part of that, and I am so grateful for their partnership for our mustangs!

12 11 2022
Karen Schmiede

A big thanks to all the great BLM guys for their hard work!

12 11 2022
TJ

They are, simply, the best. 🙂

12 11 2022
Pat

Looking great. What a lot of work! Pictures sure help. Thanks to the boys and you.

12 11 2022
TJ

It’s even more amazing to see the work they do in person! They can take an idea and build it – and the horses will come. 🙂 The very best. 🙂

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