Barbed Wire by Doug Cooper: Good news, bad news |

Barbed Wire by Doug Cooper: Good news, bad news

When your life starts sounding like a good news/bad news joke, you are probably in trouble. Recently, I got away from the ranch and went to my nephew’s wedding in South Dakota. Along the way I admired the part of Wyoming that received excellent moisture this spring. It was hard not to be envious but I was glad to see country that looked good. To make things even more impressive, we hit rain off and on all the way to Deadwood. I am not sure what eco-tourists actually do but I think there might be a market for ranch-tourism where you take drouthed out ranchers to see grass and rain.

The first thought I always have when I encounter rain is to wonder if it is raining at home so I called to check in. I learned that as soon as I was gone it had rained. The good news was that the rain filled up reservoirs that had been dry for 10 years. The bad news was that along with the rain came hail. This wasn’t pea sized hail but big nasty hail that ruined the siding on my son’s house. The kind of hail that shreds sagebrush and makes grass disappear. One pasture looks like Woodstock was held on half of it. So I am not wanting to sound ungrateful but as nice as it was to get a reservoir filled up, it might have been nice if there was a little usable forage left for the cows nearby.

Before it had rained, we had planned to drill another water well. Naturally as nice as a full reservoir is, we still had the driller lined up, and the paper work with the State Engineer approved, so we went ahead with the well. Yes, the good news is that we managed to drill another well. The bad news is that we drilled two very dry deep holes before finding water. I had three spots picked out to try to drill a well. Had I only started with the last spot first, I would have saved a lot of trouble and expense.

On my little trip I managed to resist gambling at Deadwood. Card games and electronic slot machines have no appeal to me. If they let you gamble on hitting water with a drilling rig I might have been tempted.

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