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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Crossing OKLAHOMA Panhandle, towns are only 10 miles apart.  At 4 mph, walking 10 miles takes only 2.5 hours.  Still recovering from high altitude breathing problem, so it is good to have easy walking for a while.  Wind is still a problem.  Weather forecasts possible thunder storms for later this week.  I do not want to be caught out walking in thunder storms, so am pushing to get walking done in early morning hours

Walking early this morning from GULMON, Texas toward the town of HOOKER, some18 miles distant.

MURAL being added to a building in GUYMON.

US 54 is still 4-lane.  Makes for pleasant safe walking, except on town outskirts where a curb is used instead of a berm.

Came across this Circular Irrigation System.

This system rotates from a fixed position in a circle encompassing large area of irrigated land.

The above is but one section of 120 feet.  Typical Plains installations incorporate up to 10 sections, producing a circumference of 1,200 feet.    In other parts of the USA, units are MUCH longer.

The entire unit rotates around the fixed point shown above.

Irrigation wate enters the 10 inch dianeter feet pipe at 600 gallons per minute...

...and is fed throgh a series of drop pipes to get the water as close to the ground as possible.  The wind being so continuously strong, release of water any higher will result in a good percentage of applied water being blown away before gravity pulls it to the ground.

In less violent climes, pressure fed sprinklers are often used to spray irrigation water many feet to either side of the central unit.

Each drop water pipe has a sprinkler head attached to regulate water flow.  Water is metered out of the nozzle at 6 psi (6 pounds per square inch.) with provision to adjust itself in event the unit is working on a hill where water could gravity flow to one end or another; i.e. assures proper water flow to each sprinkler head.

The unit's central feed pipe is the backbone strength.  Angle Iron segments are engineered to support the entire structure.

Each unit has two "towers", one at each end.  One end has a 240v DC single speed electric motor with double extended output shafts...each shaft coupled to deep tread inflatable tire assemblies to drive the unit forward in it's circle.

The driven end of a section is "Hitched" (similar to a vehicle Cup and Ball Trailer Hitch) to the "idler" (non driven) end of the next section in line.  A steel alignment bar, attached to one of the units, is connected to a time phased  limit switch which turns the electric motor on and off, keeping all units in alignment.The most distant section - farthest from the pivot point - is the "guide".   All other sections align themselves to Tail End Charlie.

Drive Motor and Gear Box cutaway.

Drive Wheel Gear Box Cutaway below.  Worm Gear assembly detail above pic.

Please say HELLO to JERROD, Chief Service Technician of GIGOT AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS, with whom I spent considerable pleasant time learning about sprinklers.

For the rest of the day and overnight, we drive the 18 miles to the town of HOOKER, Oklahoma.

...where our walk BACK toward GUYMON picks up the driven miles.

HOOKER POINT Park in the format of a museum.

Buckboard Waggon.

Shoe Brake detail.  A hand brake lever leads to the right hand of the driver.

All metal components appear to be hand forged.

Vintage Farm Tractor

Hand guided dirt scraper.  In the late 1930s, we used such a unit, pulled by the pickup truck.  The Scraper Blade Operator guides direction and depth using two handles as he walks along behind the towed scraper.

My Grandfather used a team of horses to pull the same contrivance as he built a road to his homestead near Great Dry Falls in the COULEEs below Grand Coulee Dam.  At the time, POP was running Sheep on horseback.  I often helped him tan leather and fashion HACKAMOREs in his SEATTLE garage during the 1940s.  The SEATTLE TIMES called POP THE LAST TRUE COWBOY in its color Sunday Addition.

Wringer Washing Machine (less the wringer head), in which I got my hand caught feeding wet washed clothes into the rubber spring loaded rollers.  Mother used a short cedar paddle to feed cloths into the rollers.

The galvanized pan hanging on the wall, we used to make home-brew Root Beer...and served as my bath tub.  We had no running water.  Water was heated on the wood burning kitchen stove.

Pics of what there what we get.  Sometimes, hundreds of miles go by unchanged.

4-lane highway is still with us.  Some concern as to how many more years the mid west can hold out with decreasing water tables.  Takes lots of grain to fill those elevator silos.

Most popular "FARMALL" tractor.  Please flip back to the Museum pic...note not much basic design change between the two machines.

Tanker hauling "Liquid Fertilizer".

18 Wheeler with a serious looking ROO GUARD.

Old West Steam Trains called the reinforced grating up front a "Cattle Catcher".

Australians call such a reinforced guard a ROO GUARD (to protect the vehicle from crashes with Kangaroos.

Not certain what they are called nowadays, but I know SPIA-2 two times was flattened to the windshield when I drove her at night at 75 mph broadside into a deer crossing the freeway - once in MONTANA and once in UTAH -.

Could have used a ROO Guard.

* * * * * * * * * *

Tomorrow, should enter KANSAS...still on US 54.

Monday, April 21, 2014


TEXHOMA is 10 miles distant from GOODWILL.  First walk this morning took us to GOODWILL and back to TEXHOMA.  A second walk was from GUYMOND, some 10 miles from GOODWILL.

It is still chilly in the mornings out on the plains.  This afternoon the wind once again picked up making walking difficult.  Stong winds suck the moisture from everything, including my body.

Early morning shadow got in this pic of TEXHOMA main street.

Stockyard Holding Pens.

Flat Flat.  Not a hill to be seen.

Surprised this region is using rotary irrigation systems.  Normally, water is sprayed from nozzles 20 feet high on the machine.  This piece of equipment has been equipped with "drop-down" pipes with spray water nozzles located a few inches above the seed bed or growing plant tops, minimizing wind blowing the water away from the targeted spots.

LAND BRIDGE keeps rolling along.

A home for sale.

Dirt country road.

Plowing has begun on this field.

Corn Harvester For Sale.

Please say HELLO to SALLY.  Took SALLY three turns around the room to get up courage to come to me.  Good thing I know what cats like.  We became fast friends.

SALLY is Watch Cat for this Water Drilling Company.  SALLY's MOM, PAM chatted with me  about local water conditions.  I walked through here 3 years ago.  The Water Table (Water Table = the level below ground where water is to be found.)  PAM says water is found only 50 feet under the long-time dried up BEAVER RIVER.  Moving away from the BEAVER RIVER BED, the aquafier (Water table location) can move as deep as 500 + feet underground.

PAM's Company has 3 truck-mounted (mobile) Drill Rigs)

A year old Mexican Restaurant where I stopped for a late breakfast.

Please say HELLO to BRISSY, owner of La CASITA 3, which she started one year ago.  For the first year, BRISSY is pleased with business.

From TEXHOMA, drove to GUYMON, where we will over night.  This rather large town, I walked 4 years ago on my very first attempt to walk across America.  It is as it looked 4 years ago, complete with WALMART and other fine stores in several small Shopping Centers.  From GUYMAN, walked BACK on US 54 to the skipped town of GOODWILL.

Yes, we are in Oil Well Country.

The past few miles of US 54 have been excellent 4-lane roadway.

GUYMONT sports one of the last surviving Outdoor Movie Theatres.

Water hose laid out for a prospective customer of HOWARD Drilling Company.  All sort of irrigation equipment is available for sale, rent or lease.  Five locations in  KANSAS, OKLAHOMA and TEXAS also offer Water Well Drilling and water systems design and installation.

Please say HELLO to TRAVIS WINTERS, Manager of the GUYMON, Texas Offices.

Before arrival of TRAVIS, spent some minutes chatting with Office Manager KALI, who had lots of knowledge of her Company activities and local water conditions.  As with PAM earlier today, KALI declined a pic.

TRAVIS discussed local water conditions - recent water well water table dropped 30 feet between two recent  periods.  In general, the area is still in a draught.  Most farmers are already - or in the process of - computerizing water distribution and using the direct plastic pipe "DRIP" method.  This procedure places predetermined amount of water in precise locations.The States of TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, and KANSAS are expected to soon implement controls on agricultural use of water.

We have seen many passing trains, but not one like this.  The second Engine in line is SMOKING heavily through side panels.  The smoke is NOT normal and could originate from a motor fire.  Looks to me more likely to originate from the failure of a internal EXHAUST PIPE CONNECTOR.  If so, it looks bad, but may only make a big mess; but, probably will not cause an accident or engine fire. 

* * * * * * * * * *

Am in a newer section of GUYMON, where I found McDonald's and WI-FI to complete this update.

In the morning, will continue walking North east on US 54.  KANSAS is now about 60 miles distant.