Monday, January 31, 2011

Fixing the Windmill - first installment

We're leasing the Shanley Ranch in Auburn from Mr. Pat Shanley.  It's a beautiful place - it occupies the ridge between Auburn and Ophir.  To the east, we can see Auburn and the Sierra crest.  To the southwest, we can see Folsom Lake and Rancho Seco.  To the west, we can see Mt. Diablo and much of the Coast Range.  We've seen eagles and deer and lots of hawks on the ranch.  It's a great place to go to work!

Today, we started working on getting the windmill in the midst of the ranch working again.  Mr. Shanley, who has lived most of his 90+ years in Auburn, was on hand to walk us through the project.  He's a wealth of knowledge and has become a true friend - I hope I make it to 90 in similar shape!

We're not done with the project, but I thought you might enjoy a few photos of the project!  We'll keep you posted on our progress!  I've never worked on a windmill before, so this is all new to me.  One of the things I hope to become in my lifetime is a pretty good windmill man!

Disconnecting the connector from the pump rod.
A close-up of the connector and pump rod.
Mr. Shanley.
Setting up the pulley used to pull the pump rods from the well shaft.  For someone who doesn't care for high places, this was an especially fun job!
Ready to pull the pump rods and pump.

Our next step will be to remove the pump (or sucker) rods and pump from the well.  We suspect that something's gone wrong with the pump, but we'll see once we get it up!  If anyone out there has worked on a windmill, we'd be interested in hearing from you!

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