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Praying for water

Assembling the rig

Assembling the rig

Our day began as usual with devotions and breakfast. The coffee here is so wonderful I could linger forever at the breakfast table just drinking coffee and watching the day begin over the mountains.




Everyone was eager to begin the day; the rig was ready to run and we want to find water.


A chill wind blew and I regretted not wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt. Drilling was already in progress when I arrived. My role as log-keeper is not hard but I’m not sure all the notes I write are as helpful mechanically as they could be. I learned how to get samples; this involves squatting down by the mud outflow tract with a strainer basket, letting the mud flow through and then rinsing out the mud in a barrel of semi-clean water. The sample is then placed in a sandwich bag and shown to the head driller.


Sampling the mud outflow with dips of fingers in the stream, smelling it, and rubbing it between the fingers is part of the expertise or ritual of the job. I can’t see much difference in some of the samples but then I suppose there are things that I see in my job that seem subtle to others.


Around noon I was instructed to get my working gloves on; it was my time to run the drill. The drill is a huge auger that rotates with a significant amount of power—something I highly respect as I value my fingers. The lead driller was patient as he shouted into my ear—although it seemed as though he were whispering with earplugs in place and the drill running as well as the mud pump.


It took over two hours to drill ten feet—that is the length of one pipe stem. Changing out the stem was the next project—not easily accomplished as I didn’t quite grasp what I was supposed to do. But Ed was quite patient and we managed to add another stem and I stepped down for lunch.


We quit around three. The stem has to be hauled back up and unscrewed one by one. Tomorrow we begin drilling again and pray that we hit a good source of water.


Again more photos and a few video clips are at smugmug at

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