Murphy’s Law of Irrigation | Saturday Afternoon Ruminations


I’ve recognized a few things today and wanted to jot them down for a reminder later on. And where else would they be realized but while in the pasture irrigating. After a crazy hectic week, it’s an awesome feeling to sit here at the gate after changing out the hand lines and watch the sunset. But wait, the line shut off, I forgot to clean out the screens.

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I’m tired of cleaning beer cans and tumbleweeds out of the irrigation ditch…

Anyways, I have several things to be thankful for this week. I have an awesome work environment. Yesterday, I drove three hours to attend a local ranchers’ meeting, had the opportunity to update everyone on what we’ve been doing in the Capital City on their behalf, enjoyed a great meal, and met several awesome ranchers. It may have been a late drive back, but so many conversations to mull over from the night.

Montana Irrigation Ditch Water Flowing

Today, Murphy’s Law of Irrigation came around. Don’t ever plan on being on time. Don’t ever even think, “Well, this is going smoothly!” because that’s when Murphy strikes back. I just wasn’t meant to be on time today.

I’m awful thankful to have great friends and a church family who makes me feel welcome in this place. By the way, I live in one of the most beautiful states, hands-down. I had an awesome horse ride with great views of the Helena Valley. It was the perfect weather all day – warm, low humidity, and little-to-no wind.

Horse Riding Helena Montana

Then right about the time came around to switch irrigation lines this afternoon, a storm was blowing in. I swear, I live in a desert. It poured in the mountains to the west. It poured in the mountains to the east. All I got was the wind while I’m trying to move pipe around the pasture.

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That brings me to this point. I have a race to run in the morning, so let’s hope irrigation goes without trouble (knock on wood), so I can make it in time to check in. Last week, I ran a 5k trail run here in town. We had 500 feet elevation climb in the first 1.3 miles. At the top was a great view of the Helena Valley below, and the rest of the trail was all downhill. Turns out I won the 20 year old age category for the 5k race. I guess all the fast runners were doing the 12k and 30k races that day.

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Tomorrow’s race is a 10k in the Buffalo Jump State Park near Ulm, MT, which is close to Great Falls. I don’t run these things to be a crazy gym rat or a skinny rail. (Although, I do enjoy the huge appetite boost after a good run.) Running is a great way to clear my mind and get away for a few moments. It’s also a great way to network with non-ag members of my community where we have mutual interests of the outdoors, health, fitness, and often times enjoy a recovery beer. There have been numerous occasions where the topic of healthy foods has come up and I’ve had the opportunity to answer several questions about meat, beef and raising livestock. I’ve often found myself benefiting from the different perspectives offered in those conversations.

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Well, wish me luck on the 10k run tomorrow. I know I won’t be winning any age categories on this one, but I am sure to enjoy the views that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience driving down the interstate, and I know I’ll have the opportunity to meet several new people.

“There comes a time when you’re gonna get bucked and you’re gonna need to know what to do so you don’t get stepped on.” -Betsy Swain, 1875

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