Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Halsteads from Duckwater

Amie, Emily and Jan and a couple friends
If it hadn't been for Butch and Jan Halstead, Sheri and I would not have survived the desert. Well, maybe Sheri would have, but I wouldn't have.  I started work in Duckwater a week before we were married. I went alone to  Duckwater that first week.  After a couple days camping at the Currant Creek Campground, I found a ranch house to rent from Butch and Jan Halstead.  Meanwhile at work my boss, Tribal Chairman Jerry Millet, thought I should go to Elko to meet with the BIA people who had written the grant for my position, so I would have a better idea of what I should be doing.  Elko was a couple hours north of Duckwater, and the first 30 miles were dirt road.  I made it there fine, but I must have hurried too much on the way back, because I hit the bottom of the car and caused a leak in the gas tank.  I didn't know what to do.  I got to the ranch house as someone told me to patch the leak with gum, and it worked to a degree.  However I was done, until Butch came and rescued me.  We took the gas take off and drained the gas into a can for later.  We then blew a vacuum through the gas tank to make sure there were no fumes.  Butch took me to Ely where some one welded the tank, then brought me back and we reattached it to the car.
There were other times during our stay when our relationship with the Halsteads was important.  They had gas on their place, and we were able to purchase gas from them and then pay them back.  It beat paying the rural gas station prices, or driving to Ely just for gas.  We went to their house and watched movies.  Sheri helped teach at their kids', Amie and Emily, school.  Sometimes I helped Butch on the ranch.  They had just gotten a bailer that made bigger bails, so there wasn't a lot of hauling hay, but I helped with the preparing feed a few times.  Sheri and I also visited a cattle round-up with them.  We played volleyball together and participated as the "ranch team" in the Duckwater Shoshone league. 

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