A Day Ice Skating Pt. 2 by Ken Bailey
On the way back, two cowgirls happened along on their horses. They seemed amused to find "Oil Geek" out with his camera on such a cold day ... and Oil Geek was too shy to ask their names, so their identity remains as obscure as the Mystery Skater on a previous slide. However, that's the back of the closed Rangely Skating Rink across White Avenue on the right... someday it would be a church
Scott was careful to be fully protected before engaging in "faked wipe-outs" -- a wise young man. Gloves, had, no exposed skin save his face. That Rangely Ice looks pretty hard and unfriendly...
And, he's off!
What's that to the very right of this photo? It's the old abandoned Rangely Trolley Car -- a horse-feeding station by this time!
And, he's off again! Today, this scene is clogged with full-grown cottonwood trees ... a result of a 1980's flood and Cottonwood seeds that took root, a decade after we had left R-Town for the midwest....
Back at our home on Crest Street, I paused to take this winter view looking dad north toward Coal Oil Ridge. The derrick on Hagood Unit well no. 1 still stands behind Rangely High School (on the left) ... and the lot across the street is still vacant, so we had a good view. (Pity the "film ghosting" that happened during development, causing "Ghost Errors In The Sky" ... but the photo was still worth saving....
A brand new oil well had just been sunk on the FV Larson lease near the skating park, and so of course Oil Geek had to wanter over and check it out. A big Lufkin "dog-head" pump was doing the honors, and the low winter sun provided this great "shadow shot". To the right, the Rangely Trolley chugs along without moving, its only passenger an occasional hungry horse seeking the hay stored within.
Yes, it was cold -- so cold that this old F.V. Larson waterflood well apparently burst its wellhead -- leading to this unusual ice sculpture. (Two infill pumpers in the background lead a straight line to one of the surviving oil camps on the hill -- is this the Sharples Camp?
Here's the F.V. Larson oil well #2, if I remember my leases correctly. It was one of the original producers, with a derrick, a pumper, and a tin motor shack -- in those days, they left all the stuff in place when they shut a well down and converted it to waterflood. You can see (around the well-head) the four square cement plugs that once held up the derrick tower, and the long cement base that held the pumping unit -- the wider area on the far left was where the motor was. The tin shack, that had stood over the motor to protect it from the elements, was just moved aside, but remained on the scene for years -- a common practice back then. ... In the years since, the Environmentalists descended upon the scene, and all of this was removed, field wide -- taking all the history involved with it. Perhaps just useless junk in many people's eyes -- and beautified now as a result of the clean-up ... but I would remind you all that a lot of what we know of ancient civilizations came from archaeologists uncovering what had been the garbage dumps. Oil Geek has spoken, but I know I am outnumbered on this one, and I bow to public opinion. (Still, I glad somebody took photos back in the day, so it was not all lost.)
Ice skating and oil pumps ... both Rangely traditions. Today, these pumps are much more guarded with fencing and other stuff, and I understand the need for all that ... but I miss the old days.