Sounds like a well

Duane Ackely
Walsh, Colorado

Curious for an earful of the underground sea mule Polly and I are traversing? Then click here to listen to Duane Ackley’s well…

Bottom of the Lost Sea
Picture Canyon
Northwest of Walsh, Colorado

Going on a year now, mule Polly and I have been bringing you reports about the Lost Sea, the 1000-mile wide body of salt water that once flooded the Great Plains.

But there’s another great sea in these parts and it’s completely underground. It’s called the Oglalla Aquifer.

Recently, while visiting with Duane and Derril “Buckshot” Ackely of Walsh, Colorado, I got a first-hand report of how the Oglalla Acquifer was doing – and how it sounded.

Duane and Derril “Buckshot” Ackely
Walsh, Colorado

Yep, buried underfoot, anywhere from a few feet to 500 feet, lies the Oglalla Aquifer, one of the world’s largest bodies of fresh water. No, it’s not filled with sea monsters. Rather, it’s responsible for watering about one-third of the United States’ irrigated cropland.

While visiting with Duane and Buckshot, they showed me an old well they were going to cap. Seems the casing, the metal pipe that lined the well’s walls, was rusting. Now the well’s working barrel, a catchment at the bottom of the well, was filling with sand. There was no saving it. Before they filled the well with cement, they wanted to let me hear it speak a final time.

Duane Ackley

Now we’ve all dropped pennies into the fake rock wishing well at the mall. The copper discs land with anemic plops symptomatic of water that’s shallow (so the money can be retrieved) and dyed blue (so it looks ocean-deep).

Out here in Colorado, they don’t drop money into fake wells. Nope, real men drop real rocks (or in the case of Duane Ackely, pieces of concrete) down real wells. What goes into a well in these parts disappears there forever.

A proper well rock

Rock selection is important when it comes to making wells speak. More important is that we take care of our underground water reserves. In the recording you’re about to hear, Buckshot speaks first. The vanishing water table he refers to is the Oglalla Aquifer.

The last time the Ackley well will ever speak
Walsh, Colorado

Ready to hear a Colorado well speak for the last time? Then make a wish and click on the audio player below.


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