Friday, March 30, 2012

This, That and The Other

I would say not much going on today, but I swept and mopped the floor, Dave vacuumed, we got the living area dusted and the desk cleaned off.  We got the laundry done, the dog blankets clean and Dave fueled the generator.  And of course we manned our gate.  

The sites have slowed down and we really only have oil tankers and flowback tankers coming in and those are only a few a day.  What keeps us busy at the gate the last few days is the pipeline people coming in every morning and leaving every evening.  Tomorrow more than several loads of pipe will be delivered, so we'll have a few additional vehicles.

The gate behind us and across the road from it are just about done.  Well, the actual construction of the gates is done and they are just finishing up the roads.  We were just wondering today if there will be gate guards stationed there before we leave.  The ranch across from us is getting the frac pond built and it is very close, so that's another thing to watch.  Not sure when they will build that gate or start the roads and pad over there.

See that A to Z blogger challenge box over there to the right?  I've joined it, so I will be blogging from A to Z for all of April except for Sundays.  Each day will be a different letter of the alphabet, starting with A on Sunday April 1st(the only Sunday) and so on.  I few participants I've read have their month planned out.  I've already decided what my A will be, but I have a feeling I will be winging it for the rest of the alphabet.

OK, I'm falling asleep over my's midnight and time for me to snooze in the chair before another tanker shows up.

Good night all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

365 Days

One year ago tomorrow we will have been on the road one year.  365 days today.  This isn't a "year in review" post because I just don't feel the need to go over everything we have done.  But I would like to tell you a few things about our life over the last year
We've had a good time and only confirmed we love this life and made the right decision.
With our festival schedule during the summer we get lots of traveling time and with our winter gate guarding in Texas we've joined a community of people like no where else.
We've been to 10 different states,  through many others and visited many places in between.  We accomplished our winter goal of not being where it snows.  (I have yet to avoid being in tornado country in the summer)
We have met some good people on our travels and some of those we are in touch with regularly.
We've been able to travel at a relaxed pace and this has made us both more relaxed and mellow.
We've done a few things that have pushed our limits and made us realize we ARE capable of more than we imagined.
We've gone back to being each other's best friends and back to feeling and acting towards each other that reminds us of when we first started our lives together.
We realize just how much we miss our children and grandchildren and how they grow soooo much while we are gone.
We miss our friends, but think of them often.
That's it. No more buts than that.
And that surprises some people.  We don't miss our house.  We don't miss our jobs.  We don't miss the predictability of our "work to pay for the house" days.  We don't miss the bullshit we could never do anything about anyway.  We don't miss the local newspaper.  We don't miss the "comfort" of our own supermarket, shopping centers, repair shops or any of the myriad of things that we took for granted in our "comfortable" sticks and bricks life.  And we don't miss the "stability" of our old life.
We don't see the end game of living in one place again.  Sure, we make plans for the someday of not being able to do this anymore, but we still feel that's a long way off.
We still have friends that don't understand how we can do this, but we also have friends that think it's great and those that do outweigh the ones that don't.
Yes, we were nervous about dumping everything we owned and knew, but the excitement of hitting the road and starting this new life far outweighed that.

We meet a lot of fulltimers that are retired military and I think that lifestyle prepares us more than any other factor for life on the road, and me in particular.  I'm an Army brat.  I met Dave while we were both in the Army and we moved a lot during Dave's 22 years in.  Moving down the road is bred in me.  I think I was more unsettled being settled.  Nineteen years in one spot was enough when I had spent more than 35 years moving.

We are glad we didn't wait another 10 years to get started.  We love this life and after 365 days we have only reaffirmed our decision.

See you down the road...........

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Gates

I don't know if I mentioned they are building 3 new gates near us.  One across the road, one next to it across the road and one next to us.  We're going to start calling this the "4 corners".  We have had much commotion next to us, which is on the back side of the 5er.  Since Saturday over 300 caliche trucks have come and gone.  With the road and two pads finished they can start the gates.  They delivered all the materials last week for the one behind us and the one across the road from it. And of course it has rained since then.  (I did survive the storm in the middle of the night Monday.  Thanks for asking.)  The gate builders showed up yesterday to work on the gates.  They started on the one right behind us.
Here is the pile of heavy hollow metal poles for the corners and the rails. 
(remember you can click on any picture to make it bigger)

They set the poles on these supports while they cut them
The guys dug 16 holes for each gate.  By hand. Why they didn't bring an auger we can only guess.  Here they have filled the hole with cement and are setting the pole.
HEY!  There's something in that pipe!
There is?  Where?
At this point they have all backed up from the pipe at least 20 ft.  I knew if I sat outside with my camera and waited it would eventually come out.  It did.
OK, how do I get out of here? 
Only way out is down. 
 Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!

What amazes me is those guys picked up that pipe, set it on the supports, cut it with a welder, picked it up again, carried it to the hole, plopped it in the hole and not once did that little fellow make it's presence known!  If you get my drift.

When I first noticed it, I ran over to yell at them cuz I thought it might be a snake.  Definitely didn't expect a skunk!  All I can say is, I'm glad it all took place on the OTHER side of the fence.

Signing off from the Circle Y ranch.  25 days and a wake up!

Friday, March 16, 2012


*Special Note* DON'T LOOK BOB!

Rattlesnakes to be exact! One of the gate guard bloggers I read correctly prophesied we would all be posting pictures of snakes very soon.  I'm happy to oblige.
I took this just down the road from the window of the truck

I did NOT take this one.  Dave got this picture from
 a Chesapeake rep who came through our gate today
Nuff said!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This and That

I see it has been a few weeks since my last post and I had a friend on Facebook ask if we were all right since I hadn't posted in awhile.  So, I guess I better get ya'll caught up.
View out the window today.

First off, not much is going on.  We do have a few guys here getting the equipment setup to install the meters and other stuff to get production going.  They should be done later this week, then the pipeline guys will be in.  There are two more pads planned for this ranch but who knows when those will go in.  The most activity has been on the ranches around us.  We are at an area that we call "the four corners".  A ranch right next to us, one across from that one and one next to that one.  The surveyors have been in on all three of them and soon gates will be built on all three.  This means that within 50 yards there will be 4 gates in close proximity to each other.

The one next to us has started the grading for the road and the pad.
Right after that,  the big grader came in and why we didn't get a picture is anyone's guess.

They have finished the grading next to us and have moved across the road to start on that one.  Apparently they have to have a pad with a rig on it by the 15th of April.  Since we are leaving the 16th I guess we will get to see the beginning process.  Our first gate we got there just as the drilling had started and this gate we got here just in time for fracking, so the beginning is the only part we haven't seen.

They were going to be wetting down the dirt and rolling the road and pad, but since it's raining they have been saved most of that expense.  As soon as they get it rolled then the caliche trucks will start coming in.  That's the part we hope the wind is out of the North so all the dust blows away from us!

They do have to build the gates first as the gates that are there now are not wide enough for the trucks to turn and get into.  That's something we haven't seen built either.

We've had some illegals action here the last week.  Last Friday night around 9pm, 2 illegals in a stolen truck from Austin crashed through the fence that runs alongside the road up to the pads.  I was out front talking to one of the ranch owner's friends when they came driving up to the gate, but since Glen was parked talking to me in front of the gate they turned and drove down the road that leads to the house.  When Glen started to follow they took off and the chase was on!  They drove through the house's yard out the other side and then turned east along the fence on that side.  It runs for about two miles.  Glen said they were racing down that dirt road at about 70 mph and then drove right through the fence on the NE corner of the property.  Glen was trying to get his gun out to shoot their tires but it was too dusty to see.  The owner had already called the Border Patrol and they rushed in about 10  minutes later.  They were in for about 45 minutes, left 2 guys to go with the ranch owner on that side and were gone.

When Glen told them he was trying to shoot out the tires they said, don't shoot the tires, shoot them!  They figure they were drug runners since they usually steal vehicles and drive down here to pick up their drugs.  As far as we know they never caught them and still haven't heard if they ever did find the truck, nor did they figure out where they entered the adjoining ranch before they drove through our fence.  They destroyed about 50 ft of fence coming in and about that going out.  These are no sissy fences either..they're 8 ft high and about every 100 ft there are large round heavy metal posts.

In any case I'm sure glad the owner and his friends were here, otherwise they probably would have just drove up to the gate and then I would have had to deal with them!

Thursday morning as Dave and I were standing outside talking we turned around and here comes an illegal walking up to the gate.  He asked if we spoke Spanish.
No espanol.
I pointed the way.
He then motions at his mouth asking if we have anything to eat.
I said no.
He turned and walked out to the road and as we watched, climbed the gate across the road and with Dave yelling at him took off running.

In the meantime I called the border patrol and reported it.  They sent someone out about 30 minutes later.  He drove around that ranch for awhile and then left after finding nothing.  The dude was either hiding or had already reached another ranch headed for Cotulla!

That's about as exciting as it's been around here.  I went around the corner and watched Mary and Jack's gate for a few hours on Wednesday.  Their daughter was visiting and they wanted to go visit their long time friends Maury and Susan who are gate guarding about 45 minutes North.  They don't have much going on at their gate either, although I think they've got coil tubing going on for the next few days.  I got half a book read and caught up on some HGTV watching. They will be returning the favor this Wednesday when we go up to San Antonio for my dental appt and Dave gets the oil changed in the truck.

So now you are up to date.  The guys inside working left about 30 minutes ago.  We will be hanging out inside today.  Dave is watching race practice and I will be reading when I get done with this.

OH, yeah!  I made some cupcakes yesterday.  They taste better than they look!

Instead of rainy days I'll leave you with these....

Oh. Look!  There's the grader in the background!