It is 4pm and the outside temp is 102.7 degrees. 53% humidity and a steady wind out of the south-south east at 15 to 20mph. It is hard to describe but the wind feels like a blowtorch on exposed skin. The water truck did a drive by 30 minutes ago to lay down the dust but it is already foggin’ again. A load of frac sand pulls up and the driver says “Man, y’all are some kind of back in here!” Umm, not so much I think to myself. 7 miles to the hard road; 34 miles to the closest HEB. That ain’t all that bad. Ain’t got the heart to tell the driver he is still 30 minutes or better drive time from the frac. He’ll be finding out on his own quick enough.
This weather/environment/locale is nothing to take light. I been out in the sun plenty this year up at the Secret Hideout but still got a brutal sunburn the first two days here….. even with SPF100 sunblock. The coinage of concern here is water as in “You got plenty of water?” or “You need some water?” Conversely, when one of these sunbaked boys pulls up and asks “You got an extra water?”; you don’t even think about not sharing. You go fetch two and hook the kid up. When they ask me if I got water, I say “Yeah,plenty! You got a cold soda?” I gave up the 12 pack a day unleaded Pepsi habit years ago but I still yet crave a cold soda. Most every truck has a YETI Tundra Cooler chained in the back. Nothin’ else will hold the ice in this weather. They certainly ain’t cheap–thus the lock and chain. You know the other thing I been seeing chained and padlocked? The tailgates on the pick up trucks. I know you can unhook and lift a tailgate out PDQ but is folks stealin’ ’em? Bastards!
Some hunter fellas came in here late Thursday all fired up to be out at the lease and to be gettin’ ready for hunting season. All fired up! let me tell ya. Saturday AM they came straggling out sunburnt all to hell. Said it was just too damned hot to do anything. City boys. The Puckerbrush here averages 20 inches of rain a year; Nashville gets 48″. Most everything is just burnt up brown here with the only color coming from the mesquite, huisache, agarita or whatever. I take that back, the prickly pear tunas are gettin’ ripe and that deep purple color really stands out.
The blast furnace of the late afternoon runs everything to shade but the buzzards and the roadrunners. I enjoy watching the roadrunners no end. They are Puckerbrush velociraptors you know. Total bad asses. They will eat scorpions, tarantulas, black widows and horny toads all day long. They will peck a rattler in the head ’till he is graveyard dead and eat him. Hell, they say they will jump up and grab a hummingbird if they fly too low! I gotta check to see if that is on youtube!
So anyhow, most roadrunners are a mottled back and white color. I wasn’t here but an hour or so when I spied an odd duck. He was almost all black and carried his wings low to the ground even when he was haulin’ ass. He was also out and about when most of the rest of the Enclave roadrunners were hiding from the heat. I have a 5 gallon bucket under the AC drip on the Palace and what with the wind blowing like it does and all, that area around the bucket is wet. It attracts all manner of critters in this dry country and Black Bart picked up on it pretty quick. He sits under the Palace by the hour looking to do a roadrunner drive by on a thirsty critter. I don’t know what his story is but he definitely has something going on.
I am at this guard shack hour upon hour and I look out across the Enclave at the NO Princess Palace and it struck me the other evening just what a fragile refuge it is in this environment. Hell, I should know right???? The fist sized dents in the Big Ass Suburban remind of the Big Hails most every day. I bought a basic trailer to replace the Old Girl because this place just plays hell on an RV. Those folks that bring a high $$ motor home or fifth wheel in here to work for months on end are taking years off the service life of their recreational vehicle. I hope they know this.
Don’t take me wrong on this post right here. I am not whinin’ because as we all know there is no whining in the oil patch! I damn sure know how the cow eat the cabbage in this part of the world. I am 10 days into what is supposed to be a 2 week fill-in and who knows if that schedule will even hold. Things have a way of changing fast in this country. I can’t say I would not enjoy staying here; this gate is going to be active for years to come. The good part is I got The Man caught up and some jingle in my pocket. Me and Tuco the Dog are good.
Everything happens for a reason.