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Chance Favors the Prepared Mind

Two scant weeks until we blow out of Red River Country and commence the West Texas Ramble.


Two weeks…..  The list of things to do is amended on a daily basis with far more items being added than crossed off.  If I was a sniveler I would complain about the heat and the growing list of tasks.  16 days straight of temps at 100 degrees or more. It is near impossible to exert yourself after 930am.  I move from shade spot to shade spot and call it good.  By the time it cools off of an evening and it is fit to work, I am well in bed.

2004 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4X4 with 8.1

Our rough and tough and always ready Chevy Suburban 4X4 is in the shop — a victim of this abominable gravel road out to the oil field gate guarding location.   More than one has told me this is the roughest road they have ever traveled to get to an oil lease.  I have been on rougher roads I just can’t remember when it was.  The Suburban has a cracked radiator and a broken air conditioner hard line — all related to this road I am sure.  The front end suspension is wore out and that is more age and past use than than 6 months of traveling a wash board gravel road.   Back in the day, when things were made of steel, you could weld up a hole in a radiator header tank or cut out a section of honey comb and braise it up.  Good to go.  Not no more Jack.   (double negative-yup, you got it.)  Today’s radiator is plastic and aluminum and if it gets a leak  — any leak  —  you replace it.   Gonna cost over $500 just for the radiator.  The whole shooting match is going to run almost $2000.  Christ!  I guess I oughta count myself lucky that we found a reputable local mechanic.  The Chevy House over in that Gainesville wanted $1500 just to do the front suspension.

It is what it is.   James,   our scheduled replacement,  dropped by to be checking out things Friday.   We talked about how this gate works, where it would be best to park his Fiver and such as that.  Gotta give the man credit for taking care of business.  Miss K and I will pull away from here with a good feeling that James and his wife are going to do a good job while we are gone.  This country would be a better place if more people still had that old school work ethic.

Miss K has been making calls down Terlingua way to get the ball rolling.  A friend with a tractor and blade who had offered to do some minor clearing for the RV pads told Miss K another friend had borrowed his trailer and it was in Arizona.  He has no way to transport his tractor so we move to Plan B.  I just wish I knew what Plan B was.  The power company will commit to nothing until we are there and available. I guess that is a comment on the ‘casual’  nature of Big Bend life;  that is what I am hoping anyway.  They (the power company) could just be ass wits and difficult to do business with but I am trying to stay positive.  With 3 weeks scheduled on site at the Terlingua Ranch property surely to goodness they can get the job done.

We may split up for the trip down there.  Miss K has a Doctor’s appointment in Austin at that time and she needs to add/subtract from the New Braunfels storage.  She may run down there solo in the Suburban and then continue on to Terlingua.   PACO is staying here at the job as is the Desert Tan Baby.  Sometimes it seems we just orbit around our 3 storage rooms.  South Dallas, New Braunfels and Terlingua.  I truly hate dealing with the South Dallas storage-mainly because I have to navigate the DFW Metromess north to south to get to it.  Alas, a trip down there is in order as well.   Miss K has quite a bit of stuff she has decided she can live without on a daily basis and the winter clothes need to be stored away as well.  I am going to pick up some construction tools that are needed in Terlingua so it is an entirely necessary trip as bad as I hate to admit it.

One thing I do not have is rotary laser level.  When you are building or digging,  eyeballing it straight and level just ain’t good enough.  As bad as I hate to lay out the several hundred dollars it is going to cost for a laser level,  receiver, tripod and grade stick there is simply no way around it.

Don't ask me why this picture is blue--I couldn't tell ya

I have verbally committed to buying 2 more M101-A2 military cargo trailers from an individual in North Ft Worth.  I put the accounting pencil to the deal and I can get them from him cheaper than buying them directly from the government liquidation guys.  An added plus is I do not have to deal with the the gov paperwork and then going to collect them from a military base.  My Dad and BIL have dibs on one and tentative plans are that I will pick it up and meet them somewhere around Huntsville for the hand off.   The other one may very well turn into a water trailer for Terlingua as our portable water supply.  A 250 gallon tank, 12 volt transfer pump, battery and small solar charger oughta work quite well as a nurse trailer for the Terlingua Project.   Miss K and I use about 50 gallons of water every week or so.  We don’t consciously scrimp or go all stinky pits.  We use what water we need for drinking, cooking and daily showers.  We just don’t waste it.   That is the way it is when you have to haul every drop of water you use.   Terlingua is a tough place as far as water goes.  Drilling a well is an expensive and iffy proposition.  You might spend $20k and get no water — or the water you get may be barely drinkable due to high mineral content.  Hauling water is going to be a chore for the foreseeable future as far as I am concerned.  The good thing is 250 gallons of water should be a 30 day supply for us.

You know, I was just proof reading what I have written so far because I think poor spelling and grammar is rude and inexcusable adult behavior and it struck me…..   This whole post is kinda whiny ass and depressing…. well, it ain’t exactly so folks!  We are fortunate to have a job we like; yes we are.  One of the huge job related perks is you can take off whenever you want– for as long as you want and still have a job when you come back.

End Note: A Little Rain Will Do by Cody Canada and the Departed from This is Indian Land.  A little red dirt music is good on an early Sunday morning.

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2 comments to Chance Favors the Prepared Mind

  • don

    When we visited Monument Valley, UT we learned that the local Native Americans have to get water from the local resort. Every other truck that you see has a big water tank in the bed. A trailer seems like a much better option than having an truck dedicated to the task.

    I’m sure your seven year old Suburban has had a full life. I hate spending money on vehicles too but like you said, it is what it is. Good luck with the repairs.

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    • admin


      The Suburban is back home and we are $2000 poorer. Money well spent–I put 315k on the previous Suburban and the boy is still driving it.

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