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When It Snows It Pours........

Snow falls on North Texas during the pre-dawn hours Monday

We had enough advance notice of possible frozen precipitation that I am just betting there was not a loaf of bread or gallon of milk left on the store shelves any where north of that Ft Worth.   As good as the forecast promised, the sleet arrived in the advance of the fat snowflakes before dawn on Monday.  Now you gotta remember any snow in this part of Texas is a major event.  We ended up with a  little over 2″ as far as I could tell.  It just complicated the job on what is normally our busiest day of the week.  The first time Tuco the Dog and me barreled out of the Old Girl to check somebody in we liked to have busted our butt on the snow slicky steps and walk boards.  Luckily, our normally busy Monday never materialized.  Folks stayed in the office, oil and water trucks stayed in their yards and every one was waiting for the slushy wet snow to dissipate on the roads.   Fine by me.   It was cold and wet and nasty outside.   I wanted no part of it; it was a good day to bask in the warmth inside the RV and visit with Miss Kathy and watch a little TV,

Slushy lease road

Just before going off shift at 3pm, my phone rang and I saw it was our area manager calling.   This was either going to be a really good call or a really bad one… we had not had cause to talk to her in over 4 months.   The call was the one we had been anticipating since the last drilling rig  left here in September.  The gate was being closed — effective at midnight Monday.

Oh well!  We have been in place here just west of Muenster, TX for 9 months and 2 weeks.  Not a bad run in anybody’s book.   I know under normal situations that it is customary practice to pack all your crap up and get outta Dodge ASAP!  Me–not so much.  I told our gal that I was just coming off shift and give out.  She wanted Miss K to work another 9 hours to finish out the day so packing stuff up was totally out of the question on Monday.   Plus, this shut down of the gate was totally without warning and as such, we had done no prep whatsoever.  As a matter of fact,  Miss K had done a grocery run over the weekend and both fridges were jammed with food.  Interestingly enough, we had 3 workover rigs on the property when the gate was shut down and a 4th one arrived mid-morning the next day – I don’t think I have ever heard of a gate being shut down with 4 workover rigs active on the gate.  Go figure!

The Desert Tan Babies (DTBs) covered in snow.

After some back and forth talking it was finally decided they would come get the service trailer in 72 hours.  Partly due to the fact we are so remote from the closest yard in Cleburne, partly due the fact there was no anticipation of the gate closing and it caught everyone off guard  and partly due to the fact our gal hopes she can move us directly to a new assignment and not even bring us to the yard.

Miss Kathy and I had discussed at length what our options were when this gate closed and we were agreed that our best bet was to head south to the Eagle Ford.  A better place to be for the winter and 200 hundred miles closer to Terlingua were our reasons for the decision.  Our manager asked for us to give here a few days to try and place us in a position in her area.  Fair enough-  she has been good to us and she knows we are all about the money when it comes to being a gate guard.  Her exact words?  ‘If y’all go south I will lose you and you will never come back.’  She isn’t saying that because we are best buds or anything.  For a young gal, she is very much a realist.  We are no hassle and never bother her — low drag.  Gravy money for her.  When we do have a request or encounter a problem I cannot deal with, she deals with it immediately.  Extra creds for her.

Today (Tuesday) was miserably fricking, brutally cold.  We saw maybe 30 degrees with a steady wind out of the north at 15mph.  I needed to spend several hours outside getting everything packed up to go.  Nothing seemed to cooperate.  The water hoses even drained were stiff as boards and the electric cables were like trying to to coil up re-bar.  I piddled and piddled and piddled and got little done in the hours I was outside.  The temperature managed to drop even more about mid-afternoon and I finally had to give up any thoughts of outside activity.   My feet were just too cold.

Who knows?  We may stay here past Thursday afternoon when the company generator is removed.  The MEP generator is capable of running a few hours each day to charge the batteries for a bit of impromptu boondocking.  Or maybe we will get a new gate assignment?  Who knows?

 

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6 comments to When It Snows It Pours……..

  • Wow! You guys really did get hit. Just a little rain here. It hit 25 two nights in a row, but seems to be staying in the 50’s in the day time – 70’s predicted for next week. We’d welcome you to the Eagle Ford!

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  • Joel

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-proposes-unmanned-border-crossing-mexico-192547674.html

    How close is this to your retirement estate?

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    • Andrew

      Hi Joel,

      I just read that myself. The reporting was very factual I thought. This whole area is so remote the cross border exchange has always been a natural state of affairs. Boquillas is probably 60 miles to the southeast of our property.

      The re-opening of the crossing has been local news for six months or so and all residents on both sides of the border see it as positive and non-threatening.

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  • Joel

    Good to hear. So much of this country has its knickers in a twist over this, it’s embarrassing.

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    • Andrew

      Back in the day — pre 9/11 — there was an easy trade across the river in this area. There was a low water crossing at Lajitas and even a bridge at La Linda that had Mexican Customs but no officials on the US side. the La Linda bridge was closed sometimes in the late 90’s I think due to some problems on the Mexican side. When that bridge closed, the only bridge crossings of the river were at Presidio and Del Rio – a distance of over 300 miles with no official border crossing. I did a blog post on La Linda last year.

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