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The Adventure Gate

Asphalt squatting at Walmart

Made it as far as Brownwood, TX  the first night out.  By then it was 1230am on a Tuesday morning and I had been up since 3am the previous day — enough is enough.  I still had on my FR coveralls when I finally parked the Fish Bus.  It had just been that kinda day.

Miss Kathy made an interesting comment the next morning.  She said ‘the layers of tension and stress just seemed to lift off her shoulders’ somewhere out around Santa Ana that morning.  It takes some backbone to leap off into the void.  Thank goodness for all that Miss K is! She is fairly fearless and worries little about the what might happen scenarios of failure or hardship in our adventures.  When you add Tuco the Dog to the mix, The Dog that jumps in the front seat raring to go -anywhere- when the jacks come up, life is just plain good.

Steinbeck's Rocinante

One of the first audiobooks I listened to in the Old Girl was Travels with Charley in Search of America
by John Steinbeck ( Wiki ) and it has stuck with me over the years.  Talk about the ultimate RV slash boondocking book!   It is worth a read for sure! All of us feel some trepidation when we contemplate a new adventure or a major life change.  The difference is some live vicariously and others actually turn the key in the ignition.   Steinbeck penned it better in a few words than I could possibly brainalyze in a whole year’s worth of my prattle:

“I had seen so many begin to pack their lives in cotton wool, smother their impulses, hood their passions, and gradually retire from their manhood into a kind of spiritual and physical semi-invalidism. In this they are encouraged by wives and relatives, and it’s such a sweet trap.”  ~ John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley

First sun touches the mesa to the northwest. This is my morning coffee view.

So we left whatever good will /ill feelings – whatever! –  we had been riding on up north as oil field gate guards in that Barnett Shale and headed south… to an area that I had just recently written about.  How’s that for karma friends and neighbors? We are a scant 33 miles from where that Permian Basin fired up in 1923 at Big Lake.

The set-up here is for a drilling rig that they expect to be on location for 30 days.  We are not on one of those big and plush caliche pads like we enjoyed up north but we are getting by.  The Fish Bus is sandwiched between the lease road and a line fence.  On arrival we were told where to park and the service guys got us set up in short order.   We were right next to a gate in the fence where the stock passed through to go to water and minerals.  No sooner had the service guys left than we got word the landowner did not like the location because he was afraid it would put his mama cows off the water.  When you are doing this oilfield gate guard work, the landowner is the final word so the next morning saw us moving about 150 yards deeper into the property.

West Texas home

Being pinched between the fence and the road makes for some close business.  The Suburban parks in front of the RV with that Ranchhand snout bumper sticking out in the roadway just a bit to give us some breathin’ room when we roll out the door.  Behind the RV is the self contained septic trailer followed by the generator/water trailer.  The 2 DTBs bring up the rear.  It is a  full days trip for the service guy to come see us and we may be the only assignment they have in the area right now.  With that in mind, our service interval may stretch 3-4 weeks instead of the 10-14 days which is normal routine.  They certainly did not scrimp us on equipment.  A brand new generator with zero hours, new water tank – new everything.  Also included were 2 cases of oil and filters, extra water pump and 2 extra floodlights.  If I can save them a service call by doing a 15 minute oil  change or some such I have no problem helping out.  550 miles is a long round trip for something as routine as that.

We also have ‘neighbors’ that make life more interesting but I will save that story for another day.

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1 comment to The Adventure Gate

  • John Duncan

    We’ll be in Brownwood this weekend to pick up the fuzzy kids (dogs.) Glad you guys made it to your paradise. Closer to it at least.

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