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Another - Dispatch from the Secret Hideout

The Hideout

The Hideout

Along about the seventh day of our  time off  I was trying to remember why we should go back to the Pucker Brush anyway.   It certainly wasn’t the standing ankle deep in suckish mud while caliche dust simultaneously caked your eyes.  Or trying to remember the Spanglish for ‘Slow yer ass down.’  Or tieing the garbage to the generator so it wouldn’t blow off toward Lubbock.  You know it is time to get the hell out when every problem looks like a nail and all you got is a hammer that you ain’t afraid to use.  Miss K was sleeping way past daylight and looking refreshed.  Tuco the Dog was roaming without boundary and I had situated the Engel Ice/Dry Box Cooler more or less permanently next to the Gorilla chair.   The standing order of the day was to keep it brimful of ice and long neck cervezas.  Everything else was subject to change.  I could learn to live like this.  No problema.

Sometime ‘long about mid-week,  Miss K got a text from the Boss Lady that they had closed our gate.  I wasn’t much surprised as things had pretty much ramped down a few days before we left.  I know they had drilling rigs scheduled for the first of the month and the gate would be open again in pretty short order.   Look at it as an opportunity, right?  My Bro blew in behind the propwash of his Cessna 182 along about that time.  No doubt he had heard about the

My Bro heads out again

My Bro heads out again

cold cervezas I had available.   His brain wheels got to turnin’ when I told him we were at loose ends for a bit.  He reminded me he had been wanting our help with one of his side projects up on the Red for a year or more.  Maybe it was time to take him up on the offer.  Miss K and I talked it over and decided there wasn’t  a damned thing  keeping us from heading up to North Texas for a bit.  We had left there in January 2012 and had not ventured back. That area had been my stompin’ ground for well over a decade and it was interesting to me to go back and see what had happened.  The Metromess Incursion northwards was well advanced when we blew out of there and the country was being asphalted and Starbuck’d  by the acre.  When we finally landed on a gate outside of Iraan, TX that January way back when it coulda just as well been the other side of the Moon.  Suited all of us just fine.

We got up that Thursday morning with the full intention of kicking back at the Secret Hideout and boondocking till the first part of the week and then heading north for a week or more to help My Bro.  Miss K was searching out RV Parks in the area and I was just starting to feel the weight of the Oil Patch sliding off my shoulders. It was the change of plan type of plan honest to God Nomads handled with style and aplomb.  We were all in.

Sometime early afternoon Miss K got a text from the Boss Lady that started out ‘I need a big favor….’  Well, friends and neighbors, you know as well as I do that when somebody says that it usually means you are just purely f*d.  Such was the case this time.   Seems like wires got crossed somewhere along the line and our gate was mistakenly closed.  The folks who had been ably filling in for us were long gone and no longer available for return.  The question posed was ‘how quick could we get back?’  Miss K and I mulled it over and taking all things into account – current blood to beer ratio,  inclination and want to – we decided the best we could do was  back Friday evening.

Tuco the Dog on vacay

Tuco the Dog on vacay

In the bat of an eye, we went from laid back and free wheelin’ to Folks On a Mission.  I can’t say it didn’t suck.  The weather was against us on this dealio pretty stiff.  Severe thunderstorms for our Central Texas area that evening and storms along the route of travel for the next day.  It is what it is; nobody can do a damned thing about altering the weather hard as they try and we were 296 long miles north of our Pucker Brush destination.  I got busy packing up what I could that evening and settin’ My Bro’s place back to the way we found it.  The forecast storms came right on schedule soon after dark.   Whenever that weather radio starts squawking. Miss K gets anxious.  I had to remind her we were stitin’ under the metal roof of a steel building and were probably the safest we had been in 4 years of Nomad-ing.

Rain=mud so my packing up the next AM was with that added unpleasantness.  Even so, we were pulling out the gate within an hour of my desired departure time. Miss K kept me updated on the weather via her iPhone as we trekked south on the two lanes through Hearne and Caldwell,  Dime Box and Bastrop.  It wasn’t until we got to San Marcos and picked up I-35 that it got dicey.  The cold front making all the ruckus waited until we were right square in the middle of San Antone before it cut loose on us.  Rain by the buckets, lightning booming all around and wind gusts that would move me sideways a lane was what were fighting.  By the time we got to our fuel stop in Lytle that line of storms had passed and another line was marching in from the West.  I figgered we would have to run the 4.5 miles of caliche rock road into the gate in mud and running board deep mud holes.  I was right.  We relieved the gate guard lady who had been watching the gate solo sitting in her truck and told her to scoot before it started to rain again.  About the time I started to unhook the Palace from the Big Ass Suburban it started in raining again. Damn the luck, huh?

At an rate, we are back in the Pucker Brush at the same ranch we have been at since August of 2012.  Flowback has pulled out over the last few days and there is really very little activity.  Good thing as we needed some extra rest after the aborted vacation.   Everybody gotta work and I know this is true.

If you don’t know who Jeff Cooper is — Google him up; I ain’t doing it for you.

Jeff Cooper says:

A group of us old codgers recently got to kicking around the important questions about the reasons men fight. Fighting, of course, can be hazardous to your health, and when one puts himself deliberately at hazard he must have a reason. We came up with the following tally:

  1. Protection of the home. This is probably the best reason, and cannot very well be faulted on either political or religious grounds. Men fight their best when they see strangers invading their native fields, farms and cottages.
  2. Religion. Absolute faith in absolute truth is more powerful than self-interest, and when God is on your side you need have no fear of death.
  3. Professionalism. Elite units, such as Napoleon’s Old Guard, the British Grenadiers, the United States Marine Corps, the Spanish Legion, have always distinguished themselves out of a sense of group superiority. They were taught from the first that they are better than other people, and it is then necessary for them to demonstrate that fact beyond doubt.
  4. Loot. Men have always fought for fortune, and as much as it is frowned upon in some circles, the loot motive lead the armies of the steppes to conquer the world.
  5. Escape and Excitement. The life “of quiet desperation” which seems the lot of so many can be alleviated by running away to sea or joining the Foreign Legion. Men do not often choose to die for the sheer excitement of it, but once they have fallen into the cauldron they often do very well.
  6. Patriotism. The love of country is a difficult thing to identify, especially when one is called upon to fight at vast distances from one’s country. Nonetheless, political idealism has often served as a very good motive. The American Expeditionary Force in World War One is a good example. It must have been pretty complicated for a doughboy to explain to a Frenchman or a Belgian just what he was doing in Europe, but he must have had some notion that he owed his life to the Stars and Stripes.
  7. Pride. Pride is not quite the same as professionalism since it is an individual matter. The Medieval knight, the Renaissance duelist, and the fighter pilot are examples.
  8. “Peer Pressure.” This is the lemming instinct, “Everybody is doing it.” I do not believe that this motive stands up well in the face of terror, but it can certainly get people in the right place to experience it.

 

 

End Note: Big City Blues by Charlie Robison from the Good Times cd. Charlie is/was the best of the Texas bunch  back in the day.  Things sorta went all haywire when his Dixie Chick run off.  I heard tell the bottle got the best of him. Mebbe so.  He has been quiet on the new music scene for quite some time now.

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2 comments to Another – Dispatch from the Secret Hideout

  • Well, that was quick. Or so it seems from CenTex Land.

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    • Andrew

      It passed all too quickly Dick and now we are back to the place that is different every day but the scenery never changes.

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