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Dammit boy!

Webb County
South Texas, USA

62 square miles of this

62 square miles of this

Somewhere a dozen or more miles down a caliche rock road south of Catarina, TX — more or less.     Big lease here in the tens of thousands of acres and the guard setup reflects the activity level. 2 RVs here now;  a couple and me.  Sometimes it takes two people to handle the traffic or even more as they tell me there have been 3 RVs working this gate in the past.  We are working out of a guard house which makes sense and I am finding it ain’t all that bad.  Now if the Princess Palace was parked in an RV park miles away instead of this 40yds there would be a problem.  I would fret endlessly over Tuco the Dog gettin’ hurt if the AC was to go off while I wasn’t there. I am here temp as one of the regulars took a few days off.  Not ideal but you have to be in the area to jump quick when the call comes.  Mark that obstacle off the list.

So yeah back at it and the oddest thing was………….

Me and Tuco the Dog got the call late Monday and the good part was I was not on shift until Wednesday at noon and then working 12 hours.  So we started packing ASAP and then more Tuesday AM. I was thinking we needed out of the Secret Hideout by 10am.  Yeah right, it was closer to 1pm and then 450 miles to drive in 100 degree plus heat.  So I took it slow –55 or at most 60mph- the whole way.  I can’t tell you how many vehicles I saw overheated or on the shoulder with a slung tire.  That heat will mess you right up now!  We pulled in about 9pm and we were whipped!  Little Blondie used to tell me when we were traveling that Tuco the Dog NEVER ate.   Ummm, now not so much. I pull into McDonalds and I get her a Cheeseburger off the Dollar Menu and she got no problem scarfing it right down.  She will also drink good out of one of those pop top water bottles.   Gotta take care of a dog.   So the odd thing was, after such a god awful hard day, when we pulled in here it felt right;  just like being back home.  How weird is that? The first work shift was like Old Home week.  I saw beaucoup familiar faces in and out the gate!

The Enclave

The Enclave

The little enclave of guard house, RVs and equipment strowed about reminds me of those 2-pump Mom and Pop gas stations out in West Texas back before everything turned into corporate C-Stores.  Everything had a draggled, washed out, used up look about it.  Like some old fella that just wasn’t aging all that well.    The Enclave here is kinda like that.   The heat,wind,dust and the sun takes it’s toll.  Things are tattered and faded and just plain seen better days. I am enjoying being back on the tit too.  That big diesel generator is just cranking away burning fuel I didn’t pay for.  It is marvelous to run the rooftop AC, big fridge, window shaker and chest freezer willy nilly.  The fella just came in today and filled up potable water so I am set.  Life down here in the Puckerbrush is hard fought but I am thinking the off grid up there at the Secret Hideout was more trying.  It was damn sure more expensive.

I tell you right now on of the chores I am truly, truly glad I quite procrastinating about and just got done was cleaning out and servicing the roof top AC.  That rascal was last run back in the Fall and it was nasty when I shut it down.

Ain't that nasty?

Ain’t that nasty?

I armed up with a water hose, air hose and a can of  Nu-Calgon Evap Foam   before I headed up top.   It was quite a battle I am tellin’ ya!  Soon as I popped that cover,  a doughnut sized nest of red wasps was all over me and where you gonna run on top of an RV?  No bueno!  Took the better part of a day to get all of them vacated and then it was dirt dauber nests everywhere!  5 or 6 of ’em hangin’ on wires, fan blades and coils.  It took awhile to get the AC back in reasonable shape but I sure am glad I did.   It has been 100+ every day since we got here and the weatherman is just sayin’ more more MORE!  It is what it is I reckon.

File this under “you just never know”………..   First thing I did when we pulled in was to check the cell signal and AT&T was strong which is delightful.  But my internet is Verizon and there is just barely 1 bar of the 1XRTT service or whatever they call it.   That is not unexpected — AT&T will almost always be the best bet in Rural Texas.    Well, the Wilson cellular booster took care of the weak signal but the problem is the booster is in the RV — not the guard shack.   When I had my laptop in the guard shack,  I could ‘see’ my wireless network on and off but it wasn’t strong enough to do me any good.  I knew I had a C. Crane Wifi Antenna somewhere and after some diggin’ and lookin’ I finally found it in the box with the cigar tobacco.  Go figure!  The C Crane solved my problem and internet sure does help to pass the slow hours of an evening!

I reckon that is about the size of it.  The lazy days at the Secret Hideout are history and Tuco the Dog and me are back at it again!  Not sure how long they will keep me on this gate but it don’t matter!  Everything happens for a reason ya know!

No end note today–just can’t listen to the music AND get out that door at good speed to check in a truck!

Current Puckerbrush conditions Sunday

Current Puckerbrush conditions Sunday

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7 comments to Dammit boy!

  • Kerry Jackson

    Welcome back!!! Nice to be able to get a 12 hour gate like that!! Glad things are working out! We have found that having dogs is starting to become a burden when it comes to gates. But we are not willing to give them up at all! We lucked out on this gate as they are not allowed, but when the oil co and ranch manager saw we were very, very, low profile it became a non issue. Glad you are safe and back at it! As always thank you for what you do!

    Kerry

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  • Vince

    Well Andy, I guess it’s “Welcome home”.

    Weren’t you getting a lil bored at the hideout?

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  • Joel

    Glad to see you come up for air, Andy.

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  • Good luck, Andy, the heat will back off soon. Even Houston is only in the low 90s this week as we head there for more M.D. Anderson intrigue.

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    • Andy

      True enough Dick. Traditionally, the heat starts to head the other way 8/16.

      Hope things work better this time in Houston. My thoughts are with the Mrs.

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