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Unabated Adventure

The more I follow this path; the more routine and mundane it seems to become.

The caliche dust gets so thick, you cannot see oncoming traffic unless their headlights are on.

The caliche dust gets so thick, you cannot see oncoming traffic unless their headlights are on.

Yet, when I tell of my escapades, the eyes of the listener widen in incredulity and disbelief. Could I be that far from the mainstream track? Maybe, I dunno and will not spend much time contemplating it.

My fill-in assignment for the guard on time off ended Monday and I requested a few days off to run errands and get caught up on the to-do list.  The time off was graciously granted and I was allowed to stay hooked to the tit at The Enclave.  I worked 59 days straight and this turned out a good assignment.  I will say being this far south in the Puckerbrush is quite a bit wilder and tougher than previous locations. This is harsh, hard country that multiplies exponentially with every mile traveled south of San Antone.   You don’t understand that from the vantage point of an air conditioned car rolling down I-35 south.

One evening last week,  I let the Tuco the Dog free range for a bit about dark when it slowed down at the guard shack.   It was just getting dusky and still.  She immediately went on point right at the edge of the brush and held it.   She is a bird dog and pointing is in her genes.  She will point a rabbit, a covey of quail or a plate of leftovers.  But, man oh man, she was stuck hard on this one!  I eased down to see what had her attention and was quick to spy a buzztail s-coiled and ready to strike .  I called The Dog off and stuck a steel rod through the rattler’s head.  3 footer or thereabouts with 6 rattles and a button would make him an average size 2 year old viper.  See above re: hard, harsh country.

The first task was taking Tuco the Dog to the vet for her annual check up and shots.   The vet was everything I expected from a small South Texas vet that had been in mixed private practice here  for 40 years.   The walls in the waiting room were covered with plaques and pictures.  Big rattlesnakes, hogs and deer posed in their death shots. Plaques from the local fair celebrating the purchase of the 4-H  Reserve Grand Champion lamb and steer.  Plaques of rewards and commendations;  all celebratory of a life well lived in service to a community.   He spent 20 minutes with The Dog,  probing and pushing and looking with eyes and fingers become expert over the years.  He called in his young(er) staff to take a look at a mature Gordon Setter.  He said this was only the second one he has seen in his practice.  The first one being decades earlier when a Yankee brought one down that he thought could hunt quail here.   Doc said he spent a good hour pulling cactus spines and stickers out of that poor animal before dog and owner retreated back to them more civilized country north of I-40.

One day was spent on a 650 mile round trip to Waco.  I had to retrieve Little Blue from the shop where he had been since June.  The service manager assured me the little machine was at 100% and I have not tested it out yet.   I also stopped by the one remaining storage in San Marcos.  Some bowling equipment had to be left there and I picked up the memory foam mattress topper that I will be needing for the next assignment.

Gate guarding from your RV is an endangered occupation these days and I predicted last year that we would soon be working a gate from a guard house.  Of course, that means the locals can get in the game since no RV is required.  That makes it all the tougher for us Nomads since we now have the added expense of paying rent and utilities at an RV park and competing with an expanding pool of workers.  I am resisting the trend as hard as I know how.  Putting the NO Princess Palace in an RV park is not good for me or Tuco the Dog.   I do not want to leave The Dog cooped up for a 12 hr shift, I do not want to trust her life to the vagaries of RV park power during the heat of a summer and I do not want to run the big ass Suburban up and down these lease roads commuting to a guard shack.

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LIFE intrudes………….

 

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IMG_6054Started this blog post on Saturday and carried over ’till Sunday with every intention of posting it then;  I knew I had to move to the new guard gate Monday. So here it is Tuesday, up in the day already Tuesday, and I am finally getting around to finishing this up.  Moving 90 miles north may seem easy peasy and really, it ain’t rocket science.  You unplug, unscrew, pack away in the designated place, pat The Dog on the head, hook up and gas it.  Reverse the order at the destination.

I took extra care setting up here as ‘short term’ has not been mentioned. We are settling in for the long haul which means the Palace needs to be parked square and straight for the OCD crazy amongst us and boards placed just so under the wheels on one side so I do not cant unnaturally to the north.

It is a 24/7 gate with light traffic directly off the hard top.  No caliche roads from hell to navigate.  An electric gate separates me from the highway which pretty much negates any sneakers or lost souls bothering me.  The Ranch Lady stopped by specifically to meet and greet within hours of me arriving.  The departing guards knew me and told her I loved that Amazon and Big Brown.  She gave me the specifics for ordering and said she would receive them all for me and ferry them down.  I said I get alot o’ stuff, she said “so do I”. 

So we will see how all this works out.  The contrasts between this civilized gate and the Porch House gate are mind rattling.  If I was closer to a BIG CITY and was of a mind, I am sure I could go to the Doc and he would have some sort of perfect pill in his satchel that would set my whole world right and on the square immediately if not sooner.

“F” that

End Note:  Truckin’  by The Grateful Dead from their American Beauty studio album.

And a youtube from 1972.   I was a sophomore in high school.  Sometimes I can remember stuff back then better than what I did yesterday.

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2 comments to Unabated Adventure

  • Rob

    Ah the Dead… it was ’72 maybe, I was a Fuller Brush Man (door to door sales) out in Woodacre or some such small place in Marin county Calif, I was going to Sonoma state college at the time. The whole Marin/Sonoma area was WAY different from how it is now… but everywhere is -shrug-

    The girl answered the door, she had a white tee shirt on, she was well endowed and Truckin’ was playing in the background. Everytime I hear Truckin’ I think of her….

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  • Wallace

    Good hearing that you & Tuco took care of that rattler. We had our vet give our dog the snake shot this year after seeing numerous sidewinder tracks where I run her in the desert.

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