As another Fourth of July holiday has passed, we’ve realized just how far we have traveled on this journey of ours. Our first 4th of July we watched fireworks over the St. Mary’s River in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Our second was in Salt Lake City, UT and this 4th of July we spent in southern Texas amongst the oil fields. This had to be the first time we have never heard or seen any fireworks on the 4th, EVER!! It was dead silent…except for the ongoing oilfield traffic and hum of the generators that keep us with power. Not that the dogs minded at all, the loud noise of all those fireworks usually freaks them out pretty good.
We are approaching our 12th week working the gate here. Traffic has been busy so the company has kept the night guard on, which is nice in that Steve and I have the same 12 hours off and can have normal meals together and sleep at the same time. Trying to tip toe around while working when the other person sleeps is kind of hard to do in the motor home.
Weather wise, it’s been hot! Although I think we are getting a little used to it now. It also helps to know it’s not long before we can start traveling and seeing some new sights again. It’s nice to be stationary and settle in somewhere for a while, but we do get that itch to move on after a while.
Even though for the most part this job can be monotonous, there are the few exciting things that happen. Like the semi truck that took out our fence one morning or the collision between two semis just down the highway. One of the semis crossed the center line. I practically jumped out of my skin it was so loud, thankfully no one was hurt.
Finally got the Javalinas on camera crossing the road. There had to be a good dozen of them. They look like wild pigs, but are actually smaller and can be just as mean especially with little babies like these guys have.
We don’t see the coyotes all the time, but these tracks let us know they are around!!
There are new bugs to deal with as the spring turned into summer. Now there are flies, ants and an abundance of giant grasshoppers! They are huge!
No big spiders or snakes in the last couple of weeks, but we did have a scorpion by our door step. He was pretty small and met with the bottom of my shoe!
We have yet to figure out what this thing is, it was the size of my thumb and really ugly. Only saw it the one time though. Someone said it was some kind of cricket, but it doesn’t look like any cricket we have ever seen.
This guy comes out after it rains, or maybe downpour is a more appropriate word around here! It doesn’t rain a lot but when it does, it really comes down and there are puddles and small lakes around for days!
These two had no shame…get a room!!!
Still discovering a lot of weird ugly spiders!
We’ve been through so many different phases here from drilling to fracking to coil tubing. There is a lot we don’t understand yet and wonder if we ever will, but it’s definitely been interesting. Some of the trucks as are as big as a house.
The whole border issue is big news down here. The illegal immigrants from Mexico are crossing the border by the hundreds every day. There was a train that derailed the other day with 1300 immigrants crossing over into the US, most of who were riding the top of the train, last I heard, no one was hurt. Most are just walking across the border turning them selves in, others are still using Coyotes (smugglers) in which they pay a lot of money to help them cross into the border and into the states. We haven’t had any come to our door yet, but the other guard has. They are hot, tired, hungry and thirsty from walking miles and miles in this extreme heat, however it’s hard to tell if they are just looking for a better life here in the states or if they are part of the cartel. Border patrol has pretty huge presence around this area since we are near such a major highway and responses quickly when called. They seem to be on top of it when there are illegals in the area and search the ranch even in the dark of night. With all that slithers and sneaks around here after dark, you wouldn’t catch either one of us out in all the brush.
This will probably be our last post while gate guarding so here are our final thoughts on this experience…….
While it’s dusty, dirty, hot and sometimes tedious work, it’s also peaceful and relaxing in its own way. Beyond the highway noise and the trucks rolling by are cool animals and nature we have never seen before. It’s given us time to catch up on books we’ve wanted to read, given us the craziest farmer tans ever…(yes we pretty much resemble raccoons) and we’ve had time to figure out what we want to do next.
So the question is….Would we do this again? Absolutely!
Until next time…..Happy Summer!
Steve, Patti, Ozzie and Sami