Monday, October 21, 2013

Fracking Wasn't All That Bad!

We have been here 4 weeks and in one way the time seemed to drag but in another way it’s hard to believe we have been here a month. 

The fracking is over and it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be.  They staged the trucks across the street and brought them over as they needed them.  One of the reasons for this was they didn’t have room for them down by the wells.  When they called for them, they would bring them over about 6 at a time and  they would have someone waiting to direct them in so we weren’t overwhelmed.   They have  a pond down from the well so we also don't have the water trucks, which gave us less trucks.  All in all, it went pretty well. 
This was last year, they were fracking across
the road from us.  Their were trucks everywhere.
This is across the road from us here, this was the
staging area.  When they were done fracking they
closed this gate.  It was nice having neighbors for
a while.

At night it was like a little city with all the lights
When it's busy I just sit outside waiting for the next truck.  Otherwise
we have 2 steps in the motor home, the 2 outside and off the skids. 
Ed said it's like having a stair stepper.
When of the nice things about fracking is they cater in the meals.  They do it twice a day, once for the morning crew and than the evening crew.  So for almost 3 weeks, I have not done any cooking.  (Ed says you mean you cook, that's mean).  Plus they really pile on the food so I was able to put some in baggies and freeze it.  That’s what Ed is going to be eating for the next couple of weeks.  These pictures are esp. for Lacy,  Ed thought he would get a kick out of them.
We had chicken a lot, but they also
put brats with this one.

Ed asked for extra gravy, so they gave
him a whole cup full.

This is Ed's creation, I don't know if he ate it
all or not.  Their is rice and meat under
that gravy.

They always had some type of vegetable and
potatoes.  They also had a side salad.  More food
than you could eat.

It looks like we had a lot of gravy, but they did have other things.
We had meat loaf, spaghetti, barbeque ribs plus other things.  We
even had steak and shrimp one night.   

During our time here Ed thinks he saw a UFO.  So he has taken pictures of it.  I will let you be the judge.

I thought these were interesting, but Ed says
it is like this because he didn't hold
the camera still.

I thought the colors were amazing.

He says he sees these every night.  He usually saw
2, but one night he saw 3 of them.  He said the
catering girls, our diesel fuel guy and some of
the guys in the field saw them.  So it wasn't
just him.
 Here is another thing Ed wanted me to show you.  This was at another gate and it was done by a road runner.    The guards there said they had went through several hoses because the road runner’s wouldn’t leave them alone.  I guess they thought it was a snake
This was a rode runner from last year.  They are fast so it's
hard to get their picture.
Hose before the road runner
 The hose after the road runner.
We wondered if it wasn't because of the

 All the fracking crew and equipment left on Friday (18th) and the next crew came in the next day.  They are doing something called coil tubing now.   We had 2 really busy days and now today everything is slow and quite.  It’s a nice change.  We were told we would probably be here another month and then who knows where we will go.  We sort of like this area so hope we find a gate near here. 
This was a pretty sunset over the camp.
See the one little bird at the top of the tree.  I just
liked the picture.
This is the oil field trash can. 

Things are going pretty well and best of all we don't have the mice this year.  We had one the other night and haven't seen him since.  Ed said maybe the Decon got him.  I don't care as long as he stays away. 

Happy Trails.   Ed and Lyn

John 1:12  But as many as receive him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gate Guarding

And probably some you could care less about.

Well, we came to Texas for a gate guard job and we finally have one.  We are in a different area than we were last year.  So the area is all new to us, which means we have to find everything all over again.  Like the post office, a place to get my hair cut, groceries and etc.  I love having a gps, and in this case it really is a necessity.  We are close to a small town, which amazingly has a Walmart and a HEB (grocery store).  The Walmart is only 10 miles from us, last year I had to drive 50 miles, and that was one way. 

More and more people are finding out about the gate guarding so it is getting harder and harder to find a job.  Gate Guards that are from the north go home in the summer because they can't take the heat or they just want to go home, but they come back in the fall.  So when they return, the waiting list for gates gets longer.   Originally, the forums were saying to be here by October, than September and now they are saying August.  It’s not that you won’t get a gate but you might have to wait longer to get one. 

The way it works is, there are  quite a few gate guard companies, and you call them to see if they have any gates available.   But you are not an employee, well that’s not entirely true because a couple of them have decided to hire you as an employee.  But most of them hire you as a sub-contractor.  When we got here I started calling companies, about ten of them.  I told them we were in Texas and looking for a gate.  There is a license to get so having the license from last year is a plus and some of them like it if you have experience.  The main reason they like for you to have experience, is so you will know what you are getting into.  Last year we replaced someone that had worked for 2 days.  They said the job wasn’t what they were expecting.  So anyways I call about 10 companies.  The companies pay anywhere from $125 to $175 a day.  Some of them say they will put you on a list, but you really don’t know if they do.  So I was calling them every 3 to 4 days to  remind them we were still available.  So you are sitting around wondering if anyone really will call you and did they really put your name on a list or do they  just tell you that.

 We had a plan.  We wanted to get here the first of September, trying to beat the rush, get the job and work until the first of January.  Our first job only lasted 5 days, the second one (we thought we had) was cancelled 2 days before we were to start.  Did you ever have a time when your plan just isn’t coming together?  So I am trying to stay “in faith” trusting God for a gate, but still thinking my plan is not coming together.  The one gate that fell through, had some things about it I didn’t like. The gate was 3 miles down a dirt road and another 2 miles of dirt (or mud when it rains)  off of that road.  So it wasn’t a good location. Another thing was the gate had to be key locked every time unless the next truck was right at the gate.  The rancher would try and catch you at something so he could file a penalty against the company and get paid.  Anyways, I prayed that morning if it wasn’t the right gate God would close that door.  Around 9 o'clock I received the text that the gate was no longer available.   I prayed at 8 and at 9 the gate was closed.    So was it God or just a coincidence.  I have to say it was a relief, but then again, we were without  a gate.  So that was on Saturday, we were to start the gate on Monday,  but Wednesday we received a call  and had a gate by Thursday.  So here we are doing what we came to Texas for.
The company we got the job with I had just called the night before.  It’s a fairly new company, only been in business a little over 2 years.  Another thing to consider when looking at companies is their equipment.  They provide us with water, generator, alarm system and lights.  Some gate guards complain that their generator is a piece of crap or they run out of water and can’t get any delivered and some companies want you to provide your lights and traffic sensors.  So far we haven’t had any of those problems.  Another thing is if the company is new, they probably don’t have as many gates as the ones that have been in the business longer.  That means that when your gate closes you might not have another one to go to.  Last year we worked for Loma and when the first gate closed they were able to put us on another gate right away.  I had called Loma, and they said they were in the process of closing 8 gates, so they didn’t have anything available.

There are 2 gate guard forums where I get most of my information. and just in case you are interested.

So here are some pictures of our new site where hopefully we will be for awhile.
Here is our gate, just a short distance
from the road.  We also get to keep
the gate open all the time.

There is the gate to the left, so you can see how
close we are to it.  We do have one little tree.

There is the well behind us.  It's the closest we have
ever been to one.  See how empty the lot is.
This is in front of us.  That is our security light to the left.
 The gate is to the right.
The ranch in background is the ranch's owner.

This is the entry to the well. This is the
backside of our rv.  As you can see we do have
a little bit of greenery.
 Not very long to back up the trucks.
This is the activity after we had been here a week

This is today.  Had a lot of trucks come in today and will
start fracking on Tuesday.
It was busy today but we know it's going to get busier.  They will start fracking on Tuesday morning at 12 am. 

Happy Trails.   Ed and Lyn



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hanging out in Texas

Coming to Texas we decided to make a fast trip here so I didn't make any reservations.  We planned on stopping at rest stops or truck stops.  We were ready to stop and the rest stop was already full with truckers.  Some of the rest stops aren't that big and they fill up fast with truckers.  We decided to go ahead and make it pass St. Louis so we wouldn't have to drive through there the next morning.  It was a long day.  We drove over 500 miles and we just barely found a spot to park the night.

On the trip down, one of the engine lights came on and it was buzzing.  It scared me because of our incident in West Virginia when we lost our air and lost our brakes.  Before we lost them we had an alarm going off.  The wrecker guy said we should have stopped right away.  So I figured when something buzzes that's a warning to stop.  Ed pulled over a couple of times and couldn't find anything so he would go on.  After about the 4th time he says come over here and see what the light says.  He thought it was saying low gear.  So I get up and read it.  It was saying low water.  Ed stopped and it took 2 gallons of anti-freeze.  I told him it's a good thing one of us can see.  haha  And to think he is doing the driving. 

The next day we were going to stop at the Downstream Casino in Oklahoma.  We were surprised how nice it was.  They had water and electric hook ups and if you sign up for the player card you can stay free one night plus eat free at their buffet.  We got 2 nights because they gave us each one night, and after driving so far the day before Ed was ready for a rest.  It was easy in and out and it beats staying at a rest stop.

This was the parking lot in the afternoon,
by the evening it was full of rv's and trucks.

Even though pavement, it was a nice place to park
We are just biding our time here in Texas until we get a gate guarding job.  More and more people are learning about the job so you have to get here early to get one. 

We had a gate and it was a perfect spot but they used the I-pad to check the trucks in and out.  You had to take 2 pictures and then enter the information.  I couldn't see the screen because of the sun.  I didn't see how other people were doing it.  Since then I have found the sun glare screen protector and it seems to work.  But I still think it would be hard especially when you are busy and Ed just decided he couldn't  do it.  So we had the gate for 5 days and gave it up.  So we are back in Medina at the Thousand Trails rv park. 

This was the gate, the entry in was paved

nice layer of gravel, and close to gate

nothing but brush on the other side

looking down the road, the gravel is a big deal.  Without it
you get a lot of dust and mud when it rains

We could see the well from our spot

This  Thousand Trail park is where all the deer are.  We were here for a short time last year.  There is almost no one here.  The few people that are here are really scattered about.  Of course, there are the rv's that stay here all the time, but most of them are empty.  This is the rec hall.  I went up there to use the Wi-Fi.  I was there all by myself. 

Seems strange to have the whole place to myself.  I can't
believe they leave all those lights on even when no one
is in here. 
We have been to this park several times.  In 2010 when we were here there was water in the lake, but now it is completely dry.  Which is one of the reasons the park doesn't have very many campers.  We were told when they had water the park was packed.

This is on the other side of the lake.  You can see
their boat dock.

Ed standing at the bottom of the boat launch

We have been into San Antonio several times before so we haven't went in this time.  But for something to do we decided to go geocaching here.  One of the places we went was to a tunnel under the road that was made for the cattle to cross over to the other side.  It's not used anymore and someone has hid a cache there.  Geocaching is a great way to see places you wouldn't normally see.

The tunnel, very interesting

A mass of Daddy Long Legs,  we had  never
seen anything like it before

Ed was making them move, when I first saw them
I didn't even know what it was

up close shot of a few

bird nest, several of these in there

mud dauber nest

This was another cache, the title was
"What a View"

We came across another rv park and decided to check it out.
We found this camper.  Someone was being very creative.

This is the back side of the above camper

During our driving around, we came across these wild Turkeys.
Just never know what you are going to see.

I saw this saying and just really liked it so thought I would share it. 
                     "Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends
                                             will leave footprints in your heart"   how true.

Happy Trails    Ed and Lyn

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ed's Adventure in a By-Plane

Ed made up a bucket list for us.  It includes the things we have done and the things we still want to do. 
Sometimes he gets carried away.
He has finding "Big Foot" on his list.
 We hung out in Elkhart for 3 months.  Between Ed's doctor appointments and mine, it seems like that was all we were doing. 

I had found information on balloon rides, and was thinking about going on one.  But we were driving by the Elkhart Airport and  saw a poster about taking an airplane ride.  So this is what Ed decided he wanted to do.

Ed getting in.   See the ladder he is climbing up on.  Well when they
got back, the ladder was over by the building.  So the guy climbs out
and he is walking over to get it.  I ask him if he wants me to get it for
him.  So I pick it up and am walking toward him, only he is still facing the
plane.  I am almost to him when he turns around and cracks his shin on
the ladder because he didn't hear me and didn't know I was there. 
Boy did I feel bad, I think he wanted to cuss but he held it in.  That's what
I get for trying to be helpful.

Does he look like an Ace or what?
The guy had told me he would do this so I could get a shot.
Ed said just when the plane started to smoke he had touch
a lever in front of him.  He thought he had done something to
make  it smoke.
Ed pulling the lever

The "Red Baron"

We took Cali, our granddaughter with us.  We have really enjoyed our time here with her.

Ed and Cali

I think we wore her out

 We spent a  week camping with our son, daughter-in-law, and Cali  up in Michigan at Bear Cave which is a Thousand Trails campground.  We spent the week geocaching and had a great time. We hadn't done it in a long time and forgot how much fun it is. 

For those who don't know what geocaching is, here is the definition off the web site: "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location."

This cave is at the campground
We went to Fernwood Botanical Gardens near Niles Michigan

There is a train inside the building

And they have a train village outside in the garden

Part of the train village

The water wheel was one of the virtual ones 

There are trails everywhere and interesting things to see

Some caches are virtual, they just lead you to
something to see

Angela,Cali, and Aaron resting
The Garden is a great place to go

Angela found this unique one, it is
shown below

You just never know what they are going to be

This was the smallest one we ever saw, Ed found this one

Ed and Cali decided they could only do so
much walking.  So sometimes they just stayed
behind and enjoyed each other.  They became
our youngest and our oldest.
We found a sand box and Cali decided that is where she
wanted to stay.  So Ed stayed and watched her while
we did some hunting.

While waiting for us, Ed taught Cali to walk on
the tree stumps

There are a couple of old houses
in the garden

Cali and Aaron checking it out
They must be getting ready to do some restoration, it was in
pretty bad shape inside

Now I am getting ready to tell on us.  We came in through the gate and we are driving down this road.  Than all of us realize this doesn't look like a road we should be driving on.  Ed backs up and we find a parking spot and we go look for a geocache.  Well we had gotten  a late start so we found one cache and we walked around and decided to leave.

The road we had been on was not really a road

This was where we came in, but
the gate was open and no one noticed
the sign

This is what it said, we had come by the parking
lot and didn't even notice it.  Plus you have
to pay to be in the park.  Well we hadn't stayed very long
and were planning on returning the next day so we
figured we would pay than. 

A couple of days later we were doing some more
geocaching and came across this tank.  The thing
about geocaching is you never know what you
are going to see.  It's a great hobby.

We  are in Texas now and have been for 2 weeks.  Tomorrow I am going to finish with what's been happening. 

Happy Trails  Love Ed and Lyn