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Off The Gate

My lovely slow gate that I have been on for 2 years suddenly turned into a nightmare when the oil company decided to build some new pads for several new wells and do everything at the same time. They came in and kept me extremely busy during the day building the pads and then I had tankers coming in at night so not a lot of sleep for a single person. The plan after that is to drill all the wells at the same time while also rebuilding the pipeline that runs under the gate. Eek! I was still recovering from illness I got on my cruise too. I had to get off that gate!

They sent me to a campground at their expense. Unfortunately, my truck started acting up and something broke on the way here. I did make it to the campground but just barely. The campground staff recommended a local repair guy who could come to me and while very nice, he did not fully fix it. The computer he replaced mine with was bad. After many days and many tries and the problem being intermittent, the truck decided it had enough and failed to start at all. I called my Saferide emergency service and had them tow it to a garage that other guards recommended. It was farther than the approved tow distance but the Saferide lady was very nice about it when I explained that the garage I contacted could take it immediately unlike others. It cost me all of $20 to have it towed 4 miles farther. The garage ordered a new computer from a know good source and replaced it. Truck is working fine now.

My favorite heater died when I got here. Thank goodness my old old, second heater still works. It takes two heaters to keep this RV warm on very cold nights below 40 degrees so I balanced the electric heater with my propane furnace so that the electric one did most of the work and saved on as much propane as possible. It got so cold here that every store sold out of heaters! They finally got some more in and while I couldn’t get the same one as before, I did get one similar to it in a different brand and am very happy with it. When I’m on a gate, I get all the free electricity I want so running two electrical heaters and not the propane furnace is very economical. I run one of the heaters directly from the company generator and the other from the trailer wall socket.

Sometimes it is good to be off the gate in a campground with other gate guards. We help each other out, share ideas, and sometimes have dinner together. They have been a huge help with getting my truck fixed by picking me up from the garage and driving me back.

Last night I had some wonderful lasagna with veggies that another guard cooked. Yum! I haven’t had lasagna in a long time.

Another couple here were new to gate guarding so I spent some time clueing them in to what they need to have on board, how to keep mice and ants out, how to hang out with other guards on Facebook, etc. The husband came up with a brilliant way to install rope lights on their RV underneath to stop mice and squirrels after I told him about keeping it lighted. Rodents like to do their dirty work in the dark. I learned this at the Escapees park near Yosemite where all the rigs are lighted underneath at night and have verified it down here working in the oilfields. The one time I forgot to turn on the lights, I got invaded again. Good for seeing snakes at night too. The husband was kind enough to install one rope light strand for me before they got called out to a new gate. Today I started working on installing a second strand that connects to the first and totally lights up underneath. So cool and won’t bother neighbors in campgrounds. Now I’ll use my 24 LED work light to light up under my truck when I can’t park it where the guard lights shine under.

Today, a couple drove me 26 miles to a gate to pick up a beautiful RV love seat/fold out bed to replace my old and and overly heavy couch. Another gate guard couple needed to get rid of it to make room in their RV for their recliners. My truck bed is filled with a 5th wheel hitch and other bolted in items so I needed another truck and some muscle. I had hoped the couple that drove could either use the love seat or my old couch which are in much better shape than theirs but they decided not to take either. I love the new sofa which was barely used and I have a little more room in my slideout now. I won’t be able to sleep on it the same way I slept on the other one but I realized that I usually hurt my arm or something when sleeping on the old one and my bed is actually the same distance to the front door anyway so there is no reason not to sleep on my bed. I can lay down on the love seat and just dangle my feet off the side.

No word yet on a new gate for me. Been over 4 weeks now. They have to find me a slower gate than others. Dang! All they have offered me so far is working out of my truck in the freezing weather which is boring and getting pneumonia really wouldn’t be helping me so I wait. Hopefully soon…





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