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As you know, I have been without a steady gate since the end of December. My guard company has been putting me up for free in an RV park while I waited for a new gate of my own. In the mean time, I have been subbing here and there for other guards and working out of my truck on some 12 hour gates. They thought they finally had a  long term 24 hour RV gate for me but that one got closed after only 4 days. It has been quite a ride. The other day I saw a post on Facebook in one of my guard groups about a position available in West Texas. I called the supervisor there whom I know and got the gate! Of course, right after I got that setup, I got a call to sub for some folks I had subbed for previously. I had to turn them down.

The next morning, I hitched up and headed north 285 miles to Fort Stockton, TX. But before I even got out of town, another supervisor called wanting to know if I wanted a new gate they have with low traffic very similar to my previous long term gate. Aargh! I would have loved to accept it and stay in the area but was already committed. Sometimes God has a very weird sense of humor.

I have to say the drive northwest was wonderful. It restored my wandering soul and ignited my sense of adventure. Uvalde is a lovely little town I would like to checkout more some time. Bracketville has an old fort I would like to have toured if I had the time. Passing through Amistad National Park area was beautiful. The reservoir goes on and on forever and was so inviting. I will definitely be spending a few days there when I go back south again. I passed by Laughlin Air Base as a group of planes were doing maneuvers and came in for a landing right over me. The biggest shock was passing through Langtry and right by the Judge Roy Bean Museum. I so wanted to stop but had people waiting for me. I also crossed over the Pecos River.

Both the truck and trailer behaved very well with no problems. My truck still hates hills and shifts too much at 45mph on hills so I had to watch that and the engine temp.

I tested out a new Onyx Plus satellite radio on the way with a SiriusXM subscription. More on that in my next post but it really made the long drive bearable by playing constant music from “my time” and keeping me from getting bored.

I arrived at the new gate around 5pm and the couple already there helped me park. This gate is a bit different from what I am used to. There is no grass or other growth around us to have to cut. It is just dirt all over. We are splitting the work with 12 hour shifts between us. I got the night shift for now. I like that we don’t have to open and close the gate, just log them in and out. We also get two sets of tower lights instead of the usual small work lights and we have trash cans to put our trash in which others empty for us. The gate is very busy with 3 drilling rigs in here right now. They still have to frac and coil tube so this should be good for 2-3 months at least. It’s extremely dusty here which is setting off my allergies big time so I have to work on that. Did I mention this gate also pays more? Nobody wants to work up here because of all the dirt and nasty winds which I experienced my first night here so they have to pay more to get guards up here. Most guards are also posted much farther away from a decent town which makes this area less desirable.

New gateNight shiftThe gate

Rigs are pretty at night

Fort Stockton is a short drive away and a decent sized town. They have a Super Walmart which is good since they don’t have an HEB grocery store. The Ace Hardware store is pretty big and they both ship UPS and accept packages for us gate guards for a small fee. They have lots of the fast food joints and even a KFC/Taco Bell which is rare in Texas. I saw a nice-looking steakhouse with a lot of cars in the parking lot I will have to check out some time. I also discovered I am now only an hour away from Balmorhea State Park which I have been wanting to go swimming at really bad in their swimming hole. Yeah, baby! I’m now close enough for a vacation, eventually, at Big Bend National Park and Carlsbad Caverns too.

Crossing my fingers this move works out. I am enjoying the cooler temperatures and change of scenery. The Permian Basin is pretty active right now so hopefully I can stay employed up here.

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