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One Gate Ends, Another Begins

Things move pretty fast and are unpredictable in the oil fields. One minute you are happily working away making money and the next thing you know, the company man drives through and says, “Oh by the way, you are released.”. End of job. Sometimes you get a day or two of notice but not always. You pack up and move on to either a “yard” your guard company may run or to a campground to start calling for the next assignment. Some will get asked to follow a crew on to their next job and keep working steady. So ended my first stint as a gate guard after 10 days.

I stayed overnight on the gate with an out of service notice in my window since they were done needing a guard at that location and I was guarding our company equipment. The next morning, our support guys came to pick it up then I moved on to one of my membership campgrounds in New Waverly, TX. I highly recommend a stay at Timberlodge RV Park. They are outside of town where it is very quiet and peaceful. They have a clubhouse with kitchen, TV, laundry , pool table, satellite TV, and pool. The managers are wonderfully nice and easy to work with. From there, you can go see Lake Livingston to enjoy some fishing or boating, visit Escapees headquarters there and take a tour of their facilities as I did, or head on up to Huntsville to see the Sam Houston statue (largest statue of an American hero), the Texas Prison Museum with “Old Sparky”, and Hearts Veterans Museum. A little touristing in between gates makes a happy guard!

Sam Houston statueOld Sparky - Texas Prison MuseumHuntsville prison and horses

With some time on my hands, I also went grocery shopping and hit up Wal-Mart for some things. I visited several RV parts stores in the area. I also went to several thrift stores looking for a couch to replace my swivel chair. This 5th didn’t have a couch in it when I bought it and you really need either a sofa or a reclining chair, depending on your preference, to nap in and get your legs up when doing gate guarding.  I lucked out and found one that fit the spot in my slideout perfectly, is in great condition, isn’t ugly, and only cost $75. Happily, it also came with two strong, handsome young men to deliver it right to my rig. 😀

New used couch

I was off for 10 days and had started checking around with other companies for a new gate when I got the call from my company. A gate was opening on the other side of Texas (where I had come from for the first gate) and they needed me there by midnight as a favor to them. The race was on! I washed dishes and closed up the trailer as fast as I could. The ground was still wet making it interesting. I hitched up and drove for 8 hours through rush hour traffic, rain, and fog until finally I reached the new gate in Carrizo Springs in the dark. Thank goodness the crew hadn’t come in yet so I got to sleep through the night once I was setup.

This is a different kind of gate from my last one. It has a high fence all around and a real gate that must be kept locked and opened for each vehicle or group of vehicles. I had to improvise a rope system to keep one of the gates from being pushed out by the wind while unlocking them and to lessen the number of times I have to walk out on the cat walk over the cattle guard for safety. This time I have a bell dinger instead of a driveway monitor due to being too close to the busy highway which drives monitors crazy. To be sure I hear the bell and wake up, we had to drill a hole in my floor larger and run the ringer hose up through it. It’s a very busy gate but the guys are very nice and try to make it easier for me.

Carrizo gategate ropeBell

I have guarded my first gate in the rain now. Loads of fun… I grabbed a nearby board to use as a mud board then filled a plastic container next to it with water to wash my boots before stepping back into the RV. Sure could use a boot wiper too. At least I had rubber boots on board and ready for this.

Mud board and boot wash

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