Why are we here?

No, this is not going to be a post about the philosophy of our devine purpose here on earth. Not even close.

Sunrise in the drilling fields. If I was writing about devine things, this would be a great picture for that!

Beautiful sunset over the ranch...

Instead, I’ve decided to offer a few tips or insights about being a gate guard and what that means… what is expected of us… what we must do to succeed… and what we must NOT do so we can avoid the kiss of death–getting fired.

Before I get into this, I want to update you about what is happening on our gate(s). #1 is finished with the frac stage. Once they got it going, it rolled right along without a hitch. Coil Tubing is cleaning out the hole as I write this. They are a great bunch of fellows!

Yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, the fracing rigs all left the well head and lined up to exit the ranch. There were frac trucks lined up as far as the eye could see!

Frac trucks as far as the eye can see... heading out of the ranch.

We have new neighbors. Our old neighbors were not asked to follow their drilling rig after all. Instead, they were dismissed. I’m not surprised. They never did embrace working two shifts, and the woman did most of the work. She didn’t get around well and she would try to catch up on her sleep at night, either in her truck or in a chair in her rig.

Most nights people would run back and forth over her bell cord (it worked because I could hear it ring over here), honk, and often end up opening the gate before she even opened up her door… if she made it out at all. The company who hired them lost that contract as well. Not too surprising…

The new neighbors moved in right after the previous team left. They are here for the fracing of the well, only one well on their site. So far, they seem to be “johnny-on-the-spot” in tending their gate. I can’t wait to meet them.

Which brings me to my point of this post… Why are we here?

I know this is our first assignment so I’m not a “seasoned” expert, but I do have a good work ethic and know how to perform a job as I’m expected to do and paid to do.

As I’ve said before, we are on a hunting ranch so the gate must remain closed at all times, except for when we are letting people in and out. I know we are expected to answer the gate in a very timely manner. In our case we keep a pretty good vigil looking out our windows because we have a 100+ foot walk from our door to the gate (one way). Fortunately we both move around well so getting out the door and to the gate is not hard for us to do quickly.

I keep two things in mind in this job. First, time is money for these guys. They have a lot of work to do and sitting at the gate waiting for the guard to wake up is very frustrating, I’m sure. Second, and this is extremely important, always answer the gate like the company man (CM) or the Rancher is at the gate.

That second point is so important because you never know who is at your gate until you get out there. And the two people who can get you canned and very quickly are the CM or the Rancher. If you think they don’t know how you are doing, think again. As I said, drilling workers are hard workers and they have no patience for their gate guard keeping them waiting while they “catch up on sleep.” Many times these guys work long hours and the work they do can turn hazardous in an instant. Cut them some slack…

On a lighter note (and stepping down from my soapbox), meet our newest pet… well, visitor anyway! A roadrunner who is not afraid of people. He circles around our area several times a day.

A very friendly Texas Roadrunner! I wonder how he avoids Wylie Coyote?

Update:  With our two wells all fraced and getting ready for production, things are slowing down a bit. It is nice to be able to catch our breath.

Our wells will have a flare on each site. #2 has one already. It amazes me how big this flare can be. I can hear it roaring all the way up to our rig. I can only imagine how loud it is closer to it. Bob was joking with the CM about using his hot dog fork and having a weiner roast. The CM said he better hope the wind does not shift!

Now that's a big candle!

That’s all for now…

Till next time,



12 thoughts on “Why are we here?

  1. Good post with helpful information. We are also on our first gate; been there all of 3 day! I agree about opening the gate in a timely manner. I keep my shoes and jacket on all night to be ready. We also are on a hunting ranch and have to walk to open and close the gate, but I figure it is good exercise and it can’t hurt me any.

    Heard from another gate guard she was told by an exterminator person to outline your rig in moth balls to keep the snakes and mice away.

    • It is great exercise. In December I went on the yeast free eating program (recommended by my wellness doctor) and it basically eliminates all sugar & grains. Combined with the exercise I get out here, I’ve lost 4.5 inches and 24 pounds. I’m loving it!

      We have not had any snakes or mice around our area. Thank goodness!


  2. Hi Vicky,
    I enjoy reading your blog. We have been full-timing for five months: spent the first two months working for amazon.com in Fernley, NV, then my husband got a good job for a commercial roofing company and we moved to Sparks, NV. We have enjoyed being here in winter even though it is cold and windy. The sun is out pretty much every day.

    Monday he lost his job after three months so we are now considering gate guarding in Texas. (We will be at an RV-Dreams rally in Kerrville in April and rather than returning to Nevada, we thought why not gate guard for three months?)

    We appreciate hearing your take on this job. You can also read our blog at http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com/

    Susan & Bob

    • I’m going to talk to my Bob about going to the Kerrville Rally. If we go, I’ll let you know. We will be taking a break during that time since we’ve been here at this gate for three months TODAY!

      Glad you enjoy my blog. Thank you 🙂 Drive carefully on your trip out here to the Texas Hill Country. I love the hill country!


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