The only certainty in life is change…


How quickly life can change. Literally overnight, our job location and gate guarding company changed. I’ve heard stories of people who find a nice, long-term position on a ranch plus great equipment and service. I often wondered just how they find these opportunities.

I’ve come to the conclusion that timing, luck, and perhaps the grace of the guy upstairs has much to do with it.

That said, we have a new gate location and we will be here for a very long time. We also left Gate Guard Services and joined a new company… Riata Oilfield Security, out of Cotulla.

All set up at our new location. Except for when we go back to visit family in Houston & Teague, this will be our long-term home. Love the big pads to keep us out of the dirt and mud!

With the neat 8×14′ heavy vinyl pads provided by the ranch, we will not have to worry about tracking in mud into the rig or the car. Yipee!

We have a brand new Onan generator, 12.5k. Same size we have onboard the Silver Bullet.

We are extremely excited about the Onan generator since it IS made to provide power to RVs and household appliances. As a matter of fact, we found out our dishwasher is NOT broken again after all. With the Onan generator providing our power, it works flawlessly. Gee… I wonder if we could have saved $168 on the new board we bought last march??? Guess we’ll never know…

Our support system behind the Silver Bullet… 1500 gallons fresh water and 1500 gallons black & gray water collection tank to be pumped out as needed. Rancher did not want the leach-line draining tank on the ground.

Yesterday we got a tour of the ranch and it is awesome to see the set up they have all over this place. It’s huge! With all the drilling, fracing, and tank batteries going on out there in these ranches, it’s easy to lose touch with the history in this land. On our tour yesterday Justin, our ranch manager, took us to a special place. I did not take a picture of it, but it was two grave markers of the Gardner children.One young life was from 1892-1896 and the other was 1905-1910. A black wrought-iron fence protects the tiny cemetery. Justin goes into the space and clears away the overgrowth from time to time. It was a reminder of years gone by… when living out here was hard, hot, and remote. I can’t imagine where they would find a doctor a century ago or more. Could take days–one way! Families were large because many did not have a long life.

I’m so grateful we live now and in this great country.

It’s so nice out here in the morning, listening to the Bob-White serenade me. Of course, about 11:00am the sun starts heating everything up. Then it’s in and soak up the air-conditioning!

We moved to our new ranch location on Tuesday. Wednesday was my first time to attend a ladies gate guard luncheon. It was so much fun to put a face to the names. Many write blogs also so I felt as though I already knew them.

Gate guarding women sharing stories and swapping experiences, June 20th.

We met at the DQ in Cotulla. I’m always up for the DQ and this one is a good one!

One of the wonderful items provided by the energy company managing this lease, is our light tower. It makes the night shift so much less scary!

On our first morning in our new location, as the sun was coming up, I decided to go turn the light tower off. As I walked across the caliche road I noticed  something in the grass and looked like it could be a snake. I froze… then started backing away so as not to disturb this fellow. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it! After a few hours I did not see it move and birds were walking all around that area. I imagined it was not a snake after all, but would wait for Bob to get up and walk over there with me. Just in case…

The mesh insert usually found in the middle of cattle guards so you can safely walk over them. This was an old, wavy one that was laying in the grass.

What we found was the above mesh insert sitting on its side. It had been in the grass for a while so grass was all interwoven in it. Bob agreed, it could look like a snake in the early morning. I wonder if he was just humoring me???

Termite update: As we were taking the ranch tour yesterday I noticed that termites are EVERYWHERE! Their mud-saliva-dung solution was clinging to sticks, grass, and prickly pear cactus bases all over the place. They are natures brush cleanup crew. Last year there was a fire and now the termites have moved in to eat their way through the dead debris. Who knew… they are actually good little critters. Just stay out of my rig 😀

I best be getting ready to get some shut-eye.

Till next time…

Vicky

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19 thoughts on “The only certainty in life is change…

  1. Vicky – this sounds so great! I’m really happy for you guys! Finally a generator that can keep up with you! 😀
    I’ve never heard of Riata. Are they pretty new? I look forward to reading about your experiences with them. 😀
    I know GGS is hurting for gate guards. The FS guys are sitting on sites in their trucks. Summer is always bad but this one seems to be the worst yet. There’s a lot of competition now – a good thing!
    And the barbed wire was funny. Bless Bob’s heart for agreeing with you about just how snake-like it looked!
    Take care and keep in touch,
    Debbie

    • Thanks Debbie!
      Man, in this heat I cannot imagine sitting in my truck manning a gate. What about a bathroom??? Without my RV I’d be bored stiff for sure!
      How’s it all going for you two?
      Vicky

      • Isn’t that just crazy! I feel so sorry for them. All is well here. We’ll skid and do a second hole and then we’re moving about 15 miles to do 2 more. We’ve been here so long, we opened a mail box! Sounds like you 2 have a great spot! Hurray!

      • It’s too bad you don’t like your gate so much……..lol. A few days ago we got a call from the Whitsett office asking when we will be back. She said that they are in need of guards and she will tell “Jamie” when we will be back. I think we may head towards Whitsett when we go back. Who knows.

  2. Stumbled onto your blog by pure chance and love reading about your experiences.
    Currently we are, (that is hubby and I) gate guarding just south of Cotulla, halfway to Encinal. No drilling here, only guarding a wildlife ranch with 2 wells and a gasline. We basically work 6am to 10pm and maybe one night opening the gate for a tanker to pump out. Sometimes we have to open up for the BP during the night. The gate is locked from 10pm until 6pm.
    We are with TK and sofar quite happy with them!

    Looking forward to read more of your posts.

    Marie

      • Hi Vicky,
        Thank you for the response. We are at the Petty Ranch, 5 miles south of the exit for RT133, on the west side of the Interstate.

        Marie.

      • Vicky,
        Going south on I-35 from Cotulla, you exit at 56 and go south on the west frontage road.There are no signs for the Ranch, it is actually quite obscure in that regard.
        We have been here only for 6 weeks now and it seems as if we culd stay as long as we wish. This is strictly maintenace.

        Marie

    • We love the new company. The owners are wonderful people and have a great set up. We feel we have joined a family… they care about us. The pay is more than we were making at GGS and the working conditions are much better. We are so happy we found this opportunity. Where are you at now?

      Vicky

      • We’re in Norman, OK wishing for the dream. At this time we are working hard to make it happen. I plan to retire next July1, jump in our future 5th wheel and truck and hit the road. We will still have to work while out on the road for a year or two to become debt free, but at this point I’m investigating all our options and trying to line things up. Hubby had a heart attack in 2006 so we need something that does not put a strain on his heart. Gate Guarding sounds like the perfect job if we can stand the Caliche dust (this is from all I have read). We plan to do some camphosting in a National Forest up north in the summer months and head to Texas for the winter months. Our grandbabies live there. Where do you hail from?

      • Bob lived in OKC for 16 years before moving to Denton, Texas. I lived in Katy/Houston for 16 years before moving to Denton, TX. We lived in Denton together for about 12 years. We have grandkids in Texas (Teague & Montgomery), Las Vegas, Iowa, and Niagra Falls, NY. Good luck on your future adventures!
        Vicky

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