December 29, 2010 Day 2 by Debbie
We were SO pleasantly surprised to learn that this is primarily a day gate! Of course we don’t know exactly what “day” is yet. Heidi set her alarm for 6:00 to be up and ready to go. She thought she heard the gate bells ringing at 5:30 so she got dressed, ran outside and couldn’t find any trucks. Turns out the ranch-hands ring the bells without ever going through the gate, adding a good number of extra dings to the day!
We decided I should ‘man’ the gate today and Heidi would make the 90+ mile round trip drive to Pleasanton to go once again to Wal Mart (more water and mats for the mud) and Radio Shack to, hopefully, buy a booster for the phones and internet. I was pretty nervous: I know how hard can it be: write down the plate number, open the gate, get the driver’s name and specific purpose, close the gate and record the time. I hate the first day on any new job. Anyway, as Heidi stepped backwards out of the RV, checking on the safety and well-being of Henry and I, she fell off the muddy steps and landed sprawled on her back in the wet clay. It’s soft mud, so there was no permanent damage and it was too dark for any cowboys to guffaw. I kind of brushed her off and she headed out. (She later reported that I didn’t do such a great job since she had to strip to her underwear in the Wal Mart restroom and scrub her jeans and sweatshirt with wet paper towels!)
Our rig sits about 30 yards from the dirt road that leads from Hwy 16 back to multiple gates. We’re the second gate in. We’re parked facing the fence with the gate maybe 4 feet away, so you certainly see all the activity. Beginning around 6:30, there’s an almost steady stream of trucks passing the cattle crossing directly in front of us. Really, really big trucks!
I saw a full size semi hauling another upside down full size semi, beds and all! I’m still on high alert every time I hear another one rumbling to a near stop, but by 7 the only visitor at my gate was Trey who came to get the bulldozer.
I’m reading “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons”. It’s not my normal Dean Koontz/ C.S. Lewis or Jodi Picult. It’s a surprisingly good read; one of many books I picked up from Marci’s collection in Tucson. I have no idea when we’ll ever get to a library so I’m most grateful.
Anyway, it’s pretty funny reading about 5 housewives in Minneapolis who start a book club and read authors like Sinclair Lewis and George Eliot while I count trucks with tally marks on my napkin. 86 Texas truckers go by in an hour and I decide to quit counting so I can turn the page.
10:10 and Larry with Gate Guards came to check on us. He fixed a bad relay switch in the water pump so we have plenty of non-drinkable water now but no sewer container yet. At least we can shower! Larry says there’s no hope for Verizon. We’ll see what Tenacity Jane finds out in Pleasanton.
Mid-afternoon, Heidi returns to say that, yes indeed, Verizon has zero coverage here and that “AT&T “owns Texas” according to Kathy at Radio Shack. So Heidi has a new AT&T Droid (although she’s mourning the death of her Incredible). There was only one phone in stock, mine will come next week. We still need an air card and it looks like we’ll have to order a booster ($400) to get on line (did I mention we’re quite a ways from nowhere), but at least we have one working phone. And Heidi came back with gallons and gallons of water!
The bell rang a few dozen times between 7am and7pm. Pretty light 2nd day’s work. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!