Home » Gate Guarding » When Is A Pad Not A Pad?

When Is A Pad Not A Pad?

We made our 4 mile move today.

This is our 6th site in 6 months. It was a short, but slightly eventful drive, beginning with a passage through a long ditch at a 30 degree tilt.

As anyone who drives a motor home will tell you, a 30 degree tilt in a bumpy ditch is a sure way to find out if you’ve remembered to fasten all the cabinets, put the coffee maker in the sink, and latch the shower door.

Nothing sprang or shattered which is always a good sign.

Heidi led the way in the Jeep, followed by George (our GGS Field Supervisor) with our generator trailer and I brought up the rear with our 32 ft class A. It’s funny how people react to a woman driving an RV.

While Heidi and I have no problem staying in our lane, the people who meet us often drive off the road while doing a double-take. Either fear or curiosity can send you right into a ditch.

I don’t get it? Yes, it’s kind of big, but it has a regular steering wheel and gas and brakes, just like a car. Funny.

However, today was atypical. About a mile and a half from Nixon, I saw Heidi stopped up ahead, talking to a man whose pickup was in the other lane. ‘Yes he was busted down and thanks ma’am but I’ve already called for help.’  Heidi drove on. George passed with the trailer.

Kind of like Festus, this fella held his ground. As I lumbered up in the RV, he stayed firmly planted on my side of the yellow line on this exceptionally narrow country road. I ditched it again. Clearly this gentleman has had previous encounters with women driving large loads. He acknowledged me with a tip of his hat and continued to talk on the phone in, what must have been, the ideal spot for cell reception.

As soon as we made the turn off of 87, there were Road Work Ahead signs. It’s been a while since I’ve driven in the left hand lane as an oily tar truck spreads its sticky pebbles. The workmen all nodded and stood a foot in my lane. More bumping and ditching and a little tar gathering.

Today was the first time I’ve been happy to hit a dirt road in Texas.

If you’re a gate guard, or have an RV, you can probably look at this picture and even from a distance, anticipate our problem.

At our first gate, in Tilden, we didn’t have a pad. We had a fairly decent bit of hard-pack and we were only there for 3 1/2 weeks.

When we hooked up with this oil company in Shiner, they spread the pad about 11 minutes before we had to move onto it. We were pretty level for 6 or 7 days, and then lost 5 degrees each week for the next 5 weeks. The guys were standing by, prepared to tow us as our left wheels were buried to the hubs.

At our 3rd gate, we were just sitting in dirt, but since it hadn’t rained for 4 months, it was hard dirt. The giant caliche corner was miserable, but we stayed level.

At our 4th gate, they made us a pad, and then decided they needed the gravel for the drill site so we sat for four weeks on 2 x 10’s in a wheat field. We rocked in the breeze like a ship in a storm.

The pad we left today was the Hilton of gate guard pads! It was huge and level and came furnished with a tree.

This afternoon, I took one look and knew this new pad would be interesting. If I parked the RV on the pad, the slide would be in the road. So, once again we sit in a field. When is a pad not a pad? If you’re a gate guard, most of the time, but it makes a swell front yard.

“Remember: no matter where you go, there you are.”


4 thoughts on “When Is A Pad Not A Pad?

  1. We have been lucky – only one unlevel pad!! You are doing much better than me – never drove truck with fiver attached,

    • Courage, Jill! There’s nothing to it! The dicey part with our Class A is that the gas tank is center-back – so you have to find a station there you can have all 32 feet in front with the Jeep hanging out behind. I think getting gas is the hardest part with any RV – it cost a whole lot to fill a 250 gallon tank! 😉

    • LOL , John! Tim did say maybe he’d just have to get our dimensions next time! Since we’ve done 5 sites with them now, that sound about right. 😀 That’s the problem with being a piece of plankton! (really like these guys – they just don’t have the pad thing quite figured out…)

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