The week is moving pretty fast here in the Texas oil fields. The rain predicted for Monday did not arrive until just before dawn Tuesday when we had a thunderstorm move through the area. The rain turned our little piece of the world here a mucky mess. The Caliche stone/gravel mix they use here does not soak up any water at all. The rain water just sits on top or runs in little rivers to the nearest low spot. When you have to walk through the muck it sticks to your shoes like wet cement and then dries just as hard. Makes working the gate a little tougher.
We are both getting into a routine and have had a little boredom set in at times. Today was not one of those routine, semi boring days :-).
I was able to sleep almost the entire night undisturbed so I stayed up all morning this morning. I took advantage of the time and replaced the clearance lamps on the back of the semi. There are three of them on the back that were all damaged when we had the blow out last month in Florida. While doing that I started our portable generator and plugged in the block heater for the truck. They say to run the generator under load for 30 minutes at least once per month. The block heater draws quite a few amps and provides a good "load" for the genny.
I finished that up just in time to greet the "honey wagon" who was leaving after pumping out all the black tanks from the housing units. Talking to the driver confirmed he had another trip to make and he would pump our tank out when he returned later today. As he was leaving I noticed a compartment door on his truck was open and I was able to get him stopped and the door closed before he pulled away from the gate.
When I turned around after closing the door I saw this
Yikes, Fire! I yelled at Rudee to come outside and told her to call 911. The fire was right next to the highway and as black as the smoke was it had to be some type of petroleum fire. My first thought was that a tanker truck carrying crude oil had crashed and was burning. Rudee gave the 911 dispatcher our location and then called the company man to let him know about the fire. I hopped in the Dakota and drove down to see if I could help. Turns out the fire was in a pit next to a storage facility. There was no real danger that I could see since it was confined to the pit and all the workers were across the road at a gathering point. I did drive back to a nearby well so I could check on the gate guards there. They were doing fine so I headed back to the 5th wheel.
The Fire Dept arrived about 20 minutes later (told you we were in the boonies!) and the smoke soon disappeared. Whew, that's enough excitement for our day.
Earl, the "company man" stopped by to talk with us after the fire. He invited us to have dinner with the crew on Thanksgiving. They are have a catered meal brought in, sounds good count us in! He also mentioned that he would like us to follow the rig when they move to another site. I guess not every gate guard is asked to do this and we feel privileged that we were asked. Guess it means they like the way we are doing things. This gate will need guarded for awhile and we could probably stay here for several months but I think a change of scenery might break up the monotony and we really like "our" crew so we are faced with a decision, do we stay or do we go? I'll keep you posted.