Yesterday we started our 8th week doing gate guard duties at the Hinkle Ranch. Rudee and I sat down and had a long conversation about what our future holds and made some decisions.
We decided to go ahead a move with the rig when they leave here in another 10 days to 2 weeks. We have no idea where the new drill site will be but it should be in the Cotulla area from everything we are hearing.
We will work that gate until the drilling is completed there and then we will call it quits. This usually takes about 30 days so we are looking to be done no later than February 13th. That would give us 14 weeks straight and we are both ready for some time off.
Our plan is to find an RV park near San Antonio and hunker down for a week or so to clear the cob webs out and get some quality sleep (read: no bells dinging!). After that we will move East toward Louisiana and I am eyeing the area around Vicksburg, Mississippi where we could spend some time seeing the sights and, if the weather is decent, taking some motorcycle rides.
The well they are drilling now has been a bit of a struggle for them. The rig shifted during the drilling and started leaning to one side. This caused some concern for a few days but didn't delay them much. They had a big review type investigation and one of the things they are changing is how we do our job here on the gate. We are now required to get full names of all the people inside each vehicle passing through the gate. Up until now they only asked for the first name of the driver and we could wave through any semi trucks. This will be a little more work for us but no big deal. One thing for sure though, I'm glad the fracking is over because everyday a shuttle bus would come with 8-10 of the workers on board and then at least one or two SUVs with 5-6 each. Thats a lot of names to write on one little line :-).
Yesterday the company man, Earl, drove up and handed us a package of Ribeye steaks. There were two, thick, 16 oz steaks in the package. We decided to freeze one of them for later and have the other one for supper tonight. I got the grille and small propane tank out of the basement and set it up on the back of the semi. Rudee made a salad and baked potato while I grilled the steak. The whole meal turned out great and we only got interupted one time to check someone in.
The weather did warm up some and we have even seen the sun :-) They are predicting the temps to drop again with highs in the 50's and lows in the lower 40's to upper 30's for the rest of the week. We'll take it though, beats the snow and cold up North! I'll keep you posted.