Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ouch! Unintended Consequences -- Sat., May 19

OK, that hurt! 

If you will recall, earlier today Bob and I decided to close the gate to stop workers from running it and not checking in with us as they're supposed to. Good idea in principle.

However, the gates do not cooperate. Keep in mind that the gate is over a cattle guard grate. The grate is metal bars with spacing between the bars large enough for a foot and leg to fall through. It is about 1-1/2 feet down to the bottom of the grate. Add to that, there is no way to grab both sides of the gate at the same time to close it after someone drives through. Factor in the wind blowing the gates when you're trying to get the two sides together.

Cattle guard grate (can't tell how deep it is in pic)

Here's what happened to me tonight, in the dark (except for our tower lights), with no one else around. (Bob was sleeping.) 

The last two trucks of the evening exited the gate and, as per our new procedure, I was going to close the gate and latch it. I grabbed one side of the gate and pulled it to the closed position. The wind grabbed it and blew it open. 

Cr*p...Went to the other side and pulled that gate to the middle. This side of the gate has a long-ish piece of rubber tubing to stretch out to try to reach the other gate. Well, it didn't quite reach. 

I dropped the rubber tubing to bring the first side of the gate closer so I could reach part of it while holding the rubber tubing. I got the first side of the gate close to the cattle guard, but the wind caught the other side with the tubing and started blowing it back. 

Whoops! Forgot about the grate and quickly spun back to catch the side that was blowing away. My left foot and leg fell through the grate, scraping my leg along the metal, and my foot landed 1-1/2 feet down (almost up to my knee). My left foot hit the ground hard and my right leg was still up on the grating. I assessed the damages and, thank goodness, my leg was not broken, just scratched (minor) and bruised.

I climbed up out of the grate and shook it off, used a different technique, and was finally able to get the gate latched. 

Went back in the 5er, washed and dressed the scrapes and sat down to settle down. I am noticing my neck and left shoulder hurt, so there was probably a little whiplash in there when my foot went down 1-1/2 feet and hit the ground. It happened so fast!

We  may have to re-think closing the gate. It's not worth a major injury. Can you imagine trying to get up the steps into the 5th wheel with a leg cast on? I don't even want to think about it.

It is a little past midnight and I'm so thankful I wasn't badly hurt.

Gate: 1; Susan: 0.

More pics of big rigs moving out:

You can see Bob behind the generator to get an idea of the size of these rigs.
Sunnie trying to "share" cubbyhole with Bowie.

Travel Bug out.


  1. You might try putting your stop sign out in the middle of the road in front of your RV. They will have to stop for that. You will have to move the sign each time, but you won't be taking the chance of falling through the cattle guard again. I know that must have been very painful! Hope you are feeling better.

    1. Carol,
      That's a great idea, but inside our gate the road "Ts" and trucks have to go right or left, depending on which pad they're going to. Currently most of the work is at Pad B which is away from our RV. We have to catch them at the gate.


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    3. P.S. My injuries are minimal. I feel normal except for slight stiffness in my neck if I turn m head a certain way. Thank you for your concern.

  2. Susan, get a long piece of rope and tie it to one of the gates. When closing the gate grab the end of the rope and go fetch the other gate. Once you are standing in the middle and have hold of the gate without the rope, pull the other gate towards you with the rope. Then you can latch it and walk, unharmed, back to the trailer.

  3. Doris,
    Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner. Good idea. Now to find a long piece of rope or maybe a dead Texas rattlesnake (J/K).

  4. Ouch! That hurt me just reading about it. Hope you're not too sore.


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