Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere -- Thurs., May 10

Cotulla, Texas:

Wednesday, April 9: Before I start on my main theme, I'd like to give a shout out to Kit--she and her husband, Jerry, are gate guards down the road a piece from us. I have been reading her blog http://www.kitandjerry.com/  for a few months to get a feel for gate guarding.

As I was headed into town to check mail and do laundry, I stopped and sat a spell with Kit. I enjoyed meeting her and chatting a few minutes.

She has the greatest bird feeder set up. While we were sitting there, a big green jay was hunkered down filling his bird belly with seeds. She gets cardinals, woodpeckers, wrens and even a hooded oriole. No hummingbirds so far.

One of my missions in town was to check our mail at the post office. I wasn't sure what time it closed, so I had to get a move on to get there before 5:00 p.m.

"Water, water every where; nor any drop to drink," The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"When it Rains, it Pours," Morton Salt slogan

"Here Comes the Rain Again," The Eurhythmics

Do you get where I'm going with this? Water has been a big part of my life the last two days. Here's what's been going on.

Laundry day. Typically I don't mind doing the laundry. It's relaxing to sit in the laundromat and read a book or magazine while the machines spin round and round and the smell of fabric softener wafts through the air. Not yesterday.

I had no idea where the laundromat was. There are two in Cotulla. I stopped at the post office, but it closed at 4:30 p.m. A woman was in checking her P.O. Box so I asked where to find the laundromat. She gave me quick directions.

Went to Garcia's Laundry. It's one block off the main street behind Garcia Grocery. Not impressed.

Found two hypodermic needles on washing machines. Ants running all around on counters, washing machines, floors.

Change machine hasn't worked for a long time. You can get change at Garcia Grocery when they're open. Washers $1.25, dryers $.25 for 8 minutes. I would not recommend going to this laundry at night.

Today a local older lady was there. She gave me the scoop on what a bad town Cotulla is. She usually does her laundry in the morning. She advised the non-locals in the laundry to NEVER leave your clothes or belongings unattended. She said it doesn't matter what shape your clothes are in, if you leave them unattended they will get stolen. Someone stole the wheeled carts from the laundry...they had to buy new carts. She said used condoms were found in the laundromat and someone had been doing it there. The owner had to get bleach solution and clean up after them. This lady also told me there is another laundromat in Cotulla but it is worse than this one, dirtier.

My experience with the washers was this...I did five loads. Three machines worked. One machine had a short in it. I thought it wasn't working, but then I slammed the lid and it started up. The other machine worked, but a word of caution. Before you put any money in the machine, close the lid and make sure the washer wasn't emptied on the SPIN cycle. I had the washer all loaded up, put my money in and closed the lid. The person before me had emptied the machine on the spin cycle. That meant my clothes spun, but didn't wash, then the machine shut down and ate up the $1.25 I had put in it. I had to put in another $1.25 to actually wash my clothes. I went up to Garcia's store and explained the situation. I was refunded $1.25.

Needless to say, I did not sit down and enjoy my book. I did our laundry as quick as I could and couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Fast forward to Thursday, May 10...we've been on the gate for one week. It has not been boring! My water, water every where saga continues...

Weather forecast for last night was 70% chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms. By the time I went to bed at 3:00 a.m., the forecast had been revised to 80% chance of severe thunderstorms and heavy rain after 7:00 a.m.

After reading the forecast, I went to bed around 4:00 a.m. At 7:00 a.m., I was awakened to the sound of a massive downpour pounding on our roof. The motions sensors were sensing/dinging and Bob was getting a workout. He took quite a few pictures of the commotion this morning:
The rain caused a river outside our 5er.
Looking out the back window toward our generator and Pad B.
Bob's theme song this morning: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."
Remember the pictures I posted a couple of days ago of Harvey Smith Rd.? Those were taken on a typical hot, dusty day. Here are the same north and south views of Harvey Smith Rd. after a downpour.
Looking north
Looking south
After the rain frogs appeared like magic. They're all over the place.
These beetles eat dead moths.

The "river" flowing past our rig this morning.

Looking "upriver" from our 5er.

The view from the back side with generator.

Voila! Instant lake. Just add water.
I was awakened by a nasty attack of vertigo around 8:00 a.m. Was sick for over an hour. Went back to sleep until noon. I heard thunder as sleep background noise. Sometime in my sleep mode Bob told me I should get up and look out the window at the river flowing past our trailer. No thanks, Bob, I don't feel well. Think I'll keep sleeping. He got photos...lots of water everywhere.

Just before I woke up I had an extensive dream about tornadoes surrounding us. We were in an area like Kansas or Oklahoma, many rolling hills with fields, very few trees. We could see big tornado funnels in the distance and had to snag our cats before we left the place we were staying. In my dream we were trying to catch our cats we had in Hawaii--Captain and Rama--who somehow ended up in Kansas or Oklahoma with us. That's when I woke up.

This morning, the workers at Pad A who were putting controls on the well had to go home. Later in the day, a Chesapeake rep came through to check on Pad A and said he couldn't get on site, the whole pad was a lake.

Not to be outdone, Pad B was also a lake and it's an elevated pad! Water was draining out the culverts, off the Pad, like little muddy waterfalls.
Pad B's new lake.
Um, I think someone forgot a culvert. The edge of the road is eroding.

Yep, this culvert works.
So do these culverts. They're draining the pad in our direction.
This afternoon, Bob headed into town to get our mail. He was going to stop by and meet Kit and Jerry. However, I was surprised to see him return relatively quickly. He said the roads were flooded. He went through a few spots, but gave up when he came to one low spot that was too deep to cross. (Thank you for stopping, Bob!)

Our forecast this morning included tornado warnings, tornado watches, severe thunderstorm activity and flash flood warnings, maybe hail too. Sheesh! We also had sun and wind.

I'm sitting here now looking out the window at thunderheads to the east, south and west. I'm thinking more tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings will be in effect tonight. I may be the one getting soaked checking people in and out tonight.

The site was very busy this morning, then the drilling pipe broke. That put a halt to almost all activity. The eight sand trucks that checked in this morning between 6:00 and 11:00 a.m. are still waiting to drop off their loads . (It's now 6:00 p.m.)

The on-site foreman had trouble coming to the Pad from Cotulla...said he knocked a hole in the pan underneath his big pick-up. He had to stop and take the pan off.

The wind has picked up quite a bit this evening. Could be an interesting night!

I'll keep you posted.

Update at 3:15 a.m. Friday, May 11: Whew that was close. The majority of the storm bypassed us to the north, but we got a good lightning show out of it. Only had to use the umbrella once, but it wasn't a downpour. The trailing edge of the storm went right over us about 8:10 p.m. After that it has been clear. Our chance of rain decreases dramatically.

The next time I have a good internet connection, I will post photos of some dramatic cloud formations, a grackle and the kitties on a new post. Now I must head to bed for some zzzzz's.

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