Another Day, Another Day Gate

Posted by on February 7, 2016

Shawn called on Wednesday afternoon to tell us he had another day gate for us with the same oil company (Hat Creek) as our last day gate.  Once again the hours are basically 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Michael got together with Shawn and looked at Google maps to find out where we needed to be so that Shawn didn’t have to drive all the way over there to show us the way.  He’s much too busy to have to worry about driving 3 hours just to show us where the gate was located.

Sunrise Friday morning when we arrived at the gate

Sunrise Friday morning when we arrived at the gate

This particular gate was east of Pearsall…about 70 miles from the yard in Carrizo and was only supposed to last 2 days.  We couldn’t see the sense in driving that distance twice a day for two days so we decided to find a small motel in Pearsall and stay there one night and make it a little easier on ourselves as we were pretty wiped out after what amounted to 14 hours a day in the truck last time.

We took time on Thursday to pack an overnight bag, things to help us occupy our time and food for the two days. Michael made sure the chairs and grill were in the bed of the truck too.

We packed the truck the night before and were pretty much ready to go when the alarm went off at 4:40 am…other than to get our drinks and zap the breakfast tacos I made the day before.

The drive was about an hour and 20 minutes and we arrived just before the workover rig crew and about 10 minutes before the company man, who turned out to be the same guy we worked with last time.

The workover rig was easily viewed from our spot at the gate

The workover rig was easily viewed from our spot at the gate

The well is easily visible from the road and easy for us to see the guys working.

Saturday morning as we drove through the dark to the gate we had an escort for a good couple of miles.  That escort was a rabbit!

As we drove down the dirt road we saw a rabbit on the road in the glow of our headlights.  We thought we was trying to cross the road so Michael slowed down enough to let him cross.  As we got closer the rabbit started to weave back and forth across the road and eventually just stayed right in the middle running ahead of us.  Every now and again he’d make his way toward the side of the road and we thought he’d head off into the brush….but nope…he’d make he’s way right back to the middle of the road.  If Michael tried to go around him he’d move over so that he was right in front of the truck.  If Michael sped up he’d put his little bunny gears into turbo and floor it so that we couldn’t.  He must have finally run out of steam and ran off into the brush on the side of the road but he sure did give us a good chuckle at 6:00 am.

Michael was able to get a nap in...

Michael was able to get a nap in…

Friday morning shortly after we arrived and were sitting in the truck Michael looked out his window to see a big fluffy skunk passing by, walking under or just in front of the truck and then I watched him walk past the passenger door and make his way into the field next door.

Saturday morning as we were pulling up to the gate I unhooked my seat belt so that I could get out to open the gate when I remembered the skunk from the day before and then caught a glimpse of a different skunk (this one was much blacker and not as fluffy than that of the day before) waddling down the road in front of the gate.  Needless to say, I allowed Michael to get out and open the gate and stayed inside the safety of the truck!

Dining outdoors

Dining outdoors

Friday was nice enough, weather-wise, that we were able to sit outside most of the afternoon.  We grilled our lunch (ham steak, grilled potatoes & corn), watched the rig crew work, read, tinkered on our phones, etc.  The wind was a bit breezy/cool but not too bad until a little later in afternoon when it began to get pretty chilly so we packed everything up and moved back into the truck for the remainder of our shift.

Saturday was a bit cooler and quite a bit more windy so we never did set up our chairs outside.  But we did grill some burgers for lunch but just ate our lunch in the truck.

The Candy Man does...

The Candy Man does…

We got another visit from the ‘Candy Man’ who educated us on some oil field procedures…he does a great job of explaining things!  He was very receptive to our questions and explained things in a way that even I could understand.  Of course, before he left he gifted us with candy…a big old HUGE bag of mixed candy bars!

We found out on Saturday afternoon just what was being done on this job.  The workover crew was installing a pump jack.  All oil wells have gas in them too….which pressurizes the well and helps pump out the oil.  Over time that gas lessens and in turn the oil flow lessens.  When this happens an pump jack can be installed to pick up the oil production.

The rig crew finished up about 5:00 pm and pulled out about 5:15 pm.  Although we didn’t leave until almost 5:45 pm as we had to wait for the safety guy to finish packing up his stuff.

As the ‘Candy Man’ and Rig Manager left (separately) they each asked Michael if we’d be on the next job they’re starting on Monday back over in the area where we were on our first day gate.  Michael, of course, told them we hoped so but never knew anything until we got a call from Shawn.  Michael texted Shawn with a heads up that there might be another day gate coming up on Monday.

It will all depend on whether the landowner requires a gate guard and if the couple who moved into the yard here on Thursday is offered the gate  or not.  Not sure how this works now that we have company in the yard.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Abear's Swamp Shack

Abear’s Swamp Shack

We stopped in Dilley at Abear’s Swamp Shack for dinner.  Neither of us are big Cajun fans but they had other things on the menu that we thought we could try.

Louisiana Cheese Steak

Louisiana Cheese Steak

Michael ordered the Louisana Cheese Steak and was very happy with his choice:  thinly slice ribeye, onions, peppers and cheese.  I went with the catfish plate with a couple of shrimp added on.  Both choices came with fries and mine also had cole slaw.  I wasn’t a big fan of the cole slaw as it had raisins in it.  The catfish batter was crispy with a hint of spice to it and the catfish itself was tender and flaky.  The shrimp were tasty as well.

Catfish dinner

Catfish dinner

The amount of food we were served was crazy.  I received 2 huge filets with a mound of fries while Michael’s sandwich was colossal-sized along with a mound of fries to boot.

Sunset on the way home Saturday night

Sunset on the way home Saturday night

We both ate about 1/2 of our meals and boxed up the rest to take home and enjoy later.

We got home just about 8:00 pm, unpacked part of the truck, put a few items away and headed straight for bed.  I read for a short while but it was lights out shortly after 9:00 pm.  Sitting in the truck for 12 hours a day is pretty darn tiring!


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