Monday, September 30, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX - Sept 30

Monday, September 30, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 71 degrees and partly cloudy to 89 degrees and partly sunny. The "weather" has moved on east temperatures are getting high again plenty of puddles to dry up and a lot of wet ground. (To enlarge pictures; Click on picture to enlarge, click on the < in the upper left to return to the blog)

Sunrise in front of Buster "The Yard"
The first picture at sunrise with the deer is the same area zoomed in. The internet signal has been lower over the weekend and early in the mornings with a good signal for 3 G of two or three bars Verizon phone and the air card for the computer during the mid day. The ATT wireless GO Phone is almost always three G two bars or more with no dropped calls so far.

These two were the slow one's

Looking up from the computer about eight-thirty there was a few deer walking thru in front of Buster. There is a wire fence between us and the deer were not flighty taking their time and the young one was the slowest checking or investigating everything.

Buster & Tan Jan parked at "The Yard"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX Sept 29

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 72 degrees and cloudy and rain mid morning to 81 degrees and partly sunny. We had rain storm as I was going to bed. Bonnie and I had been out doing more exploring and were noticing the heat lightening in the sky. The rain in our dish line of sight interrupted the television earlier and was out when I turned on the television and no service. I have not had this type of weather interrupted service in years. Rain again this morning showers with moderate three or four times before the clearing started this afternoon.

Mean while back at The Ranch, Lakewood, NM

from Chuck
"The Ranch is now open for all to return or visit. We are not like we were on Sept 11th but not like we were on Sept 13th either. Lots of cleanup has taken place and two loads of gravel have been donated to help restore some badly damaged lots and common areas. We will use this as far as it will go, the Ranch will not provide replacement gravel beyond that. The fence around the Pond is scheduled to be rebuilt shortly at a cost of less than $15,000. The Storage area has been graded and though not like it was, it will be opened up and trailers & etc. can be moved back in. See Mike Brown for your location. The Boondock area will be dragged in effort to return it to its prior condition. The damaged chain link fencing from the Pond will be used to line the river berm on the west side of the Ranch. This will hopefully eliminate the large critter holes and future erosion. The road on the N. E. Corner that is badly damaged will be worked over and smoothed but not repaved at this time. Cost for that will be approximately $15,000 but no contractor right now is interested in providing a quote, they are all to busy. As the NM State Water Bureau allowed us to pump the Pond out into the Desert, we saved $17,800 in not having to have it removed via transport. And the pumper was a donated operation also.

Thanks to everyone for your time, energy and support. We have seen so many Individuals, Companies, and Organizations help with equipment, food, workers that it is to much for this update to mention. That will come later with the help of Ranch hands.

The Ranch House will be cleaned this next week, if you can help see Lucy, I am sure she can find something for you to do. Thanks again, Chuck"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX Sept 28

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 77 degrees and partly cloudy to 98 degrees and partly sunny. We had three or four short rain showers no large accumulation.

Happy Birthday Irene

I will need to take Bonnie to Pearsall, TX the gate we will be at is north northwest of "The Yard" and the route I will drive Buster will be fifty-wo miles going back to Dilley on SR 85 and west on SR 117 seventeen miles then turning left south then west on CR 4757 for 6.8 miles. This is a dirt road and is in better shape entering from this direction. Yesterday afternoon Bonnie and I drove there from the other direction going to Big Wells then north on SR 1867 a trip of twenty-eight miles and of that eight miles is poor condition dirt road.

Today I spent time cleaning Tan Jan after fifteen miles of dirt road driving and when we were back on SR 117 we had a good rain shower for about six to ten miles as we went to Uvalde. So today we will rest here at Buster and do some chores. There were a lot of miles the past two days.

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX - we have a gate

Friday, September 27, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 75 degrees and mostly cloudy to 98 degrees and partly sunny.

In the afternoon there was one wet cloud that crossed our path while driving on SR 117 (State Road).

I checked with the Post Office in Big Wells for a delivery of mail from Lakewood and called Lakewood for mail so that will come next week. But just getting there and to NAPA store in Dilley was a problem as today they are re-paving SR 468 from the intersection of SR 85 east/south about a mile of single road traffic with flag men. There are not any alternate roads to take. So I had to wait going to the Post Office then going to Dilley on SR 85 it was back thru the same intersection with another wait, but it is only time. I went to Dilley to return the old battery getting more than a sixteen dollar credit. I toured around a little then went to Cotulla driving down interstate thirty-five all this to avoid the single lane construction area. It is just a big circle, and got some info on RV parking there in Cotulla.

By the time I returned to Buster Bonnie was awake and later the gate coordinator called with a temporary gate assignment for a month. This gate for us will start Tuesday and last for a month. It is located in Zavala County Texas north northwest of our current location. Bonnie and I drove there to talk with the present gate person. There are two ways in and the way we got there I will not take Buster, but it was the shorter route from our current location. From there we went to Uvalde and purchased some supply's for the gate assignment.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

“The Yard” Big Wells, TX Sept 26

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 71 degrees and sunny 98 degrees and sunny.
Bonnie did an all nighter and is now sleeping. I was able to get some information from the internet last night that the battery box is located behind the front passenger seat in the floor, and I have a visual now go to work changing out the battery. Happy Birthday John.

The battery is below this cover
In googling the battery location I also found directions and tool sizes and other user information about changing the battery. My other problem is my own fault as there were tools I could not locate in Busters compartments. And I used a rope to lift the battery as the original equipment does not have and handles, the Napa replacement does.

Cover removed and new battery installed

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Lakewood, NM things are moving forward;

"Today we finished the rough grading except for 3 lots where things need to be moved for access and fill brought in. Most of the fine grading has also been done with rakes and shovels. There are still casitas to be returned to location with cleaning and airing to be done.

The Ranch is not back to pre – flood condition, but it is very livable, even the laundry has been in service. People are returning and mostly staying on their lots, although a few might have to stay on a different lot for a while until theirs is finished.

I’ve noticed that the work is moving faster now that we have more people helping, especially with the fine grading and debris pickup. It is always nice to have willing hands pitching in to help.

The gate guard duty ended today and I think tonight’s meal will be the last for the volunteer workers. The Ranch is quickly returning to normal.

I believe that Saturday is the "official" return day, but lot holders are already returning and are staying and helping. Everything is operational including the wi-fi. Welcome home, whenever you return. (Bob C)".

While Bonnie was sleeping I drove to Uvalde, TX going to the ATT Wireless store. We now have a 3G GO Phone with a local area code. It is a smart phone with out a contract that is getting a good signal in this area. ATT is the big wireless phone company here in south Texas. When I got back Bonnie was up and ready to go out exploring the area in the daylight.

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX Sept 25

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas 68 degrees and sunny to 97 degrees and sunny.

Not much happened this morning as we did as it was warm early today. Bonnie is practicing staying up late for our gate guarding job coming up so I was also trying to be quite and not bang compartment doors closed, of course the easiest way to do that is not open them in the first place. I went in for lunch early and was watching some recorded programs when my telephone rang just after two o’clock and we got a gate west of Big Wells, TX. Bonnie and I made ready to go now.

I had for gotten what happened yesterday when we attempted to go into Hondo for some things the car would not start because of a low battery. I got out my charge and connected it for fifteen minutes and I was able to start Tan Jan. I assumed the battery was run down from leaving the doors open and lights on most of the day. I had taken chairs and the table out and placed the portable decks in front of Buster’s door because of the large first step. Today I rolled down the windows and made sure not to run the battery down. Well the car again would not start. Now these new cars the battery is placed wherever the designer wants and not under the hood. Today I got a jump start and purchased a new battery in Dilly, TX on the way to our gate.

Well than there was another problem, I exited the interstate 35 at Dilly and stopped to put fuel in Buster, there at the pump was the coordinator I am to meet. That was handy. The talking lead to the battery and there was a NAPA store right there as we will start going west on TX 85, so I purchased a battery. Still do not know where to install it but I have the battery. And I used it a couple of times to jump start Tan Jan latter in the day.

As we were heading west southwest on 85 I guess Rick got a call and the timing of the gate dried up and we diverted to a RV "yard" on a ranch. This is nowhere-ville , we are out there in the boonies. Seventeen miles west of Cotulla and six miles east of Big Wells which is a step above Lakewood that has only a post office. We followed him here and waited two hours while he had several telephone calls before he decided a gate was not happening today. So I disconnected Tan Jan and backed into this open camp site 50 amp electric with water and sewer connection. So now we wait here for a gate. I am having trouble up loading pictures until I can have a better connection to the internet.
Buster parked at "The Yard" Big Wells, TX

Buster’s total trip was eighty eight miles mostly on state road but there was a short run on interstate 35.

"The Yard" Big Wells, TX 100 degrees and sunny.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas Sept 24

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas 62 degrees and sunny to 100 degrees and sunny.

The cool morning went away early into a warm morning with me working on checking the house batteries and adding distilled water. I also got two of my portable decks set out in front of the door as the first step is on the large side. These are two by four feet in size and these two I am putting on the back floor of Tan Jan when traveling. I also cleaned to toy of Buster’s right side before the temperature got too hot for my working outside today. Bonnie and I are continuing to wait for a gate assignment.

These are the parts of my telephone boost system, antenna power supply and broadcast antenna.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas Sept 23

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas 56 degrees and sunny to 92 degrees and sunny. A nice cool morning for working outside cleaning up Buster after the rainy week and traveling four hundred and sixty miles from Lakewood, NM.

Buster at Lone Star Corral Hondo, TX
I concentrated on the lower half of Buster today as that is also getting splash from the ground as the rain pounds the dirt. The Verizon signal is iffy here even with the amplifier connected to the antenna’s and powered. There is 4G and 3G signals here and connected to the dock my phone shows 4G and two bars or 3G and two bars but the bars go away when I make a call, and short calls do go thru. When in my pocket it can be warm at time and the battery seams to go down quickly as the phone must be searching for signal from the towers.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trav L Park Del Rio, TX 62 degrees and mostly sunny. A nice morning with sunshine for a second day.

Buster at Trav L Park Del Rio, TX
Lone Star Corral Hondo, Texas 90 degrees and sunny. Buster traveled east on US 90 for one hundred seventeen miles. As bonnie and I passed thru the few towns the traffic seamed to be increasing with each town behind us. The road was not as nice, uneven and needing a re-pave. The Verizon signal is on the edge here but more than Del Rio as there was none there. The park had wifi for the computer so we were not totally out of communication. Here our phones get 3G part of the time and 4G on the east side of Hondo.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Trav L Park Del Rio, TX moving south & east

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 62 degrees and mostly cloudy and fog. I picked up and connected tan Jan to the tow bar and headed over to the new Flying J truck stop for propane gas for buster.

US 90 eastbound to Del Rio
Trav L Park Del Rio, TX 85 degrees and partly sunny. Buster traveled south on US 285 to Sanderson, Texas then east on US 90 crossing the Pecos river to Del Rio stopping here for the night. Good two lane roads all the way with climbing lanes for the hills and a lot of elevation changes for this trip mostly decreasing in elevation here in Del Rio. The RV park is west of del Rio and next to the Amistad National Recreation Area, a large reservoir fed by the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas - move on

Friday, September 20, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 69 degrees and mostly cloudy to 68 degrees and cloudy. Rain and rain showers all day resulting in over a half of an inch accumulation. They really do not have the storm drains out here and low places due collect rain water quickly.

More checking with gate guard companies online and by telephone today. The ranch has the water system sanitized and operating, the waste water pond has been drained and the debris cleaned out. Re-grading of RV lots with water erosion is being done along with other things.

We are going to Hondo Lone Star Corral -SKP co-op park with a overnight stop in Del Rio on the way. I talked with our old company today and they have us on a list for a gate assignment and want us closer to the area of Cotulla, TX their base of operations.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas - ranch progress

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 69 degrees and mostly sunny to 83 degrees and sunny.

I was on the computer and telephone this morning checking in with other gate companies for a gate job and nothing yet. Bonnie decided we needed to get our flew shots now before starting work and I agreed. So I went online looking for the closest Walgreens pharmacy. Long story short we went back to Odessa.

Meanwhile back at the ranch Mike and Keitha were able to get their employer Oxy to have Tex Star pump out our pond. Others are clearing washed in debris from there also. The Eddy County came in with off road four wheel equipment and rounded up the floated away storage trailers and moved them into the boondock area. Our water system is back up and operating as normal. The high pressure pump flange has been replaced also thus the high pressure pump is operating normally.

Boondock would be to the right, in front is a storage trailer
 that has floated there from the storage area over
 two thousand feet to the left of the pictured area

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 67 degrees and cloudy to 84 degrees and mostly cloudy. Cloudy and went to rain late morning and showers the rest of the day.

The gate guard company we worked for in the spring is not needing people right now so I am on the telephone making contact with many other companies looking for a gate to guard.

helicopter landing area

We took a drive to Odessa, Texas this afternoon as I needed to stock up on water filters for Buster. Most of the trip was on a nice state road (1053) that has recently repaved, then interstate twenty east twenty three miles.

the ranch from above the ranch house

Still "West of the Pecos River"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 69 degrees and cloudy to 84 degrees and sunny.

Bonnie and I arrived here Sunday early evening traveling down US 285 one hundred sixty-four miles and moving back to central time when we entered Texas. As we neared the state lines we were on the telephone with our daughter Christine.

Sunday morning at the ranch
Yesterday we caught up on the laundry and cleaning up Tan Jan and Buster. We are staying at least another night here while we figure out where to head to (what town).
Add caption

Buster and Tan Jan parked on Lago Vista

Water was coming from this direction across the street into our lot

Our lot # 85

Ready to go

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Ranch evacuation to Carlsbad

The Ranch evacuation to Carlsbad
Most people and pets under twenty pounds were evacuated by helicopter the rest by boat. This was only about a mile to the other side of the west arroyo where FLETC buses (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) from the Artesia training center and Carlsbad and Artesia fire were waiting for assisting used to anyone needing help medically. These were three or four ranch hands some with their pet on each flight. When four the co-pilot stayed on the ground at the ranch. There were three groups of ranch hands delivered to the middle school. For most this was their first helicopter flight maybe even a "bucket list" item?
(To enlarge pictures; Click on picture to enlarge, click on the < in the upper left to return to the blog)

Helicopter landing on Lakewood Road
From Lakewood Road we were bused to PR Leyva Middle School on west Church street in Carlsbad. Some ranch hands and pets went to other places, homes of friends family or church friends in Carlsbad and Artesia. The American Red Cross from Albuquerque operated the shelter Thursday and Friday and Friday night they were relieved by Roswell red cross group, Carlsbad police, National Guard, Carlsbad schools, Southern Baptist relief group, Carlsbad transit all provided for us. Carlsbad Wal-Mart made a clothing donation.

Arroyo behind the ranch
Some ranch hands elected to sleep in hotels but spent the remainder of the day at the shelter. As to the normal Red Cross procedure the pets could not stay in the Red Cross shelter. Pets were sent to a pet shelter and some pets with their "people" were in private homes or hotels. The sheltered pets were transported back to the ranch by shelter trucks.

in the top of the picture behind windmill vista
American Red Cross provided blankets cots and towels, Southern Baptist relief group did most of our meals and the school also provided some meals. Carlsbad transit all provided transportation while we were there allowing us to get to Wal-Mart as most did not have everything they needed there in the shelter, mostly clothes as most were concentrating on medicine, pets or telephone chargers.

Lakewood road flooded
Cards were provided and hand and foot card games were played by many different players every day. Drinks, (soda and juices) water and coffee all we could consume was available thanks to all the providers. Carlsbad transit provided the "short buses" (6) Saturday for our return to the ranch carrying more than we took out. At lunch on Saturday we were given the news that the transit buses will leave the school for the ranch at two and the pets will meet us there. The buses were able to drive Lakewood Road and SKP ranch road with a few inches of water in the arroyo and there was no road damage or sink holes.

FLETC bus waiting to receive ranch hands

Walking to the bus

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM - Thursday recap

Catching up before Thursday -

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM 69 degrees and partly sunny to 88 degrees and partly sunny to cloudy and rain later in the afternoon. It is official we have rain for more than three minutes now we have to wait and see if it is a measurable rain.

Men's coffee and a water committee meeting most of the morning. We had a problem with the water distribution pump outlet flange is developing cracks from the pump off and on cycles. We are operating a few days on our lower pressure backup pump while we acquire a replacement flange.

There was some real rain showers before going to happy hour and again after dinner.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We will never forget the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York or the Benghazi Embassy

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM 69 degrees and waking to rain showers this morning to 87 degrees and sunny. Rain showers all day off and on with some very heavy. Bonnie and Ethel came back to the ranch after nine and Lakewood road was clear. So the water in the arroyo’s came over night.

Thursday 9-12
Monday, September 16, 2013

Parkview RV Park Fort Stockton, Texas 69 degrees and partly sunny.

Review Thursday 9-12

I was up about five and was watching television about two hours when it went off from a ground fault interruption, caused by the lights under the car getting wet. When I was going outside to pull the extension cord lot of the receptacle to reset the fault the water was touching the bottom step of Buster. Bonnie and I went in the car and found high ground near the ranch house then went back to the lot and disconnected Buster and moved to lot 9. In and hour the lot (85) went from a bay to puddles. Later we found the arroyo breached in the wedge area west of the tree and cowboy silhouette this allowed water to flow down the back of lot 102 filling that gully then filling lot 110 & 111. That water was coming across Windmill Vista into my lot 85 going thru to lot 71 and continuing down Quail Trail. Water was also coming into the storage area and all the trailers stored there on the right going into storage floated east with some going down to the east end of Windmill Vista and at least one going further.

The Park
The road Rabbit run at the common area of lot 92 about six feet was damaged by the water, it has been made passable. Lots 119 & 120 pedestals and water were damaged by the water washing them out. Water erosion on lots 110 on down and 85 to 92, and 71 to 76.

 tree and cowboy silhouette in the wedge area

The pond is full the west and north fences are down. The state is concerned about the sewage number one and that is the main reason to close the park. Even more than a few rigs they (the state) are not comfortable about our boondocking in the park without sewage. Water is requiring testing, the equipment is working. The park never lost power (from the electric co-op) but park power was shut down except for the ranch house to save our equipment. The east Windmill Vista power is off because of lots 119 & 120 pedestals being down. This covers lots 114 to 120, 89 to 92 and 68 to 76.

Saturday, the arroyo we could drive thru 
To enlarge pictures; Click on picture to enlarge, click on the < in the upper left to return to the blog. the fence to the left is full of debris and laying over toward the road.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM Sunday morning

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM 62 degrees and partly sunny.

We are leaving today and the park will close at sundown for the rest of the month tor repairs and health concerns. Bonnie and I will head to Texas. More later today.
The Arroyo breached to the  right of the tree

Our lot Saturday afternoon

park closing announcement

the arroyo behind the ranch house Saturday
on Thursday the water was almost to the top

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM

we are back to the ranch this afternoon about three. Our group came back in six Carlsbad transit "short buses" only to tomorrow at sundown. Just a quick post more to come.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM - FLOODED

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Escapees Ranch - Lakewood, NM 679 degrees and RAIN

THERE WAS EXCESSIVE RAIN OVER NIGHT after a day of showers. I was up at five this morning but never looked out until the tv was tripped by flooding the lights under the car caused the ground fault to trip about 6:30 or 7:00 AM.

Across the street
We moved Buster to higher ground we are in the high spot of the park with others. The exit roads are also flooded. If we leave the park we are going by Boat if the high ground gets flooded. Our lot was a bay when I moved  Buster off the lot it was a "bay" the street in front was a fast moving river.

9:15 all these pictures were taken and the water had receded on our lot to puddles. There is erosion all over the park. Utility trailers, 100 gallon propane tanks and sheds floated off. The waste water pond is washed out. The fence floated off. More later.

Up the street the lots are flooded street is not

other end of our street

more latter 9:29 AM