A New, New Record . . .

I’ve been trying to upload this blog for about 3 hours now with no luck. I don’t know if Verizon is working on things or what. But every night a little after midnight, I lose data service on both my Droid and my aircard. Normally I get it back between 3 and 4am, but not tonight. Here it is 5:30 and still no service. Hopefully it will come back before I knock off at 7.

Today (Tuesday) was pretty laidback with only a normal amount of traffic (70-80 vehicles), but yesterday was a madhouse.

For some reason the pad for this site is apparently smaller than normal, and yesterday they had so many big trucks coming in carrying casing pipe, drilling mud, water, and other fluids, that they didn’t have enough room on the pad, and so had to start restricting access to 4 rigs at a time.

Believe me, truck drivers do not do “waiting patiently” very well,

In fact, not at all.

At one time, I had nine rigs parked along side of the road waiting their turn to get in. And it really didn’t help things when the Company Man called me and said to send in a couple of the rigs from the middle of the pack, because their drilling mud was needed NOW.

I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands. The drivers were yelling and jeering at the two trucks that got to jump line, and the two drivers were yelling back. Finally about 6:30pm we got caught up and things settled down. I should have gotten extra pay as a traffic cop/anger management consultant.

Our previous vehicle record was 128 vehicles as our old site was shutting down before moving here. Our new record is now 148 for this past Monday. Still don’t know yet if this is normal for a new rig starting up.

They do seem to be making good progress here. The hole is down to about 4800 feet, but the computer said the bit was at about 200 feet. Don’t know if they’re putting down casing, or just changing bits. I’ll try to find out tomorrow.

Looks like our days are now permanently in the 90’s. It helps that the humidity pretty much stays in the 20% range. Tractor Supply sells some misting units that I’m going to check out for when it gets hotter.

It’s still very comfortable at night though, with temps in the low to mid 60’s. In fact I usually wear a long sleeve shirt at night for a little warmth.

In contrast, here’s where we were this time last year. Check it out.

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King’s Canyon and Sequoia Too . . .

Originally posted on May 23, 2011

We had to get early this morning at 7:30, but it was for a good cause: Our trip down south to King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

But before we left, Jan put some food out for the birds and squirrels. And it turns out we have a another visitor to the food, a resident gopher.

Gopher 1

Gopher 2

Jan didn’t realize she was dumping the food almost on top of his hole, but he was happy.

We finally headed out about 9 for the 100 mile trip down to the two National Parks.

Our first stop was at a convenience store in Squaw Valley, the same place we stopped last year, for a bathroom stop and a cappuccino.

Then we started the long climb up into the parks, from about 300 ft. in the valley to almost 8000 ft. At about 6000 ft. we started seeing snow again, although not near as much as last year.

The big problem was the fog. It steadily got worse the higher we went. In some places we could only see 20-30 ft. in front of the truck, so it made for really slow going.

Sequoia 1

We took a bathroom break at the Lodgepole Visitor’s Center and got our National Park Passports stamped for Sequoia, and then head down the road a couple of miles to the General Sherman Tree, by volume the biggest tree in the world

Lodgepole 1

Sherman Tree Trail

It’s about a half mile walk down the hill to the tree itself

Sherman Tree Trail 2

At 275 ft. high, it’s about 2500 years old, and it’s a monster. We didn’t get see the General Sherman last year because the road was snowed in, so we felt lucky this time.

Sherman Tree Trail 3

Coming back up to the parking lot we found the fog had really rolled in. And it made the drive back to the King’s Canyon area really dicey. The 26 mile trip took over an hour and fifteen minutes.

Sherman Tree Trail 4

We got to the King’s Canyon area about 10 til 3, just in time to get lunch at the café before closed at 3 pm.

Then after lunch, and getting our Passports stamped for King’s Canyon, we headed a couple of miles down the road to see the General Grant Tree, the second biggest tree in the world.

General Grant Tree

What’s unusual is that, although the General Grant is second in volume to the General Sherman, at 40 ft. in diameter, it has the biggest base. 40 ft. is the length of our motorcoach.

General Grant Tree 2

The Gamlin Cabin, shown here, and built in 1872, has served as everything from living quarters for the Gamlin brothers who built it, to a US Calvary storehouse, and then the home of the first park ranger stationed here. And it looks as strong as the day it was built.

Gamlin Cabin

Finally leaving the park and heading home, we did see some deer along the way. We had also seen a bear earlier disappearing into the fog, but otherwise it wasn’t a good day for animals.

Sequoia Deer

Except for the gopher, of course.

We finally got home about 7:30 after stopping and getting Nick his cappuccino fix.

Man, he’s really hooked.

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Thought for the Day:

“It’s easier to fool some people than to convince them they’re being fooled.” – Mark Twain

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2 Responses

  1. You think it might help any to have some fresh baked brownies to offer those having to wait in line so long?? Heh…when hubby used to have terrible days at work, I learned to have those brownies waiting when he got home…sure cheered HIM up!! Sounds like maybe you might need to be armed sometimes…being a policeman with no ammo tis not good.

  2. Yeah, food is a great idea, especially the brownies and so are the misters! I’m sure not looking forward to 90’s+ the whole month we are in Spring, TX. Maybe we’ll get a mister unit ourselves! Who wants to stay inside the coach all day?

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