Travels With Dick and Judy

Follow us in our trials, triumphs and tribulations, while on the road in our motor home "The Liberty Belle". We chose to forsake the conventional lifestyle in our 3,000+ square-foot home to move into a 40-foot Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. Travel with us as we take you on the road with us in our new lifestyle.
I may grow older, but I'll never grow up!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gate Guards Again–August 13, 2014 and onward!

While waiting to hear from our company service rep about a gate guard site, we left Spring Creek Park in Tomball, Texas and headed south on I-45 on Tuesday morning, August 12th, for about a 50-mile drive to visit my sister Betti in Pasadena. In addition to visiting with Betti, Logan and I got to see our great nieces and his cousins Elena and Audrey. Unfortunately, the girls did not warm up to me for most of our visit, which is the price I pay for not seeing the little ones as often as I would like so they remember me. Logan sees them more often, though, and he was great with them.

08-12 - Logan, Elena and Audrey_resize

Then, it was time to bring Logan home after our month-long RV vacation! We had a great visit with Michelle, who had prepared lunch for us, and we gave her some goodies from our trip. It was sad to say “see ya” for the next 2 months, but we knew we would keep in touch.

The following morning, we received a call that a gate guard site was available near Henderson, Texas (approximately 180 miles from Tomball) – and we had to arrive later in the day. We had hoped for a couple more days to visit family and friends, but we also knew we could not turn down this offer. Fortunately, we did not have too much preparation for travel.

Unfortunately, we had not yet seen our son Mike, daughter-in-law April and grandsons Ben and Colby. As soon as we were ready, we made the drive to Katy (approximately 31 miles, going by way of the Grand Parkway or Highway 99, which was a much quicker drive). After going by the house and giving small gifts to everyone, we went to Freddy’s Steakburgers for lunch – yummy and reasonably priced.

8-13 - Colby and Ben_resize

Colby and Ben wearing the t-shirts we brought them!

2014-08-16 - Colby and Ben in shirts from Grammy and Grampa_resize

After saying “see ya” until October, Dick and I headed back to the motor home (“MH”) and got on the road.

The distance was doable in one day, but we had not planned on traffic from Spring Creek Park to I-45 North being so heavy and stop-and-go, thereby, taking almost an hour. Then, we stopped at Pilot/Flying J in Huntsville, Texas, and spent almost another hour in line to get diesel for the MH. Not a bad drive, going north to Buffalo and northeast to Henderson. Due to all the delays, though, we did not arrive at our destination until about 8:30 p.m., in the dark, which did not make Dick a happy camper.

We met our company service rep and his wife, who helped us set up with diesel and the generator. He did NOT have a water trailer, though, and we had to wait another day for water. We learned the hard way this past January (when the water in the water tank was frozen for 2 days) that the on-board water tank needs to be full when traveling in case of emergencies such as this. Our gate guard site was only 10 miles from town (Walmart, Kroger and Lowe’s, so we were good) and a relaxing drive through the country.

This was our set up – and hopefully, will be until our next adventure beginning October 1st!

GG site_resize

Not bad for a gate guard site! In fact, nicer than some campgrounds where we have stayed. We have trees, very little to no wind and a nice highway to the road to the site, which is gravel and only a short distance. We also have excellent phone and internet service with our Verizon jet pack.  The site is fairly level and solid, which is great until we can get our slide and jacks fixed. Since we are farther north, it is not as hot and humid, either (and today, a cool front arrived with temps in the 60s-70s for a day or so).

Part of the morning, I was actually able to sit outside and enjoy the view and a bit of nature (although wildlife has been almost non-existent).

Tree at GG site_resizeButterfly_resize

We were put at this site for completion, which started out steady, but slow; then, got busier; and now, is very slow – but we are making money, which is always nice. After last July through September in South Texas and the 2 sites in East Texas from January through March, this has been the dream gate guard site! We would stay longer if we did not have prior commitments and a family wedding in October.

On Monday, August 25th, as I looked out the door of the MH, this was the view that greeted me.

Sun and road - resize 

This was also the day that our daughter Michelle and 3 grandsons started school and, even though we could not be with them, both Michelle and April shared pictures with us.

2014-08-25 - Colby and Ben_resize2014-08-25 - Logan and Michelle_resize

2014-08-25 - Logan_resize

The following day (August 26th) was our son Mike’s 46th birthday!

2014-08-26 - Mike, Ben and Colby - Mike's 46th birthday_resize

When we are away from our kids, grandsons and other family and friends for months at a time, I have to remind myself that my Dad’s family lived in Kentucky while we lived in Louisiana. We were lucky to see our grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins once a year – and that was before cell phones, the internet, Facebook, digital cameras and Skype! They actually had to write letters and print pictures to mail, talking on the phone very rarely. Our life as full-time RVers is so worth it, and our kids are very supportive and happy we are keeping active. I know I digressed, but this has been something I have wanted to share.

The following week (September 2nd) was our 47th wedding anniversary, and we posted a few pictures on Facebook: first, Dad walking me down the aisle at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Lake Charles, Louisiana; and second, Dick and I in front of St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana on our honeymoon. Memories!


We were blessed with much needed rain, which was definitely a gift from God. Then, Dick fixed us an awesome dinner - since we could not leave together while gate guarding - which was better than any restaurant dinner: Cornish game hens stuffed with wild rice and served with green beans and field peas and a side salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and purple onion. Ironically, our most memorable meal on our honeymoon in New Orleans was stuffed Cornish game hens at the Court of Two Sisters - where the waiter split the hens and laid the wishbone on our plates - which Dick did not do.


We had 2 drivers picking up fluids at the site offer to bring us water to wet down our dirt – in-between the few showers we have received during the last 4 weeks. Dust from the trucks is a huge problem, and we can never get the dust out. Fortunately, without much wind, we do not eat the dust every time we have to go outside, and we tell all the drivers to go by us very slowly, which most do and, if they do not, they hear about it the next time. Dick invested in a tower air purifier from Lowe’s, and I sure wish we had had it last year in South Texas. It does help, but we always prefer no dust.

photo (26)_resize

In exchange for wetting down the dirt, I prepared brownies for both of the drivers. Before we could receive the delivery on Saturday, September 6th, we had a really heavy downpour.


My niece-in-law Ashley said that God must have wanted the brownies – and I am sure that must be it. The driver still got his brownies and brought us water the next time the dust got really bad. Brownies are a small payment as a thank you to those who do us favors on these sites!

Tuesday, September 9th, was Dick’s 69th birthday - even though he kept telling me that he was entering his 70th year, which was true. but let’s not rush it! Again, we could not leave our gate guard site together, so I picked up Chinese food for dinner, and we can celebrate all these events next month. Here are a few pictures through the years!

Young DickGraduation

Summer 2014

Earlier in the afternoon, Dick called me to his window to see about a 3-foot Blue Racer snake whip across our road chasing a frog. He got the frog and went back across the road. The frog got away and the chase began again - across the road, in front of our MH and next to our vehicle. Unfortunately, Dick was not fast enough to get a picture, and the snake disappeared. I know this was a non-venomous snake, but it was right where I go to get in our vehicle in my open-toed sandals. I would have had heart failure and will be watching much more closely. I realize that I had gotten complacent, since we have been fortunate not to see snakes of any kind on our gate guard sites, but I know they are all around us. I never wear open-toed shoes while on duty, but ….

Working in the oilfields of Texas off and on during the year as gate guards, I thought this was an interesting bit of history from 1866.


Well, we have 17 days left on this stint of gate guarding, which we will start again in January. Unless something really exciting happens, this will be my last blog until we leave here on September 30th and our next adventure begins on October 1st.

Thanks for stopping by and please let us hear from you. See ya next time!



  1. We are on a Gate south of Carthage, TX...just about 20 miles from Henderson. We are also friends with Greg & Jan White.

    We had 3 frac's on this site and are now close to the end of our time here at the least we think we are. we actually thought we would have been done a couple of weeks ago, but they just keep us here. Oh well, that is more dollars in our pocket.

    We also have a wedding to attend in mid October. Our granddaughter is getting married up in eastern Kansas...

    Have a wonderful day!
    Lynette McHenry

  2. You guys deserve a great gate after what you went through on that first one. . .

    Loved the postcard of the oil derrick. . .when we were in North Dakota, people are like. . .awwww . ..all the oil stuff is just ruining the views. . .I'm like, we're from Texas. . .looks perfectly normal to me. . .it's what we see all the time.

    I grew up as a kid in Sour Lake which basically existed due to the oil boom in the Beaumont area. . .oil donkeys were in people yards. . .LOL!

  3. Thanks for the comments, Lynette, and it really is a small world out there! If you have a chance, maybe you and I could meet one afternoon between Henderson and Carthage (which I believe is fairly close). Are you with GGS, too? I heard they had other sites in this area. If this works for you, send me another comment and we will get contact info. I am going to check out your blog now.

  4. Thanks, Janice, and I thought the oil derrick info was interesting. I know all about Spindletop. but did not know about the Nacogdoches area, which we are closer to right now.