Where in the hell am I?

March 9, 2010

Splish splash


Swollen creek

Originally uploaded by texasrobo

Back in East Texas again. Not the project from hell, although this project has certainly started to rival that job as far as being fubared.
Today, for example, we had to wait until almost 10:30 to find out if we could go on any properties, to avoid a repeat of The Flag Lady Incident, which I will get to this week, promise! Then, we find out that one area is off limits. So we head to another small reroute.
I should mention that it’s been raining in Texas a lot the last few months. Every trip here seems to be while it’s raining, and each time the ground is more saturated and the runoff more intense.
Normally, we might say “Hey, why don’t we let the ground dry out for a while before we get back out there. This will also give you a chance to get all of the right-of-way ducks in a row and build up enough work to justify having three people essentially bill 2 days of drive time each.”
Instead, we keep driving out and finding various roadblocks. In this case, a very impassable creek tributary (see photo). Normally, this drainage might be a couple of feet deep, maybe 5-10 feet wide at it’s maximum point, with a slow flow. Not fun, but crossable. Right now, with all of the rains and the already saturated ground, this creek is at least 6 feet deep and 20 feet wide with a swift current. Also, there were no logs to walk across (you KNEW I’d find a way to link to that video again!).
My field director, who is part of the three-man crew this week, had bought a small inflatable raft a while back with the idea that we could use this to get across these types of creeks. I can’t say that I ever thought this was a good idea, and I was hesitant today. Of course, my field director knows me well and taunted me with “Where’s your sense of adventure?”
Fortunately, my stubborn pridefulness was not so strong that I insisted on going first. Which is fortunate, because my field director couldn’t make it across, and when he tried to get back out of the raft, it flipped over and he fell in. This, by the way, is how we know the water is at least six feet deep. I have to admit, it was pretty funny, although I managed not to laugh out loud. Ken was good natured about it, although his phone may be ruined.
Needless to say, we decided to try again in a day or two when the water might be down, although it looks like there’s a good chance of thunderstorms again tomorrow.
We ended up going to Center so Ken and Jimmy could eat lunch and Ken could make plans. I ate my PB&J, carrots, and banana and then spent some time checking out the Shelby County courthouse square. By the way, I find it very creepy that Center, Texas, despite being a town of 5,678 (seriously, according to their signs and Wiki) and the county seat of Shelby County, does not show up when you search for it on Google Maps or Weather.com
In many ways, an easy day, but a total waste of time and I had to miss something really fun in Austin Monday night. Maybe tomorrow will turn out better.

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2 Comments »

  1. Hey, LiAnna (Wain’s girlfriend) is from Center. True fact!

    Comment by Joolie — March 9, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  2. Center is actually home to the worst field accommodations I’ve ever had in CRM.

    BUT, a few swell little food places (CLASSIC southern with a texas flair), and, if you are feeling adventurous, a mom and pop run combination dog clothes/home canned food/adult novelty store.

    Comment by deidra, yup, that one. — March 10, 2010 @ 6:43 pm


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