Monday, November 14, 2011

Goddam ditch rats

This place is over-run with long legged ditch rats.  There were at least three things that I hated about Candle Lake – it rained constantly, the wind blew pretty well non-stop and the effing bloody ditch rats were thicker than flies.  I don’t know how we managed to drive to the lake as often as we did and never hit one.  I’ve killed more of those miserable creatures with a vehicle than most hunters kill with a rifle. 

When Ross and Sandy McKnight visited us at Candle Lake he was so sympathetic to my hatred of the ditch rats that he sent me a high powered sling shot when they got back home.  I was all excited about the carnage I was going to wreak with my new ec0-friendly weapon the next time we were at the lake.  Of course I was doomed to disappointment because even the marble sized steel balls that Ross had shipped along with the slingshot made no impact on the rats.  They continued to make our site their home and happily munched any plants that we or the neighbours tried to grow. 

The rats here are smaller than their Candle Lake cousins but there are more of them.  And some fools must feed them pretty regularly because they don’t realize that I am a predator.  I’m working on educating them in that regard, aided by the fact that our site is covered in pea gravel.  I’m not that great an aim as my sons will attest but the shotgun approach with pea gravel at close range is pretty effective.  And there’s a couple of ex-ducks at Candle Lake that can attest to the fact that occasionally my aim is OK.  Of course SWMBO won’t let me launch an all-out assault on the local ditch rats because she thinks it might impact our ability to return to this location in the future.  Everything in this world is a compromise.

Today we travelled from some little widespot on I-10 – I think it was called Sonora.  We arrived there in the dark last night and then I stupidly got us headed north out of town on a single lane road with no way to turn around.  The GPS said we could take some country trail to get turned around but it has lied in the past so I was reluctant to trust it last night.  Finally in desperation we did turn off the highway onto a dirt trail that led us along a couple of goat paths to a closed gate.  Fortunately there was a Texas gate leading in the wrong direction next to the closed gate so we gave that a whirl and it finally dumped us out in someone’s backyard which turned out to be large enough to turn around in.  Evidently there weren’t home – at least there were no lights on and they didn’t shoot at us.  When we got back to Sonora I parked us in front of a Mexican restaurant that claimed to be open for breakfast, thinking that we could get up early and thereby avoid inconveniencing the breakfast crowd.  Their sign lied but we left early anyway.  There was no sign of a cook or a customer at 7:30 when we left.

After we turned off I-10 I made another navigatory error in Kerrville.  That lead to us travelling a paved goat trail through the west Texas hills between Kerrville and Medina.  I quickly learned to trust their speed limit signs after one of them said 15 MPH and I assumed that “15 MPH” really meant “slow down”.  One 30 MPH switchback and a quick 100 feet of elevation later put us in 1st gear for the rest of the climb.  Some poor SOB in a minivan met us in the middle of another series of switchbacks.  I didn’t really have time to keep an eye on him but I think I left him more or less half of his lane.  He was stopped the last time I noticed and I didn’t feel us touch him so I think that was OK.

We’ll be here for 2 weeks because that is how long Thousand Trails will let us stay without paying.  Then we’ll go east to another one of their preserves this side of Houston.  With any luck by the time our 2 weeks runs out there we’ll be able to go to the project at Navasota that I rushed home from Brazil for.

1 comment:

RJ said...

Two words, paintball marker.