In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Caliche, Cactus, Snakes and Tarantulas

I spent the first three days of the week either on the road or at a project site in South Texas. The "on the road" part was tough. Over 1200 miles is a lot of time staring through a windshield.

The project site is in the boonies near the Mexican border. From conversations with the crew and others, the problem of illegal aliens is big in this area, since it's so close to the border. It's no uncommon on any day to hear of a half dozen that were caught during the day.

The terrain is brutal. The soil is a combination of caliche, with hardpan and numerous boulders of sandstone. Very little grows in this soil and what does is a type of cactus, or brush with thorns. Wandering in this tough terrain are deer, coyotes, bobcats, deer, snakes and tarantulas. The wildlife lives on what it can find and the water is scarce.

This photo is looking south toward the border, which is less than ten miles away. To understand the distance, look at the backhoe in the top left corner. There are rolling hills and the view on the tops of the taller hills allows viewing to the horizon. That's prickly pear in the foreground, which is so thick in places it creates an impenetrable barrier that can cover acres.

At night, the only light is from the stars, or in the distance on the numerous drilling rigs that dot the landscape.Walking without any light can lead to numerous encounters with the cactus or a bite. Rattlesnakes get big and the tarantulas are found everywhere. Making a mistake can lead to death.

Travelling across this area must be a nightmare for those trying to seek refuge in the United States.  Beside the terrible terrain, the dangers from the fauna, or flora, guarantee a need for medical care, which isn't available. Border Patrol agents find many that are willing to be caught, just for a drink of water and a ride from the hell they encountered.

This trip gave me mixed feelings about the illegals trying to get to the United States. Their efforts can only be commended. Raw determination is the only description for attempting a trip across the miles of hostile terrain. What lead to the attempt, whether through hope, or desperation, can only be described as beyond compelling. I have the feeling it's the last chance for something other than a certain life of misery for many. They're willing to risk death to prevent death.

Meanwhile, in the United States, millions flourish on the forced philanthropy by the government. They breed, get paid to breed, live a life that compares to luxury in many countries and make no effort to improve their life. We created them with "The Great Society".

So, I think those that are willing to try so hard for a chance should get that chance and we should exchange them for those unwilling to try. Maybe we can have a race. Those that win get to stay. Those that don't go to Mexico. I have the feeling those racing to the north will win every time; especially if the race is across the harsh, vast terrain of the southern border.


  1. I've been in a place like that delivering oilfield tanks. Their tailgate meeting was decidedly different that most - we were warned not to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in it, or even worse, running. There was an Immigration blimp in the sky as well.

    We were also warned about the rattlers and tarantulas. I got to see a bunch of tarantulas crossing the roads.

  2. The blimp hanger was about two miles from our project. Border patrol was everywhere and we went through checkpoints on the way back.

    The checkpoints had banks of cameras, multiple antennae and agents, including some from the U.S. Marshals service. Considering I had a TWIC card in my wallet, I have the feeling they knew who I was as soon as we drove into the checkpoint. They only told us to go on.

  3. Replies
    1. Transportation Workers Identification Card. It's a required identification for access to most facilities that have access to a dock, such as a refinery or a port. Without it, you may not have any access, although some places allow a cardholder to escort up to 5 people, with escort meaning they can't leave your sight.

      The card has an embedded microchip for readers.