Saturday, August 20, 2016

bad news / good news

Well...the bad news is an unsuspecting group of 5 people came out today and got really stuck in the mud just past TFL.  A van and a small pickup pulling a ramshackle camper trailer. One of them trudged through the mud to see if I had a tractor to pull them out...of course I don't.  I asked him how in the world they made it that far and he said they got stuck 3 times before getting swamped to a dead stop near me - I guess the muddy road right by the highway wasn't enough of a clue for them.  From what I could understand, I think they were headed to a camper junkyard about a mile NW of me - something about swapping out the trailer they were pulling for one on the property.  I'm not sure if any of them are property owners out here since I only talked to one of them and he said he was just along for the ride to help the others and had never been out here before.  Of course while we were having this conversation it started to pour down again.  I told him there is no way I can get them out and it might be at least a couple of days before anyone else can.  I also told him that after it stops raining I will walk over to assess the situation.  By the time I got over to check on them and take this picture, they had already headed off in the direction of the junkyard.  Had I caught them in time, I would have suggested they just use my phone to call someone in Alpine to come south for them - then start heading for the highway.  Trudging deeper into trouble is usually not a good idea.

The good news is all my tanks overflowed today. 72,81,68, .36",B  


James Beach said...

Just north of Mailbox (I think). At least that's good news for you.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Hope someone can get them unstuck, but until then, they make a great road block.

Jim said...

I drove by that place last week. Strange that they would want to swap out a trailer that has wheels with any of those old shot out campers in that junkyard, most of which have no tires!

John Wells said...

I think the little box house they are bringing out is sitting on a flatbed trailer...

Nicki said...

Almost the same stunt we pulled today. We were leaving a church camp in the canyons of Montana. It has been raining off and on for 3 days. We tried to get out last night but turned around and went back. Left at 6 AM and got stuck after about 15 minutes. We sat for 2 1/2 hours before the rancher came out on a gator headed to his house. He got the tractor and pulled us out. Needless to say our 2 hour trip home took 5 hours and 45 minutes.

Larry G said...

A tractor would seem to be an obvious thing for John's place - no? goes to show how much I DON'T know, eh?

and makes me think until the govt came along and put in that road to Terlingua that way back when folks in that neck of the words were REALLY off grid!!!

Ronald Mahan said...

Rain is a blessing in our desert! But driving on our unpaved roads during or too soon after a rain - will certainly adversely reward those who challenge the Terlingua Mud. Been there - done that - and don't plan to do it again! Many years ago - it took two wreckers to extract my Ford Super Duty 4x4 from an unseen (submerged) hole the middle of a wet Terlingua Ranch Road! These are (as advertised) - DRY WEATHER ROADS ONLY!

Rita B. said...

how in the world did a "camper junkyard" get out in that beautiful area? too bad there's not a metal recycle place in Alpine (or closer) to take that stuff. poor Mother Earth.

Larry G said...

so.... hard surface roads need a firm base layer to sit on as well as effective drainage... and folks down that way are truly fortunate that the govt saw fit to collect tax dollars from others to provide that road.

Some of the first roads in America in Virginia - were actually built by the Church - each able-bodied man was expected (like tithing) to put in two days a month in building roads and back in those days - property-owners gladly donated their land to get the road located where their property was!

Texas 118 has an interesting history also -Apparently it was built to provide access to a State Park? ( Davis Mountains State Park Highway). Perhaps John knows more... but Texas 118 represents the point at which the State itself decided to build roads - rather than just let the counties do it.

A few years after that Texas decided to build Farm-to-market roads which helped farmers increase their productivity and get their goods to market ... and ultimately electricity along those road rights-of-ways to their farms.

It was only when the States decided to build "state roads" that one could then travel across a State and not have to thread their way on county roads.

Then the Fed decided that connecting the States was a logical follow-up to the States connecting their counties...

To that point - only the towns located near rails were "connected" to markets.

First it was the railroads then auto roads that transformed this nation into one of the most powerful economies in the world - and to this day - the difference between advanced economy nations and developing/3rd world nations is - roads and rail built by the Government. Rail was built by private companies - on right of way - given to them by the govt - who took that right of way from property owners - and out west from native Americans.

Sometimes we forget - even when we see what happens to non-paved county roads...during weather events - we just take the paved ones for granted... even as we might believe the govt to be not beneficial to us- those hard-surface ones that we all depend on for our lives.. even those who live "off grid" - as they get all of their "stuff" via those vital govt-provided hard surface road networks.

just saying... ;-)

Margery Bills said...

Were you supposed to put them up?

Larry G said...

Perhaps John should put his place on AirBnB as a "unique" experience for only 100.00 a day that includes meeting Ben, Chupa and the other personalities..


Ronald Mahan said...

Maybe someone should also inform the readers that the majority of the 1100 miles of Terlingua Ranch Roads are:

1) Are not "hard surface road networks"
2) Are not "government provided".

The road John Wells lives near - is owned by John Wells- as are most roads on the TERINUGA RANCH - which are also owned by the adjacent land owners. 100 percent of all road maintenance on these PRIVATELY OWNED ROADS is paid for by POATRI - who collects Maintenance Fees. However, only about 45 percent of all property owners actually pay Maintenance Fees - and not all those funds are used for road maintenance.

Lots of reasons so few property owners pay anything. Reasons:

1) Exempt property owners.
2) THE FLAT FEE – which was not approved by voting property owners in 2005 (as required by our Terlingua Ranch Maintenance Contract filed in the Brewster County Courthouse.) A great many property simply refuse to pay these illegally implemented POATRI FEES! A notable flaw of the Flat Fee system – is that an owner with one thousand tracts - pays the same total fee as the owner with one tract. If you think this is fair – you must own a real estate business that sells Terlingua ranch property!
3) Plain Ordinary Deadbeats!

Cheers, Ronald Mahan

Larry G said...

Ron -how about the road that John and others use to get to Alpine and Terlingua for his supplies and fuel and UPS deliveries?

I think what you're making my point - roads are expensive and when you get off the State roads and have to pay separately for private roads - it shows just how costly they are.. and usually beyond the financial ability of just the property owners...

What if John and the others had to pay for the road to Alpine?

Ronald Mahan said...

Larry G. Guess what? John, you & I, and great many other Americans are paying for Hiwaay 118! Why do you imply that we are not paying? We all pay taxes that support the building & maintenance of that fine highway!

Larry G said...

Ron - no. I said we ARE and that in doing that a road much more expensive than those that use it could pay - is being provided ... through govt...and taxation... though in 118's case - it's Texas taxpayers .. and I do my part for Virginia roads.

John's share of taxes for 118 are basically what he pays in gas taxes - and to illustrate - if he paid that same amount toward Terlingua Ranch roads - it wouldn't amount to but a few dollars a years - but for those few dollars at the State level -he gets 118!!!

that alone is a benefit that surely should be valued at thousands of dollars right?

and without it - think about trying to get from Alpine to Terlingua Ranch on roads like Terlingua Ranch has... you could do it.. I'm sure before 118 was maintained by Texas you could have done it - probably several hours in a four x four, right?

I'm just point out that we all rag on the govt at times but we take for granted some pretty
valuable benefits...even though 118 doesn't look like much - the folks who have private roads KNOw that it has a substantial road bed and drainage system.. and that if you can get out of your own flooded roads - you're good to go - to get to Alpine.

right? I bet we agree!!

Ronald Mahan said...

I suspect the Feds kick in a substantial part of road maintenance of Highway 118 - so all the tourists will have nice pleasant drive to visit their BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK. That is why I said you & I - and other American taxpayers contributed towards this. Do we need a Texas Highway Dept Tax expert to settle this point?

Larry G said...

The feds kick in money for Interstates and "US" highways.. like US 90 ... before the Interstates as we know them there was a network of "US" designated highways called Federal Aid Highways -

these were the precursors to the interstates, still exist and we all pay for and they have national standards for design and construction.. whereas state roads are build to state standards.

if you read the wiki for Texas Route 118 -you'll see that unlike the US roads that has a distinctive shield - that 118 has a state shield that is different.

then if you read the wiki for Farm to Market - you'll see it actually has a shape of texas for it's sign.

so any roads that have Federal funding have to be built to Federal standards.. and that's how you know how the funding works

I don't pretend to know all of this as an absolute fact .. I just read... and pass it on.

Ronald Mahan said...

This is what I found in:




Larry G said...

normally the Federal money goes for Interstates and US aid roads and New roads if done to Federal standards...

the bigger point is that we all contribute - some more than others depending how much they drive and whether they live in an apartment which uses almost no public roads or if someone lives miles and miles down a public road before they get to their driveway.

in general the people that live "out" away from their job or where they shop they were consume more road that someone who lives around the corner from their job or their shopping.

It's easy to figure out how much you actually pay - just find out how much your state charges in gas tax... how many gallons you buy - and multiply ... and then don't forget doing the same for the Federal tax. ( 20 cents for Texas and 18.4 Federal so if you drive 20K a year and get 20mpg - you'll buy a 1000 gallons ... and pay what ..380.00?

Would $380 a year cover the cost of Terlingua ranch roads if they were paved?

Is that 16.92 billion for one year or five? looks like 5.... about 3 billion a year.

Ronald Mahan said...

Maybe you didn't read the Article reference I posted?

Source for data: Fiscal 2008-09 General Appropriations Act.

Larry G said...

I sure missed that! .... must be a newer one - this thing is 7 years old