Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Storm Pax


We knew this was coming and had prepared for it, with food we could consume with minimal water usage and loss of power should that occur.  It started snowing during the overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. 

Dave and I both spontaneously awoke around 3 AM, courtesy of our internal alarm clocks.  We had talked about actually setting alarms for that time, but decided not to; turns out we woke up anyway.  I took a peek out the door and things didn’t look too drastic, so we dove back under the covers.  Well, heck.  I was awake and got up at 4 AM.  Dave joined Maggie and I in the office about an hour later.

At times we were under whiteout conditions.  Still, every couple of hours we went out to manage what had fallen.  Dave got up on the roof of our rig to sweep off snow while I shoveled our paths.

Feb 13 Betty and Rig

Better to clear 3” at a time than wait and shovel out a foot of snow.


Feb 13 Truck in Snowfall

Although early morning, it should have been lighter out than this.  It was just a very dark morning and didn’t lighten up until much later in the day.  That’s our truck.  Yes, it’s snowing in the photo.


Feb 13 River 2

Looking upstream at the Musconetcong River, which is slushy at this point.


Feb 13 River 1

Turning around in the same spot, this is the river looking downstream, slushy and then frozen.


Feb 13 After Plowing

Parking lot after plowing in the afternoon.  The lot is diminishing in size due to the piles of snow around it.  Our rig isn’t going anywhere until Spring.


We had snow, then sleet, then snow/sleet and then a lull in the afternoon.  It then resumed with sleet/rain, then sleet/snow and finally more snow overnight.  Final count is 15 inches from the storm.  We experienced lightning and thunder during last night’s snow/sleet event. 

Thundersnow!  It is surreal and rather eerie.

We have asked to be transferred somewhere more temperate.  It’s tough, as we really like our job and our setting – when the weather is good – is very, very nice and peaceful.

However.  We will have been here three years this month.  During that time . . .

  • Hurricane Irene – river flooded and we evacuated the rig
  • Tropical Storm Lee – river flooded and we evacuated the rig
  • Sandy – evacuated us and left rig
  • Numerous power outages
  • Numerous times with no shore water, relying on our tank
  • Several Nor’easters
  • Winter Storm Pax

That’s in three years.  Dave really shouldn’t be getting on the roof to clear snow, especially with minimal neck/back issues at the least.  Even in 100% condition, it’s a risky thing to do in snow and ice.  Living by a river is dodgy at times.  I am in some ways not looking forward to the Spring melt with a view to flooding issues.

Besides, we’re full-timers!  We and the owner of the security company agree it’s time for a change of scenery.  He has said we have done very well here, have stuck it out above and beyond, and have been the best team with regards to interaction with the contracting company.  He’s working on finding something for us in a slightly warmer climate. 

Ideally, it would be with the same contracting company, but I’m not optimistic about that.  Their properties are in the East and more in the Northeast.  Too bad, as we really enjoy working with them; we’d like to stay with them if possible.  Our local boss called the night before Pax to make sure we had everything we needed, and he called yesterday morning and this morning to see how we are faring.  Really good guy.

Bottom line, the environment is too harsh here.  Even if we had a carport or some type of shelter for our rig, that would help.  As it is, our rig is our home and it – and we – are taking a beating here.

It really shouldn’t be this difficult all the time, right?

I’ve also activated our resume on and have had a few responses already.  We’re not desperate and will look for a decent situation; however, we’d like to be gone no later than October.  We don’t mind working, but we’re being taxed to our limits just surviving here.  Pensions are still a few years away, so we need an income.  Dave said this morning he’s thinking even if we don’t have anything lined up yet, let’s just leave.  Or get a typical seasonal workamping gig in the meantime until something else comes up.  I’ve also got my virtual assistant work; it’s part-time now, but I know I could land a full-time assignment if I looked for one.

Ideally, we’d like to be doing work such as we are now. 

So!  Lots to be done if we are looking at moving out of here.  Being essentially stationary for three years, we accumulated “stuff” – washer/dryer, generator, etc.  We could sell those outright or possibly even to an incoming team.  I’ll need to get my annual follow-up CT scan done, and that should be coming up in March; I need to schedule it.  We also need new tires for the 5th wheel.  Oh joy.

Today, however, is more shoveling, see if we can get shore water and then off to the market after work for a few groceries.  We are looking at a few inches of snow this weekend and then the possibility of another storm next week sometime. 

And resting.  Whatever healing of Dave’s shoulder/neck took place has been undone by the last couple of days.

We’re tired but hanging in.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. It's definitely time for you to move on. Hope you find something you like. Gate guarding pays well but the scenery isn't all that great.

  2. Wow! You guys are pretty hardcore for making it 3 years. Kim and I probably would have been hitting the road after the first hurricane! We will be in Lake Tahoe working at Fallen Leaf CG this summer. Have you checked out CLM Services? We have met a ton of people that have and still are working for them. We have really high hopes for this company (free site, free electric and an hourly wage). Take care and stay warm!!!

    1. Hey, glad you guys got a gig! Cali is beautiful and I'd like to return there sometime with Dave, but it has never been on my list of places to stay long-term. I've checked out CLM, but at this time we're focused on longer-term jobs rather than seasonal. We have a really good situation here and, to top it off, we like what we do! Thanks and, again, excited for you guys! I know it's been a while coming for your and it's well-deserved!


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