Monday, May 2 – RAIN DELAY! We had rain overnight and it continues this morning delaying our departure from San Angelo. This area really need the rain so for the locals it's a welcome relief. We prefer not to drive in the rain - for safety reasons and because wet roads cause the MH and car to get absolutely FILTHY! We'll wait several hours and see how the weather develops.
Around 9:4 5a.m., we headed 130 miles west to Midland/Odessa, Texas area. We are staying in the Midland RV Campground in Midland, Texas. It's $22 per night with full hook-ups. That includes a 15% Escapee membership discount. We are in Site #67. The campground is nothing to write home about. There are very few places to stay in this area. This park has mostly people who are working in the oil or steel industry.
Down our road.
Prices seem high in this area. Granted, we are in the middle of no where, but everything seems unreasonably high. Diesel is $4.07, museum entry fees are around $10, and this CG is a little expensive for what you get. I asked the guy that directed us to our campsite why that was the case..."Everyone has money around here," he replied. “If you don't like your job, you can quit and get a new one tomorrow,” he added. Oil money is the reason. I've never seen sooooo many oil wells and new wells being drilled. Just about every vehicle we saw driving in from San Angelo was a huge semi-truck or pickup truck hauling oil equipment of some kind. We are definitely in oil country.
With that on our minds, our first sightseeing stop was the Petroleum Museum.
This is the nation's largest museum dedicated to the petroleum industry and its pioneers. It holds the world's largest collection of antique drilling equipment and modern drilling machinery. It features a fascinating 40-acre outdoor exhibit area and literally thousands of objects that both educate and entertain visitors.
We spent some time walking through the “Oil Patch” (the outdoor exhibits) which is dedicated to the men of the oil fields and the wells drilled at thousands of locations around the area.
A "Christmas Tree" wheelhead assembly controls the flow of gas and oil from a high pressure well. The collection of valves and chokes allows the rate of flow to be maintained at the optimum level and directed to various pipelines, storage tanks, or processing facilities. I believe this was the type of valve that failed in the Gulf Oil Disaster.
The Santa Rita #2 has been restored to its 1923 appearance. It is was used to drill the first well in Texas.
The wrenches they use are huge!
The Wichita Sudder is a cable tool rig that was used in the early 1900's.
Because we are originally from Canton, Ohio, we were particularly interested in the next one. The Timken Roller Bearing Company main factory is in Canton. The bearing bowls on this unit are a Timken product.
Marsha thought she would lend a hand.
This huge fly wheel….18-20 feet in diameter……was used to provide power to five or six pumping units.
This Modern Rotary Drilling Rig would be capable of drilling down over 14,000 ft. It stands 1448 ft. high and would weigh over one million pounds fully rigged and operative.
It has three engines.
We then visited the home of one of the most famous Midland, TX former residents. The childhood home of George W. Bush. The modest home has been restored to the early 1950's and reflects the lives of the young family. Never have so many prominent political figures lived in one home – two presidents, two governors, two first ladies, two ambassadors, and a CIA director. Due to the fact that the house is closed on Monday which we did not know, we only have pictures of the outside.
That is his original dog house.
The downtown area is unusual in that it is rather compact with quite a few tall buildings. They appear to have built UP rather than OUT. Just about everything seems to be related to the oil industry in one way or another.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!