Texas RV Park A Place to Sleep for Oil Crews
If the Lonesome Creek RV Resort in Kenedy, Texas, were any more lonesome, it could at times pass for a graveyard of manufactured housing. On a recent midmorning visit, the only signs of life were a skittish stray cat and a turkey buzzard wandering among the trailers.
As reported by the San Antonio Express-News, only during the early morning and late afternoon shift changes in the oil field, when the welding trucks and dusty, oversized pickups come rolling in, does the park stir from its stupor.
Even during what passes for the evening rush hour, it’s rare to see more than a few tired workers, waiting with towels in hand to use the office showers, or drinking beer with buddies on their trailer stoops.
“This is basically a place to sleep. People get out of work, sleep, get up and do the same thing all over again,” said Samantha Mirelez, 23, the assistant manager, who barely knows some of the renters and sometimes goes all day without a visitor.
“About 200 people live here, maybe 10 women. No kids live here right now. I think I have four or five dogs at the park. All inside dogs,” she said.
In the past three years, thousands of oil field workers have flooded South Texas to cash in on the Eagle Ford Shale play. And since conventional housing in the region is both scarce and expensive, local entrepreneurs have opened hundreds of makeshift RV parks.
Some are little more than loads of caliche graded over hastily dug water and septic systems. And while amenities range from nonexistent to primitive, some park owners charge $500 or more a month for an RV slip.
Like most of the parks, Lonesome Creek exists as an artificial, parallel community, a temporary settlement of migratory workers who have no thought of staying and little contact with the natives beyond what’s necessary to buy gas, food and beer.
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