Bernie and I headed out to Daisetta around 3:30 pm on Friday. It was a pleasant hour long drive through the country. Having a GPS guide us through the various highways and biways was most helpful.
When we pulled into Diasetta city limits, we realized that this was a really, really small town.
Population 1023 if I remember right.
The main street, named Main Street, was closed to through traffic, so we parked beside several other vehicles in an unpaved parking lot and wandered across the road to where all the television trucks were already parked.
Every sort of official vehicle was parked at various angles on the street.
Police, fire, rescue, Texas railroad commission...
That last one really made me curious.
(Bernie's ahead of me in that last shot, in the white shirt, walking along with his hands stuffed in his short's pockets.)
A quasi command station had been set up in the middle of the road.
I'm not sure what coded messages were being posted there, but everyone seemed rather laid back and calm. Right behind that booth was another tented area with stacks of water bottles, table, and several barbecue smokers.
Hmmm....a nice barbecue dinner sounded like a lovely option for sink hole viewing apres activities.
In front of the white board command center a small crowd had gathered; a group of about 20 people. They began to walk down the road in a tight group, lead by an official looking person in a uniform. Bernie and I picked up the pace and caught up with them, assuming that they were headed to the crater.
I really wanted a good view of the sink hole. I walked back up the road to a place where I could see between the trees. The edge of the crater was just barely visible. I took a shot.
Notice where the police tape is.
I decided to continue walking back to the command center, and the view was a tad better from there. I stepped up onto the lawn, noting that there was a couple of people standing in the trees looking out over the sink hole. I was about three feet from the curb, which gave me an extra 8 inch or so of altitude.
I've zoomed in on this shot and cropped out the police tape.
See the two guys in the trees? The blur in the sky is the news helicopter that had been continuously circling the sink hole since we first arrived in the area.
It was at that point I heard the officer say "Lady, I'm going to ask that you be escorted out of the area."
I looked around to see who he was talking to.
Um...that apparently would be me.
I stepped back and a police woman came right up beside me. "Escort her out of the area" the office said again. I was gently herded over to this vehicle:
My little drama seemed to put an end to the tour opportunity. Everyone began to drift back down the street, grumbling about the ultra controlling officials.
Various news cameras had tagged along, and I watched as the more "folksy" and colorful characters got singled out for an interview.
Don't you think they missed a great opportunity to interview little ol' me and the police harassment that I had suffered?
I spun my parasol lazily as I walked, careful not to walk too fast or too slow.
Just real casual like.
We walked pass this scene with a deep hole at the base of a pole? Another sink hole?
No, a local informed me. It was Liberty counties (censored) idea of a drainage ditch.
Oh. Apparently most of the folks were not overly fond of the local government.
I paused to watch the ABC news guy practice his report, barely audible over the roar of the helicopter overhead. I did catch that the town was asking the governor of Texas to declare the town a disaster area.
Not to be unkind...there's not a lot to the town to begin with. Lots of boarded up buildings and such...
I never thought of myself as a rabble rouser, or as person that would ever be needed to be run out of a town via police escort.
Secretly I almost hoped I could have gotten the ride. I've never have had a ride in a police car before. And as Laura always says: If you are ever in a police car or an ambulance, ask that they turn on the siren. Get the whole experience, get all the bells and whistles!
Now I will always wonder what could have happened it I had gotten in the car and asked for the siren to wail.
Maybe me and my parasol would have made national news!