Midland, Texas is a short flight from Denver, but a world apart. For one thing, Denver was cool while Midland was 106F on the day of my arrival. But they say it is a 'dry heat'; that must explain why Houston at 85 degrees seems hotter than any day in Midland. Terry Knighton of PBGS met me at the airport and we had a nice chat driving into town. It has always been a dry place, but a two-year drought has driven water issues to desert proportions. The city water supply lake is 17% full and the city is planning some new aquifer wells. The escalating water rate scale means if someone wants a lush, green acre it could cost thousands of dollars a month to water it. But this is Midland where some folks can afford anything.
That evening Terry and the PBGS leadership treated me to a fine evening of conversation and great food at Venezias. Midland is in a boom cycle driven by unconventional resource plays. There are more realtors in town than houses for sale, anyone who really wants a job can find one, and hotel rooms go for upwards of $200/night (if you can find one). Luckily Terry booked my room well in advance.
We had 21 attending the Midland DISC at the convention center across from my hotel. It was a short walk, but one with a story. It is not my story, but that of my wife Dolores (former Associate Editor of The Leading Edge). Back in the early 1980s the SEG mid-continent meeting was held in Midland and Dolores stayed at this same hotel I was now in for my DISC. In fine evening clothes and high heels she walked across the street toward a group of geophysical friends when, out of nowhere, came a rampaging tumbleweed about 3 feet high propelled by a strong Midland wind. As she describes it, "the thing took me down and I fell in a heap in the middle of the street." For those who saw the event, it is the stuff of legend.
A special thanks is due to Joe Caputo who invited to his regular safety meeting at a charming establishment called The Bar. Take care Midland, next stop Moscow!