I arrived in Boulevard around 1400 and proceeded to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps “Camp Vigilance” in Boulevard, CA. I have been an MCDC member since 2005 but have never deployed with them due to differences in SOP. I do use the Camp to rig up my truck and to gear up for duty. After attaching my motion detectors and throwing on some long johns I set off for the border. Before getting to the border, to the right of the road I spotted a turkey and got close enough to take his picture. I thought about dispatching him with my Mossberg 590 but decided to spare him. Happy Thanksgiving!
I put in at Red Shank (Tierra Del Sol) and found the normally present National Guard nonexistent, only two old dogs guarding the rock and shade shed. I took a picture of the area and then set off west down the border road. About a mile or two down the road I spotted a black Bronco about a quarter mile ahead of me on the border road in Mexico. I tried to phone and radio Kingfish to inform him of traffic coming his way but received no response. I phoned Max, still on the line in Campo, and he informed me that Kingfish had changed his phone number. I tried the new number but still received no response so I pressed on, losing sight of the Mexican truck.
I moved through Smith and La Gloria canyons and set up camp in “the Oaks” Ridgerunner was on his way out and Czechstan was not present so it was just Max and I.
Speaking of Czechstan let me take a moment to clarify something. It came to my attention that some folks thought my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org signified I was a member of Czechstan’s group. Apparently he claims to be the leader of the Campo Mountain Minutemen (CMM) a group I had no idea even existed. I assure y'all I am not a member. When I picked the e-mail letters I intended them to stand for California Minuteman Project (CMMP), the C1 being self-explanatory. I originally came to the area, after a brief stint in 2005 with the Friends of the Border Patrol in April 2006 to serve with the MCDC, but their muster was in disarray so I headed to Campo. I spent 3 days with the California Minutemen before they disbanded and morphed into the Campo Minutemen (another CMMP). Sadly the Campo Minutemen have but a handful of active members left and I now spend most of my time working with Lil Dog, another former California Minuteman and founder of the Mountain Minutemen and the Patriot Point Posse. This group is doing the bulk of the work in the area and works closely with the border patrol and other dedicated civilian observers. This is my mission as well and I am proud be a Posse member and to assist our Border Agents. My e-mail will remain the same.
That being said I set off for Patriot Point to check in with Lil Dog and to commence my duty. My SOP is to patrol at night with my side-light on and top mounted spotlight operating. I made several passes from the 126 to the 141. I spotted no invaders but who knows how many I deterred? I spoke with several agents on patrol and they all commended me for my efforts and told me to keep it up. One even told me my light was like kryptonite to the illegals. I enjoy observing and helping the BP to apprehend invaders, but stopping them from crossing saves taxpayer dollars and BP paperwork.
Around 0100 I stopped for a rest at the 139 and switched on my motion detectors. I also began to experiment with a Bearcat scanner I purchased at a garage sale. I began to receive a spanish transmission of what sounded like code, with many different numbers repeated over and over. I phoned Lil Dog to ask him how his Spanish was and he informed me that two Agents, fluent in Spanish were at the point and wanted me to come up there. Of course, by the time I got up there the transmission had ceased. One of the agents, however was a radio buff and gave me a very useful and much need lesson in scanner usage.
I patrolled a while longer before retiring to my tent about 0400 to sleep for about 3 hours.
Thanksgiving morning I commenced my patrols, extending them from the 141 to the other side of Cap Rock. I spotted tracks where several individuals had made entry the night before where a rock separates the fence just past the 126. Then I set up observation at the “Donut Hole”, a high spot just east of the 241 monument. Almost immediately I observed a Grupo Beta truck proceed east on the Pemex road in Mexico. He stopped and pointed his truck at me for a minute, then resumed his course east and his behind some rocks. Later, armed men, one wearing Grupo Beta colors, were spotted walking around.
Meanwhile, I had a leftover turkey burger sandwich in the cab of my truck for Thanksgiving.
The hours became a blur of patrolling, sitting at various observation points and napping. Several times men to the south probed and retreated and BP tracked what they thought were a few that got through. I continued my patrols in to the evening and tried to vary my sleep patterns so as to be awake at different intervals.
Sometime in the night Hollywood arrived. Hollywood’s first border duty in the Campo area was also April 2006 and he was one of the first guys I met. I had not served with him since and it was good to see him. He spent most of the night riding with Max and getting a much needed update and sitrep. A viscious Santa Ana wind blew in in the middle of the night. I napped for a while at the 139.
Friday I purchased Godzilla for the Mountain Minuteman. Max needed money and the woman whose property it was parked on wanted it gone. I always felt the green beast needed to be back on the line. I thought about buying it a few months back when Max left it but couldn’t swing the money or the logistics. I tried to convince Kingfish that the Campo Minutemen should buy it but they wanted no part of it, citing liability issues. And so it sat rotting in a sympathetic, local resident’s pasture. Friday afternoon Lil Dog and Big Dick dragged the camoflauged suburban, affectionately known as “Godzilla” to a high spot just to the east of Patriot Point. The green machine had served with the California Minutemen, the Campo Minuteman, Mad Max and now it is a Mountain Minuteman Machine, back on the line where it belongs. It will also serve as my little “casa de la frontera” on my weekend forays to the border in the cold months to come. By dark Lil Dog already had it rigged up with lights and, I must admit a couple of times it took me by surprise as I patrolled underneath it’s view.
Friday night I made a few patrol passes from the 141 to the 126. Visited with BP agents along the way who, as usual, commended me for my work. Then I parked at “the donut hole”, exited my truck and moved in the shadows among the rocks. The moon was full and my ATN night vision device was at it’s optimum, yet there seemed to be little activity. Bravo to held the position just to my east for the entire night. Lil Dog held the point. After spending several hours at the donut hole I made several more patrol passes and then parked at the spot just to the east of Bravo 2, between him and Patriot Point, overlooking the “couch trail”. There was a border patrol there when I rolled up and after speaking with him for a minute I relieved him of his position. The sun was coming up and the full moon was setting behind. I detected no activity. I watched as BP delivered homemade Thanksgiving cookies to the Point, which Lil Dog later distributed to all of us on the line. I saved mine for the ride home and headed back to my tent in the Oaks to break camp. As I was tearing down my tent I heard Bravo 2 exclaim on the radio that 7 would-be invaders straggled out of the bushes in front of him in Mexico and dejectedly headed south. It appears as if they had been waiting all night for us to leave so they could enter. When we held the line they finally gave up! Bravo! Bravo 2
I headed for home, drinking what was left of my thermos of coffee and eating the homemade cookies. The border is in my blood and I can’t wait to get back to work with Lil Dog and ‘The Patriot Point Posse”, The “Roughrider Civil Recon” unit, and all other dedicated observers of our porous southern frontier.
I hope to be back in Campo for the weekend either 15DEC07 (Bill Of Rights Day) or 22DEC07 and again for an extended tour around new years.