Border Update Thanksgiving 2008
Border Update 26-29NOV08 Thanksgiving Weekend
Hot Shot and I left the C1 compound about 0945 Wednesday, 26NOV08.
We took a roundabout way to get to the border, needing to make several stops along the way.
First stop was in Loma Linda to the “Hope” Market, and Indian grocery store. It was there that I replenished my supply of delicious Pan Parag, I use this traditional Indian blend of betel, catechu and cardamom known as pan masala to supplement my Skoal on those long and often boring hours of border observation. It’s harder to doze off with a mouthful of that stuff.
We left Loma Linda around 1100 and hit the 215 south. Red Army called to inform me that he and Golf 1 were heading to the Otay wilderness to investigate the area for future ops. They called back a while later to say that the area was either blocked by locked gates or impassable due to flooding. They also reported a heavy Border Patrol presence. We agreed to meet up in El Cajon at GI Joe’s Army Navy Surplus where Hot Shot and I did a fair amount of Christmas shopping and general economy stimulation.
As I was leaving the store with an arm load of tactical gear and some dope smoking punk driving by on El Cajon boulevard leaned out the window, shot me the finger and called me a pig!!
I got your pig right here boy……….
Golf 1 and Red Army headed back home to prepare their thanksgiving feast and prep for Friday’s mission into Smith Canyon while Hot Shot and I headed to Camp Vigilance. The skies in El Cajon were warm, sunny and blue but the weather in the border ops area was deplorable.
Cold and damp. After off loading lights and bedding and making some designer drapes,
we headed for the line and by 1645 we were on patrol.
We patrolled down to Zuellner’s then turned around and sat at the donut hole from 1715 to 1800. Then moved to the grassy knoll where Hot Shot and I had supper. After gazing into to the dark and rain we patrolled down to the RMA construction pen at the 141. By 2030 we had had enough and headed back to Godzilla. It rained all night.
Hot Shot spooned me and we alternated listening to the rain and to Coast to Coast.
We awakened at 0600 and it was still raining. We called family and wished them a happy day! (Every day is Thanksgiving to me!) Special thanks to Horsepuckies and 36 for both inviting me to their homes for Thanksgiving dinner. Hot Shot and I gracefully declined these invitations and set about reconnaissance of the Jewel Valley area. Our intent was to find “Shangri La,” an area which BPAUX recently worked to some success. However, the road to Shangri La was narrow and saturated and I had no cell coverage on either of my phones.
While I had made BP aware of my presence in the area I decided to abort my trip to Shangri La
and took off toward the border on the road to right where Jewel Valley pavement ends. Along the way the sun came out and we enjoy bluegrass music while eating a turkey sandwich and downing a Red Bull.
Then it was on to recon the road to Hauser Canyon. Please forgive me 36, for I know I must’ve passed the road to your 20 several times this weekend and, again I thank you for your generous Thanksgiving dinner offer. We were on a mission and by 1445 we sat in the rain at Leleviers road, the entrance to the south rim of Hauser.
As I sat trying to decide whether or not to attempt a “road” I had never been down. A road thoroughly saturated from two days of steady downpour, a purple BMW with two Hispanic men emerged from the area. I flagged it down and asked what shape the road was in. The driver quickly replied, “Oh you can’t go in there, it’s private property.” I thanked him and got back in my truck to call in a report to Horsepuckies. But no sooner than I had dialed his number a white 4×4 Ford ranger packed with Mexicans came flying out of the Hauser canyon road. I made eye contact with the surprised occupants who declined to stop and flew off down Portrero Valley road in the driving rain. I abruptly discontinued my call to Horsepuckies and phoned the BP. In a matter of minutes the area was swarming with agents. Several days later and agent would tell me that they had stopped the truck heading toward Tecate but it only had two men in it and not the five or so I had seen.
I headed to the Horsepuckies ranch and after a good visit Hot Shot and I headed back to the line. It had finally stopped raining but was very foggy. Hot Shot and I had supper at the grassy knoll again and then sat in the truck peering out into the blackness, pondering whether I was dedicated, stupid or both. I decided on both.
At 1815 Hot Shot popped up at full alert status in the passenger seat. I let him out and he tore off into the darkness toward the west. I spotlighted the area but saw and heard nothing. Hot Shot had disappeared into the weeds east of the Point when I finally called him off. He came back wagging and got a biscuit. I figured it was a rabbit or coyote or something. I noted at that time eastbound traffic on the Pemex.
At 1850, while patrolling the border road I stopped and spoke with an agent in a scope truck. I told him about Hot Shot going off and he replied that agent had just caught three illegals hiding in the brush in the same area shortly after we had moved! Hot Shot knew they were out there!
We returned to Camp Vigilance to sop up the puddles in Godzilla then, after scooting mister bed hog out of my sleeping bag, went to sleep. The big dog bed hog spooning tightly against me.
I was up, at Hot Shot’s insistence, at 0600 and by 0700 we were on the road again. The morning’s purpose was canyon recon as I was afraid the rains might have made certain areas impassable. Red Army was determined to venture into Smith canyon to repair the ragged range fence so the Smith area was my first destination. I headed out Shockey Truck and found an abandoned BP jeep, it’s agent apparently tracking intruders on foot.
Then I visited a bit with Kingfish who reminded me that I was invited to the Campo Minutemen’s Bar-B-Que around 1300 in the oaks that day. Again, I am honored to be invited to such festivities, but declined as social events are not my forte and definitely not my mission.
Smith was wet but the new drainage and bridge made it passable and I phone in the info to Red Army who was already en route, along with Golf 1 and Red Hand.
I pressed on through La Gloria Canyon and passed the 239.
Max was at the 139 and Viking was coming down the powerline road. I tried to call Viking but got no response. Later he informed me his phone was charging. I called Max but, angry as usual, he hung up on me. God Bless Him. I tried to be cordial. So be it. I pressed on to recon the Hauser canyon area.
By 0855 I was at Leleviers Rd. About halfway down the trail I encountered an ATV rider, The off roader told me he lives in Oceanside and regularly comes to the area to ride. He says he always has a blast and made me wish I had brought my XR400.
By 0920, after slogging through the mud puddles I was at the south rim of beautiful Hauser canyon.
I was unable to make a call on either phone, but surprisingly did receive to calls, on from Viking and one from Red Army. As Hot Shot and I were alone and with minimal phone coverage we decided not to venture into the canyon. We left the area and, when able to, phoned in our report to Horsepuckies.
Then we headed back to the line as Red Army said they were gearing up at the Point. I took the G road to the donut hole as I spied no vehicles at the Point other than an SUV which I did not recognize. I headed for the donut hole but Red Army was not there either. As I headed back east the SUV approached me. It was Miramar! He, along with his dad and brother joined me on the border road to Smith and took part in the Red Army repair mission.
After driving down into Smith as far as we could we geared up and set off on foot into the Canyon.
We stopped at two caves,
which had obviously been used,
and Red Army found a backpack which Red Hand thoroughly searched.
We pressed on through the lush vegetation but barely into our hike we head gunshots.
They seemed to be coming from back in the direction of our unattended vehicles. Golf 1 and I turned back to investigate. Our trucks were unscathed but the gunshots continued. I hollered, “Cease Fire” several times to no avail. Then I resorted to firing a 12 gauge round into the ground at which point the shooting stopped. Come to find out it was Kingfish and some other Campominutemen doing some target practice north of the new bridge in Smith. He seemed irritated that we dare think that he was being unsafe, and indeed they were shooting safely to the east into a good berm, but how were we to know that? The sounds of shot echo all throughout the canyon and it’s hard to tell which way they are coming from. In the end Golf 1, HotShot and I stayed with the trucks and radioed red army that he was clear to continue his mission with Red Hand, Miramar and Miramar’s kin.
Red Army’s report is posted further down on this blog.
By 1415 the Smith canyon mission was completed and Hot Shot and I headed for Hauser Canyon.
By 1530 I was back at the south rim of Hauser, North of Portrero Valley Road. Horsepuckies, Weasel, Shorty, Lardog, Wildcard, Bravo2, Merlin and Switchblade were already onsite and setup. After visiting with these patriots a BP agent stopped by and asked, with a wink, what we were hunting. I told him we sought the same quarry as did he and he laughed and asked if we had handcuffs! I told him I had two sets of zip ties and on pair of metal cuffs, but had no plans to use them. Little did I know that later in the evening we would actually consider utilizing them.
Some fools were shooting after dark in the distance to the southeast and the decision was made for me to trade places with Wildcard. She had parked at an intersection of the main roads in, but she lacked a firearm. She took my place on the line of vehicles ringing the south rim and armored up and heavily armed I took up her spot at the isolated intersection. Lardog was well hidden, backed up into a well-used trail a bit further north up the road, while Horsepuckies and Freckles cruised the bottom of the canyon. Weasel, as is his habit patrolled the area on foot and about 1900 or so I heard Bravo 2 call out on the radio that he had a pedestrian in custody. I thought he was joking and was referring to the stealthy Weasel who has a propensity for sneaking up on people. Come to find out a beleaguered illegal alien had struggled up the canyon on the trail near Bravo2’s position and surrendered. Bravo2 ascertained somehow that the man had been lost in the canyon for three days and had been drinking from the stream. Shorty, positioned high on the west ridge and the only one with decent cell coverage, called the BP while Weasel gave the lost latino fresh water and a leftover tamale. BP then informed us that no agents were available and asked us, the Mountain Minutemen, if we could transport the individual to the Campo station! Normally this is unwise, bordering on illegal, but in this case it was the only decent thing to do. This man was not being taken against his will. Indeed he was begging to be taken in. In an instant the Mountain Minutemen became a SAR unit rendering aid to the limping, dehydrated and lost Mexican national. Horsepuckies , a local, was the only one with a vehicle large enough, and not loaded with gear so he volunteered to transport. Weasel and Freckles took up the back seat of the big Dodge with the illegal lest he have a change of heart. As they left the area they stopped at my position. I wish I would’ve thought to take the man’s photo. I did, however, ask him in my broken Spanish how many others were down there with him. He proclaimed something like, “solamente, no amigos. Then added quite pitifully, Soy perdido! Perdido.” (I’m lost, lost)
Well, It was his lucky day and, at U.S. Taxpayers expense he was transported to Campo to receive humanitarian aid. A Mountain Minuteman Mission of Mercy. The agents in Campo told Horsepuckies we had probably saved the man’s life. See several posts below this one on this blog where a week or two ago a body was found in the same general area where the poor boy got “perdido”. Also posted below this entry is Horsepuckie's account of the activities.
That was the sum of the excitement for the night and we all settled into our postitions to watch and wait. The area is a natural choke point/funnel for illegals who make it past the border and on past 94. Yet, if any came through during our watch, they eluded us.
Horsepuckies had returned and taken up position in some oaks a mile or so south of me. By midnite he had had enough and got no argument from Hot Shot and I when he asked on the radio if anyone was ready to call it a night. Weasel, Shorty and Horsepuckies headed for the Horsepuckies ranch. By 0100 Saturday 29NOV08 I climbed back into the back of Godzilla and my dog and I went to sleep.
I was up at 0615, packed up my gear, locked up Godzilla and headed for Cameron Corners to get coffee for the men who had stayed on the Canyon rim. I met Wildcard on her way out and served her a hot cup. Some Turkeys crossed the road in front of me just before I turned north down the road to Hauser.
I found Bravo2, Lardog, Merlin and Switchblade on the east fork of the South rim road. I dropped off my Thermos and headed into the canyon. The road down was in pretty good shape and it was an enjoyable drive.
On the way down I noticed a sign on the hillside but it was facing away from the road.
Thinking this peculiar I stopped, got out and went around to view the sign. It was placed that way intentionally, facing a well used trail
and warning illegals of dangers beyond.
It was not meant for the legal users of the road and is a sign common on the border.
The bottom of the canyon was beautiful. The vegetation was lush and on foot I encountered an old arch enemy that had caused me great discomfort many times in my childhood back in Texas and Oklahoma.
I stayed away from it as best I could and was not affected, though just the thought of it causes me to itch.
Hot Shot and I investigated and old structure at the canyon bottom and then drove around a bit more.
I wanted to explore further but had no cell coverage on either phone and was unable to raise then men above by radio. I knew they had been there all night and were ready to leave and felt it unfair to make them wait on me while I cruised around the bottom of Hauser.
So Hot Shot and I made our way back to the top, said our thank yous and goodbyes and headed home. I believe several of the men stayed in the border area again Saturday night. On their own time. At their own expense. To help to the job their own government does a half-assed job of doing. But not to worry. With Janet Napolitano as Obama’s “Homeland Security” we can all sleep confident in the knowledge that the southern frontier is safe……………
I hope to be back in the areas of operation on or about the 21st of December. Your country needs you now more than ever. If you come you might help slow the invasion. You could possibly make it more difficult for the smugglers of illegal drugs. You might even save a life.
“Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what can you do for your country” – John F. Kennedy
That same man also said, “Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of American, cannot succeed with any lesser effort.”
Now, when are y'all going to come join us?