Border update 15-18APR09
0910- Jacumba, CA- 39 degrees and windy.
0950- Camp Vigilance- performed maintenance on Godzilla and moved it to another location.
Put on multiple layers of clothing.
1045- Departed Camp Vigilance. Headed for Horsepuckie’s ranch. Met with Horsepuckies, Portholes and Hunter.
1145-Departed the Horsepuckies spread.
1200-Entered border area through Shockey Truck trail
1230- Went to give Kingfish a courtesy visit only to find 36 there as well. 36 handed off the US Evolutions Thermal Eye and accessories to me unexpectedly, which I graciously accepted.
Visited with the two border observers then headed west on the border road through Smith and La Gloria canyons. The new fence is great except where it ends.
I was dismayed to find the big rock opening between Smith and La Gloria still unrepaired and heavily traveled.
1340- I met with a BP agent at the Donut Hole, informed him of my intention to travel to Bell Valley. Portholes and Hinter were in position at the upper Couch trail, overlooking the Tank Trap.
1350- Zuellner’s High Point- Met with another BP agent and also informed him of my travel plans.
1430-Bell Valley- Patrolled the area and sat in the shade by the old shooting range
1600-Departed Bell Valley- Rolled east.
1700- Couch Trail overlook. Dark colored Ford truck with three occupants drives down to the tank trap area in Mexico.
They appear to gather firewood and pick lavender close to a large patch of bushes and trees where illegals frequently stage. Their gathering looks to me to be an act as they routinely move in and out of the suspect vegetation.
Around this same time Portholes and Hunter, now at the Donut Hole, report a yellow atv runs north on the Ranchita road all the way to the fence and hangs around there for awhile before heading back to the Ranchita. The Ford Pickup leaves the area and heads west on the Pemex. Portholes and Hunter report a Grupos Beta truck comes from the west on the Pemex and meets for awhile with the dark Ford at the Pemex/Ranchita rd. intersection.
Then the Grupos Beta vehicle drives the same path the Ford took except that it doesn’t stop, but rather proceeds slowly past the suspect shrubbery and heads to the east on the trail between the Pemex and the fence.
I follow it to the east side of Patriot Point. It turns around east of the grassy knoll area and proceeds west.
I lose it in the area between Patriot point and the tank Trap and figure at some point it must have driven south as it never reappeared on the Pemex or Ranchita Rd.
1810- I meet with 36 at the Grassy Knoll
1850- Portholes and Hunter leave the border area. I leave the Grassy Knoll and 36 heads home. I roll west to Zuellner’s High Point (ZHP) after speaking with a BP Supervisor at the Couch Trail.
2145- I leave ZHP and head for the Couch trail where I lay on the ground and operate the Thermal Eye until 0340
16APR09. All I spot is a single man moving in an out of the suspect shrubbery where the dark Ford and Grupos Beta frequented earlier the afternoon before.
At 0340 I pack it up and head back to Camp V.
0430-After moving Hot Shot off of my bed roll (with considerable effort)
I get some sleep
0930-I get up and clean up the Uno Mobile and Godzilla and prepare for daylight ops. I visit with several MCDC and BPAUX members, including FN9.
1240- I head back to the Forest Gate border entrance and visit with a BP agent at the Donut Hole. Then I roll west. I phoned BP to inform them I would be rolling to Bell Valley and get the go ahead.
1520- Bell Valley. I visit with a BP agent who informs me of a group close by waiting to come across. BP is all over the area, hidden. Hot Shot and I head back to a shady spot by the old shooting range after patrolling the back roads on the Valley.
1615- A bobcat crosses the road to my north. Hot Shot is sleeping in the shade and doesn’t see it until he and I walk in the direction the cat headed. The bobcat pokes his head up to watch us
and then Hot Shot pursues and the cat bolts. I am thankful Hot Sot minds well because when I told him NO!, he stopped and came right back. I did not want to have to cut my mission short to take my partner to the vet.
1750- Departed Bell Valley. Rolled slowly east all the way to Tierra Del Sol, stopping to speak with BP by Smith Canyon and to call Kingfish to inform him I would be rolling below his position. Both BP and Kingfish inform me of a group waiting to cross close to where the old fence ends on the west side if Smith Canyon.
I proceed to the east.
2020- I exit the border area at Red Shank after speaking with a BP scope truck agent on duty there.
2130-I climb into Godzilla to go to bed after shoving Hot Shot off of my sleeping bag (with considerable effort) and fall fast asleep with visions of delicious succulent sushi dancing in my sleep deprived brain.
0400- We depart Camp V and by 0440 hot Shot and I are hiking up to the rocks north of the Tank trap packing in the Thermal Eye.
0500- No sooner than I turn on the Thermal and put it to my eye, I see two men bolt out of the Tank trap and run to the west. I phoned BP to inform them of the entry. BP drives up and down but no one gets out and tracks north which has me second guessing myself. Were the two men going BTM rather than invading? It wasn’t until later that morning that a BP agent informed me that then invaders had good booties on making their tracks hard to see but the agents had indeed picked up their tail and tracked them across 94 when Omaha (the helicopter) was called in. As of this writing I still do not know if they were apprehended.
0545- Sun up. I hiked back to the truck to get my binoculars.
0630- I leave my layup
0745- A green tractor pulling a trailer with two men in it comes from the east on the Pemex and turns south on the Ranchita Rd.
0825- A blue Dodge stake bed truck parks on the Ranchita Rd. just north of the Ranchita. It would play a part in delivering groups later in the day.
1035- A spotter appears on the 241. A copper 4 door Dodge Dakota parks under the trees at the intersection of the Pemex and the Ranchita Rd.
1050- I depart the Donut Hole and roll west. I spot one man in Mexico at the rocks across from ZHP
1200-Depart ZHP, thinking the one man is spotter for a group which I have often seen using those same rocks for cover. My hope is that seeing me leave they will attempt to cross
1230- I meet with a BP agent at the east base of 241 who confirms that there is indeed a group forming on the other side. He asks me to stay clear in hopes they will cross. I tell him that is exactly why I left.
1240- Fidelis takes position at the Donut Hole
1255- I take temporary position on Patriot Point. Shortly after that the group in question apparently gives up as Fidelis reports 6 men heading southeast from behind 241.
1340- Fidelis spots the blue Dodge stakebed, full of people backing up to the south end of the lower fork trail by the Mustang house. He unloads and then Fidelis counts 14 men moving north on the lower fork. I move to the Donut Hole but the men have already made it around to the west side of the 241. A BP agent shows up and Fidelis informs him of his observation. I request permission to climb the 241 to observe the group further and the agent give the ok and calls his base to report.
1415- Hot Shot and I make it to the top of 241. When I pop up on the west side the groups spotter pops up in the field below and implores the group to run away.
I think they were going to try to enter America where the fence ends at the western base of the 241.
Not on my watch!
It is embarrassing to admit that in my haste to storm the hill I left my truck door wide open. Thankfully Fidelis was watching my vehicle from his position at the Donut Hole. Unfortunately he did not make me aware of my mistake until I had already rushed the hill. So…. I had to go back down, shut the door and climb the hill again. I got my exercise for sure.
Hot shot and I patrol the summit of 241 and marvel at the trash.
I firmly believe that what you pack in you should pack out.
The invaders have no such ethic.
We watched 10 men TBS from the Bermuda Triangle
1700- We descend the 241. Fidelis goes back to Camp V for MCDC night ops. Hot Shot and I hang around the Donut hole and have the place pretty much to ourselves except for the guy on the yellow ATV cruising up and down the Ranchita road all the way to the fence. I prepare for night ops by puttin’ on my long johns, makin’ coffee
and chargin’ an extra battery for my radio.
1850-Horsepuckies and 36 show up at the Donut Hole and I give them a run down of the days events. Horsepuckies heads for the Couch Trail. 36 wants to go to ZHP to see if his cell phone works there. About the time we decide to head west so does a BP agent, at full speed and the BP helicopter. 36 and drive to the 127 turnout and watch as the group of 14 I had flushed earlier get herded by BP agents on land and in the air.
Apparently about sun down they tried to cross at the huge rock that separate the fence across from ZHP.
Later intel reveals that three were caught and the others TBSed. They stood on a rock and hollered at the agents and taunted the helicopter.
36 and I stayed at the 127 and were soon joined by Ronbo. We shot the breeze and watched the drama unfold from a distance. The would be invaders taunted us as well, sat Humpty Dumpty-like on the fence
and eventually, as ATV agents descended on the area, the spotter walked our way and he and I exchanged choice words across the fence just west of the 241. I tried to take his picture but he ducked and put his hood on. By that time MCDC had men on the 241 and FN9 joined us at the 127.
2200- FN9, Ronbo and 36 head for home and I go up to ZHP and try to scan the area below with the thermal, to little effect.
2330- I leave ZHP to the yips, yells and whistles of the frustrated invaders behind the fence. I stop to speak with a BP agent who informs me two just tried to cross in front of him but went BTM between the 241 and the ZHP turnout. I have had enough and head back to Camp V.
0020- I hit the sack in the back of Godzilla
0715- I wake up
0900- Depart Camp V
0930- Patriot Point
0950- The blue Dodge stakebed is back in position with four men milling around. A white Chevy truck is parked at the Pemex/Ranchita intersection and two people are walking north with dogs on the Ranchita road.
1000-Donut Hole. Fidelis is at the Couch. Red Army and Golf 1 are inbound
1015- MCDC takes over at the Donut Hole. I head to the Grassy Knoll to meet with 36 and hand off the Thermal Eye.
1105- I meet Red Army and Golf 1 at the 127 turnout and we prepare to head west. I notify BP of our intentions and receive the go ahead.
Red Army and Golf 1 disclose an excellent layup spot they have found out west.
Red Army finds a backpack on the trail which has the lining cut out of it revealing an secret compartment for contraband.
We observe the area below for awhile, check comms and cell phone signals then head back to the east. Bell valley is full of RV campers who are using the shooting range. Hot Shot is not amused.
1340- Red Army and Golf 1 head to the Campo Diner for cheesy burgers and Milfasaurus monitoring. To my knowledge no sushi was consumed.
1410- There are no BP or border volunteers in the are save Hot Shot and I. No discernable activity to the south.
1430- Hot Shot and I head for home.
1635- We cross the last BP checkpoint and are waved through.
I will be back on the line very soon. I hope to see you there.