Here are some resources to take advantage of in your spare time. Learn what interests you, maybe it will lead to a whole new life path?!
I departed the Hueco Rock Ranch with a new friend and climbing partner from Canada and set out to do some sport climbing in Socorro, NM. Getting out of Texas and into New Mexico we were cruising along when suddenly signs stated that all northbound traffic was forced to stop at a checkpoint.
This is where I’m going to get on a political rant here because I feel the need to share this violating experience. I encountered my first inland border checkpoint. We were hassled and searched 100 miles north of the border in New Mexico on 25N. I attempted to assert my rights at the Nazi-style checkpoint when they asked me to roll down my windows so they could see in my car. Ironically, they ordered me to go to secondary after I wouldn’t play along with the seemingly unconstitutional stop.
When I said I’d like to be on my way to travel freely within my own country they said they would charge me for obstructing traffic if I didn’t pull over to get searched. What the hell, you’re the one preventing me from leaving I thought to myself. Again, I asked if I was being detained or if I was free to go. They claimed the dog alerted to something in my car even though the animal was nowhere near my car after the initial walk around they did while I waited in the mandatory line. If the dog was truly alerted to something, would they not immediately tell me to go to secondary? They made the claim only after I refused to answer questions about where I was coming from, where I was headed, what I was doing traveling in the area, who owned my car, and how long I’ve had it – none of which is any of their business.
Feeling violated and obviously assumed guilty until proven innocent, I watched the dog and the agents get cozy in my car (home) while I was detained and surrounded by agents with no charge or evidence of a crime. 20 or so long minutes and many intimidating tactics attempting to get me or my passenger to confess any kind of crime we may have committed and even given a “free card” if I told them where they could find any illegal items in my car. They finally sent us on our way, but not without talking down to me and attempting to make me feel like a child being scolded by a parent. They even asked my passenger if she had thrown drugs or something out of the window before arriving as they claimed drug odor was probable cause to search me which is completely BS and impossible to prove in a court of (just) law. It was simply a fake reason to search me because I didn’t want to participate like a herded sheep in the “constitution free zone” which apparently is within 100 air-miles of any national border. I drove away with my heart racing even though I knew I had not committed a crime. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that is right at all.
After waking up from Hueco Tanks Ranch yesterday morning I went for a recovery run. I followed the same route I had done a few days prior from the ranch; down the gravel road to the stop sign, then right on the paved road. During my initial run I had noticed a property near the ranch with fenced areas for multiple dogs, and two pitbull dogs chained to a post in the front of the house. The dogs barked as I jogged by on both my outgoing and return trip but were limited by the chain.
My second run from the ranch was starting out to be a great one. I was pumped up and feeling great so I decided to run farther than last time. I made it quite a ways from the gravel road and proceeded to turn around for the return trip hoping I saved enough energy to make the run all the way back without stopping. Approaching the gravel road the ranch is on I began to tire and slowed to a brisk walk. The wind picked up a bit and was making my ears cold so I covered them with my hands to prevent the chill. I past the property with the dogs without notice… so I thought.
While covering my ears, with muffled sound I hear barking becoming louder and louder. I whip my head around to see one of the dogs had escaped the property and was running full speed toward me! Startled and terrified by the threat of being attacked by the mighty jaws of a pitbull I faced him and the fight or flight response kicked in like a jolt of electricity. Instantaneously I ran several scenarios in my head about how I would defend myself against this beautiful but threatening animal.
Holding my hand out in the stop position and firmly repeating “GO HOME” the dog stopped just short of 5 feet from me and continued to bark in a threatening manor. Standing off with the pitbull, holding my ground and looking at him in the eyes I slowly reached for my pocket knife I had just so happened to carry with me this run. My hand on the now opened knife and preparing to sacrifice an attack to my left arm for an opportunity to deliver a fatal strike, the dog briefly looked back home. I felt a bit of relief from the situation but not enough. Still repeating “GO HOME” and often pointing homeward It seemed a bit confused looking back a few more times before eventually retreating home. Pumped full of adrenaline and walking backwards, I continued facing the dog to insure my safety. Once the dog reached about half way, I turned and ran like no other back to the ranch about a half mile away.
Whew, That was close!
Last night was my first experience rock climbing at night. I had climbed at the area during the day so I was somewhat familiar with the routes but climbing in the dark is different. Your eyes are limited to the spot of the headlamp so it’s truly tunnel vision. Seems to me like it’s unnecessarily dangerous, but it was totally fun. The rock was still warm from basking in the sun all day so it was nice to climb since there was a bit of chill in the air. But within an hour or two the rock became moist and the polished holds became slicker than snot unable to sustain any amount of friction.