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Posted: 5/22/2005 1:17:56 PM EST
A friend of mine in the Coast Guard is going to be sent to Iraq in a couple of weeks so he wanted to go camping with me and another friend of ours before he left so we rented a car and the three of us went to Big Bend.

From Corpus we went to Laredo, then to Del Rio, and then took highway 90 pretty much all the way out there.

The two BP checkpoints we went though leaving Laredo and Del Rio we had no problems, they just asked "are you all US citizens," we answered yes, and the reply was "have a good day." The odd thing was we all swear that it was the same guy at both checkpoints either that or twins.

We get to Big Bend late its about 6:30 and we figure we need to hurry up and find a camp before it gets too much darker. Its our first time here so we dont know where the trail is at first but after asking we find out. We head up find a nice camp site and are suprised that we are the only ones in the area so we got the place to ourselves, and from where we are camped we get to watch the sunset through "the Window."

The Window is this valley type thing between two other mountains that is westish and you can clearly see the sun set through there. We set up the tent and the rest of our camp and just sit down and admire the scenery.

While looking around we notice a light on the mountain to the right of the window we figure its more campers or something, then the light goes off, it comes back on, and then there are two lights, then quickly there are three. Then the lights move horizontally to the left which would no longer be on the mountain. Then one of the lights goes off so there are two and one light moves verticlly some. The two of them move around some more in no real pattern then they both go out and we dont see them anymore for the rest of the night.

We assume at the time that the lights we saw were the Marfa lights, and that they werent really on the mountain they were just near it but way off in the distance. The next day while looking at a map I confirm that Marfa indeed is off in that direction that we were looking at.

The next morning one of my friends goes hiking a little bit on his own and he find the other campsites, and then he realizes that where we camped wasnt even a camp site but just some observation area to watch the Window. He says that the other campsites have crap for views and that we got the best one, but on the flip side of that was that the othercamp sites didnt have all the little rocks that were jabbing into our backs through our bedrolls.

Anyways we do some more hiking later in the day and then we pack up and decide to head home.

The drive home was pretty uneventful except the run ins with the law were a bit more interesting this time.

Leaving Big Bend we came to a BP checkpoint. Nothing major here but I did find it interesting that the guy asked us how long we stayed, where we were going, and where we worked. We answered but just to myself I thought the where we worked was none of his business.

I quickly drove through most of west Texas at about 70-90mph, and we gassed up at some small town by the name of Sanderson, which I thought was the most interesting of the small towns out there.

A little ways out of Del Rio I slow it down some but I guess not enough because we get pulled over by Highway Patrol. She asks for my liscense and insurance so we get her the rental car papers. Then she asks me to step out of the car and has me stand about between my car and hers.

She questions me a bit which coincidentally was pretty much everything that the last BP guy asked, where we coming from, how long we were there, where we were going, where do I work. I go ahead and cooperation I figure no harm and see if it can get me out of a ticket.

She asks if our camping gear is in the trunk of the car I answer yes. At this point I'm thinking she is going to ask me to open the trunk so she can see it, which I would not have done. She doesnt though she tells me to stay where I'm at and she goes to the car and talks to my friends, presumably to see if thier stories are different from mine. In the end she gives me a citiation for going 79 in a 70 and tells me to call the JP named in it , it has his phone number, I guess he is going to tell me what fine if any I have or whatever.

I get back in the car and contine on our way I ask my friends what she asked them and they ask me what she asked me, and it was all the same. Then I talk about how it would have been possible for us to not have answered most of her questions but how I was cooperative just to see if it would have gotten me out of a ticket, and I guess it didnt. Just on a side note so far its my experience that beeing cooperative doesnt get you shit, I've never gotten a "warning." But I did tell them how I wouldnt have allowed her to search the vehicle if she asked because how if I did she would have been able to rummage through all the shit we packed and whatever.

We drive through Del Rio then after a long while I ask my friend about BP checkpoints, and ask shouldnt we have passed oen leaving Del Rio and he said yeah and that he was wondering why we hadnt yet, then just as soon as we finish the conversation we see said checkpoint.

I roll up on it, roll down my window and say howdy. Guy asks us the usual questions, where we coming from, how long were we there, where are we going. Just to be different I said we are going home. He said what city, and my friend answered Corpus Christi. He asked where do you work, and I said Walgreens, and he asked all of you? My friends answered where they worked at.

He then asked "May I have a look in your trunk," I said "no." He said "no?," and I replied, "No, sir." He had the deer in the headlights look for about 5 to 10 seconds. Then he walked around the car knocked on the trunk then walked around back to my window asked if he were all US citizens, we replied yes, and then he said we could go.

After a short drive away both my friends busted up laughing that I told the guy no and about the funny ass look the guy had on his face when I said that.

My friend on the Coast Guard did say that he thought that the Border Patrol probably had more leeway in searching vehicles that normal Police, so can anyone here answer if he would have still been able to search even if I declined it.

Anyways after so many times being pulled over or going through check points someone finally askes to search the vehicle and I can finally say that I told them no.

Overall the trip was quite the adventure.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:25:15 PM EST
yall from corpus???
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:27:06 PM EST
Yep.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:31:46 PM EST
Sounds odd to me.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:41:21 PM EST
im in sinton, come have a beer sometime
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:44:02 PM EST
Where are all these check points?
you didn't actually cross the border did you?
I'm all for stopping illegals but do it by patrolling the border like the Minute Men did
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:45:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By OFFascist:
" I said "no." He said "no?," and I replied, "No, sir."



"I'm sorry, I meant No SIR" heh
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:51:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By sharky30:
Where are all these check points?
you didn't actually cross the border did you?



I dont know if my friend is 100% right on this but he says there are the checkpoints at the borders themselves, and also there are checkpoints on all the roads 70 miles inland. You only have to stop when you are leaving that 70 mile "border area."

When we drove into Laredo we saw the checkpoint on the otherside of the road we didnt have to stop because we were driving in, but when we were leaving Laredo we had to stop.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:52:17 PM EST
I’ve never lived in a border state so I’ve never had any interaction with the Border Patrol.

Were these actual checkpoints, where all passing vehicles are stopped? Or roving patrols like the state police stopping the random car?

Either way here is some advice that may save your life.

It is perfectly reasonable for the police to ask you to exit your vehicle. You should comply.

But what you should refuse to do, unless you are under the physical control of the police, is to stand anywhere between the police cruiser and your vehicle. Short of actually playing in traffic the space between the two cars is the most dangerous spot on the highway.

Tell the police that you will stand off to the right of the vehicles, and never between them.

I would think that every police officer is trained not to do this, from the largest police dept. to the smallest, but maybe not.

Mike
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:55:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Flashman:
I’ve never lived in a border state so I’ve never had any interaction with the Border Patrol.

Were these actual checkpoints, where all passing vehicles are stopped? Or roving patrols like the state police stopping the random car?

Either way here is some advice that may save your life.

It is perfectly reasonable for the police to ask you to exit your vehicle. You should comply.

But what you should refuse to do, unless you are under the physical control of the police, is to stand anywhere between the police cruiser and your vehicle. Short of actually playing in traffic the space between the two cars is the most dangerous spot on the highway.

Tell the police that you will stand off to the right of the vehicles, and never between them.

I would think that every police officer is trained not to do this, from the largest police dept. to the smallest, but maybe not.

Mike



yup
that cop car gets rear ended and you get sandwiched
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 2:01:48 PM EST
okay I was actually off the road a ways, not actually standing between them but off to the side between them.

As for the BP yeah they are actual checkpoints that stop everyone.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 2:18:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By sharky30:

Originally Posted By Flashman:
I’ve never lived in a border state so I’ve never had any interaction with the Border Patrol.

Were these actual checkpoints, where all passing vehicles are stopped? Or roving patrols like the state police stopping the random car?

Either way here is some advice that may save your life.

It is perfectly reasonable for the police to ask you to exit your vehicle. You should comply.

But what you should refuse to do, unless you are under the physical control of the police, is to stand anywhere between the police cruiser and your vehicle. Short of actually playing in traffic the space between the two cars is the most dangerous spot on the highway.

Tell the police that you will stand off to the right of the vehicles, and never between them.

I would think that every police officer is trained not to do this, from the largest police dept. to the smallest, but maybe not.

Mike



yup
that cop car gets rear ended and you get sandwiched



I stopped to render aid one time on the side of I-10
four people were standing between two cars about ten feet apart
I told them they would be less likely to be killed in the event of an accident if they were
not BETWEEN the cars. Then I started to look at the disabled vehicle

A HPD Motorcycle Cop stopped and took charge of the situation, he immediately MADE them
get back between the cars, I said it seemed they were in more danger standing between the cars
He told me he would arrest me if I said anything else
I turned around, got back on the motorcycle, and left without saying a word.....

Due to the slight angle of the shoulder there, I believe it would be ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE
to INTENTIONALLY hit them standing next to the shoulder at freeway speeds after
going around the first car But, the back of a car could EASILY be thrown forward by rearending
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:45:16 PM EST
So has anyone else here seen the Marfa lights or anything similar?
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