Saturday, July 22, 2006

Camping...(how to meet drug runners)

Watch, two days after this post, I am going to be raided my the ATF, the FBI, CIA, and Interpol. Oh well, the price is worth it for this good story.

A fellow blogger told a story about standing in a police line-up to help ID an identity thief. So here is my story on my criminal acquaintances.

Growing up in Mexico, me and my dad were never really all that close. It has gotten a TON better since then, but wasn't all there in high-school. My dad, after much thoughtful deliberation, decided to combine several of the things us kids like the most, in order to get closer to all of us. What was this idea? It was a solo camping trip at the edge of the canyon, which was 5 hours by car, 2 hours by bike away. I don't know if he did this with the girls or not, but for us guys, we would load up the two motorcycles with supplies and head out. I know he went with the girls, but the method of transportation is unclear.

So here we are, two sleeping bags, one tent, a camp stove, a tarp, food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next morning, clothes, and two motorcycles (Yamaha BW 200s). Notice anything missing? Oh yeah...matches. Yes, we forgot matches on a camping trip. That 2 hour bike ride? Turned into a Gilligan's Island adventure. Four and a half hours after setting out, we finally made it to the camp-site. Granted, the trip would have only been four hours (due to getting lost), but the bike my dad was driving (our partner's bike) decided to deflate its rear tire. We thought it might happen b/c it was looking a little triste (sad) from the multiple slashes in the sidewalls.

So, after pulling his bike WAY off the road, and draping shrubbery on it in a meager attempt to camo it, we transfer all of his stuff to my bike and we continue the saga on just one set of wheels. I thought that the bike was loaded with gear before, now it was like "The Beverly Hillbillys." So, we finally get to the campsite, set up the tent, lay out the sleeping bags, and proceed to lay out the fare. Uh oh, no matches, no lighter, nothing. Oh wait...I had brought a cheapo home-made telescope to look at the stars. If we use one of the lenses, we might be able to get it going! So here we are, huddled over a pile of dry oak leaves, using gas from the tank as lighter fluid, trying to coax a flame to the sun is setting over the hills. Finally, as the sun slips that last 1/8 of an inch over the mountain tops, a few wisps of smoke signal the birth of our flame. I swear, Tom Hanks' dance as he births fire was NOTHING compared to ours. After roasting marshmellows, star gazing, and all that other camping crap, we finally hit the sack.

About 15 minutes later, we hear a truck come down the road, stop, and turn off its engine. My dad opines, "That is either drug runners, or the governtment going after drug runners." In the morning, we wake up, have breakfast, and proceed to hike down the canyon wall to explore the river that is WAY down below us. On the way to the trail down, we pass a decrepit POS of a truck (drug runners we now know). About half-way down the canyon wall we come to this little "saddle" where two trails meet ours. From there, we look down and see about six gentlemen trekking up toward us, so we decide to stop, rest, and chat with them when they arrive. Five minutes later, we hear this huffing and puffing from the second trail...and around the corner comes this guy chugging up the hill carrying two grocery bags FULL of fresh-picked marijuana leaves. He screeches to a halt when he sees us, then realizing that we are NOT government men, he saunters our way.

"Hey, what are you guys doing out here?"
"Oh nothing. Just came out for a camping trip."
"Oh, I see. Hey, have you ever see a fresh picked llerba buena (marijuana) plant before?"
"No, can't say I have."
"Here, take a couple. In fact, if you want too, keep 'em."

So here we are, two missionary men, feeling, smelling, and playing around with almost $300 in fresh, pure, marijuana. Yeah, I will never forget that sick/sweet smell.

I forget who was struck with the thought, but one of us realized that these "law abiding" gentlemen might be our ticket out of there, and that they could give the broken bike a lift back towards civilization. We therefore said our goodbyes and booked it back up the trail to the campsite. We threw everything together, packed up my bike, and blitzed our way back down the road to where we had stashed the second one. From there, I split from my dad and headed home to grab our work truck and head back for him. He on the other hand, started to push the bike toward home. Fast forward almost three hours.

I am now on my way back, in our beater Toyota, and cookin' along this dirt road doing like 45 mph. As I round this nice long bend, here comes the drug runner's truck doing 60. As we both swerve OFF the road to avoid each other, I see my dad clinging desperately to the cab as he almost gets thrown out. I back up, help my dad get the bike out of their truck and into ours, say "Ciao" to the men, and head back home. My dad summed "them" up with these very profound words, "Nice guys...CRAZY drivers."


Indiagirl said...

Wow, you have had some adventures!

Nairobi Paul said...

Great story! It has to fall under that category of "tough experiences create great memories!"

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