Picked up by the Border Patrol at the RV Park
You NEVER know what’s going to happen when you Go RVing! We kicked off our 6 month Border to Border Surfing Trip up the West Coast at the Pio Pico RV Resort nestled into the mountains of Jamul, CA. While I was hiking from the campground, I ended up getting an unexpected ride in the back of the Border Patrol!
For many years, this was the #1 illegal crossing point into the US with 40% of all crossings happening in this area. In 1994 they got serious about expanding the wall and over the next few years created special forces like Air Mobile Units. This resulted in cutting crossings in the area by over 70%!
With all these improvements it still continues to be one of the highest volume crossing areas. With the completion of the fence outside of the San Diego area, people who are trying to cross, head to the mountains. The border patrol vehicles and helicopters were constantly in and around the campground catching people. In fact I’d sit on my back deck daily and watch them go after people on the hill behind us.
Spawning out from the campground is one of the premiere off roading trails in the country, the Otay Mountain Truck Trail! I was told that my dually truck might have a tough time on such a narrow cliff road so I headed decided to hike the trail. The beginning of the trail was right behind our Road Warrior so I just walked off the deck and started hiking. It was really neat knowing that there was nothing between our Home on Wheels and Mexico!
Right away you get a fantastic view from above the campground. I guess this is what it feels like to be a drone?
I mountain biked this section of the trail a few times and always stopped to soak in the view. You can see endless possibilities of trails running through these mountains. I found it fun to explore a different area each day.
Within the first week I had talked to half a dozen border patrol or so.
They told me where to go to see the trails people take each day while crossing the border so I biked on over just before sunset on evening.
I even took my friend Bill to one of them when he and family visited our Heartland 5th wheel. It’s been a nice perk of RVing to be able to visit friends who are spread out all over the country.
Now as I was hiking up to Otay Mountain I noticed the landscape completely change. It went from a desert environment to a flower filled forest. Timing is important with the wildflowers and this area is covered in them. They make for such a colorful hike.
Very few people were on the trail. I did get to see a biker flying down the hill with a big smile on his face and a few 4 wheelers heading down.
Although this trail is used by a huge variety of adventure seekers, it’s known for being a jeep/off road trail. There were numerous people who bring their jeeps behind their RV and headed up this trail from the campground.
As you go higher, the campground gets smaller. Can you see it nestled into the mountains?
This is off road paradise! To be located 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego and everything else in the area this is a hidden gem. I couldn’t believe how few people were utilizing this trail on such a beautiful day.
The scenery just kept getting better and now I had a great view of the Otay Lakes.
The border patrol is constantly patrolling this area. I would see them fly down the mountain with people in the back that they just captured, they would drop them off and then I’d see them fly back up the mountain to do it all over again. I found it interesting that it’s a small percentage of the people they catch that are actually Mexican and they said it’s mostly Chinese or South Americans that they work with.
They told me that they catch around 150 people per day!
All of the Border Patrol that I interviewed informally expressed frustration with the system. The non-Mexicans get a free ride so they actually come up to the Border Patrol agents and want to get caught.
Another thing that frustrated them was that many of the Mexicans that they capture get free food, free juice and a free ride back to Mexico. Because there isn’t a downside to coming across, they keep catching the same people multiple times per week on the same trail.
Of course on a positive note they do a great job of catching the bad guys. This area is a big stream for the drug cartel and these border patrol agents are loaded and ready to keep us safe against them.
At one point on his way back up he mentioned that I’m almost to the top (I was still around a mile away). I asked him if I could hitch a ride and he let me in the back. He drove like Dale Earnhardt Jr on the steep drop off trail. It was an exhilarating experience! Just another random RV Adventure!
- Note: this has nothing to do with politics. I’m just sharing what the Border Patrol Agents told me.