Escape from Tucson: Day 17 – Friday (late)
OK, I have a whole new plan. Based on what I am seeing at the pass there is no way I am going to try and make it through there. I would never make it even if I tried my best. The pass cuts through the Peloncillo Mountains and they are some steep rugged mountains, no way could I hike/climb over them, not a chance. But, there is a road that does go right through them a couple miles to the north. Yup, cuts right through pretty as you please.
The road is obviously a two-track on the map. And it does snake around a fair amount. But I looked closely at the topo lines and there is never more than a 150’ elevation change at any one time, and thankfully, none of them are steep elevation changes at all. There are other roads, mostly dead ends that cut off both north and south from this main road so I will have to pay close attention to where I am going. I have calculated the distance between each turn-off and I will count my paces as I go. By doing both I should be able to stay on track all the way, only turning when I need to. It is a gimmick, skill rather, that I learned way back in Boy Scouts in the 1960’s when it was a real scouting program, not the watered-down metrosexual program of today. Measure the distance you travel in100 paces, then divide by 100 to give you your average pace length. Now you can get a pretty good idea of how far you have traveled by simply counting your paces.
So I have several immediate goals –
- Get down off this hill without being seen or heard.
- Get to the mouth of the pass where this two-track enters the mountain range.
- Hide the rest of the night.
- Sleep and rest tomorrow.
- Finish any planning that is needed.
- Just before dusk head into this alternate mountain pass.
- Make it to the other side before dawn.
The trip should only take about six to ten hours because it appears to only be about a ten to eleven mile trek. But, I will be walking very, very slowly tomorrow night…a tactical walk. I will have every sense on high alert for any kind of danger. I will be relying a lot on Beans. I will need her to warn me of danger. She can see way better than me at night, and smell way better than me all of the time. She needs to be my point man.
Why so cautious? If I was in charge of that pass operation down there I would have done enough intelligence gathering to know about the pass. I would have men guarding that pass to prevent people from getting around the pass roadblock. At the very least I would have people posted there to watch what was going on. And here’s why…
The Peoloncllo Mountains are the #1 mountain range for Mexican Cartel smuggling…#1 in the whole country. If the Mexican Cartel is in charge in the pass then, if I were them, I would want to maintain control of the mountain range and protect that northern back door. If I wasn’t the Mexican Cartel then I would want to defend my pass operation from the Mexican Cartel when they showed up. Yeah, “when” because they will continue to use the mountain range to smuggle regardless of some EMP strike or not. They are not going to interrupt their business for something as minor as TEOTWAWKI. They will probably thrive off any grid-down or SHTF event.
So, tomorrow night I have to be very cautious and be forewarned when I run into their rearguard. I have two alternative routes once I am in that pass; 1) a horse trail to the north, 2) forward. OK, three options, the third being retreating back the way I came. Do I sound real confident?
Back to the pass operation…
After I had slept and before I started working on this journal entry I did hear some guns shots. I have no idea what they were about, or even for sure where they were coming from. No one in their camp seemed alarmed and it didn’t sound like a “give & take” gun battle, just some shots fired.
Another thing I noticed was, about late afternoon or early evening, I saw a group of men leave the camp. I counted twenty moving in two groups of ten men each. They left together but the way they moved it was two separate groups. And I would say they had some kind of training based on the way they moved. They didn’t have on any kind of uniforms or anything remotely similar, all street clothes. But these guys knew what they were about, you could just tell. I have no idea what they have planned, but whatever it is…someone is going to have a very bad time of it.
That tells me that tomorrow night I really have to be on my game. I will use a style that I learned in the Surviving Deadly Contact class I took from onPoint Tactical. Since all I have is a pistol I will carry that in my two-handed grip like I always do at the low-ready. But, I will add the CRKT Hissatsu knife in my left hand. It is a great way to have two weapons ready to put into action and it doesn’t take away anything from the normal pistol grip.
The knife is in my left hand, blade down, cutting edge away from me. Then if something happens I can shoot or bring the knife into action immediately. It is an amazing way to clear a building/house/room. It is especially effective against two close-in opponents. You can shoot one and then stab/cut the other so fast it makes your mind blur. I wish I had practiced it a bit more since I took the training. But, isn’t that true of any training…once the training is over, practice what you’ve learned!!! I wish I had paid more attention to that concept.
Beans has to be at her absolute best while cutting through the mountains. But honestly, she has been superb so far. Well, superb when she needs to be, she still puts per paw over my leg while I am trying to sleep. And…she freaking snores at times!! Well, maybe so do I, but I don’t hear myself, I do hear her. Dang dog!
I am really worried about transiting that alternative pass. Once I am in it I don’t really have many options. And I am not capable of a firefight with anyone at this point, I have a small pistol and there is just me. There is also nowhere for me to really run. If I was guarding this alternate pass I would have it set-up that people would walk into the pass, then I would close the backdoor and have the front and one side heavy manned. Whoever had just walked into the trap would either surrender or die rather quickly.
Funny, I was just thinking…what do I do when it comes time to eat and trying to make it through the pass as quickly as I can. Do I stop and eat, eat while I walk? Better yet, what happens if I have to, ah, use the bathroom? If I am squatting I would be 100% vulnerable to anyone, they could just walk right up on me. What could I do? Daggumit, Beans better be a great partner tomorrow night!
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