Day 86 – Thursday (evening)

Nothing weird or sad today. We made good time, covered a lot of distance. We got up and gone early. It’s like we have to get away from this area. So many bad memories…and some fears of what might happen if we stay around. People are acting strange, like everyone is expecting something to go wrong, including me. We don’t need any more “wrong”!

Lisa shared with me something strange. Jamie died yesterday. Teri died a couple days before. It was sad to be sure. Lots of folks withdrew into themselves, me being one of them. Yesterday, some of the adults, Lisa being one of them, were talking about how sad it was that both Teri and Jamie died alone without their parents. Sherry Hansen had overheard them talking, came walking over, and said “They didn’t alone. The lady with gray hair was there, the one dressed in white. She was a real nice lady, pretty smile. She went with them.” And then turned, walked away, leaving the adults sitting there with open mouths. They talked about it and came to the conclusion that Sherry must just be trying to cover-up the pain of their deaths or just making it up. I agree. But it sure was strange…dressed in white?

We made it NW of a dump called Carne, about 3 miles east of Mirage on HWY26 that runs between Deming and Hatch, NM. I completely forgot about having to cross that highway. Jared kinda roughed me up over not telling him about it. I just wasn’t thinking with all the other stuff going on. But, in my defense he either did see it on the map, or should have. I don’t know why he was busting my chops over it. All that between him and me doesn’t matter…it is still an obstacle. One that has to be dealt with.

After looking at the map for few minutes we decided the easiest way to handle it was early morning, right at first light when it is kind of hard to focus your eyes on stuff. Hunters like that time as well…harder for the game to see you. We will do a cover and movement tactic. The whole group will not approach the road, just Alpha and Charlie teams. Where there is the best blind spot Alpha Team will cross the road while Charlie Team covers them. Bravo Team will be the rear guard for the group. Jim’s IntSec Team will be with the group for security. Jared will recon the road crossing well before dawn and make the call on when and where we cross. I trust him implicitly…even if he gave me a hard time.

Once Alpha is across, they will set up a position watching over Charlie Team as they cross. Once Charlie Team is across Alpha will watch to the south, Charlie to the north, each with a man watching to the west. Jim’s IntSec will provide security for the east side of the road with Bravo on their parameter. The kids with adults will move across the road in pairs as quickly as possible. Once they are across IntSec Team will cross and along with Alpha. Then we will all move off to the west. There is a shallow arroyo that heads WNW to China Draw, we will hold up there and get ourselves pulled together before moving off for the day. Jared will observe the road crossing for about 30 minutes before we begin the crossing. Always a good idea to observe an area long enough before approaching…just in case. The whole operation, once it starts, should take no more than 30 – 35 minutes once we get to HWY26. That is if everything goes as planned. Yeah…right!

Granted there is some danger in crossing any road. But we think we can do it safely, if we do it smart.

And then six miles due west to cross HWY180. We want to cross due east of Black Mountain, a National Guard training site. We’re not worried about any NG troops being there…it is basically a shooting range with no infrastructure there at all. But as always, Jared will scout it out first. Then we head southwest to cross the Mimbres River. So about 4 miles from HWY180 to a point south of Black Mountain, then another 5 miles southwest to the train tracks that parallel I-10. We will be happy to get across HWY26 today, thrilled to make it across HWY180, and no realistic expectation to make it to I-10.

Crossing the Mimbres River sounds daunting but it isn’t. There hasn’t been any water that far south in the Mimbres River in decades. No one I know remembers any water in it in their lifetime. I know a guy by the name of Steve, a little older than me, his family grew up in this area. He told me once his grandfather use to fish in that river just outside of Deming when he was a kid. But that would have been maybe 100 years ago or so. Even during the record floods of 2006 there wasn’t any actual river water flowing. Some drainage water from the surrounding area but no river water as such.

We are a little concerned about going through Deming. Well, we aren’t going “through” Deming, we are skirting around to the north. But we are concerned all the same. For the time we are in the near vicinity of Deming we are going to have Alpha as point, Bravo outriding to the north (right flank), Charlie to the south (left flank), and IntSec close in plus watching the rear. Bravo and Charlie will also have a man drag to the rear watching as well. The flankers will only be out about 50 yards but enough to give us protection on our flanks, and helping prevent ambush successes. We did go over the ROEs again…avoid contact at all costs!



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