So you guys know that Shaun and I have issues with being harassed by American law enforcement. During our Burning Man road trip we were harassed multiple times, once where I was almost asked for my papers because the border patrol agent refused to believe our road trip story and that I was an American citizen. If I was asked for my papers, I probably would have flipped my shit.
I hate feeling like I’m in a police state. The fact that I am asked what I am doing in my own country really bothers me.
I was feeling abnormally nervous about the Border Patrol stop today for some reason. I just wanted to finish our 15 hour drive from San Antonio to Phoenix. We were asked the dreaded question:
Where are you going and where are you coming from?
We are from Austin and we are going to Phoenix. This is something we had rehearsed before – not because we were lying but because we wanted to avoid any sort of suspicion that any differences in our answers would create. Much to our dismay, while our story was perfect, apparently the drug dog decided to hang out on our window.
Border Patrol Agent (BPA): Can you pull off to the side up there. We need to search your car.
Fan-freaking-tastic. We have absolutely nothing to hide but this was the icing on the cake of my Border Patrol experiences.
BPA: Turn off your car. Step out of the car and please stand far away so our K-9 does not attack you.
This is the part where I tell you that El Paso is about 30 degrees colder than Austin/San Antonio is and we were standing outside in sandals and next to nothing shivering. Shaun reaches into his pockets to warm his hands…
BPA (in a gruff voice): DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS.
Shaun and I stood there in silence. We were flabbergasted. While we may enjoy beer, we are probably some of the most annoyingly straight laced and boring people on the planet.
BPA: Do you guys smoke pot?
Shaun: No sir.
BPA: Because our dog is currently smelling something. Are you carrying a personal stash? If you tell us that you have as small amount we will just confiscate it and you can be on your way.
Shaun: No sir. We do not have anything.
I sat there fuming. Shaun is always the good guy to talk about. I’m sure I’m going to land us in jail one day.
BPA: If you don’t tell me and we find a joint, you guys are going to be in some serious trouble.
The dog continued to wag his tail happily in the back of our car, sniffing one of our backpacks. He was accompanied by another agent that looked annoyed that she was going through this much trouble to find the narcotics her dog was looking for. She looked at us looking at her (we were shaking our heads) and snarkily said,
Woman BPA: You know that our dog isn’t there to sniff out cake. He has obviously found narcotics. You should just tell us where they are.
Shaun: We don’t smoke pot and there isn’t anything in the backpack.
The other BPA was sitting there in front of us blocking us from running to our car (or from running away).
After another 5 minutes of shivering in the cold and all our perfect packing for our RTW thrown in disarray, in frustrated defeat they asked,
Woman BPA: Does anyone else use this backpack?
Shaun: No ma’am.
They shook their heads, looked at the dog, looked at us, and excused us to continue on our trip.
I was shaking I was so pissed off driving away. I am yet to make it through a border check without being harassed. We sat in the car over the next few hours trying to figure out how any trace landed on our pack.
We decided that the dog just liked cake.