By Martin Hill
My wife and I were in Austin last week to visit some friends and family, and took a trip with my wife's cousin and their family to Canyon Lake. This is between Austin and New Braunfels, and we took a trip down the Guadalupe river. A lot of people go there for a leisurely float down the river in innertubes. It was a nice sunny Saturday and the place was packed. The river ride was (way) too slow for my tastes; when I heard 'river raft', I had a distinctly different and more adventurous idea than the snails-pace at which the tube floated. Nevertheless, off we went. There are a lot of websites on Guadalupe River tubing and some pictures here, here, and here.
It takes two hours to go from the drop-off point at the "top of the horseshoe" to the end. As we passed the middle of the ride, my wife says to me "honey look at all the cops!" Now, I thought she was kidding because she jokes around like that sometimes. I glanced towards the shore to look for the alleged cops, because there were a lot of rowdy partiers, etc. having fun. But she said "NO, right here! In the river!"
And I'll be damned, she wasn't teasing. Low and behold, there were six uniformed Comal County Sheriffs, wearing their hip-boots, forming a human blockade; a CHECKPOINT in the river, blocking every innertube from passing by. They had their sunglasses on, their hands on their hips and their arms folded, with smug attitudes. It was truly a "You gotta be $#@!ting me" moment. Even I was shocked at the absurdity of it. I mean I've heard of checkpoints everywhere, but in a river floating in an intertube?!
My wife's cousins had their own very extravagent raft since they ride the river a lot. It held two adults, their two kids, and had a special ice chest compartment in the middle. Our wives were tied to the big raft in their own innertubes, so they could sit together and chat. My wife's cousin was first one to approach the overly-eager sheriff in her tube. "YOU GOT ANY GLASS BOTTLES OR STYROPHOME?" he barked.
"Uhh.. no?" she replied,
"Okay I need to look", he said, as he gestured for towards the raft.
Unfortunately for him I was seated right next to the ice chest and I put my hand on it.
"You ever heard of the 4th Amendment?" I asked, very loudly.