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Border Security

What is the best way to handle an 800 pound gorilla?  Well, you can either fight him (and lose) or teach him to dance.  Either way, it’s a lot of fur flying around.

Allow us to dance with the gorilla for a minute and we’ll give you our perspective on the Big Bend border.  As someone who lives, works and plays here.

Let us start by saying that we can’t guarantee anyone’s safety.  There are many things in Big Bend that might hurt you.  You might get bit by a rattlesnake.  You might trip and fall into a cactus.  You might not drink enough water and suffer from dehydration.

But isn’t that what makes travel to a remote location fun?  The risk of “being outdoors” versus sitting on the couch watching Oprah?

Give the following points some thought and if you would like to discuss them further call us at 800-839-7238 or email me directly at

Far Flung is on the river just about every day of the year – as we have been for over 30 years.  We’re just not seeing the “violence” portrayed in the movies and news.  Could it happen?  Sure, but our trips have not experienced any contact with individuals who might be aggressive or confrontational.  We might argue that you’re more likely to see daily violence in a big city somewhere.

Law enforcement in this area is top drawer and vigilant.  Keep in mind that since we have two large public parks – Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park – our community is protected by Park Rangers, Border Patrol, Brewster County Sheriff’s officers and Homeland Security- just to name a few.  Senior officials of the Border Patrol have indicated to us that they see most of the “violence” in urban settings and not in rural, remote locations like Big Bend.

As one of two paramedics in the area who respond to almost every medical call in a 3000 square mile area, I have not seen one incident of violence related to drug trafficking or other gang related violence.  In fact, we recently (and sadly) responded one evening to a knife fight – it was two tourists  from the Houston area arguing over something.

Our friends, family and employees continue to live and work in Big Bend and to this day we have about $150,000 worth of equipment under NO lock and key.  We have never had one attempt at theft in the many years we have lived here. Should one decide to become a thief, there are few roads out of here and radio traffic can outrun even the fastest of criminals.

Does drug trafficking exist?  We would be fools to think otherwise.  However, it would be insane for traffickers – who want to move their product to area with lots of buyers – to call attention to themselves.  Particularly, in a very visible tourism environment.

I like to draw an analogy between the “border violence” and the BP spill in the Gulf.  If you listened to the news, it sounded like every beach along the Gulf was a tar ball.  Therefore, no one went to the Gulf coast on vacation.  Yet, I’m sure there were many places where there was no environmental impact.  Big Bend is one of those places.

We, at Far Flung, look forward to seeing you in the Big Bend!

Greg Henington