June 14th Weekend
This weekend my friend Exkalibur visited me in Buffalo, NY. Exkalibur is a fellow Emergency Service 'whacker' like myself, and also a train 'foamer'. We had hoped to see some good structure fires this weekend, and generally have fun driving around the Buffalo area calling in suspicious people, and helping out the police whenever possible, without getting in their way. While there were several arson attempts, none of them were apparently successful this weekend. Which in a way was good, that the Fire Dept. arrived on scene before they became big fires.
But it was unfortunate in that we were kind of hoping for a large one to watch. Buffalo, NY has the busiest arson investigation unit in the country, and usually will get at least one decent sized structure fire per day. While we did not have many fires to go to, we spent our time monitoring the Police. Crime wise, the city was very busy this weekend. I believe we heard about 10 or so unique shooting calls, some of which were all related to a specific gang called the Central Park Boys (or Boyz). One such shooting, which we were nearby when it occured, involved a driver, being shot at pont blank range, in his head, as he waited to turn Right at a Stop sign. Obviously he was pronounced dead on the scene. If this was drug/crime related, or not, I do not know.
However it enforces the general rule about driving around in Buffalo, and that is, if you feel unsafe... just go, disregard Stop signs, and traffic lights - so long as you stop or slow down first. There were a few other shootings, on Saturday night someone was shot in the back / chest, and another in the shoulder. Both of which were shot at different ends of the city, however both of which mentioned that the shooter was in a white Oldsmobile Alero. We ended up calling in one gun call, when we drove by and saw someone who was walking down the street carrying a gun. We also assisted the police by reporting another call, in progress, of a group of people who were suspiciously sprinting down a street. One of which appeared to be carrying a shot gun.
Apparently unknown to us, this was related to a prowler call. We also were in the area keeping our eyes opened for a suspect, after this suspect, fled police, and bailed in 2 high speed pursuits. One of which left an officer injured after getting involved in an accident. While we were exposing ourselves to danger, we did protect ourselves. We were both wearing kevlar vests, and we drove away whenever someone suspicious started approaching the car. Granted I would of much rather been watching a fire. As toying with crime related issues, seems a bit too dangerous for me.
But we might as well try to help out where we can. On Sunday night we were in search of a working fire, and came across a train derailment in the Bailey and Walden area. 6 automotive carriers which were loaded with new cars, had derailed, when a rail joint buckled as the train entered CSX's Frontier Yard. We watched crews work on re-railing the cars, as a massive storm front moved in. In some cases we even noticed brief rotation.
So I guess in a way, we did all of the cliche ham radio type things this weekend. Chased Fire Trucks, Chased Police Cars, Watched Trains, and Watched Weather systems.
In addition, we took a ride out to Zoar Valley again. This time we went to Valentines Flats, and walked down from there. Which might I add, is one hell of a walk. The rivers were flowing fast on Saturday, as there were storms in the area. The water was flowing in some parts, at such a great force that it would be fatal or very dangerous to enter the water. However we were determined to explore further upstream. Exkalibur, Nightbird and myself ventured thru the rushing water, and traveled quite a ways upstream, and found a nice remote area in which to rest.
I, for the first time, decided to strip down, and go totally nude in the outdoors. It felt great. On our way back, we noticed in the distance a pair of hikers, who were also nude, or at least almost nude. one of which was a female. All this said and done, I had a lot of fun. It was great to get out and about this weekend, and I did not even spend all that much money. Minus a few times when I was a bit afraid to be in specific locations, it was very fun and entertaining. I would love to find someone local, who would want to do this type of thing more regularly.