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Goodbye, Yesterday

October 8th, 2012

I am so glad yesterday is over. After waking up to 40F degree temps in the van, I started packing so that we could make our journey south. We were minutes away from leaving when we were approached by a ranger. He immediately made me feel like a criminal. He asked who owned our vehicles(van and the camper). Then, he told us that we were in an inappropriate location a mostly enclosed area on the edge of a meadow. We told him that we had just packed up and were heading out.

He asked if we had warrants and wanted to run our IDs. What?!? We are just camping, dude. Our campsite was spotlessly clean. The area wasn’t posted as prohibited or blocked off. In fact there was an obvious path leading to the area. We were just camping. We were within sight of the main forest road. We might have been in a location that he felt was off-limits, but we saw no indication, and we are NOT criminals and do not deserve to be treated as such. He was so short and cold to us. It was very demeaning. It made me feel ill.

We gave him our IDs as requested. After he called them in, he kept saying the phrase “ax murders”. I think he was trying to be funny, but he had already set the tone and there was no way I could laugh and be personable now, just defensive. We came back clear… duh! We are not criminals! So after delaying us for what seemed to be an hour, he said we could continue packing. Since we had already packed up and just needed to raise the jacks on the camper, we were gone in 10 minutes.

Note to self: Do not plan on brushing your hair in the truck. Do it first thing no matter how much of a hurry you are in. I am sure that my messy hair is why he thought so little of us.

Most of the day was OK. It really wasn’t that bad. There were little things throughout it, but nothing too noteworthy.

We drove and drove and drove. We try not to move more than 10s of miles. Yesterday, we went nearly 200.

The day wasn’t over yet. I will bitch post about my interaction in Smart and Final in another installment.

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8 Responses to “Goodbye, Yesterday”

  1. Jeanette says:

    Your hair!! HA. We were stopped once and searched for drugs… ironically, Dennis’ has just been cutting his hair that morning and the razor broke, half way through the buzz cut. He must have looked like a crack head… the job was clearly unfinished, and not close to a ‘style’ of any kind. We were driving to the store to get a new working razor and got pulled over at a check point… searched with dogs and everything.
    So, yes, I believe your hair is probably to blame for the annoyance. Try a bow next time, will ya?
    Jeanette recently posted..1978 Wanderlodge Bus Interior Tour

    • jenn says:

      Best. Story. Ever! You have pics right? Tell me you made a blog post about it. Hahaha.

      But seriously, it’s kinda sad that those who think differently are often treated like a threat because of it (and their crackhead hair cuts).

  2. Bryce says:

    Johnny, Allways remember to comb your hair. You don’t want to look like a Hippie ! 😉

    Some times the cop is just crabby. I got pulled over near StLouis. I was wearing a KC Royals ball cap. The cop said” so, you are a Royals fan” I said yes! He said I have to give you a ticket. I should have took off the cap. I was in Cardinal territory.

    • jenn says:

      It’s definitely a regional thing. I can’t say that we have ever experienced such yucky rangers on any land except in the sierra mountains. I had six interactions with rangers there this summer. Four of them had a bad attitude. One was in a forest information center at Carson City. Two were right after we spent two days cleaning/bagging random trash and they noticed. And now this one. The last three were on the western side of the mountains. In the five years that we have been on the road, I had never had a negative experience with a ranger until we got to those mountains this year.

      We left them and are on BLM land now. The BLM guys that we have run into here have been nothing but nice and helpful.

  3. Cyndi says:

    Ack! This would have bummed me out, too. But it could have been worse had you guys not remained cool, calm and collected. Next time definately brush your hair before getting out of the van (when in California)

  4. Dude, that sucks. I know some days I feel more like the fringes of society than others, but there’s nothing like “authority” flinging attitude around to make me crabby.

    Were you guys in a national forest? They have some brand new restrictions, as you know, and enforcement varies widely and wildly, in our limited experience.
    The Good Luck Duck recently posted..Autumn boondocking in Flagstaff,AZ

  5. jd says:

    Thanks for posting your story so we don’t think that we are the only ones getting picked on when crap like that happens. The guy was probably just annoyed that he had to be out working in the colder temps when all his buds were getting ready for Baja for the winter. Glad your moving on!!!
    jd recently posted..Driving through movie scenes

  6. Me I would have gotten out a pen and paper, asked his name, badge number and told him he is acting unprofessional… I would have informed him that he is way out of line and that I was to file a formal complaint at the ranger station… There is no excuse for his actions other than he was an ass, hair or not you were camping legally and he had no right, other than to check on your welfare, to come into your camp…

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